In the wake of tragedies such as Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and Columbine, it’s clear why more and more emphasis has been placed on increasing classroom and school security systems. Though pioneering safety solutions was not always a priority in American classrooms, great strides have been taken to improve previously unsafe and inefficient methods.

A Brief History of School Security

Unfortunately, security was a low priority for many schools even well into the 1970s. Apart from a few inciting events, progress towards more effective school safety protocol was slow and minimal over the next few decades. Here is an overview of the history of school security and how safety solutions have dramatically progressed in recent years.

Impractical Solutions for Schools

During the 1970s, the security industry was making strides toward developing surveillance systems and other protection devices. However, these efforts focused on card access for facilities, largely ignoring school security due to the impracticality of implementing such devices in a school setting. Because of this, may public schools began creating their own security methods which usually consisted of chaining secondary exits.

The Vandal Scandal

With secondary doors supposedly protected against intruders with the help of locks and chains, many schools then moved their focus toward ending the vandalism epidemic that ran rampant during the early 1980s. Some schools attempted to solve their late-night vandalism concerns with audio detectors. In theory, these detectors were supposed to send a signal when noises above a certain decibel level were received, but with so many false alarms, this system was never considered a reliable security measure.

A Step in the Right Direction

It is clear to see that the focus of these early safety measures was largely aimed at protecting schools, not necessarily the students or teachers. A slight shift in school safety occurred in 1984 when a school in Newark, NJ became the first building in America to install a fail-safe electromagnetic lock on a fire exit. This was an excellent step in replacing the often-used chains and other panic hardware that were deemed ineffective. Though this type of lock became legal in 1980, many schools did not use them because it was believed that they posed a new safety hazard.

Keeping Teachers Safe

More positive changes began to take place in the mid-1980s when schools began to address personal safety concerns. It was reported that multiple schools installed hand-held devices that would allow teachers to transmit a signal to school administration in the event of a classroom threat. Although these devices were presented as an added measure of safety, the dramatic amount of pushback forced these schools to remove the devices. One major concern was the risk of false alarms when teachers would leave their panic devices unattended and within reach of students.

The School Security Solutions of Today

But now the times have changed. Despite the slow-moving progress and unfortunate setbacks during the 1970s and 1980s, school security has since made incredible breakthroughs. Today, schools have access to groundbreaking locking systems that allow teachers to quickly turn classroom doors into barricades at a moment’s notice. These inventive devices are much more effective door barricade solutions, especially when compared to traditional manufactured door locks or the bars and chains used in the past. Better yet, these devices are considerably easier to install and offer a cost-effective solution for many schools.  

Your Door Security Solution

At School Safety Solution, we understand the importance of classrooms utilizing the quickest and most efficient door barricade system during the event of an emergency. That is why we are proud to supply a classroom door locking system that is not only fast and efficient, but also boasts compliance with all IFSC, IBC, NFPA-101, and ADA regulations*. If your school has not adapted to the most modern, regulation-compliant door barricade on the market, now is the time to learn more about this innovative door locking system. For additional information, visit our FAQ or request a quote!

*Interpretation of building and fire code varies widely and is subject to the Authority Having Jurisdiction.