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Aug 05 2015

WW: Barring Imminent Threats

Category: School Security,Wordless WednesdayLori @ 7:45 am Comments (9)

Articles touting the value of classroom barricade devices without any mention of the related safety issues are legitimizing the use of these devices that are not compliant with the model codes.  An article in this month’s Security Management magazine, a publication of ASIS International, covers the perceived security benefits of the devices used in the Mentor, Ohio school 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 Ohio Board of Building Standards.

Barring Imminent Threats – Security Management

Mentor Public School District, 20 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio, is home to nearly 8,000 students from preschool through 12th grade. The ​school district keeps its safety and security plans at the forefront, conducting year-round safety drills, says Matthew Miller, district superintendent. “Whenever we talk to groups–whether it’s our own teachers or the Parent Teacher Asso­ciation–the first thing that we focus on is safety,” says Miller. The school district also works closely with local fire and police departments to conduct joint safety drills, and the organizations communicate often. “We spend a lot of time together talking about different scenarios, we’re always in contact with one another when something comes up.”

In late 2013, the Mentor County fire chief was approached by National School Control Systems, a company that produces barricades to protect classrooms or any area with a traditional interior door–such as gymnasiums, offices, and cafeterias–in the event of a lockdown. Representatives told the chief about the BEARACADE product and possible deployment in the community. The fire chief then brought BEARACADE to Miller. 

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Thank you to Brian Rhodes of IPVM for the link to this article!

9 Responses to “WW: Barring Imminent Threats”

  1. Heather says:

    At the bottom of the article it does say “The manufacturer divulges information only to first responders and teachers on how to break through the barricade using a trademarked process” So at least it is possible to get through the door if required. But really, the part that even they state a teacher “can go to the door, knock on it, call the office, or 911.” How much damage is done while they call 911 and someone gets in touch with the manufacturer to find out how to break through the system?
    Why aren’t double cylinder classroom locks in the news more as a MUCH better option?

  2. Chuck Park says:

    As if large rooms weren’t bad enough!

    • Joe Hendry says:

      Chuck, the primary response should be evacuation. Especially in a building with no doors! How do you get large numbers of people shoved into closets and rooms? Bad guys can shoot through doors and are already inside the facility because most of them are students. The plan actually is leaving them more exposed, not less. After I read this article my take away was that this is a soft target being made softer.

  3. Joel Niemi says:

    It may take 5 years worth of adverse experiences with these devices before the tide turns.
    Just saying.

  4. Melissa Wilson says:

    I grew up in Mentor, OH and attended public school there from start to finish. It’s disappointing and terrifying to think that this short-sighted “safety solution” is now in place in those same schools in my hometown, where it could be used for good or ill, in the event an actual emergency.

  5. lach says:

    When you look at the product it looks like it needs to be deployed by opening the door anyways to slide it under. How is that a better solution than even the standard CLASSROOM function? (referring to the “BEARACADE” named in the article)

  6. Ed Marchakitus says:

    Unacceptable, period. Whether its my child or yours stuck behind that door.
    “In terms of possible misuse, he notes the BEARA­CADE is visible from the outside along the bottom of the door if it has been de­ployed so anyone in the hallway could see there was a potential problem. “So a teacher or an administrator can say, ‘hey that’s not right, that shouldn’t be deployed, and there’s nothing wrong in the building right now.’ They can go to the door, knock on it, call the office, or 911.”

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