As I’ve said before, with regard to classroom security code changes, NFPA 101 is on a slightly different schedule than the the ICC codes. Although changes to the 2018 editions of the IBC and IFC have already been approved, the NFPA 101 changes are still in process.
In the January issue of NFPA Journal, Ron Coté discusses those changes:
Almost two years ago, I reported on the school security workshop organized by NFPA that brought together more than 60 stakeholders to identify problems and develop solutions for the safe installation and operation of classroom door locking devices to prevent unwanted entry. I asked readers for input on this timely topic via the codes and standards revision process that will produce the 2018 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. I’m pleased to report that much progress has occurred during the ensuing 22 months.
The NFPA 101 technical committee with responsibility for the chapters on new and existing educational occupancies considered public input and utilized the skills and experiences of its members to draft a comprehensive package of provisions that will permit classroom door locking to be done in a safe manner. It considered public comments submitted in response to its draft provisions and fine-tuned the package of requirements that is presented in the second draft report. The locking means must be approved, meaning that, in NFPA parlance, it must be acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, or AHJ. The AHJ takes guidance from 10 criteria, specified within the new provisions on classroom door locking, before granting approval.
The classroom door locking criteria will help weed out the dangerous hardware and locking means…