Will you share your insight on these questions? I’ll choose one commenter at random to receive an iDigHardware Yeti travel mug!
In recent weeks, school security has not dominated my news feed as it once did, but efforts to improve the security of our educational facilities continues. Some school districts, day care centers, colleges, and universities are using the unexpected facility closures to work on projects – including security upgrades – to prepare for the return of in-person classes. It was just announced that my college student will be heading back to UTK in the fall, as long as it is safe to do so.
While we have all been focused on concerns related to COVID-19, classroom barricade devices have not gone away. If you need a refresher, I recently had an article published in Campus Safety magazine called Are Your Classroom Locks Functional or Mere Security Illusions? Keeping the need for free egress and accessibility top-of-mind, work in code development has continued, as well as the monitoring of state legislation to ensure that laws intended to increase security do not negatively impact safety.
As education-related construction projects and renovations move forward, I’d love to hear more about any physical-security changes or trends you’re seeing. I know that many of you have first-hand knowledge and your insight would be so helpful.
- In addition to access control at the main entrance, are schools incorporating security vestibules? How is the glazing in this area being addressed?
- Are secondary egress doors being monitored to restrict unauthorized use? Are any schools incorporating delayed egress locks on exterior classroom doors (if allowed by code in their jurisdiction)?
- Are sidelights and vision lights in classrooms changing in size or location? How is the need for oversight and light transmission being balanced with reduced sightlines and the efficacy of hard corners/safe corners?
- Is impact-resistant glazing or film becoming more common in educational facilities? If yes, what level of impact-resistance is emerging as the minimum standard or the ideal?
- What lock functions are preferred for classroom doors? And how is lockdown facilitated in assembly spaces like the gym or cafeteria? What about lockdown in multi-stall toilets?
- Is compartmentalization becoming more common – cross-corridor doors or stair doors that can be locked during an active-assailant event (while still allowing free egress)?
Please tell us about any trends you have seen on new school projects or existing buildings…the safety of all students will benefit from shared best practices.