Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Oct 25 2013

FF: Classroom Security

DeadStopEvery school is looking for affordable ways to lock their classroom doors in an intruder situation.  A group of students at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C. have designed the “DeadStop”, a device that clamps onto the door closer arm to prevent the door from being opened.

I don’t like to rain on anyone’s parade, but not only does the device inhibit egress, it only works if the door has a closer.  According to NBC News, “Harvey, Antrom and their teammates were awarded up to $10,000 in grant funding from the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Program earlier this month to help develop the locks. A law firm from Denver has already offered the team pro bono services to patent the invention. When completed, individual units should sell for between $10 and $15, cheap enough for wide adoption.”

Several high-level news outlets have picked up the story…

Students Invent Lock to Stop School Shooters – Mashable (check out the photo used with this article)

Students, prompted by massacre, design emergency lock to thwart shooters – NBC News

Students Invent Lock to Stop School Shooters – Discovery News

Students Invent Simple But Brilliant Way to Thwart School Shootings – Time

DC students create special lock to thwart possible shooter – WTOP

This Student-Invented Lock Could Keep School Shootings from Ever Happening Again – Elite Daily

Thank you to Lee Francisco of DH Pace for sending one of these articles my way.  Even though it made me depressed.

7 Responses to “FF: Classroom Security”

  1. Bill says:

    Their hearts are in the right place but this is so dangerous for so many reasons. Never mind that the door may not have a closer or if it’s outswinging this device may not fit on a parallel arm mounted closer (don’t know). This device looks like anyone could throw it on and lock someone or a large group in a room. Most classrooms in new schools do not have closers, but egress doors from gymnasiums, auditoriums, libraries, and cafeterias do and it could be very dangerous if this device was installed on these doors.

  2. Safecrackin Sammy says:

    Amazing engineering and great to see that our leaders of tomorrow have this kind of vision.

    Obviously wont ever be allowed nor should it.

    Why is it that after every incident people boo hoo and say ” We’re gonna Fix it” and then it comes down to some cobbled up $15.00 solution??

    “Every school is looking for affordable ways to lock their classroom doors”

    Define affordable….

  3. Jess says:

    this sounds like a bright idea, since many schools that still have closers on classrooms the closer is on the room side of the door, but there are some schools where the closer is on the hallway side and cant lock it closed by restricting movement of the closer arms.

    it may be perfect for use with pull side installed closers, due to the separation of the main and forearms during the first few inches/foot of door opening,

    if this is to be used on a PA side closer, such as Norton 7500,LCN 4041/4040/4110, it is best to be used with A HEAVY DUTY ARM, use of the DeadStop and a heavy duty arm (such as Cush/EDA (if Norton product, CloserPlus) there will be less chance of bending the forearm as the intruder tried to pry the door open, I also suggest that the user also tie off the pinion shaft area to the PA shoe(can use a shoelace or wire cable or even a belt)

    the only downside may be screws being pulled out of the frame (on pull side installs) as its forced opened, but it will slow down any intrusion attempts

    thinking, maybe the use of this product or even drills including the DeadStop in lockdown drills will ENCOURAGE maintenance to check on and maintain the door closers more often and possibly check for and use LONGER screws??? many schools they wait until closers fall off the doors or teachers/students have it in their hand before anything is done about it, and even then, not looked at until summertime

    ……all this time I thought “dead stop” was the term for maximum degree of opening for rixson floor closers.

    -Jess the door closer doctor

  4. Cda says:

    Good idea, but would not allow its use.

  5. Ryan P says:

    It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard every time I saw the closer referred to as a “hydraulic hinge” in that NBCNEWS article. A major US news outlet cannot do a little homework and figure out what a door closer is? Might as well have called it “that silver looking doo-hickey”.

    In all seriousness, I pray that no school will actually use such a device, but it wouldn’t surprise me. It wouldn’t be the first time that money and convenience came before life safety.

  6. Eric Hirning says:

    Great ingenuity! However, this is a life safety nightmare. So many things have already been said.

  7. David Barbaree says:

    It’s nice to get kids thinking about how to improve security.
    In my opinion though, this is an effort to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
    How is this better security than the latch on the cylindrical or exit device? As you and others have mentioned, it clearly prevents free egress.

    The best innovative thought process might be: How can we get staff and students trained to use the locking mechanisms we currently have in place in an emergency? I’d like to see a grant for that strategy!

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