Ask the Expert (Safe Space)

What Solutions Are Available to Secure Classrooms?

While active shooter statistics continue to rise, other violent incidents within schools are increasing, such as student-to-student or peer-to-peer, all of which need solutions that can keep individuals safe and away from harm. Without a doubt, the most important elements to consider when protecting classrooms are having the ability to lock the door from the inside and the ability for safe egress.

According to the final report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, “There has never been an event in which an active shooter has breached a locked classroom door.” With events being over in five minutes or less, it is important to get students, teachers and administrators sheltered behind a locked door as quickly as possible.

Although barricade devices have become popular recently, they do not meet life and safety fire code, and usually require certain tools and knowledge to operate. However, there are many code-compliant lockdown solutions that can harbor individuals into a safe space which include:

Storeroom Function Lockset: Used when the outside lever is locked at all times, but does not have the ability to be unlocked or locked from the inside.

Entrance Function Lockset: Utilizes a push button on the inside to lock the door that locks the outside handle, while allowing for safe egress.

Security Function Lockset: Allows the door to be locked by key on the inside, removing the risk of a teacher having to enter the hallway to lock the door.

Electronic Classroom Lock: Ability to press a fob-based device to immediately lockdown the classroom doors while simultaneously notifying first responders.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

Stephen St. Amour, AHC, CDT, has 23 years in the door and hardware industry and is the director of Architectural Services for Stanley Security. He can be reached at stephen.stamour@sbdinc.com.

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