Classroom Barricade Devices

Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous news articles from across the country referencing school security initiatives and several discussed the use of classroom barricade devices. As a door hardware manufacturer, this is concerning because these types of devices often do not meet life safety or fire codes requiring free egress, fire protection, or ADA accessibility.

In March of this year, the Bremen Public School District, located in Indiana, developed a new school safety initiative plan. Several levels of security are being added, including upgrading their card access system. Unfortunately, in the article that reported these upgrades, it stated “the safety plan also includes the addition of a classroom barricade device. The devices are magnetic and slide onto the back piece of the door to barricade the door and keep intruders from entering a classroom if they break the lock. The devices are already being distributed to classrooms.”¹

In 2018, the State of Indiana released a School Safety Recommendations document which specifically included verbiage on classroom door hardware.

Under Recommendation #11
“Replace classroom door hardware to ensure fire and building code compliance. The door must lock from the inside and not restrict exiting or egress from the classroom or building. This could reduce the number of non-compliant tactics being used (such as magnets) to allow easier re-entry access by students during class time.”²

Another recent news article described how a former lecturer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln began to discuss procedures to be followed in the event of an active shooter situation. However, before the lecturer began speaking, he noticed that the classroom doors did not have locks on the inside of the doors.

Concerned, the lecturer did reach out to the University’s Facilities Service advising them of this safety concern and suggestions on how to fix it, including the use of deadbolts. The article went on to share that the concerns were forward to the UNL’s Police Department’s Assistant Chief of Police, who in turn, did reply that deadbolts were not a viable solution as “fire code prohibits the use of deadbolts in classroom spaces.”³ Listening to officials who understand building and life safety codes is vital in having code-compliant hardware.

The 2018 edition of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes in Chapter 15 for Existing Education Occupancies:

15.2.2.4 Classroom Door Locking to Prevent Unwanted Entry
Classroom doors shall be permitted to be locked to prevent unwanted entry provided that the locking means is approved and all the following conditions are met:

  1. The locking means shall be capable of being engaged without opening the door.
  2. The unlocking and unlatching from the classroom side of the door can be accomplished without the use of a key, tool, or special knowledge or effort.
  3. The releasing mechanism for unlocking and unlatching shall be located at a height not less than 34 in. *865 mm) and not exceeding 48 in. (1220 mm) above the finished floor.
  4. Locks, if remotely engaged, shall be unlockable from the classroom side of the door without the use of a key, tool, or special knowledge or effort.
  5. The door shall be capable of being unlocked and opened from outside the room with the necessary key or other credentials.
  6. The locking means shall not modify the door closer, panic hardware, or fire exit hardware.
  7. Modifications to the fire door assemblies, including door hardware, shall be in accordance with NFPA 80.
  8. The emergency action plan, required by 15.7.1, shall address the use of the locking and unlocking means from within and outside the room.
  9. Staff shall be drilled in the engagement and release of the locking means, from within and outside the room, as part of the emergency egress drills required by 15.7.2.

The Bremen School District disregarded NFPA Life Safety Code and their own state’s recommendations. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s assistant police chief was correct in noting deadbolts would not meet code, however the article didn’t share any further information whether solutions were provided for locking the interior side of the classroom doors.

In Massachusetts, a lawsuit was recently filed by the Lenox Public School District (near Boston) against the town of Lenox, the Massachusetts Building Code Appeals Board, and the local building inspector for requiring the school to remove the barricades devices they purchased as they do not meet Life Safety or Fire codes.

With the advent of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, information and misinformation are difficult to categorize or research. Many educators and the public may not understand the challenges classroom barricade devices present.

Selecting proper security for emergency egress, while meeting building codes can be challenging. It is important to remember that building codes are in place for a reason. The NFPA gathered statistics on school fires with 10 or more deaths. The last major school fire happened in 1958 in Chicago, IL, where ninety students and three nuns lost their lives during a fire at the Our Lady of the Angels School. We all can agree that keeping our children safe is our number one priority.

After each major incident, we learn how to better improve buildings to keep people safer. Following the Columbine tragedy that happened 20 years ago on April 20th, a new lock function was introduced called the intruder classroom function, that allows mechanical control of the outside lever via a key from either the interior and exterior side of the door. A standard classroom function lock is controlled by a key in the outside cylinder, which locks or unlocks the outside lever. The intruder classroom function allows a person to lock the door with a key from inside the room rather than stepping out into the hallway. Today, there are many more code-compliant options available.

The Door Security + Safety Foundation has gathered many resources for how to combine safety and security on their Lock Don’t Block website. These include articles, white papers, and other documents from organizations such as Safe and Sound Schools, Pass – Partner Alliance for Safer Schools, The School Superintendent Association, and the National Association of State Fire Marshals, among others.

The advancement of technology has introduced several electronic access control solutions. Online locks no longer need to be hardwired making installation easier and less expensive. Obviously, we feel our HS4 electronic hardware solution is the best, but our hope is to educate school districts, parents, and facility maintenance personnel that there is cost-effective code-compliant hardware available. We do not feel barricade devices are an acceptable solution for school security, due to possible unintended consequences.  We can help you design a safe school security system that meets building and life safety codes.

For more information on our HS4 Hager powered by Salto Electronic Access Control Solutions please contact your local sales representative or email [email protected] .

¹ Indiana District Develops School Safety Initiative Plan 
² 2018 Indiana School Safety Recommendations
³ The Gray Area of Classroom Locks

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Understanding Today’s Access Control Solutions

This article appears in the February issue of the DHI Security + Safety Magazine and is reprinted here with their permission.

