Security grilles and grates aren’t just for jails and behavioral health facilities. Can you list five other places they are used? Mike Stenz, KEES Sales Engineer and security expert, shares some product locations you might not expect and tips to consider when choosing the right grille or grate.


These storefront businesses typically have a lot of cash and valuable merchandise on hand -- like jewelry stores and pawn shops. This can require adding security grates to the ductwork for an extra layer of protection.

Tip: Many of these dispensaries find a home in existing structures. Therefore, it can be challenging to tie a security grate into the existing ductwork and wall structure. If converting an older building, be sure to consider different frame styles and mounting options to ensure the most efficient and secure installation. Also, consider case hardened or tool resistant bars for increased security.


If a laboratory or testing facility has locked doors, it will usually also require security grates to prevent access through the ductwork. This prevents unwanted entry to sensitive areas where pharmaceutical companies are developing new drugs or forensic labs are protecting the integrity of samples and test results.

Tip: Consider stainless steel for laboratories where frequent cleaning is required to maintain a sterile environment. Stainless steel will hold up to the cleaning chemicals and resist rusting.


Tornado Alley is an area in the central United States where tornadoes are most common. Schools and other storm shelters in this region rely on security grates to cover building openings and protect the people inside from wind-driven debris.

Tip: To achieve this objective, tighter bar spacing and thicker materials than normal are often required. Mesh can also be added to catch smaller debris. Pay special attention to details on the mechanical drawings, as they can vary quite a bit.


Security grates prevent unwanted access through large wall, ceiling and floor openings in a big retail store or warehouse full of valuable inventory. These grates cover openings from rooftop air conditioning units, roof hoods and large wall louvers.

Tip: When it comes to these locations, it’s all about size. Big openings need big coverings. Consider the resources on-site to lift and install the final product. Also, would a multi-section grate be more manageable than single-piece construction?


Every zoo needs temporary isolation or holding areas for animals that require special monitoring, such as gorillas and snow leopards. They also need on-site exam rooms in vet offices. Both locations call for security grilles to prevent animals from injuring themselves or destroying the air distribution devices.

Tip: These areas need to be pressure washed frequently -- sometimes every day. It’s important that the grille construction can handle the cleaning routine. This includes stainless steel for the moisture-laden environment, heavier material gauges to hold up to pressure washing, and proper drainage to keep water from pooling. Additionally, consider the safety of the animal when configuring the grille. Tamper-resistant countersunk screws can help to ensure the animal doesn’t hurt itself.

We know the specifications and details are not always clear about what’s required. If you have questions about a project involving security products, please contact us.