Someone suggested to me recently that I might be opposed to classroom barricade devices because I work for a lock manufacturer. I’d like to clear that up right now. Yes, I do work for a manufacturer of locks – also door closers, panic hardware, fire doors, and other products that help keep building occupants safe. In fact, I have worked for this manufacturer since 1994, and in the industry since 1986.
In that time period I have spent much of my time digesting and interpreting codes and helping to update and clarify them, researching historical fires and other tragedies, and learning from current events including school shootings. Because of this work, I am able to provide education and support on door-related codes to anyone who needs help. It still amazes me when fire marshals and building inspectors ask how I would interpret a code requirement.
This work also scares the heck out of me because I think about the “what-ifs.” What if someone deploys a classroom barricade device and assaults someone in the classroom? What if a barricade device is in place, an active shooter gives the door a few kicks, and the device can’t be removed? What if fires and explosives are part of an assailant’s plan, as we saw at Columbine High School?
I do not object to classroom barricade devices because I work for a manufacturer of locks. Almost every classroom door already has a traditional lock on it, and adding a classroom barricade device does not affect the sale of that lock. But it affects the safety of our students and teachers, and that’s what keeps me up at night.
A couple of recent examples in the news:
The next one is a little different because it doesn’t seem to impede egress, but I’m curious about a few things:
- How much of an improvement in strength is this vs. the existing lock?
- How is it released from the outside?
- Does the use of this product affect the warranty or listings of the lockset it’s attached to?
- If the “blade” is accidentally flipped when the door is opened (as in the video), how does the door close?
- Has this been tested for use on fire door assemblies?