A proposed change to Michigan law would allow classroom barricade devices to be installed on spaces like gymnasiums, libraries, auditoriums, and cafeterias in schools.  The current law in Michigan that allows barricade devices to be used in schools limits their use to doors serving rooms with an occupant load of 50 people or less; the change would remove that limitation.

The egress doors serving these assembly spaces are typically equipped with panic hardware, to allow free and immediate egress for large groups of people.  This code requirement was implemented decades ago because of tragic events that resulted in high loss of life.  With barricade devices in place, the panic hardware will not allow egress.  Because the devices are usually hung beside the doors for easy deployment during a shooting, they could be used by unauthorized people to trap others inside.  This could cause hundreds of occupants to panic, as well as delaying or preventing emergency responders from accessing the space from the outside.

As I have said many many times before, there are code-compliant products (in this case, panic hardware) that provide the necessary level of security.  There is no need for school districts to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in retrofit security products that could compromise life safety and accessibility.  How can we help legislators, school administrators, and others see the potential implications of this decision?

For more information about this bill visit News Channel 3, or you can read the proposed legislation here.

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