Electronic access control systems offer an effective way to control and manage access for facilities large and small. From retail and office space to education, government, healthcare, and multifamily complexes, today’s systems are versatile enough to not only meet current needs but also have the ability to expand in the future – giving you and your clients the peace of mind of knowing they are making a sound investment.

Electronic access control technology delivers value beyond security and safety by also providing valuable business intelligence – allowing you to monitor who is entering and leaving your facilities, time and duration of visits, traffic flow and more.

TYPES OF ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all answer doesn’t work with today’s designs, access control technology is a diverse solution to secure any new or existing facility. Here’s an overview of three types of electronic access control solutions.

Stand-Alone Access Control
With stand-alone access control technology, all the decisions are made at the lock, by the lock. A stand-alone lock needs to be told what access to be given, so if a company wants to add – or delete – a user, they must physically go to the lock to reprogram it using a handheld device.

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Just 7 Weeks Before the End … of 2018

It’s almost the end of the year so we wanted to take this opportunity to sweep up a few housekeeping items – learning credits and marketing funds.

Learning Credits

Are you, or anyone you know, scrambling to finish up learning credits before the end of the year?  We offer several one-hour continuing education AIA/CES courses. Check out our brochure here.

Access Control 101 | 1.0 LU/HSW
This course defines the differences between access control “head-end” systems and traditional (metal cut keys) key replacement systems. We will review the different types of credentials (metal keys, card keys, fobs, etc) as well as battery operated products vs. fully hard-wired electrified locking systems. Lastly, we will teach you the do’s and don’ts for code compliance.

ADA: Meeting Accessibility Standards for Openings | 1.0 LU/HSW
This course features an overview of compliance with ADA, physical disabilities, and ANSI A117.1 Chapter 404 for doors, doorways, and gates. We will also discuss approach dimensions compliances.

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Congratulations Are in Order

DHI Door Security + Safety Magazine recently announced the winners of the Robert G. Ryan Awards.  The awards are presented to the best volunteer authors of articles appearing in the previous calendar year in the magazine and cover both technical and business-related topics.

Two team members won in the category of – Feature and Business Article.

First place went to Brian Clarke, DHT, AHC, DHC, CFDAI for his article Securing Schools: Solutions Trends in Educational Facilities from the June 2017 DSS magazine issue.  Brian also received the Recognition of Outstanding Service and Involvement (ROSI) award and celebrated 5 years as a DHI instructor.

Second place went to Dan White for his article The Gravity of Mentorship from the September 2017 DSS magazine issue.

We are very proud of Brian and Dan and appreciate their dedication and commitment, not only to Hager but to the door and hardware industry.

 

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Project Profile: The Abilene Wylie ISD Performing Arts Center – Abilene, Texas

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.

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Lift for Life Academy

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.

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The Next Generation

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.

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The DSSF / Hager Companies Scholarship Winner!

We have always felt educating the next generation is an important aspect of our business and industry. Offering continuing education to our team members through the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), among other organizations on key programs related to safety and security issues is another key step.

DHI’s Safety & Security Foundation (DSSF) also encourages and attracts new talent to the industry and gives them the training, tools and education to help them be successful. It was an easy decision to partner with the Foundation and establish the Hager Companies Scholarship.

This year we congratulate Alison Nugent, a senior detailer with DH Pace in Olathe, Kansas as the winner of the Hager Companies Scholarship! Alison answered a few questions DHI put forth to all the winners in November’s issue of Doors + Hardware Magazine and we wanted to share her responses here.

How did you get started in the door and hardware industry?
I returned from a summer internship in the United Kingdom and was looking for a full-time position.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I enjoy providing a service that helps create functional buildings that meet the needs of people who use them every day. While the industry can be challenging, I enjoy being a technical resource for architects and general contractors.

How do you de-stress?
I de-stress by cleaning and organizing things. I also enjoy exercising and playing sports.

If you weren’t a door security and safety professional, what would you be?
I would work in a position in the sports industry. I grew up playing a lot of sports and I am a big sports fan.

Who is your mentor/hero?
My mentor was my late co-worker Steve Holden. Steve had over 30 years’ experience in this industry and was full of knowledge. He was an incredible resource and person and I am thankful for everything he taught me.

What is your advice to someone considering taking DHI technical education?
The DHI technical education is a big commitment, but worth the effort. While it can seem overwhelming, focus on completing one class at a time. That has helped me stay motivated to achieve my overall goal.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Something that my family, friends, teachers and co-workers have all shared: Do not be afraid to ask questions.” Asking questions demonstrates a desire to learn and grow. I have learned a lot by asking questions and will continue to do that throughout my career.

Congratulations and wishing you continued success Alison! You can read about all the winners on DSSF website here.

 

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Project Profile: Community Education Building, Wilmington Delaware

In its second year, the Great Oaks Charter School is part of a collection of schools that includes Academia Antonia Alonso School and Kuumba Academy. The building was originally a bank, operating as MBNA then Bank of America. It was donated in 2012 by Bank of America to the Longwood Foundation to start the Community Education Building (CEB).

Owner:                                     Community Education Building

Architect:                                  Homsey Architects, Inc.

General Contractor:                 Wohlsen Construction

Distributor:                               Premier Door, Frame and Hardware

Hager Sales Rep. Agency:      Hardware Specialty Group

 

Hager Company Hardware in CBE School in Wilmington DE Oct 2015 credit photograph by Eric Crossan 302-378-1700

 

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