For many months I’ve spent a lot of time trying to educate people about the concerns related to classroom barricade devices. One of the biggest difficulties is that the media almost always reports on only the perceived benefits of the devices (cheaper security), without ever mentioning the negatives. Finally, with the help of Lt. Joseph Hendry, a reporter from the Record-Courier “got it” and wrote an article exposing some of the many issues with the new law passed in Ohio. In case you haven’t been following along, this law forced a code change to override the requirements that have been helping to ensure safe egress for decades. This article gives me a small glimmer of hope that schools might stop and think before purchasing devices that are not compliant with the model codes.
Law allowing school barricade devices raises concerns in Portage
By Mike Sever | Staff Writer Published: April 3, 2016 4:00 AM
Safety officials are concerned a new state law that allows barricade devices on classroom doors could make a crisis situation worse.
The idea sounds great — add a device to a classroom door to stop a shooter from breaking in should the lock fail. It would keep children safe from an active shooter roaming a school, supporters said.
But the idea of the “shelter in place” strategy, with barricaded doors, may actually put children in harm’s way, some critics say.
Ohio S.B. 125 required the Ohio Board of Building Standards to adopt rules for the use of barricade devices on a school door in an emergency situation. The law also forbade the State Fire Code from prohibiting the use of such devices in a crisis.
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