Ensure You Have Rapid Egress and Effective Ingress Control in Schools and Educational Businesses

1010.1.4.4—locking arrangements in educational occupancies. In Group E and Group B educational occupancies, egress doors from classrooms, offices and other occupied rooms shall be permitted to be provided with locking arrangements de- signed to keep intruders from entering the room where all of the following conditions are met:

  • The door shall be capable of being unlocked from outside the room with a key or other approved means.
  • The door shall be openable from within
    the room in accordance with Section 1010.1.9.
  • Modifications shall not be made to listed panic hardware, fire-door hard- ware or door closers.

1010.1.4.4.1—remote operation of locks. Remote operation of locks complying with Section 1010.1.4.4 shall be permitted.

This classroom security lock features an indicator, noting the hardware is locked.

This classroom security lock features an indicator, noting the hardware is locked.

This language will apply to all K-12, college and university classrooms, as well as offices and other occupied rooms. The codes will now clearly state that if these types of rooms are lockable, they must be able to be unlocked from outside the room and must comply with all the existing requirements of the IBC.

Similar language also received final approval last year for the 2018 International Fire Code (IFC):

1031.2.2—locking arrangements in educational occupancies. In Group E occupancies, Group B educational occupancies and Group 1-4 child daycare occupancies, egress doors from classrooms, offices and other occupied rooms shall be permitted to be provided with locking arrangements designed to keep intruders from entering the room where all of the following conditions are met:

  • The door shall be capable of being unlocked from outside the room with a key or other approved means.
  • The door shall be openable from within the room in accordance with Section 1010.1.9.
  • Modifications shall not be made to existing listed panic hardware, fire-door hardware or door closers.
  • Modifications to fire-door assemblies shall be in accordance with NFPA 80.

Additionally, new language for the 2017 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code is expected to be approved by the end of summer 2017.

Other organizations, such as the Chantilly, Va.-based Door Security & Safety Foundation (DSSF), have also taken initiative against door barricades. Earlier this year, DSSF launched a short educational video that highlights the dangers of these types of devices and provides a better understanding of safe and secure classroom door openings. The video was developed as part of the foundation’s “Opening the Door to School Safety” campaign, which was designed to educate school administrators about the importance of safely securing classroom doors with code-compliant methods. (View the DoorSecurity & Safety Foundation’s video that highlights the dangers of door barricade devices and provides a better understanding of safe and secure classroom door openings.)

Ensure Safety while Complying with Codes

When it comes to school security—and security in general—it is always recommended to use locking systems that comply with building codes, fire codes, life-safety codes and accessibility laws. Locking hardware intended for classroom applications—and that has been certified by BHMA—offers
a safe and reliable solution compared to ad hoc devices because they comply with all codes and follow the requirements set forth by the ADA.

Ultimately, codes do not specify which hardware should be used within schools; instead, it is up to local decision-makers to decide on a case-by-case basis. Why? Because the kind of lock function desired can vary by school type (elementary school, middle school, high school or college) and room type (classroom, office, library, etc.), in addition to other considerations. As such, it is imperative that decision-makers know the benefits of BHMA-certified classroom locking hardware and the dangers posed by door barricade devices.

Examine a list of Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association-certified products.

PHOTOS: Allegion

About the Author

John Woestman
John Woestman is director of Codes & Government Affairs for the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, New York.

Be the first to comment on "Ensure You Have Rapid Egress and Effective Ingress Control in Schools and Educational Businesses"

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: