This is the 8th post in a series about fire doors and the results of a recent (unscientific) survey.
I have kids in elementary school and preschool, and I know about the financial crisis most of our schools are facing. The school system in our town is trying to overcome a $10.3 million budget gap for next year, and we’ve already made painful cuts in previous years. I want my kids to have the teachers and books they need, and the special programs that make our schools great. But I also want my kids to be safe.
Last week my 2nd grader told me about the “Code-Yellow” drill they had in school, “in case a bad guy was in the building.” The protocol was to tip a large table on its edge and have all the kids get on the floor behind it. Sound safe and secure? Well, most of the classrooms in our school don’t have doors. Seriously! And the classrooms that do have doors don’t have classroom security locks, so hiding behind a table is the best defense they’ve got.
Nobody wants to think about “bad guys” or fires in schools, but it’s something we need to be prepared for. I used a school as an example in my survey because it’s a facility we can all relate to on some level – as a student, teacher, parent, or member of the community. The answers to the survey questions (below) illustrate that despite the economic crisis, having safe schools is a top priority for most of us.
Next time you go into your school, office, hospital, or apartment building, take a look at the fire doors. Are they closed, or held open with a code-compliant device? Do they latch? Is all of the hardware present and functional, with no security band-aids (like chains and padlocks)? If not, talk to someone about it. Many problems can be fixed without a lot of money, just a little awareness. For the more expensive issues, there may be grants available.
Let’s get to work making our doors safe so they can function as designed, and then keep them that way!