Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Oct 22 2015

Update on Classroom Barricade Devices

Category: School SecurityLori @ 3:24 pm Comments (5)
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The Ohio Board of Building Standards has released proposed changes to the Ohio State Building Code that would allow the use of barricade devices to secure classroom doors, as required by the law passed in July 2015.  I’m going to withhold my comments for the moment, because I’d like to hear what you think about the proposal.  If you’re just tuning in, there is some background information on this situation here.  If you’re thinking that this post doesn’t apply to you because you’re not in Ohio, think again.  Several states are becoming more proactive about this issue to try to avoid similar legislation.

The proposed rules can be viewed here, and there will be a meeting open to all stakeholders to discuss these changes on November 16, 2015 (the meeting notice is here).  In addition to exceptions added where the proposed change would conflict with existing code requirements, here is an excerpt from the proposal:

1008.1.9.11 Temporary door locking device in school buildings. A temporary door locking device shall be permitted when approved by the building official and noted on the certificate of occupancy only in school buildings where the requirements of sections 1008.1.9.11.1 and 1008.1.9.11.2 are met.

1008.1.9.11.1 Conditions of use. A temporary door locking device shall only be used on doors under the following conditions:

  1. The temporary door locking device shall only be used in an emergency situation and during active shooter drills; and
  2. The temporary door locking device is engaged only by a staff member of the school building; and
  3. The temporary door locking device shall only be engaged for a finite period of time as determined by the administrative authority of a school building in accordance with an adopted school safety plan; and
  4. Evidence is provided that the administrative authority of a school building has notified the police and fire officials having jurisdiction for the school building prior to the use of the temporary door locking device; and
  5. In-service training on the use of the temporary door locking device is provided for school staff members and records verifying this training shall be maintained on file and provided to the fire official upon request.

1008.1.9.11.2 Operational requirements. The temporary door locking device shall be permitted to be used in accordance with the following items:

  1. The temporary door locking device shall not be permanently mounted to the door.

Exception: Individual parts of the temporary door locking device assembly such as bolts, stops, brackets, pins, etc. that do not prevent normal ingress and egress through the door may be permanently mounted provided that when such parts are mounted on a labeled fire door assembly such installation does not affect the fire rating of the fire door assembly.

  1. The removal of the temporary door locking device, after it is engaged, shall not require more than one operation.

Exception: Two operations may be permitted to remove a temporary door locking device, after it is engaged, if the school building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance section 903.3.1.1.

Provisions of the “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,” 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C.A. 12101, as amended, may apply to the use of the temporary door locking device but are outside the scope of this code.

What do you think?  Are there requirements here that are positive/negative?  Any concerns?

5 Responses to “Update on Classroom Barricade Devices”

  1. Laura Frye says:

    Wow! I’d like to say “what are they thinking”, but clearly they aren’t. Not sure how the Conditions of Use requirement would be able to be enforced, that is giving way too much benefit of the doubt to the students or even perpetrator that might have access to the barricade device, especially if it is mounted adjacent to an opening. One means of operation to remove the device, two if the building is sprinkled, seriously? Hopefully it doesn’t take a major occurrence or fatality to have them rethinking this proposal.

  2. Julia says:

    I think this is asinine. There is no way to make sure
    “1. The temporary door locking device shall only be used in an emergency situation and during active shooter drills; and
    2.The temporary door locking device is engaged only by a staff member of the school building;”.

    This is just asking for trouble when a student or someone else gets their hands on the device and uses it with harmful intentions.

  3. Rich says:

    Just wonderful. We knew the polutitions (Yes I spelled it that way on purpose) were going to cave in. I hope the AHJ in each of these situations has the guts to enforce these changes to the letter and require everything as outlined above. Including the concept that unscrewing a knob or bolt is in fact many operations. Four turns of a screw/bolt is not a single operation.

    I would like to see item 4 above changed to “Evidence is provided that the administrative authority of a school building has …” (submitted the device for approval by the local AHJ …etc) instead of just telling them they are going to use it. It says “when approved…” in 1.9.11, but say it again to be sure there is no grey area or conflict between paragraphs.

    Item 3 should include approval of the “adopted school safety plan” by AHJ.

    Item 5 should specify training for ALL staff members EVERY semester and for all substitutes each time they are called to assist.

    Does anyone think the AHJ will have time to enforce all of this.

    This whole thing is short sighted and foolish. School district, get out your check book for when you get a kid hurt or killed because of this policy.

    Bottom line, there will be a long list of violations at every location that gets approval. People will not follow through with it correctly.

    Don’t even ask what I really think.

  4. Thomas Norman says:

    This will all end in tears when an attacker with knowledge of the operation of the school’s barricade devices takes hostages inside a classroom. It will happen because it can happen. Then watch the legislators flee like cockroaches to dark corners pointing fingers at everyone else (the concerned parents made us do it, the manufacturers told us it was perfectly safe, the code officials should have warned us more forcefully, etc.)

    Also Boo on Code Officials who caved in on this. Their jobs will be toast and the approving municipalities will have a lot of liability (and blood) on their hands.

    Can’t say they weren’t warned by Lori and other more thoughtful individuals though.

  5. Nicole Deschler says:

    Classroom barricades are extremely effective when they are used properly. But as others have said, what happens when an active shooter uses a classroom barricade against law enforcement? There are other methods to protecting schools and campuses that are more foolproof.

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