A code change proposal has been submitted to the North Carolina Building Code Council, to address “emergency lockdown safety mechanisms” (AKA barricade devices) in schools, government buildings and office buildings. BHMA has submitted a public comment with regard to this proposed change, to ensure that the life-safety concerns are considered. There will likely be a public hearing in September…I’ll keep you posted on any further news.
I expect that these proposals will continue to be put forth in other states, so please keep an eye out and let me know if you hear of a proposal being considered. My hope is that states will adopt the 2018 IBC language related to classroom security, rather than creating code modifications that are inconsistent with the model code requirements.
Here is the North Carolina proposal:
Item C – 1 Request by Ed Johnson & Tommy Faulkner, representing Campus Safety Products, LLC, to amend the 2012 NC Fire Code, Section 1008. The proposed amendment is as follows:
1008.1.11 Emergency lockdown safety mechanisms. Approved emergency lockdown safety mechanisms shall be permitted in schools, government, and non-government office environments for the purposes of establishing a secured area in accordance with lockdown plans in Section 404.3.3 and Items 1-8 below:
1. The emergency lockdown safety mechanism shall be readily distinguishable as engaged or disengaged.
2. Clearly identifiable operating procedures shall be posted on or within close proximity of the installed mechanism.
3. The emergency lockdown safety mechanism shall be readily engaged from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.
4. The emergency lockdown safety mechanism shall have a built-in mechanical feature to prevent unintended engagement.
5. The emergency lockdown safety mechanism shall have the capability to operate on outward swinging doors, inward swinging doors, and free-swinging doors.
6. The emergency lockdown safety mechanism shall be readily disengaged from the ingress side with proper tools and instruction.
7. The mechanism shall be installed 6 inches (152 mm) minimum and 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum above the finished floor. However, the maximum installed height shall be limited such that the emergency lockdown safety mechanism is at least 30 inches (762 mm) from any glass openings within the door.
A building occupant shall not be required to pass through more than one door equipped with an emergency lockdown safety mechanism before entering an exit.
For more information about classroom barricade devices, download the white paper from the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS).
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As the saying goes, ” You just can’t fix stupid”, although as soon as someone perishes from not being able to get out because of these barricade devices the lawyers will be all over it and then, just then, maybe, the devices will go away.
Is it common for product manufacturers to propose code changes that directly benefit their own business? http://campussafetyproducts.com/
Bad idea. Someone can get in the classroom and lock themselves or the classroom full of kids in the room with themK57d. It would take a very long time to defeat that mechanism to gain access to the room. In all of these tragedies at our schools the classroom lock was never defeated. We use locks lockable form the inside of the room but they always allow egress from the room
Until someone gets trapped. NC is fist among stupid laws
I did not see anything about how many actions to open said opening in egress.
This is an interesting twist to the ongoing problem of barricade devices. They have tried to think it through quite a bit, but I still see holes in the plan.
1. Nothing prevents the bad guy (or just a student prank) from using the device as part of his plan to cause an event within the protected room.
2. The addition of some method of release with tool on the ingress side would probably ruin rated doors or frames.
3. The 6″ minimum from the floor conflicts with ADA 10″ clear egress face requirements.
4. The 30″ from any glass is not workable. The lock on any door with a window is usually within that dimension.
My guess is that Ed and Tommy already have another “invention” to make a quick buck as soon as this passes legislation and until the problems surface causing them to be vetoed after the fact.
The proposed code says “… the mechanism shall be readily engaged from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort”. Lori, what is the definition of “special knowledge or effort”? Also, if you need a sign would not that qualify as special knowledge or effort? The entire fire safety industry goes by this mantra. Also, this item would cause at least two actions to be required before exit is achieved.
Finally, how much does this device cost by the time it is actually installed? There is also a cost for training and policy provisions, inspections and then the bureaucracy needed to make sure the code provisions are followed. Add all this up and you can refit the door with a classroom safety lock (key inside locks knob outside) or office function lock and install window film over the site lites. Anyone care to run the numbers??
Here is a video on what may be the product: http://campussafetyproducts.com/
“Special knowledge or effort” is not defined, but the IBC Commentary gives this example:
“Examples of special knowledge would be a combination lock or an unlocking device or deadbolt in an unknown, unexpected or hidden location. Special
effort would dictate the need for unusual and unexpected physical ability to unlock or make the door fully available for egress.”
I wonder how much stuff it will take to fill the hole before it doesn’t work as intended.
The housekeeping staff will love this product.
I can see where they’ll be putting duct tape over the hole to keep it clean.
Sadly, these things may keep proliferating until the first time a device like this is used, in an otherwise empty classroom, to confound the first-responders while committing an assault or a suicide.
(Clearly, I’ve been working on too many anti-ligature projects lately, so that’s where my mind went! So sad.)
In most cases, when I’m asked to opine on devices like this, I ask if the perimeter security and main entrance access control will be corrected FIRST, and it is not.
There is no information regarding the number of actions to exit the classroom or any other space. We in CT have been successful at maintaining the model code in respect to our school children. We even had some modification requests that were denied as well. Maybe if we focus more on keeping the bad guys from getting in at all we would better serve the children.