Security Technology Executive

JUL-AUG 2018

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COVER STORY 20 SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE • July/August 2018 • www. SecurityInfoWatch.com [These bullets are from an article that was originally published in Door Security + Safety Magazine – Lori Greene "Class- room security considerations"] For liability reasons, any school contemplating the use of retrofit secu- rity devices should first obtain written approval from the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) on that entity's letter- head. Buyers beware. Successful Government Efforts? Let's turn now to government efforts to address school violence. Ronald Rea- gan famously said, "I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the Eng- lish language are: I'm from the Govern- ment, and I'm here to help." Despite the humorous implication, some govern- ment efforts have been successful. The Indiana School Safety Specialist Acade- my (ISSSA) is perhaps the best example. In place since 1999, the ISSSA requires every school district in the state to have at least one "safety specialist." Specialists must initially attend five days of training in school safety and security best prac- tices. Every year after that, they must recertify with two days of training. The ISSSA does an exemplary job of selecting important topics and skilled instructors from the state and national ranks. As a result, most districts certify between two and five specialists. The state of New Jer- sey recently followed Indiana's model in COVER STORY events. For example, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports that "From 2011-2015, U.S. fire depart- ments responded to an estimated aver- age of 4,980 structure fires in educational properties each year." Convenience can trump security. Classroom instruction can take place while doors are closed and locked. 2018 editions of the International Fire Code (IFC), the International Build- ing Code (IBC) and NFPA 101–The Life Safety Code carry the following class- room doors mandates. • Egress doors must be unlatched by one releasing operation from the egress side. Hardware used to release the latch(es) must be mounted between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor. One operation must release all latches simultane- ously—the model codes do not allow separate operations to release each individual security device. • Operation of the hardware for egress must be accomplished without tight grasping , pinching or twisting of the wrist, and without the use of a key, tool, special knowledge or effort. Whether the lock is electrified or mechanical, it must allow free egress from the classroom side of the door. • Locked classroom doors must be able to be unlocked from the outside with a key or other approved means, to allow access for school staff and emergency responders. • Door closers, panic hardware and fire exit hardware may not be modi- fied by retrofit locking devices, and modifications to fire door assemblies must be in accordance with NFPA 80—Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives. • The facility's emergency plan must address the locking and unlocking of classroom doors and staff must be drilled in these operations. • For new construction, classroom doors must be lockable from within the classroom without opening the door. creating its own School Safety Specialist Academy. The Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS) is another model program. By law, the Center pro- vides training for stakeholders, develops resources, facilitates the annual school safety audit (a requirement for every school to conduct a safety audit), and provides technical assistance. The his- tory of success caused the Maryland Cen- ter for School Safety to mirror VCSCS's initiatives. Unsuccessful Government Efforts? A recent and ongoing study by the Police Foundation found that prior to the Mar- jory Stoneman Douglas tragedy; only 15 states had any requirements regard- ing school facility security. Those states include Indiana, Virginia, New Jersey, California, Nebraska, Louisiana, Mis- sissippi, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Connecticut , Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maine. In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, many other states are scrambling to establish standards and best practices. Kevin Wren wonders why government officials are so reactive. " Why can't lead- ers learn from previous incidents and implement change instead of acting like they are always shocked and disturbed by the level of violence. We do not need to create another school safety task force to talk about the issue so we can tell our constituents that we are doing some- thing. There have been safety task forces put together after every major event. We need to implement and fund the recom- mendations that were created from the previous conversations after Columbine, after Sandy Hook and the many other school shootings before reacting to the latest event." Soon after the Parkland tragedy, the federal government introduced the Stu- dents, Teachers, and Officers Prevent- ing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018). However, State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (LLEAs) were » Where security products and systems are concerned, invest in communications and access control. «

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