How Do You Secure A School Door?
The first step is to lock the door to prevent entry, but door locks aren’t the sturdiest defense. Because of that, there are additional steps that you can take to add more security to the classroom doorway. Some tools are easier than others, but every situation is different. Adaptability is a skill that could save your life. Other options for securing classroom doors in an emergency are:
Barricading the doors: Teachers and students can work together to block an intruder from entering their space if it is safe to do so. Many schools have initiated protocols to use desks and other furniture to prevent intruders. With practice and preparation, a system like this could be implemented quickly and may save lives.
Replace the doors: Many building and safety administrators have opted to have new doors installed for added safety. For example, new locking mechanisms can be installed in certain situations, but you may need a new entry to ensure your equipment works properly. In addition, if you install new features on a door not meant for the product, your safety features may not activate correctly.
Install additional safety features to existing doors: Another great option for added safety measures is to have more advanced features added to your existing doorways. You can contact Perimeter, who specializes in custom door installations, to provide a walkthrough and an estimate for the cost of these additions. In most cases, companies like Perimeter will work with you to establish your security needs and develop a plan that works within your budget and protects your students and staff.
What Features Should A School Door Security Device Have?
Every emergency is different. No one ever responds to danger the same way, and that is why we consider all the possible outcomes when developing new safety procedures in schools. Many factors go into planning proper safety protocols, but there are a few features that every security door should offer.
Durability: It isn’t highly likely that an intruder will try to force themselves into a locked room, but you will still want to be prepared for that possibility. If you already have an established security door to prevent harm, you should test it to ensure it can withstand force from the outside (the intruder side).
Accessibility: Safety devices should NOT require intense pushing, twisting, or pinching. The devices should also be within reach for those with disabilities to activate. For your device to be effective for everyone who may use it, it’s best to ensure the activation method is kept lower to the floor but remains covered so it is not activated by accident.
Activates Quickly: Easy single-step activation is preferred to ensure that anyone who feels threatened can easily engage new safety features in one step instead of several time-consuming ones. The device should NOT require any unique or strenuous hand gestures or movements to activate it. The last thing you want to do is waste valuable time that your life may depend on.
Doesn’t violate current safety laws or building codes: Locks must not require special keys or tools to be re-opened. Ignoring this suggestion can lead to more danger if someone becomes trapped in a room.
What Are The Requirements for School Security Doors?
When you factor in items like safety regulations, fire and emergency protocols, and the law, there needs to be more clarity about what safety mechanism you should use for your school or place of business. Sure, door safety devices have pros and cons, but it is best to plan and execute your protocols based on the unique needs of the building in question.
Protocols vary widely even within the same state. If you have questions regarding safety planning, contact your local building inspector, fire chief, or your local law enforcement to learn how to keep your school safe and stay up to code. Some commonly agreed-upon features are as follows;
• The mechanism should prevent entry into the room but not stop people from escaping if needed.
• The installation should not interfere with other established safety features, like automatic locks, sensor-activated devices, or fire and other safety alarms.
• If the installation requires modifications, they should be up to code for your local and state governing bodies.
The mechanism should allow the door to “Open Out” so that it can be pushed from the inside and not prevent escape.
Of course, this is just a short list of considerations before committing to a safety plan. In addition, you should talk to your appointed officials to confirm you are abiding by your area's safety laws and regulations. These officials are selected specifically to help maintain safe work and school environments for the citizens they are sworn to protect. Therefore, they should have all the information you need to be code-compliant.
How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade My School's Security Doors?
It really depends on the type of added security your are looking for. Some factors that can affect the price for new security doors depends on labor and your school’s requirements. Also, it depends on what you are trying to guard against. If you are seeking doors that provide protection from weather and natural disasters, those can be less expensive as compared to bullet-proof doors for an active-shooter situation. You also will want to hire an experienced installer to complete the job for quality and accuracy. Having an expert perform the installation offers more for you as a customer, insured work, and affordable maintenance visits.
To determine the cost of your door installation, consider what features are needed to be effective. For example, some facilities use automatic locking doors with a lockdown feature deployed in emergencies. These systems use automatic locks, cameras, and sensors with regular monitoring. You should also find out whether you can use your existing classroom doors or if you need to purchase new ones. If your doorways do not accommodate your desired additional features, you may require a completely new installation. Some features demand upgraded equipment for the system you want to function as it should.