I admit, I have sometimes been accused of thinking too much. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the oldest child with 4 little brothers (who used to shoot arrows and throw rocks up in the air and try to run away before they came down), or because I’m the mom of 3, or for some other reason, but I don’t just see the little kid running down the sidewalk. I see the kid veering off into oncoming traffic. It’s a curse.
Because of my involvement in codes and security, I don’t just see the inappropriately-locked door – I see the people trapped in an emergency. Sometimes I’m tempted to “let it go” and think “there PROBABLY won’t ever be a fire, shooting, etc.” When I have to get the fire marshal involved because the building owner is not interested in correcting the problems, I sometimes feel a little guilty – like I’m tattling or getting someone in trouble. But “what if?” How would I feel if I ignored the issue and someone got hurt, or worse?
I read the two news stories below on the same day, which struck me as ironic. When it comes to security and safety, you can take the easy, fast, and cheap approach, or take the time to carefully consider the issues and alternatives and invest in a suitable solution.
Police activity near Fordland High School resulted in a lockdown, which was accomplished with “one push of a button” but at a cost of “nearly $4 million total” for the district’s security system.*
At Fraserburgh Academy, a 13-year-old girl was beaten up by a 12-year-old girl (not a student at the school), while other students videotaped the fight and watched for approaching teachers. According to one news report, a student locked the gym doors before the attack. The response from the school was to have the janitor secure three of the exits with brackets and screws.
Life safety is everyone’s responsibility. Maybe I should have some t-shirts printed. 😀
* In the interview with the reporter for this story, a parent says that she feels safe knowing that the doors are locked and nobody can get in or out. I’m assuming that with a $4-million pricetag, the local code officials were involved and the doors do allow egress – even during a lockdown. Maybe one of my readers will know.