This news report (embedded below) showed up in my inbox this morning. When I visited the manufacturer’s website, I found a document addressing code compliance which states: “HAVEN is continuously undergoing standards compliance testing and currently meets or exceeds the scope of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Code 305: Panic Hardware.” This type of lock is not panic hardware.
The company that manufacturers this product is located in Tennessee. Here is the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s position on school security.
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We will keep seeing New Mouse Traps, Maybe someone will come up with one we can all agree upon, code wise.
Definitely not a panic device, looks like it only works for doors that swing out of the classroom, and it looks expensive compared to a lot of the others… might as well invest in a Schlage wireless system that uses standard door prep.
What I’m afraid of is that all these “intruder lockdown” devices (homegrown or otherwise) are being manufactured in quantity now. When more and more jurisdictions attempt to crack down on these, there will be a pushback of “momentum” and the “job creation” card will be played, in addition to parents who don’t understand and think we don’t care about the safety of the kids.
This would prevent one action egress, unless the safety release pull is attached to the door handle somehow…
I fail to see how a separate pull cord conforms to requirements for one motion and no key, tool, or special knowledge. And for the price, just put a code compliant lockset on the door.
A battering ram?
Has there been school intruders that have used battering rams?
Yet another well intentioned but frightening jerry-built school house lock down device. I wonder if the “Emergency Egress Cord” is the only way for first responders or law enforcement to gain classroom access? Certainly they won’t have the SmartPhone app if that is what is required to release the lock from the exterior.
I admire people trying to solve a problem, but this? Really? I watched the manufacturer’s video on the base unit. To lock the door, you have to reach to the top of the unit and press a button. Now before I retired, most school projects in our area (central PA) had a nominal door opening height of 7’2″. This unit will require teachers of insufficient stature to have a step stool handy, or maybe we can revive the old IVES transom hook.
Anyway, to unlock the basic (non Wi-Fi) unit, you can pull on the “code compliant” (according to the manufacturer) cord equipped with a key ring for insertion of a digit. What a joke. The cord is attached to the unit and runs down the face of the door (how aesthetically pleasing) and appears to be attached at several points with small brackets. I suppose these engineering geniuses haven’t taken into consideration that kids will simply yank this cord off the door, whether or not this item is for their safety. It’s just what kids do. Showing my age here… I have seen armored door loops yanked off doors at many schools and before the advent of the flat bar type coordinator, the old gravity coordinators went missing in action not long after building occupancy, so how does this thin release cord hold up? A maintenance nightmare. And how about this scenario? When classes are changing… tall kid (bully) grabs short kid (victim) and drags victim into closest available class room, closes the door, presses the locking button and proceeds to beat victim. Meanwhile, school staff cannot enter and rescue victim until bully is done.
Sorry, but to me, this is just another gimmick. Yes, I saw American made and employs veterans. I’m all for that, but not for something so blatantly wrong for classroom safety.
Wow, this video looks like a paid advertorial for the system!
Todd, actually their website says that it works on both inward and outward swinging doors. It also says that they have a emergency pull release cord that hangs at 34inches off the ground. So it does meet the code standard for egress. It also doesn’t require special know-how, or a special key to use. So, actually pretty smart of them and doesn’t seem home grown. If you want a wireless lock that can break after a few attempts then go with Schlage, but this lock is meant to be strong.
When a retrofit lock is added to a door that has existing latching hardware, the door does not comply with the model code requirement for one operation to unlatch the door. The intent of the codes is for one operation to release all of the latches on the door – it does not allow one operation per lock/latch. So even if the cord is not considered “special knowledge,” the need to pull the cord and then turn the lever is 2 operations, which also need to be performed in the correct order – cord first, then lever – because if someone turns the lever first they then have to realize that they must pull the cord and then turn the lever again.
Also – to date, I am not aware of any traditional locks that have been compromised by a school shooter. This was reported by the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (“The testimony and other evidence presented to the Commission reveals that there has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door.”). At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, traditional locks protected classrooms under direct attack.
I don’t see the need to spend money on retrofit security devices and potentially compromise on life safety when traditional locks are doing their job, are code-compliant, and meet the regulatory and certification requirements of the industry.
And this is superior to a mag lock how?
I am sure someone has commented on the fact that not all school shooters and other similar types originate from outside a classroom. At least one person I have personal knowledge about held a classroom hostage for a period of time in Rapid City, SD a few years ago. This did not make national news since all he injured with his gun was a speaker in the ceiling. I worry about facilities solutions unless they are thought through. Too many will be ineffective at best and down right dangerous at worst.
What happens if it looses power when deployed? Does it deactivate? If not then to me it sounds more dangerous than a mag lock (properly installed).
Mag locks are expensive especially when coupled with access control. I think we can point at these codes and honestly say, at least with this product that there are plenty of redundant features built in for safety sake. Compared to the other hardened devices that are metal barricades, this is different.
A serious thought, if a shooter does come into a school he is going to take every means he has to inflict damage. This product stops him at the door for an extended period of time and sends signals that tell the police what door he is at.
Additionally, a lot of schools then teach their students to barricade the class room doors. Where is the safety in that?
Do the locks we have in place, the training we give to students, and the currrent safety measures prepare them for the next attack? These are asymmetric in nature. The only way to combat an asymmetric threat is to create new technology and training to combat it.
Do you know what happens with this lock if there is a fire alarm or power failure? And how is it unlocked from the outside by an authorized person?
Wait a minute, this is a floor mounted device which is activated by someone stepping upon it? I have so many issues with this it’s hard to try and list them in a sensible manner.
To start us off with; How is this not ‘specialized knowledge’?
Let us follow it with; “Only an adult can activate it” …. Sure, I’ll address that more under the school security section, my main question though is can only an adult deactivate it? What happens if the adult is disabled after activating the device?
What about a tripping hazard? This device might work wonders when you have a raised floor sill at the door entrance (typical for residential homes), but within schools I typically see a flush/flat uniform floor; adding these as a retro-fit device would introduce a large risk for tripping hazards.
On the topic of tripping hazards; what’s to prevent someone from accidentally activating this while walking into a room (and thus causing an even greater tripping rick)? Is there anything that would prevent goofing off kids from activating the device (ex; one kid giving another a ‘piggy-back ride’ and having the equivalent mass of an adult)
Of course they have their new ‘pro’ device also! …. which must be mounted on the door. So, now all of the fire rated doors with these installed upon will now have to be field certified, which is quite the expenditure of resources I’m told. (drilling and mounting hardware to a fire rated door causes the fire rating to be re-certified, fyi)
The ‘intrusion’ test on the website gives me cause for great concern; someone pulling from the inside has enough leverage to fit something between the door and frame (like a crow-bar), this is a huge issue. The other tests they have give me even less confidence; someone smashing/kicking a door & frame which isn’t even anchored into the ground… is just terrible. Do ANSI or BHMA certified testing and show those videos, it leaves me with little confidence when the frame which is holding the door in place breaks apart within the first few hits. My favourite video showing what a proper high security classroom door should be able to withstand:
Then there are the life safety and code issues which Lori has inquired about earlier also.
With all of the risks I identified above, I would not recommend this.
I would look back into this hardware once it has achieved BHMA or ANSI rating, which I don’t see on this device yet.