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Feb 27 2017

Chardon High School Shooting – 5 years later

Category: School SecurityLori @ 12:17 pm Comments (0)

It’s hard to believe that today is the 5th anniversary of the shooting at Chardon High School, where 3 students were killed and 3 others were wounded.  Today, Mentor High School is hosting a school safety conference that is expected to draw 120 school resource officers, teachers, and school administrators to learn about how to keep kids safe at school.

During the hearings in Ohio with regard to the proposed code change there, one of the speakers was former Chardon superintendent, Joe Bergant.  Because the shooting occurred in Ohio, proponents of the code change to allow classroom barricade devices have used Chardon as an example of why these devices should be allowed.  At one of the hearings, Mr. Bergant was asked whether he was in favor of the devices.  As reported by this article from AIA-Ohio, he did not support their use in schools:

The local school administrator in charge during a high school shooting that left three students dead says door-security barricades give him “anxiety.”

Former Chardon School District Superintendent Joe Bergant told members of the Ohio Board of Buildings Standards (BBS) Friday that barricades have the potential to backfire and make active shooter situations more dangerous.

“There was a situation in Colorado … where a gentleman came into the school, went up the hallway, went into a classroom, and he barricaded himself in that particular room and ended up killing one child,” he said. “The police had a difficult time getting into that room because the door opened in the opposite way, and they actually had to blow the door off with some kind of explosive.” 

I recently wrote an article for my monthly column in Doors & Hardware, which was an update on the code changes that will be included in the 2018 model codes.  This topic is of interest to many publications, and I have 3 more articles in progress.  One of these pieces will be printed as a leave-behind for school administrators and others who need to understand the current codes and the upcoming changes.

My question for you is this…would printed or printable copies of that article be of value to you?  What else would be helpful as we work to educate people about addressing safety as well as security in our schools?  (I know – that’s 2 questions.)


Chardon hero teaches safety in schools 5 years after tragedy – Fox 8 Cleveland

Five years ago after a gunman opened fire inside the Chardon High School cafeteria, killing three students and wounding three others, the man championed for his heroism during the tragedy is doing his part to keep kids safe in their schools.

Former Chardon High School football coach Frank Hall will attend a school conference on Monday in Mentor on behalf of the Coach Hall Foundation, which was formed after the shooting. The non-profit organization is geared toward protecting children in schools.

This news report includes a video of Coach Hall speaking today.


Five years after the Chardon School Shooting, schools are safer, says teacher – Cleveland 19 News

One hundred and twenty people are participating in today’s safety conference, including representatives from Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech – two schools that also suffered through their own school shooting tragedies.

The Coach Hall Foundation will host a day-long school safety conference today to help schools learn how to keep their kids safe and prevent a tragedy like what happened at Chardon High School, five years ago today.


Chardon educators teach other how to be prepared and save lives in the event of a school shooting – News 5 Cleveland

“It’s important to keep this out in the forefront, so we don’t become numb to school shootings,” said Frank Hall, the former football coach at Chardon High School who is credited with saving many students’ lives when gunfire erupted five years ago.

“If it can happen in Chardon, it can literally happen in any community,” said Doug Snyder, the school’s athletic director who spent 14 minutes on the phone with a 911 dispatcher in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Feb 24 2017

FF: Over the Railing, or Under?

Category: Fire Doors,Fixed-it FridayLori @ 12:04 am Comments (13)

Lenny Timpone of Long Island Fireproof Door sent me this Fixed-it Friday photo (Lenny is not responsible for this door!).  Remember…if a fire door is no longer used as a door, the opening must be modified so that it has the required fire resistance rating for the wall (not for the door opening).

Before any of you point out that we don’t know whether this is a fire door – that is true.  But it opens from a stairwell, so there is a high probability that it is a fire door assembly.  And maybe the door is still in use, and then the question is…would you go over the railing, or under it??

Feb 23 2017

Fire Door Inspection App

Category: FDAI,Fire Doors,VideosLori @ 9:51 am Comments (3)

In the past 6 months, demand for fire door inspections has grown exponentially – especially in health care facilities because of the CMS and Joint Commission adoption of the 2012 edition of NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code.  One of the challenges when instituting a fire door inspection program is finding a way to store the information gathered during the inspection, utilize it after the inspection is complete, and retrieve the relevant information the next time an inspection is conducted.  (There’s more information about fire door inspections on the Fire Door page of this site.)

About 5 years ago I was in a large hospital that had just spent thousands of dollars (probably tens of thousands) to have a “pre-Joint-Commission inspection” done.  I asked the facility manager if I could see the data from their survey, and he handed me a stack of paper several inches high with information about each fire door in the hospital.  He had questions about some of the doors, so we attempted to use the paper forms to figure out which doors we needed to look at.  Then the problem was finding the door openings within the building, so we could see the problem first-hand – there was not enough detailed information on the forms.

For me, a huge stack of paper forms is cumbersome and needlessly difficult to deal with.  Considering the technology available today, there has to be a better way.  Last week I received the video below, which describes a fire door inspection app from DoorData Solutions.  I am not affiliated with this company, but I have seen the software and have known the owner of the company for years.  Hal Kelton is an AHC/CDC, an FDAI, a CDT, and is also an AAADM-certified inspector, so he obviously understands doors and hardware.

Check out the video, and leave any questions in the reply box.  Hal will be happy to answer them.

DOORDATA 2.0 from Hal Kelton on Vimeo.


Do you have another solution or tip for fire door inspection?  Let me know!

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