Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Jul 31 2014

WWYD? School Multi-Stall Bathrooms

Category: EgressLori @ 12:42 am Comments (5)

Bathroom LockA couple of weeks ago I posted about my teacher-friend Shilana, who shared with me (and y’all) a bit about her school’s lockdown procedures.  I asked her about several scenarios…what she would do if she and the kids were on the playground, in the gym, or in the restroom when the lockdown alarm sounded.  She had a plan for each situation.

When I asked about the bathroom procedure, Shilana said that plan was to pull up, zip up, and follow her directions.  🙂  Her preference was to exit the building and meet at their safe place rather than staying in a classroom near the bathroom (the bathrooms are not lockable).  Remembering that bathrooms were used to shelter students and staff during the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I thought about the locks used on multi-stall bathrooms.  These rooms often have no doors, or no locks, or classroom function deadbolts (the interior thumbturn will retract the bolt in case of an accidental lock-in, but will not throw the bolt so the teacher would be unable to lock the door from the inside).  None of these will help in an intruder situation.

I think a good function for multi-stall toilets would be one where there was an exterior cylinder to project or retract the bolt, an interior cylinder that could be used by a teacher to project or retract the bolt, and an interior thumbturn that would retract the bolt (not project it).  I called Kenny Abell, a project manager for Schlage, and he said this function will be added to the Schlage product line in the near future.  It is currently available as an engineering special.  The photo to the right is a prototype.

This function cannot be locked by an unauthorized person, and it meets the requirements for free egress and accessibility as long as this is the only lock or latch on the door and it is mounted between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor.  The thumbturn retracts the bolt with one operation, and it is large enough to be operated with no tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.  A deadbolt would not be acceptable as the only lock on a fire door because it does not have an active latchbolt, but fire-rated bathroom doors are not common.

What do you think?  What function would you prefer for a multi-stall bathroom in a school?  Should bathrooms be part of a school’s lockdown plan? 



5 Responses to “WWYD? School Multi-Stall Bathrooms”

  1. Bob Caron says:

    Now that Schlage has engineered the lazy-hub action in the deadlock body, they should use that as the standard body for the regular classroom function deadlock as well as the security classroom deadlock. No more handed cylinder thumb-turns. It will be like Sargent’s 4878 which they call the Public Toilet function.

  2. Bob Larson says:

    You make and we will specify and sell it.

  3. Pete Schifferli says:

    Yale has offered such a mortise deadbolt for years, their #356. “Deadbolt operated by key outside and inside. Inside thumbturn will retract deadbolt but not project it. Uses classroom function mortise lock body.” I’d like to see the design wizards adapt this function to a moderately priced tubular deadlock like the Schlage B500-Series.

  4. Bryan says:

    I have all kinds of ideas of how to do that to the B500 locks but then they probably wouldn’t be moderately priced.

  5. Jim Elder says:

    I would specify this lock. As a security consultant and a proponent of CPTED design, I also recommend keeping RR doors open or not having doors at all. I have also specified keyed flushbolts on these kind of doors…not to lock them, but to ensure they stay open at all times.

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