One of the best ways to improve school security is to pay attention to fire safety measures. Every so often, it is easy to fall into the accidental trap of complacency – refusing to update or replace fire safety systems and life safety measures just because there have always been good results in the past. While doors and windows need to be securable, they can’t be the cause of a needless tragedy because they won’t open during a fire.
Complying with Door Regulations
Every door in a school building is heavily regulated. Different structures will have different fire codes, depending on the type of entry it is and whether or not it is a fire exit. The two primary regulations that guide the creation of new guidelines are the International Building Code, or IBC, and the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code, or LSC. When it comes to keeping a school safe in the event of a fire, it is essential to comply with all relevant door regulations. That means preserving the means of egress within the building – entrances, exits, hallways, and corridors that lead from the inside to a safe location outside. Desks and door jammers can be easily moved aside and thus do not count as obstructions that are affected by guidelines and regulations.
Egress doors can be designed to prevent someone from coming in, such as an intruder, but they cannot deny exit. Doors must open easily to allow egress; keys and associated mechanisms can be used, but the key can’t be removable when the door is locked from the egress side. Also, any egress doors added to the school building can’t present problems that can delay safe escape, and panic bars must be installed in buildings with greater capacity.
Overcoming Current Challenges
Exterior doors must allow unrestricted egress, but this is a problem because intruders can quickly enter through them. Meanwhile, interior doors can be used to help slow down the spread of smoke, flames, and fumes associated with raging fires that can quickly grow out of control no matter whether they are in the cafeteria kitchen, the science lab, or somewhere else on campus. Interior doors can also hamper school shooters during an active shooter situation, but they need to be kept secured. Conventional current lock systems can also create new problems during lockdowns or fires that can make it even more hazardous for anyone inside the room, for both students and faculty alike.
Trust the Professionals at ARK Systems
Located in Columbia, Maryland, ARK Systems provides unsurpassed quality and excellence in the security industry, from system design through to installation. We handle all aspects of security with local and remote locations. With over 30 years in the industry, ARK Systems is an experienced security contractor. Trust ARK to handle your most sensitive data storage, surveillance, and security solutions.