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Feb 15 2018

Decoded: Code Requirements for Classroom Security (video)

I wrote this post yesterday, before the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, and I have come back to edit it.  Within 3 hours of the shooting, I received an email asking whether classroom barricade devices are allowed in Florida.  To the best of my knowledge, the short answer is “no” (if you know otherwise, please tell me).

In 2015, the Florida Department of Education issued a memo about classroom barricade devices to Florida school superintendents as well as colleges and universities, stating:

These devices may not meet current code requirements and may negatively affect life safety, such as emergency egress. The codes and standards adopted in Florida and followed in the design and maintenance of our educational facilities help to ensure life safety for all occupants of a school or post-secondary institution.

Current code requirements for classroom doors that are used as a means of egress require doors to function as fire-rated, smoke and draft control doors, be unlatchable in a single motion from inside the room, and unlockable and openable from the outside by authorized persons. Therefore, the Department of Education and the State Fire Marshal’s office will not approve the use of these types of devices that do not comply with the current laws, codes and standards adopted in Florida. Unless the codes and standards change, our agencies will enforce the current code requirements as approved.

According to the 2014 State Requirements for Educational Facilities, published by the Florida Department of Education, doors may be equipped with locksets that are lockable from inside the space, only if they are classroom security function locksets which allow unrestricted egress.  Individual toilet rooms may be equipped with privacy locks that allow free egress and can be opened from the outside without a special tool.

We will learn more about this tragedy in the coming weeks.  Now is not the time to look for a quick-fix security method that jeopardizes safety.


Here is my original post:

When classroom security methods are being considered, it’s important to understand what the current building codes and fire codes require as well as the risks of ignoring those requirements.  This new video is a tool that you can use to educate and inform others about this issue.

On February 14th, the Utah House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that removes most of the egress requirements for classroom doors from their state codes.  As life-safety proponents, it’s our responsibility to help ensure that egress, fire protection, and accessibility are not disregarded by similar legislation in other states, and that facilities have the facts BEFORE purchasing security devices that are not allowed in their jurisdictions.  Please share this video.

The video below explains the various lock functions that may be used on classroom doors:

The rest of our whiteboard animation videos can be found on the Allegion Training page, or on the Videos page of

What other topics would you like to see addressed in future videos?

Feb 14 2018

WW: PA or TJ?

Category: Door Closers,Wordless WednesdayLori @ 12:32 am Comments (9)

Juan McGrath posted this photo on iDigHardware’s Facebook page and gave me permission to share it with y’all.  I’m Wordless over it, but scroll down because I have some unrelated questions for you.  🙂


Can you help with any of these recent questions from iDH readers? 

1) Do you know of a power transfer that can accommodate five 14-gauge wires?  I’ve never seen wires that large going through an EPT or door loop, but maybe it’s possible?

2) Does anyone make a replacement for this elevator lock?


3) Any ideas about the manufacturer and model number for this coordinator?


Thank you!

Do you have a question for the iDigHardware community?  Send it to me!

Feb 13 2018

Accessibility Overlap

Category: AccessibilityLori @ 12:46 am Comments (10)

Randy Jump of Allegion sent me this photo the other day, and asked whether the security closet proposed for the dotted area beside the restroom door would create an accessibility problem.  What do you think?  Scroll down after you’re done thinking it over.

First I checked the maneuvering clearance.  For a front approach on the push side, no additional latch-side clearance is required if the door is not equipped with BOTH a closer and a latch.  This door has a closer but no latch, so the maneuvering clearance will still be fine once the security closet is added.

But what about the security closet door, which will swing into the required maneuvering clearance for the restroom door?  I wasn’t positive about this so I asked for an ICC staff opinion.  Section 301.2 of both the 2009 and 2017 editions of ICC A117.1 address overlap, stating, “Unless otherwise specified, clear floor spaces, clearances at fixtures, maneuvering clearances at doors, and turning spaces shall be permitted to overlap.”  ICC staff confirmed that the swing of the security closet door is allowed to overlap with the maneuvering clearance for the restroom door, so the proposed security closet is acceptable.

Do you agree?

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