Can classroom doors be locked to prevent an intruder from entering? Can a fire alarm system be disabled to prevent it from being used to draw people outside? These are among the more frequently asked questions we’ve received from school administrators and community officials working to protect their schools from acts of targeted violence.
While the response to these types of questions is fairly straightforward and direct from the code perspective, the answers don’t easily translate to those who aren’t familiar with fire and life safety codes. The approach to retrofitting a class room door with a lock, for example, is more complex and nuanced. This can be particularly frustrating to school administrators who are reaching beyond their traditional roles to ensure the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff.
In an effort to give schools the guidance and direction they need and help clarify the challenges around these issues, we developed a new resource to help them effectively, reasonably, and cost-effectively move forward. This document also works to keep schools from making well-intentioned but misguided decisions, particularly as they continue to receive calls from businesses and organizations selling products, resources, and strategies for keeping everyone safe.
We’ll be doing our best to get this document directly into the hands of schools, but your support in distributing it will help ensure that it gets to the people who need it most. Please share this document with school administrators and local officials in your communities and jurisdictions to help them make informed decisions. If you have any questions about the information addressed in this document, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section of this blog.