Construction began on the new $11.6 million performing arts center in the Spring of 2018. Initially, electronic access control wasn’t included in the original bid, but the school district decided to add additional security measures after the project broke ground. Adding electronic access control to a construction project after it has begun could cause major scope shift, but with the Hager powered by Salto HS4 system, it wasn’t as difficult as one would think.
This article appears in the July issue of the DHI Security + Safety Magazine and is reprinted here with their permission.
Locking Down School Safety and Access Control
According to a recent CNN article, In the first 20 weeks of 2018 there have been 22 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. This averages out to more than one shooting a week, so it’s no surprise that school security is a growing focus of today’s world.
Since 1999 when the Columbine shooting happened, towns such as Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Blacksburg, Virginia, and more recently Parkland, Florida -are forever etched in our minds because of the senseless violence that occurred there. While we recognize we cannot entirely prevent violence, campuses across America are learning that they can proactively seek solutions to greatly reduce the likelihood of it.
As door and hardware industry experts, it is our responsibility to educate those who make decisions on access points – from school teachers to officials, and from general contractors to architects who make the design and material decisions. It’s our goal to be at the table as early as possible to educate decision makers on their options – and the impact of those options.
Lockdown with Access Control
Lockdown is the ability to prevent access to a segment or segments of a building or the entire facility for security measures. In the school environment, the lockdown can be as small as a classroom or as broad as the entire campus. In addition, the speed of the lockdown is critical and how quickly lockdown is achieved depends on the system installed.
“In the case of access control in a school environment, the first question you should ask is, ‘How do you want your lockdown to work?'” advised James Stokes, Vice-President of Access Controls for Hager Companies.
Each project we work on is unique in some fashion. Sometimes though, a project comes along that touches the heart and with it the realization there is an opportunity to assist and support beyond delivering quality products and outstanding service. Such a project and story came along in 2010 for Sheryl Simon, CSI, CDT, our Senior Architectural Specifications Consultant.
In her role as Hager’s architectural specification consultant, Sheryl was approached by a local architect to generate a specification for a small school renovation. “After visiting Lift for Life Academy (LFLA), meeting the principal, the students and hearing their stories I felt compelled to reach out to help the school in any way possible,” said Simon. Describing the situation at the school to the Hager family, Sheryl said, “Without hesitation, the family offered to donate the door hardware.”
LFLA became the first independent charter middle school to open in the City of St. Louis in 2000. It was established to “provide an education to middle school students” and is sponsored by Southeast Missouri State University. The first senior class graduated in 2012 and currently, the school serves 580 students in grades 6-12.
A sales representative was in a customer’s office recently with our 34K Series Standalone lock. The customer was reviewing the brochure when he noted one of the additional features was a “fuzzy credential entry available” and asked what it was.
The gifted class from the Central Christian School visited Hager headquarters a few weeks ago. They were learning about the engineering profession and the different types of engineer specialties. A daughter of our COO, Josh Hager, is in the class and he offered to have the students visit Hager and hear from our engineers what they do.
Mark McRae, our Director of Engineering, and Daniel Sprehe, a Product Engineer, spoke with the students about the engineering process a product takes, from conception to manufacturing. They spoke about how once a design has been approved a prototype is created along with the amount of testing it takes before a product is ready to be sold. They also shared the difference between a mechanical and electronic engineer and how they work together.
18 years ago the Columbine school shooting shook the world with images of students filing out of school buildings in single file with hands raised, SWAT teams surrounding the school, and the stark terror on the faces of the students and teachers. For the security and safety community, it renewed efforts to keep our most cherished citizens safe.
School security has increased tremendously since the Columbine tragedy. A direct result was the introduction of the classroom security function. In order to secure a traditional classroom function lock, a person had to step out into the hallway from the classroom and use a key to secure the door opening. With the introduction of the classroom security function, the lock is able to be secured from the interior of the room.
This article was published in the DHI, Door Security + Safety Magazine in January 2018 issue
Keeping occupants safe is a common goal for facility managers and property owners. As the number of break-ins, active shooter incidents and other violent encounters continue to grow, controlling who enters a building has become more vital than ever before.
For healthcare, education and office buildings, standard door and key configurations do not always provide the type of security necessary. This is leading decision-makers to look at more sophisticated access control solutions. The electronic access control market has become more refined in recent years and it is important to know what is available and what may fit the needs of a given facility. Furthermore, the type of hardware chosen must be code-compliant, making proper selection even more important.
In high use buildings, such as a school or office building, access control must allow for a door opening to have free means of egress, during an emergency, along with fire protection and meet accessibility requirements. The International Building Code (IBC) defines an accessible means of egress as a “continued and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit or a public way.”
Yesterday there was a lock down on the UCLA campus in the Engineering 4 building. With the use of social media word spread quickly and students definitely took the alert the school sent out seriously.
Several students posted photos on social media showing how they were barricading themselves in rooms including rooms where the doors had no locking devices. It is difficult to determine from the photos if the rooms are specifically classrooms or not.
@Jasonschechter states “doors open outward
and aren’t able to be locked.” Can’t tell from photo if
device is a passage function, classroom function
or if the lock wasn’t operational. If classroom function
the students were smart not to open the door to
lock from exterior side.
We had another post planned but felt this was more important to share.
This video has surfaced on Facebook. It currently has 3,552,279 views, 122,560 shares, 21,189 likes and 1,153 comments. These are the type of devices that those of us in the hardware industry are fighting against.
From the comments it is evident that people don’t understand the dangers these devices can contribute too. If you have a moment we encourage you to comment on the Facebook post to help education the general population.
Here are links to additional information as to why barricade devices are not a good choice.