I can hardly believe that iDigHardware is 9 YEARS OLD!  Last night, my friend’s mom asked me about my job – she had heard that I write about doors.  She couldn’t imagine how anyone could write about doors every day.  How about EVERY (week)DAY FOR 9 YEARS?!

Since 2009, I have published more than 2,000 posts and well over 5,000 photos to help make doors and hardware less mysterious.  Almost 15,000 comments have been left by readers (and me) to combine the expertise of the industry into a resource that is accessed by people from all over the world.  Last month, visitors spent almost 1,300 hours getting answers to their questions and learning from iDigHardware – not including the time spent reading the articles published in trade journals and on other websites.  Pretty efficient, I think – imagine if I had to answer all of those questions individually!

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on – and writing about – school security.  This is an extremely important topic to all of us, and as a mom I feel personally connected to the issue.  I will continue to work on this until you have all the resources you need to support these conversations (you can add your insight to yesterday’s post).

One of the many things I’ve learned in the last 9 years is this:  you can’t believe everything you read.  I do my best to always be factual and to base my answers on safety, not sales.  But some of the articles that have crossed my desk lately have left me Wordless.  Here’s an example:

“Because the nation’s Fire Marshals are narrowly focused on single-motion egress in case of fire, even though the fatality data in active shooter emergencies makes deaths-by-smoke-or-fire in educational occupancies pale in comparison. In addition, door and door hardware manufacturers don’t want to see the current fire/life safety code changed allowing a second motion for egress to prevent after-market barricade hardware placed on older doors. They’d rather see new doors with sophisticated locking mechanisms sold where one motion allows both egress and secure-in-place functionality, consistent with current fire codes. But the economics of this option make no sense for most existing (not new) school occupancies. Except for a few brave state and local Fire Marshals who have waived the single-motion-for-egress requirement, schools and school districts across the country are stuck . . . until now.”

It is true that fire deaths in schools are rare today, but that was not always the case.  The fire safety of today’s educational occupancies is due to the strict codes and enforcement which protect building occupants.  It is also true that most life-safety proponents do not support after-market barricade hardware.  Instead, we promote security methods that do not deter or prevent evacuation, are tested and certified for fire protection, and meet the accessibility standards as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  And while I don’t dispute the article’s point that there are “brave” state and local fire marshals, the National Association of State Fire Marshals does not support the use of classroom barricade devices.  Like I said, you can’t believe everything you read.

For more information on school security, visit iDigHardware.com/schools, and if you have anything to add to this conversation, feel free to leave a comment in the reply box.

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