Lately I’ve been spending even more of my time fighting to keep school security safe. Although for decades doors have been secured in a manner that allows free egress, fire protection, and accessibility, the current legislative session has brought several state bills which would circumvent the adopted life safety requirements in favor of security. Life safety and security CAN coexist!
We need to continue informing school administrators, code officials, legislators, and others about school security and safety. If you have not had a chance to read the May issue of Door Security + Safety Magazine, I highly recommend checking it out. This issue of the magazine is available to everyone, so you can share it with anyone involved in school security discussions.
From Jerry Heppes’ In-Touch column (page 4):
This is the most important issue of the magazine for the year and perhaps for the decade. The topic of school life safety and security is on the minds of society like never before, yet most people don’t know our industry exists. They don’t know that for decades we have provided solutions to protect students, teachers, administrators and school staff from fires, crimes, and violence.
The article on page 8 – Opening the Door to School Safety: Lock Don’t Block, pulls together state legislative updates, school shooting statistics, information from other organizations and industry experts to introduce the Lock Don’t Block Ambassadors Program:
This program will be a tiered effort comprised of DHI members and DSSF supporters who commit to conducting specific activities on behalf of the Lock Don’t Block campaign. These activities will be aimed at furthering the campaign’s goals and advocating against the use of barricade devices in school classrooms across North America.
Lock Don’t Block Ambassadors may serve as spokespersons to conduct media interviews, deliver presentations to related state and local organizations, identify and monitor state and local legislation, testify before state or local regulatory bodies, conduct local outreach to national Lock Don’t Block partners and collaborators, and more.
Additional articles in this issue address other school security topics, such as classroom security guidelines and locking methods, fire door assemblies in schools, lockdown procedures, securing doors with panic hardware, hurricane resistance, and retrofit security products. My monthly column – Decoded: Why Barricade Devices? is on page 44.