A locksmith has come up with a 'universal' lockdown device that solves the problem of teachers fumbling with keys to lock classes during an emergency:
To summarize, the 'device' requires a door have ANSI F84/F05 'Classroom Function' locks, where free egress is always from inside, and locking is outside by key only so you can't lock teacher out. The magnet solution is just to keep the lock 'locked', and cover up the latch with a magnet.
However, I see a few considerable problems with this:
Many doors don't stay closed unless they are latched. Buildings settle, hinges wear, and frames warp. These doors often just swing open, which means thatmagnet is only useful on well adjusted openings.
If the door is a firedoor,this magnet violates code. From NFPA 80 (188.8.131.52.3): ...in a fire emergency, the door (shall) becomes positively latched... (This is to ensure the door acts as a firebreak and protects the occupants inside.)
A prankster just needs to slide the magnet down a few inches to lock the teacher out.
The teacher still has to open the classroom door to potential danger to remove the magnet.
The most comment sentiment I've read from industry types is that "This product is ingenious AND cheap! Just what the market needs more of!"
I think it is foolish, potentially dangerous, and gimmicky. Ifcost is an issue, the magnet may be cheap, but I can just take a wad of paper and stick it in the strikebox for free. Would that receive accolades for ingenuity?