Protecting classrooms from unwanted intruders is of utmost importance during a school emergency. Classroom doors have proven to be a weak point, since most doors are designed to be locked from the outside and require the teacher to enter the hallway to secure the classroom. Alternative door locking devices have risen to prominence as an answer to secure vulnerable classrooms by turning the classroom door itself into a barricade. These devices enable teachers to quickly block access to classrooms during an active shooter event or other school emergencies that require classrooms to have restricted access.
However, this solution has also raised questions about the potential for violating the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and codes established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In the midst of this great debate, it may be difficult to determine what the best options are for classroom door barricades. Here are the key features to look for when searching for the best and safest door barricade system.
Recognizing Proper Door Barricades
Identifying the criteria for a proper door barricade will help you avoid dangerous locking systems that actually decrease safety by preventing safe rescue from the classroom. We recommend looking for the following features to ensure optimal safety and ease of use during a school emergency:
- The door barricade should be intuitive to lock from the inside, requiring no special skills to lock or unlock. Deployments of the locking device, both for locking and unlocking, should work using a single motion easy to maneuver under stressful conditions.
- The locking device should be inconspicuous from the outside of the classroom, allowing teachers to secure the classroom without revealing themselves to anyone in the hallway. The locking device should not indicate that there are occupants inside the building.
- The activator for the locking device should be able to remain in the control of the teacher and should not be easily accessible by anyone else. For example, an activator that is mounted to the wall can be deployed by anyone, including an intruder planning to trap others inside of the classroom. A handheld or wearable activator key will keep classroom control in the proper hands of the teacher.
- The door should be able to be opened from the outside by emergency personnel using a key that fits into a standard Knox-Box. This will allow safety personnel to quickly respond to the situation and evacuate the classroom.
- Above all, the door barricade locking system should be compliant with the regulations from the International Fire Safety Code (IFSC), the International Building Code (IBC), the National Fire Protection Association 101 (NFPA-101), and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Best Door Barricade Solution
With these features in mind, School Safety Solution is proud to provide a classroom door lock that was created to meet all these requirements and more. It is not only the quickest classroom door locking system on the market
*Interpretation of building and fire code varies widely and is subject to the Authority Having Jurisdiction.