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Jan 05 2015

Ohio Advisory Statement – Egress in Educational Occupancies

Category: School SecurityLori @ 11:04 pm Comments (5)

As I’ve said before, I would like to collect the official statements on school security from various jurisdictions, to get a more complete picture of what is being approved from one state to the next.  Back in September I posted a memo from the New York State Education Department, and today I received a copy of the Ohio Advisory Statement that I mentioned in yesterday’s post.  You can find a copy of the complete document on the City of Dayton’s website.

In my opinion, the statement is pretty clear:

“BBS and SFM recognize the importance of site safety plans and training programs, but we do not endorse or reject any specific site safety plan in lieu of required approvals from the local political subdivision’s certified building department and, as applicable, the fire code official and any other oversight agency. However, as schools review their safety features, everyone must remember that there are code requirements common to the exiting system in Educational occupancies:

  • Doors in the means of egress must be readily openable from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort;
  • Manually operated flush bolts or surface bolts are not permitted;
  • The unlatching of any door or leaf in the means of egress shall not require more than one operation.”

Whether this will be upheld or overturned remains to be seen.  Stay tuned…

Ohio Advisory Statement - Egress in Educational Occupancies pg 1 Ohio Advisory Statement - Egress in Educational Occupancies pg 2

If you have similar documentation from another jurisdiction, please send it to me.  Thank you to Michael Fox of Allegion for sharing the information from Ohio.

5 Responses to “Ohio Advisory Statement – Egress in Educational Occupancies”

  1. Jon says:


    I have always wondered what definitions the writers of the terms “special knowledge” or “special effort” had in mind. In all of the code definitions sections I’ve read I’ve never seen any definition for these.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Jon –

      I didn’t find a description in the NFPA 101 Handbook, but in the International Building Code Commentary it says this: “Examples of special knowledge would be a combination lock or an unlocking device or deadbolt in an unknown, unexpected or hidden location. Special effort would dictate the need for unusual and unexpected physical ability to unlock or make the door fully available for egress.”

  2. Jon says:


    Thanks for the follow up. I was aware of the IBC commentary you sited. What I didn’t (and still don’t know) is whether the commentary is considered currently applicable because it’s in the “2009 Commentaries”.

  3. Secure Schools Alliance | Blog Topic: Classroom Safety says:

    […] district.  Although the local AHJ has approved the use of the devices, they do not comply with the current Ohio codes, the guidelines from the National Association of State Fire Marshals, or the recent report from the […]

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