The new year (and some rest over the holidays) has renewed my resolve to continue educating school districts and others about the dangers of security devices that do not comply with the model code requirements and accessibility standards. At the beginning of the last decade, this was not something that I worried much about – at least with regard to schools – but now it’s an issue that keeps me awake at night.
Why? Consider this bill that has just been filed in Virginia:
No locality-owned building shall be prohibited from installing or using door-locking mechanisms on doors and windows for the purpose of preventing both ingress and egress in the event of a threat to the physical security of persons in such building. The Board of Housing and Community Development shall promulgate regulations for the installation and use of such door-locking mechanisms.
This proposed legislation seeks to allow security devices that prevent both ingress AND EGRESS on any “locality-owned building.” 🙁
I will continue to share articles and news reports that I find helpful and could be distributed to administrators who are considering how to improve their physical security. There is a great article by Paul Timm of Facility Engineering Associates in the winter issue of the Update – a publication from the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. The article is called How to Best Invest Your Security Dollars – and it offers some important guiding principles as well as potential pitfalls.
Paul also mentions recent legislation in Illinois:
“Fear is perhaps the most dangerous emotion. Well-intentioned entrepreneurs have introduced a host of products designed to improve classroom security. Classroom barricade devices have now even made a legislative impact in the state of Illinois. Buyer beware.”
Although the new Illinois law does allow some types of security devices that would not otherwise be allowed by the adopted codes, it does include limitations that must be followed. Refer to the full text of the Illinois law for more information.