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).