I have been inundated with requests for information about school safety and security in the last two weeks, and I’m guessing many of you have as well. Each time there is a mass shooting or a fire that was (or could have been) impacted by doors and hardware, people call looking for answers. Many days, iDigHardware receives more than 2,000 visits from people in search of information about code requirements and best practices.
I want to provide the necessary information, but I need your help. This site has dozens of articles, videos, and other resources about school safety and security – I have organized some of this information on the School Security page. But in the rush to address school security “yesterday”, it’s difficult to absorb all of the guidelines and recommendations. The security options seem complicated and expensive, which can lead facilities to consider retrofit products that may be easier to procure and install, but which often prioritize security over life safety.
Here’s what I need from you. Think about sitting down to discuss school security in whatever capacity you might have that conversation. If you work in the door and hardware industry, maybe you have been called by a school facility manager or locksmith. If you’re an architect or specifier, it could be a staff meeting where your firm is deciding on best practices for school projects. If you’re a fire marshal or building inspector, you may be responding to a school administrator’s inquiry about classroom barricade devices. Or maybe you’re a parent who wants to provide information to your kids’ school principal or superintendent.
In this (real or imagined) meeting on school safety and security, there are bound to be people who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of locks and door hardware. The lock functions, electrified hardware options, monitoring, procedures, keying, drills…it can get overwhelming. There’s too much information (T.M.I.). How do we simplify this and help people make educated decisions? Our expertise can help save lives – we just need to keep it simple and make specific recommendations based on the existing conditions which will vary from one school to the next.