Today I presented as part of a panel discussion at the annual conference of the National Association of State Fire Marshals, along with my fellow panelists:  Larry Flowers – Ohio State Fire Marshal, Ed Paulk – Alabama State Fire Marshal, Kelly Nicolello of UL, and John Woestman of the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association.  The panel was moderated by Jim Tidwell of Tidwell Code Consulting, and Jim Narva of NASFM kicked it off.

Although we were probably preaching to the choir, we helped to explain the issues surrounding the use of barricade devices, and shared a lot of information about what is going on in various states.  I got the feeling that most of the fire marshals in the room were not supportive of the devices or of using the legislative process to make changes to the code.

Yesterday, NASFM members approved a resolution supporting the NASFM Classroom Door Security & Locking Hardware guidelines.  The full resolution can be downloaded by clicking this link, and here is an excerpt:

WHEREAS, when selecting hardware which allows classroom doors to be lockable from inside the classroom, consideration should be given to the risks and potential consequences of utilizing a device which blocks the classroom door from  the inside.  For example, devices which prevent classroom doors from being unlocked and openable from outside the classroom may place the inhabitants of the room in peril.  In addition to the requirement that classroom doors must be unlatchable in a single motion from inside the classroom, these doors should always be unlockable and openable from outside the classroom by authorized persons.

I’m planning to record my brief presentation and post it on iDigHardware soon.

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