Put Your Trust in the School-Safety Experts
Know your School Safety Options
Increasing your security doesn’t have to undermine your budget or life and fire safety. Instead, let CIH help you find code-compliant solutions that won’t compromise safety.
What is NFPA 3000 Standard for an Active Shooter/ Hostile Event Response (ASHER) and why you should care?
”As an integrated preparedness, response, and recovery program, ASHER addresses all aspects of the process, from identifying hazards and assessing vulnerability to planning, resource management, incident management at a command level, competencies for first responders, and recovery,”
Laura Frye, AHC, DHT, CFDAI, CSI, CDT, CCS, DSSF
Make the right safety choices- not the easy ones
CIH President and CEO Ron Couch recently testified before the Indiana Senate to support SB127 giving schools the finances to incorporate appropriate school-hardening technology and equipment. Couch conferred with the Door Security and Safety Foundation (DSSF) before he explained the dangers of using barricade devices in school classrooms to Indiana’s elected officials. Because of the care and efforts of Couch and others like him, the bill has now passed.
There were 94 acts of school gun violence in the United States in 2018 – the highest since 1970 when these incidents first started to be recorded. The 2018 number is 59 percent higher than the previous record of 59 in 2006, according to a U.S. Naval Postgraduate study.
Well-intentioned but ineffective solutions:
Emotional and complex issues surround the challenge of stopping or preventing school shootings. We need to keep our students, teachers, and administrators safe at school. To this end, school boards and other authorities are desperately seeking quick, inexpensive fixes to keep children, teachers, and administrators secure in schools. The conversation often turns to barricade devices, such as small metal objects that can be used to wedge the door closed.
But installing barricade devices can create unintended consequences and could, potentially, cause more harm than good. On top of that, barricade devices are, in most cases, not fire code compliant.
For more on fire codes and compliance click here.
Check out this video from the Door Security & Safety Foundation for more information
CIH is a “Lock, Don’t Block” ambassador. We care about your safety and security.
A Better Solution
The best school safety options for ASHER incidents must:
- allow the door to be locked from inside a classroom without requiring the door to be opened
- provide notification and allow authorized access by staff and emergency responders in case someone inside the room intends to cause harm or injury
- be code compliant
- balance life safety (aka fire and life safety codes) and security
- be a well-known, reliable, hard-wired method
- have proven to stand the test of time
- be produced by a reputable company with testing capabilities
Code-compliant classroom door products are the most practical and safest solution. Replacing current mechanical locks with electrified locks can enable all of the necessary pieces for ASHER response while still maintaining the daily security and life safety of students and staff. The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission final report underscores the importance of employing the best safety precautions (namely, code-compliant doors and hardware) and using devices that eliminate unintended consequences to the greatest extent possible. While barricades and similar products can help protect against intruders, they are dangerous in other safety situations, such as fire or health emergencies. Many are already in violation of State and Local safety codes.
Though electronic locks are more expensive, they are likely to be cheaper in the long run. Instead of being a solution to a single problem, electronic locks are built for all of the emergency situation schools may face. That means making one purchase that prepares you for years to come. Door barricades are likely to be challenged in the coming years. Installing them means you’ll likely have to install whole new system years (or even months) from now.
Three simple guidelines for school safety:
The DSSF recommends that any school classroom lockdown solution address three simple guidelines. The solution should:
1. Open from inside the room without requiring tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist, and be accomplished in one operation. (ADA compliance)
2. Lock and unlock from inside a classroom without requiring the door to be opened, while still allowing staff or first responders to enter in an emergency.
3. Lock automatically or have a simple locking mechanism requiring a pushbutton, key, card, fob or fingerprint that will lock the door from inside the classroom without having to open the door.
Safety isn’t just about securing the door. It’s also about opening it
This handy list from LockDontBlock.org makes it easy to determine if classroom locks are code compliant:
Door hardware operable parts should be located between 34 and 38 inches above the floor, and not require special knowledge or effort, nor key or tool, nor require tight grasping, twisting, or pinching to operate, and accomplished with one operation. (ADA compliance)
Be easily lockable (in case of emergency) from within the classroom without opening the door.
Lockable and unlockable from outside the classroom door. This provides practical flexibility by allowing authorized key holders re-entry in lockdown mode. This both protects any students left outside the classroom and allows responders to gain access during unauthorized lockdown situations.
Let CIH help you find code-compliant solutions that won’t compromise your school safety.
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Stay tuned for the next installment!
Q&A with CIH President and CEO Ron Couch, AHC, FDAI and more safety & security tips!
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