It has come to our attention that a school has recently been forced to remove its door barricade devices, which were not provided by the LockOut Company, and replace many of its interior doors due to code compliance issues, costing the school hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. While while situation is certainly difficult to deal with for the school in question, we believe that the majority of the responsibility does not lie with the school administration, who were likely wholeheartedly attempting to protect their students and staff in the event of a lockdown, but with the door barricade provider in question.
Understanding Building Codes
Fire, as well as various other codes, can be complicated when it comes to implementing a building lockdown system, especially in schools. Fire and police code writers work tirelessly to ensure that schools are safe buildings to occupy. Therefore, lockdown system providers must also work tirelessly to understand the codes being written, and update not only their physical systems, but also their installation, training, and continued maintenance programs to remain compliant at all times. At The LockOut Company, we work directly with police and fire personnel everyday to ensure that our systems and implementation remain compliant. If we ever find that we could potentially fall out of compliance based on a new code, we immediately update our processes to avoid a potential disaster like the one that prompted this article.
Why a Comprehensive Site-Evaluation Is So Vital
While we commend any school, or any facility for that matter, for taking steps to protect those that occupy their buildings, we also see, everyday, companies that are more interested in selling products than creating a comprehensive lockdown system for their customers. Many door barricade providers simply sell and ship their products, often online, to customers that may not be equipped to properly evaluate their facility and make the best choices when it comes to implementing these devices. This is why we provide free site evaluations which allow us to completely analyze a facility or campus, while receiving and providing any important information which may change the implementation process for that particular customer. This site evaluation allows us to create not only an implementation plan, but also to begin the lockdown planning process. We then become a partner with the customer, working together in an often months-long process to develop and implement numerous safety measures that extend beyond the physical hardware and applications surrounding the LockOut System.
Don’t Get Stuck!
So, what does this mean for schools and other facilities like worship centers, healthcare facilities, daycares, offices, workplaces, and more that are trying to protect their occupants? Do your research, ask questions about code compliance. Ask any potential lockdown system provider if they understand your fire codes, ask if there system is compliant, ask for references, for other facilities in the area that have implemented their system. In all, be vigilant. We find it very unfortunate that a school placed its trust and hard-earned funds in the hands of a company whose product did not meet code standards, and we hope that they are able to replace the product and continue to protect their students and staff. We also hope other schools are able to avoid the same situation in the future.