two children with large backpacks walking side by side
“Lock Don’t Block” is the Door Security and Safety Foundation’s catchphrase to alert decision-makers of the consequences that can come from installing devices that put children at more risk, and schools in liability.

A Google search for “classroom barricade devices” returned 973,000 results. Some of the images are really scary if you are at all familiar with life safety codes. These quick-fix gadgets theoretically prevent an attacker from gaining access. Most of their descriptions claim “big savings” over the school security solutions that have been introduced by long-established lock manufacturers, and by state-of-the-art access control companies, in response to ever-increasing school violence.

Barricade Devices are a Dangerous Violation of Federal Laws

Industry experts in both security and the codes that ensure free egress, fire protection and accessibility, stress that barricade devices are a dangerous violation of federal laws.

School shootings, although widely publicized, are rare. Cases of school bullying and harassment are not. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) tracks all aspects of violence and has published important statistics which must be considered when making decisions about school security. According to the CDC, and the FBI, students, not outsiders, are the most likely people to commit violence on school grounds. Storing a barricade device in a classroom makes crimes easier to carry out. Shooters, in at least three occurrences, have barricaded themselves in a classroom with others to cause harm or take hostages. To get out, any and every occupant must be able to open the door without wasting valuable time trying to find a key or remove a security device that is not intuitive. [There is not one documented incident of a classroom lock being defeated.]

Barricade Devices That Do Not Meet Codes Negatively Affect Life Safety

Barricade devices that do not meet codes may negatively affect life safety in other emergencies such as a fire, which statistically is more than three times more likely to happen than an active shooter situation.

Furthermore, complete lock replacement should not be used as a typical cost comparison with a barricade device, as most classroom doors already have existing locks which ensure security. Changing lock functions, and rekeying to add key control, are often viable, economical upgrades, which still maintain code compliance. School districts that are choosing electronic access control locks, with remote lockdown functionality, typically have existing locks that are past their usable lifespan.

Anderson Lock Makes Sure Every Replacement is Code Compliant

For decades, Anderson Lock has worked alongside school maintenance personnel to solve door security problems. We’ve supplied master key systems, locker locks and traditional door hardware, making sure every repair or replacement complies with adopted codes and laws. These well-established relationships, together with our strong reputation for having skilled technicians, knowledgeable representatives, and quality products, have led to new associations with architects and security integrators to provide detailed hardware bid specifications for school districts seeking solutions for safety and security on school campuses.

Locksets which allow users to quickly lock the door from either side, and meet code requirements for free egress, fire protection and accessibility are the fastest and safest solution for “lockdown” situations.

Anderson Lock techs are currently installing classroom security locks in two large school districts, and we just landed a bid to install 700 electronic locks on 30 exterior and 460 classroom doors, as well as 210 department and large space doorways in another suburban high school district.

Planning to upgrade security at your school?

Call us to schedule a consultation and site visit.