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10 Ways to Compromise School Door Security

July 31, 2014

Improper lockdown security may leave your building and occupants vulnerable

Is the most likely danger the one your building isn’t prepared for? As schools prepare to welcome returning students and teachers, security/architect partners and school professionals should be wary of untested security and lockdown products that could actually increase safety risks.

“Students and teachers are about 30,000 times more likely to experience a non-fatal violent assault or theft-related crime in school rather than a fatal active assailant,” says April Dalton-Noblitt, director of vertical marketing for Allegion, a provider of security products and solutions. “It’s important to protect students and staff from a violent intruder, but school must also protect them from more likely causes of harm. These include student-on-student or student-on-teacher violence or uncontrolled access to property.”

Security providers and educational facilities managers should ensure that any security protocol that has been implemented has been tested and doesn’t leave strategic weaknesses. Review these 10 door issues that could impede egress:

  1. Door hardware that forces an individual to step out of the room to lock the door, exposing that person to the intruder or conflict in the hallway.

  2. Hardware with the “unrestricted ability” to lock or unlock the door. This lets anyone – including students – take control of an opening.

  3. Magnets or tape on the door to prevent latching. Not only is this a code violation if the door is fire-rated but in lockdowns, one wants the door to latch without having to open the door first.

  4. School doors that don’t automatically close or can be left propped open, potentially preventing them from being in a ready position during an emergency lockdown.

  5. Security devices that are not permanently attached to the door, requiring staff to locate and attach the device in the midst of a lockdown emergency where seconds count and physical and emotional stress is extreme.

  6. Hardware that slows or prevents egress during an emergency situation

  7. Devices that attach to the door closer arm to prevent the door from being opened. This is another violation of the egress codes.

  8. Floor bolts or other devices that obstruct the door and don’t let it close.

  9. Anything that prohibits entrance or restricts the normal function of the door hardware by emergency responders.

  10. Any option that might be accessed or used by an unauthorized person acting with ill intentions. This could be a student, visitor, or another staff member.

Wondering if your building’s door security is at risk? Take a look at 5 Essentials for Door Security to ensure access is controlled the right way.

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