School Security and Safety since Columbine

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.

In the last 18 years, there have been, unfortunately, many more school shootings.  Mechanical and electronic access control continues to develop to provide safer buildings. Other security measures that have been implemented in many school districts include metal detectors, security cameras, ID badges, visitor management software, limiting entry/exit points, security guards, and much more.  There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.

We also must not forget that life and fire safety are equally as important as security. Balancing both can be challenging for facilities. Many of the recently introduced classroom barricade devices don’t provide the ability to allow for free egress.  You just have to Google The Iroquois Fire, The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub, The Beverly Hills Supper Club and the Station Nightclub fires to understand why having a clear means of egress is vital to saving lives in case of fire.

Ultimately we wish every school could be equipped with an electronic access control solution that could lock down classrooms and perimeter doors with the touch of a button, but that isn’t financially feasible for many school districts. When we introduced our new electronic access control line, HS4, last year, one of our goals was to provide different levels of security and safety that would fit a range of budgets. To learn more about our HS4 electronic access solutions please contact [email protected].

For more information on the efforts from the security and safety community please click on the links below.

 

 

 

 

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The Geared Continuous Hinge: Solutions and Applications by Ginny Powell

This article was published in the DHI, Door Security + Safety Magazine in January 2018 issue.

While you may not give hinges much thought, they actually hold up as one of the greatest inventions of mankind back so far that archeologists aren’t sure of its exact origin. In fact, bronze hinges date back to ancient times, found in societies in Africa and Asia, as well as Europe.

In the United States, as Easterners began pouring into St. Louis in the late 1840s and early 1850s to make their westward journey, Charles Hager was building his business by providing wagon wheels and hardware for Conestoga wagons. This made Hager an active part of the new frontier in the development of hinges as we know them today.

In commercial, educational and institutional facilities, doors are hung using one of three hinge types: standard (conventional) hinges, continuous hinges or pivots – and it is the continuous hinge, with its intermeshing gears and thrust bearings, that is the far superior choice in many high use applications.

The Continuous Hinge

There are two types of continuous hinges—the pin-and-barrel and the geared. The pin-and-barrel continuous hinge (sometimes known as the piano hinge) has two leaves joined together by a pin. The geared continuous hinge features gear teeth that mesh together under a cap that runs the length of the door.

The geared continuous hinge was patented in 1963 by Austin Baer, and in 1968 he earned a second patent for adding thrust bearing to his original design, known as the Roton® Continuous Geared Hinge. The patent expired in 1985, and Hager Companies purchased Baer’s company in 1989.

“There were situations in facilities with high-abuse door openings where we knew a standard butt hinge wasn’t the best choice. We were intrigued by the Roton® continuous hinge and how it distributed the weight over the length of the door,” explains Warren Hager Executive Vice President & Assistant Secretary for Hager Companies. “We purchased The Baer Company because we felt the product was a perfect fit with the quality Hager was known for and it allowed us to bring additional value and solutions to our customers.”

Today every major U.S. commercial hardware manufacturer offers a line of continuous hinges.

Benefits of a Continuous Hinge

While continuous hinges are not as commonly used as standard hinges, there are several solid reasons for choosing a continuous hinge over another hanging device:

• Continuous hinges extend the full length of the door, which means they distribute the door’s weight evenly to the frame. This reduces the amount of stress to the doorframe when compared to using a standard or pivot hinge.
• Because a continuous hinge is secured to the full height of the opening, a continuous hinge keeps the door in constant alignment, eliminating the chance of a sagging door.
• Additionally, continuous hinges also help reduce the chance of wood doors from warping, which is especially helpful when the door opening is three-and-a-half or four-feet wide.
• Continuous hinges also remove the gap between the door and the frame, and this absence of the gap helps prevent fingers from being pinched, which means a safer door. This safety makes a continuous hinge a natural choice for doors where children are present.

Those are the exact reasons Jeff Chan, locksmith with Mercy Hospital, changed the specifications for the hospital and now requires continuous geared hinges on all doors over three-feet wide. “Installing continuous geared hinges on door openings over three feet in width decreases future issues, saving us time and money,” he says.

Smart Applications for a Continuous Hinge

These characteristics mean that continuous hinges are often installed for openings that are subject to high traffic and abuse, such as gymnasiums, health care facilities and sports complexes. “As the population continues to grow, the demand on door openings increases with security and safety at the forefront,” explains Dan White, Manager of Product Development for Hager Companies. “For these high-demand openings, the continuous geared hinge remains the smartest choice for the life of an opening.”

Here are a few examples of where you can install a continuous hinge:

HOSPITALS, STADIUMS ARENAS, AND SCHOOL GYMNASIUMS
Over time, the doors that get a lot of use also tend to “come off their hinges” and sag or warp. Because a continuous hinge runs the length of the door, it keeps the door in constant alignment and eliminates this issue.

