Report: DHI conNextions Forum Addresses Safety and Security for Mass Shootings
2019 saw some of the deadliest school and mass shootings in US history. In light of this, the door and hardware industry has been working tirelessly to provide lasting solutions, consulting and educating schools, the community, and lawmakers. At the forefront of this effort is the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) and Door Security & Safety Foundation (DSSF). CIH, experts in school safety and one of the nation’s leading service provider and supplier of doors, frames, and hardware, has been a proud member of DHI and contributor to DSSF for several years. Recently, CIH was included in a forum organized by DHI at the annual DHI conNextions conference, which took place November 6-8, 2019. The subject was “Taking a Stand on Difficult Issues” with a key topic focusing on mass shootings.
Here is a short excerpt highlighting CIH’s contribution to the forum at DHI conNextions.
Keeping public buildings safe has gained renewed importance. Each of us in the door security and safety industry has been touched by the tragedy of mass shootings. At DHI conNextions, industry leaders gathered to discuss how to work together to improve door security and safety at schools, churches and other public buildings. Whether it’s through educating our customers, consulting with schools or advocating for better policies, DHI is interested in being part of the solution. National speaker Dirk Beveridge moderated the industry event titled, “Forum for the Future: Re-positioning Your Company to Navigate Uncomfortable Societal Trends,” and CIH President and CEO Ron Couch was one of the featured panelists.
Beveridge shared results from a recent DHI industry survey asking ’Do you believe that your business should actively market your role in bringing solutions to hot issues such as active shooters in school?’ Sixty-four percent said yes.
One-way CIH has been involved with the issue is by speaking with state lawmakers about door safety and security. A prime example is president and CEO Ron Couch’s testimony before the State Senate this past year. As a concerned citizen and subject matter expert, he was able to provide testimony in support of bill SB127.
“When we’re at our best, we take the opportunity to work with our clients and vendors and our community to make places safer and more secure,” said Couch, who is serving as first vice president on the DHI board of governors. “We really help consult, guide and direct, and provide some really critical information that could only come from people with expertise like us.”
Couch expressed frustration, however, with the industry’s lack of action on the issue.
“What’s not so interesting to me, at times, is how we say we believe in something, yet we don’t do much about it,” he said. “We probably spent very little time talking about what we can do as an industry to really drive the narrative forward and take a leadership stance and be advocates for this, both locally and nationally. And it’s going to take a lot of coordination and collaboration that I’ve yet to see in the industry.”
As consistently improving technology offers more security solutions to the door and lock industry, there could be more opportunities to start those conversations.
The panelists agreed that to take action as an industry, they need to agree on messaging and communicate it to local DHI chapters.
“I think thought leadership transcends the product and services,” Couch said. “It’s about taking a stand and creating a more positive future for our customers in ways that we may not have come up with independently or individually. I think it will be required to have a collective to do that.”
The forum concluded with an interactive session, where attendees shared values, ideas, and strategies they could take home to their companies and local chapters.
Download the full report here