Contributed by Lori Greene
Each school shooting brings renewed attempts to secure our schools and prevent the next tragedy.
Unfortunately, in the rush to do something (anything!) quickly and within tight budgetary constraints, safety is sometimes overlooked in favor of security.
Retrofit security products, also known as classroom barricade devices, have entered the market in recent years. Although these devices may have an attractive pricetag and are less complex to purchase and install than traditional locksets and key systems, there are risks, liabilities, and unintended consequences to consider.
For decades, the model codes have included requirements which help to ensure free egress, fire protection, and accessibility, and the 2018 model codes have an additional requirement for access to locked classrooms from the outside using a key or other approved means. When these codes are enforced, classroom barricade devices cannot be used in addition to the existing locking or latching hardware.
The video below covers the model code requirements, the 2018 changes, and other concerns regarding classroom security.
Want more information on classroom security? Be sure to look into the following:
Decoded: Classroom Security Code Update
National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) – Classroom Door Security and Locking Hardware Guidelines (PDF)
Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) – Position Statement on Classroom Barricade Devices (PDF)
Door Security and Safety Foundation (DSSF) – LockDontBlock.org
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