PRISONS AND BACK DOOR TO CONVENIENCE STORES AND STRIP MALLS
A geared continuous hinge can keep a building even more secure than a standard hinge because there isn’t a pin that can be removed. In fact, prying off a continuous hinge would be time-consuming – which acts as a deterrent.

STOREFRONTS
Doors allow air to escape, which can be a great source of energy loss when trying to warm or cool the air (depending on the time of year). A continuous hinge helps close the gap between the door and the frame – creating a tighter seal.

One example where a continuous hinge solved a recurring door problem was at a St. Louis university hospital radiology treatment room. The doors were four by seven feet (lined in ¼” lead) and hung on heavy duty pivot hinges with an intermediate pivot. The bottom pin on the floor pivot broke twice, and as a result, the room was rendered unusable. This cost the hospital about $24,000 a day in lost revenue, not to mention the delay in treatment for patients.

“The late Richard Mehaffy, CAHC, a distributor, reached out to me to discuss the issue. After conferring with the technical department at Hager, we recommended installing a Roton® continuous lead lined aluminum hinge designed specifically for doors up to 1,200 pounds. This solved the problem immediately and we never got a call back again,” explained Bud Wilson, President of Horizon Marketing Group.

Continuous hinges are generally available in five standard lengths: 79, 83, 85, 95, and 119 inches, and can be cut to the exact length needed during the installation process (varies by manufacturer). With the frequent use of electronic locks today, continuous hinges can also be modified for concealed electric through-wires, exposed electric switches, and electric power transfers.

Though continuous hinges are not as commonly used as their standard counterpart, they are a financially smart solution. They are durable, long-lasting and solid, which allows for an extended life for the total door opening.

 

Ginny Powell, is a Product Marketing Specialist. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Access Control: Door Hardware and Code Compliance by Brian Clarke DHT, AHC, CDT, CSI

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.”

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The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871

A lot has been written about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but there was another fire that happened on the same date, in the same year, that caused greater loss of life and devastation.

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The story goes that railroad workers were clearing land for the railway and a brush fire was accidently started. Due to drought and high temperatures the flames moved rapidly and in less than an hour the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was in ashes.

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Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark

This article was published in the August edition of the DHI Door + Hardware Magazine and reprinted here with permission.

Come Two by Two. A Look Inside Noah’s Ark, by Ginny Powell

Tucked into the “All American City” of Lakeland, Florida, is not just a community, but the realization of a dream initiated by a small group of parents nearly 20 years ago. It’s called The Village at Noah’s Landing.

Nearly two decades ago, a small group of parents of adult children with special needs met while watching their children take part in sporting activities. They began talking with each other about what would happen to their kids if they were no longer around. Who would oversee their care?

Their worries were further reinforced when they discovered that the options for care in and around Lakeland were extremely limited. But instead of becoming defeated, these five sets of parents took action. Big action. In 1997, they created Noah’s Ark of Central Florida.

The first homes were built between 2002 and 2007 and are located near downtown Lakeland. Called Noah’s Nest, this clustering of four houses is home to 17 residents living independently with the support of their fellow residents, family, and friends.

Noah June 2016 -10

A Dream of Building a Community
While Noah’s Nest was a great start, the dream was always to build a bigger community for adults with developmental disabilities. The Villages of Noah’s Landing, with Phase 1 scheduled to open later this summer, is precisely that.

Phase 1 can accommodate up to 132 developmentally disabled residents and only takes up a fraction of the property’s 62 acres. When all phases are complete, the community will offer a wide selection of social, recreational, educational and vocational choices, and provide for the health care needs of its residents.

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Keeping Patients Safe Through Life Safety Hardware by Jill Gile, CSI, CDT

Jill Gile is the newest member of Commencement Bay Architectural Group, a manufacturers’ sales agency that represent’s Hager in the Pacific Northwest. She has jumped into the hardware industry with a big splash including recently passing her CDT exam.

This is an article she wrote for the June Edition of the DHI Doors & Hardware Magazine and reprinted here with both Jill’s & DHI’s permission.

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Humans are a reactive species. We tend to carry on with a standard mode of operation until an emergency tells us that we might have to change our ways. This holds true for many aspects of our lives, personal and professional. It might be as simple as changing eating habits to as big as the Titanic creating laws about lifeboat requirements.

For the construction industry, unfortunately, we are faced with Titanic-level issues of life safety. Rules regarding fire codes and ADA accessibility issues are some of the main examples of changes the industry has had to face.

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UCLA Lockdown

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.

UCLA_June_1_2016_P3No indication if the door had locking
hardware on it and this was for reinforcement

UCLA_June_1_2016_P2@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.

UCLA_June_1_2016_P1This room looks like it could be a classroom.
@whydaphnewhy is stating the “doors open outward, no locks.”

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The Station Fire – February 20, 2003

13 years ago 100 people lost their lives and over 200 were injured in The Station fire, a nightclub in Warwick, Rhode Island. It took just 5 1/2 minutes for the fire to engulf the nightclub.

