The Best Way to Barricade a Door That Opens Out

students outside of a school that recently had a school shooting

The International Building Code (“IBC”) requires that most doors in public buildings, including school doors, should open out rather than in (as most residential doors would). In homes across the globe, families are easily able to barricade their home front doors using common barricades – often known colloquially as “burglar bars.”

Barricading our school building doors is a precaution that is equally important, as these doors keep safe what is most precious to us: our children. Children spend an average of 6 and a half hours each day at school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and the number is often longer for those that participate in extracurricular activities.

Barricading a door might not be intuitive, but it is doable. School doors should be able to prevent unauthorized entry but should never keep children and school staff from leaving the classroom in the event that it’s needed, such as in the case of a natural disaster.

Current State of Tragic School Shootings

From elementary schools to universities, school shootings have been unfortunately ubiquitous over the past decade. The tragic events in Uvalde, Texas in May of 2022 stole the lives of 19 students and roused concern with parents of young children across the nation. Just months later, in October at a St. Louis, Missouri high school, a 19-year-old former student caused the untimely loss of two with an AR-15 style rifle and over 600 rounds of ammunition. And in November, tragedy struck the University of Virginia when a current student unleashed gunfire on a school bus, leaving three University football players to be laid to rest much too soon.

As a result, our nation has mourned, and parents, administrators, and lawmakers everywhere have doubled down on their concerns—and tangible action plans—surrounding classroom safety. We’ve all been seeking to learn from the events of the year and have been searching for ways to prevent similar catastrophes from occurring.

In our desire to keep our students safe, it’s important to keep schools a place where pupils can enjoy learning in a happy and healthy environment. According to a recent Stanford University study, school shootings cause lasting negative consequences in the psyches of students, including higher rates of antidepressant use, lower rates of enrollment at school, a decline in average test scores, lower high school graduation rates for exposed students, and lower rates of college attendance and graduation. But spending a childhood growing up in a school that mirrors a maximum-security prison isn’t conducive to a great mental state, either. The solution must be minimally invasive, yet effective security measures that allow children to grow and learn in peace.

Best Classroom Door Barricades by Comparison

teacherlock classroom door lock

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission conducted recent research on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to implementing safety methods and procedures in schools. The resulting study showed that the single greatest protection from security breaches such as school shootings are doors locking from the inside. In their 2015 report, the Commission recommended “that all classrooms in K-12 schools should be equipped with locked doors that can be locked from the inside by the classroom teacher or substitute.” In fact, it was found in the study that “there has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door.”

There are many ways of barricading outward opening doors that simply don’t make sense for school purposes. Doors that lock from the outside can endanger teachers and staff if an invader is in the hallway.

The answer to the question “how to barricade a door that opens out” is best answered by School Safety Solution's TeacherLock device. The TeacherLock is a bulletproof door lock that was designed by educators for use on school doors. The TeacherLock is designed to ensure that only authorized individuals, such as teachers, administrators, and security personnel can control the door’s lock through the use of a special key. In keeping with recommendations from the Sandy Hook Commission, the TeacherLock deploys its locking mechanism only from the outside.

Both the TEACHERLOCK™ and TEACHERLOCK II™ deploy within seconds and are no larger or more imposing than necessary, making these door barricades the perfect balance between form and function. Both versions of the TeacherLock keep students safe in their classrooms while also maintaining an environment that allows them to focus on learning. The TEACHERLOCK II™ door barricade for schools boasts complete code compliance throughout all fifty U.S. states and is also ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

The combination of the TeacherLock and Hideaway Helper Classroom Lockdown Shade create a secure, closed environment when trouble surrounds the classroom, but hardly change the look and feel of the classroom on an average day. The Hideaway Helper works alongside the TeacherLock to completely cover classroom windows in the event of an emergency situation. Easily deployed within seconds, these lockdown shades roll out to cover schoolroom windows when they’re needed, and stay hidden when they’re not.

Active Shooter Training for Schools

active shooter training rules are run hide then fight

There are many programs available for training schools in effective disaster response methods and preparing them for active shooter situations. One of the most popular and most trusted programs is the ALICE method. The ALICE method trains students separately from teachers, staff, and administrators in order to delicately broach the topic of preparedness.

The program’s three main strategies are: 1) evacuation, 2) shelter in place, and 3) distraction. While evacuation is always the preferable method of handling an active shooter situation, ALICE realizes that students must also be trained in effective methods of sheltering in place and avoiding an intruder. As a last resort, ALICE trains schools on methods of distancing themselves from the source of danger and creating a distraction so that more distance can be created.

For more information on responding to the ALICE method, check our School Safety Solution’s complete guide to ALICE training for schools.

Secure Your School with Minimal Distractions with School Safety Solution

School Safety Solution’s mission is to keep students across the globe safe, while they focus on learning and growing. Our safety solutions are trusted by thousands of teachers in hundreds of schools across the country, and our security systems meet national building code and fire safety regulations. They’re also designed with the daily experience of the student and teacher in mind, so you can avoid turning your school into a threatening environment.

If you’re interested in implementing user-friendly, tried and true safety methods to secure your school, please reach out to our security experts at any time. Our experts will work with you to ensure that your teachers, administrators, and School Resource Officers are equipped proactively with everything they’ll need in the event of a security breach. You can reach our team at any time by phone at 888.733.0406, or online via email at