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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New Accessories for the Roton® Continuous Geared Hinge Product Line

In keeping with our promise to provide products that enhance the safety and security of our customers, Hager Companies announces the new TIPIT® and the newly designed Hospital Tip for our Roton® Continuous Hinge product line.

TIPIT®
This product was designed specifically with safety in mind. When door openings are fitted with the patented TIPIT® in conjunction with our Roton Continuous Geared Hinge, this combination provides a safe environment while meeting institutional requirements for preventing objects from being hung from the top of the hinge.

Made from durable, high-tech polymer the TIPIT® securely fastens to the door frame header using the included #10 TORX® SST security screws. Offered in two models, Concealed and Full Surface and two finished, Gray and Black. Suitable for both retrofit and new construction applications in the following vertical markets: Hospitals, Correctional facilities, Schools, Rehabilitation centers, and other institutions.

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Safe Schools Week October 21-27, 2018

Every week is safe schools week in our book, but in1984 the National School Safety Center (NSSC) designated a special week to recognize the successes of quintessential school, district, state, and national programs.

Per the NSSC website, the goal of this campaign is to “motivate key education and law enforcement policymakers, as well as students, parents and community residents, to vigorously advocate school safety. School safety includes keeping campuses free from crime and violence, improving discipline, and increasing student attendance.”

Doors, with the correct hardware, play an essential role in providing safety and security to students, teachers, and personnel. Have you ever thought about how many doors you walk through when you enter a school? Was there an open gate when you entered the campus? Was the building’s perimeter door unlocked, so you were able to walk right in? How many doors did you pass before you reached the office?  Recently constructed schools are designed to direct the flow of visitors to help control access to the campus. Often, older schools were built to be more accessible, allowing opportunities for non-authorized people to enter freely, without having visitors check-in.

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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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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.

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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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Touchless Actuators

It is a fact of life that we can’t get away from germs, but there are ways to control the spread of them.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our new line of touchless actuators. For use with our 8400 & 8200 Series low energy power operators, the touchless actuators employ capacitance technology similar to smart devices. They have an adjustable sensing range from 0″-4″ and a LED illumination which increases plate visibility.

2-659-0303                                                                                   2-659-0303

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What were they thinking?

Every so often we come across door openings where we stop and scratch our heads and wonder, what were they thinking?!

 

This photo was taken by a Hager team member during a stay at a hotel near our Montgomery plant.  The privacy pocket door latch was installed upside down. Not much privacy protection happening here.

Upsidedown_330L_TMartin_Holiday_Inn_IL

 

Not sure how the hinges and cylindrical lock bore ended up on the same side but worse no one noticed and installed the door anyway.

BACKSET_Issue

 

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