When the fire started the nightclub’s fire alarm did sound but most people headed for the front doors, which they had entered from, instead of 3 other exits which were also available. The narrow hallway leading to the front door exit couldn’t handle the crush of people and the opening became blocked by concert goers and staff.

There were many mitigating factors that lead to this disaster. The purpose of this post is not to assign blame but to not become lax in our thinking it can’t happen again. We need to continue learning about fire and life safety in order to prevent future tragedy.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held an emergency hearing 30 days after the fire. You would expect to hear from many fire and life safety officials but one NFPA member spoke not as an official, but as a father. Al Gray, a fire and life safety official with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority spoke from the heart about his son Derek, who died in the fire. His message was that all buildings, old and new, should be equipped with fire sprinklers.

Due to the age and size of the building The Station was housed many thought the club was exempt from sprinkler system requirements. As it turned out when the building was converted from a restaurant to a nightclub it lost its exemption status. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigated the fire and created a mock-up of the stage area and dance floor using computer simulations. It was determined a fire sprinkler system would have contained the fire long enough to give everyone time to exit safely. During Mr. Gray’s message he stated “If there were sprinklers in that building, those kids would have got out. That’s it in a nutshell.”

Another factor was the occupant load. The required number of exits and widths of exits in a building are determined based on the calculated occupant load. In an assembly occupancy, it is vital that the main entrance/exit adequately accommodate half the occupant load. During the investigation it was determined that the number of people in the nightclub surpassed the occupancy load.

A number of code provisions were passed as a result of this tragedy.  As of the 2006 Edition of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code fire sprinklers are required in all nursing homes, in new construction of one and two family dwellings, and in all new construction of nightclubs and life facilities, as well as for existing nightclubs and like facilities with capacities over 100.

Sadly, in 2015 another nightclub fire claimed lives in Bucharest, Romania.

Education is key in helping prevent loss of life from fires.

National Fire Protection Association

Door Security and Safety Foundation

National Association of State Fire Marshals

 

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Classroom Barricade Devices

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.

Facebook / Future X - via Iframely

 

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.

National Association of State Fire Marshals – Classroom Door Security Guidelines

Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) – White Paper on Classroom Barricade Devices

Classroom Barricade Devices and why focusing on them makes us vulnerable to threats

Expert says many of these products are not code compliant and could nullify the warrantees of locks and door hardware.

What Price Security?

Classroom Door Security

 

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Classroom Barricade Devices and why focusing on them makes us vulnerable to threats

There has been a lot of information written about classroom barricade devices. We have been watching this subject closely and are dismayed to see states overriding State, Federal and International Building Codes by allowing barricade devices. Ohio, sadly, has lead the charge. There isn’t a simple or quick solution to this issue but our goal is to remind parents, students, teachers and politicians to look at the whole picture and use their building code officials and the door and hardware industry as expert sources.

The article below was written by Lt. Joe Hendry, CLEE who is a 26 year veteran of the Kent State Police Department. He serves as an Intelligence Liaison Officer for the Ohio Department of Homeland Security and has been named a subject matter expert by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for active threat response. Lt. Hendry holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He is a trained crisis intervention team officer in mental health. He is an instructor in solo-engagement tactics, active shooter response, preventing and responding to suicide bombing incidents and tactical chemical weapons. He is a national instructor the the ALICE Training Institute and has trained staff and students, and consulted on security plans for pre-school, K-12, universities, hospitals, libraries, MRDD facilities, business and industry. In other words he is an expert.

This article appeared in the October edition of DHI Doors and Hardware Magazine. Lt. Hendry has graciously allowed us to reprint his article in order to help continue the education on this emotional subject.
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The first time I ever observed a secondary locking device, it was at the State Fire Marshal’s Academy in Ohio. I was teaching an ALICE Instructor course, and a student in the class brought a device he had made to help secure a door. During a break, he demonstrated the device, and yes, it did what he said – it secured the door using the bottom of the door and the wall.

It had a few steps to install, and at the time, with Sandy Hook only four months in the rear view mirror, looked to be an impressive device. Several educators and law enforcement officers in the class remarked that they liked the device. I was non-committal but felt it might bear looking into given the concept failure of lockdown in the building breach at Sandy Hook. Looking back, the irony of the device, the location, and my naiveté has not been lost on me.

During the past two years, I have learned more about codes, doors, locks and devices than I ever thought I would need to know as a police officer. Learning the reason behind code development, door and lock manufacturing, visual communication design, and tactical civilian and law enforcement response to threats has become a way of life. As a law enforcement expert in the field of active threat response, I’m repeatedly asked for recommendations on what secondary locking device to purchase for buildings. My original thought of, “These might be the answer to our prayers,” to, “These may be the worst idea we have ever had,” evolved as I studied and learned.

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