Utah Governor Gary Herbert has recently signed a bill allowing schools to install security locks to barricade classroom doors in the event of a school lockdown or drill.
Safety at school
On the heels of yet another school shooting, parents continue to question their children’s safety while at school. While gun control is the hot topic, there are other measures to protect students. One of these safety measures is to allow teachers to barricade their doors to keep their students safe from dangerous situations that may be taking place elsewhere in the building or nearby the school. Until now, Utah law prohibited security locks on most classroom doors due to fire hazards. Now the state is letting each school district decide for themselves whether or not to install school security locks.
S.B. 87 – School Security Locks
S.B. 87 which Gov. Herbert signed “amends the International Building Code and International Fire Code regarding:
• Hardware height on a door for certain occupancies for purposes of a lockdown or a lockdown drill; and
• Door operations provisions for locks and bolts, and latching and unlatching, for certain occupancies for purposes of a lockdown or a lockdown drill;”
Specifically, classroom doors are now allowed to have “one lock below 34 inches” and “a second lock . . . for purposes of a lockdown or lockdown drill” as long as:
• “The application of the lock is approved by the code official.
• The unlatching of any door or leaf does not require more than two operations.
• The lock can be released from the opposite side of the door on which it is installed.
• The lock is only applied during lockdown or during a lockdown drill.
• The lock complies with all other state and federal regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act”.
Local school administrations
Parents and teachers are encouraged to speak to the administrations of their local schools to see about implementing the new option to install school security locks. While this safety measure is permitted by Utah law, door barricades and locks are not funded on a state level. Schools and families should consult with each other to discuss the best course of action to fund this project to give added protection to their students within their district boundaries.