Why Would You Lock An Active Shooter INSIDE?

I came across this article about ZKAccess and their new LB7000 device that enables instant lockdown of all doors in a building in the case of an active shooter.

The article goes on to explain that in a scenario where a facility has 2 different buildings, that the device can lock down the doors in the 1st building with the active shooter inside, while leaving the 2nd building's doors unlocked so people in that building can flee to safety.

Now, I am not an access control guy, but this doesn't make sense to me.

If I am in the 2nd building and the active shooter is in the 1st building, how about you lock down MY buildings doors so the shooter can't enter. And conversely, if I am in the building with the active shooter, all doors locking might prevent the shooter from getting into the room I am in (maybe), but it also presents me now with barriers that make my own escape to safety more difficult.

I'd be interested to hear other's opinions on this subject.

In common access control use, 'lockdown' means a shooter could not open a door to enter, but would not prevent people from leaving. However, use of this term is getting sloppy.

I think that ZKAccess post example is pretty poorly written, or the product is flat insane. I'm assuming it supports 'lockdown' zoning, but that is different than locking people/threats in a building.

The tactics of dealing with active shooters with access controls are pretty bumbling, in my opinion. Too much security is projected on closed and locked doors. Unfortunately, shooters will shoot their way through locked doors, the walls/windows beside them (ie: Sandyhook), or force hostages to open doors at gunpoint (ie: Charlie Hebdo).

At best, lockdown provides concealment (but not cover), and may delay a shooter (but not stop them).

Brian - Actually "lockout" means that doors are locked and valid cards no longer work, except perhaps special cards designated to override the lockout. "Lockdown" takes it a step further in that doors are locked such that cards cannot gain entrance, AND people cannot leave the room unless the door has some type of mechanical override such as a crash bar. We publish a white paper on Global Lock/Lockout/Lockdown, at least as define it, on our web site here. http://www.kerisys.com/emergency-lockdown-with-doors-net-and-pxl-or-nxt-hardware/

Hello Dennis: That syntax makes sense, and I appreciate the clarity. The difference between 'lockout' vs' lockdown' is clearer then.

However, the problem is these aren't standard terms and too many use 'lockdown' when 'lockout' is more appropriate.

Thanks for the comment.

The way I read this, the NFPA considers lockdown to apply to barriers to both ingress and egress, however the egress barriers cannot be implemented in the locking hardware itself.

So, does it mean thru authorative agents, or is the barrier just that you have to crash the bar?

I do not understand the question? 'Authoritative agent?'

For commercial/public occupancies, codes do not prohibit the door from being locked. You simply cannot prevent anyone egress.

If you use barricades, or lock the opening in a way that more than one action or special knowledge/key is required to open it, the door does not meet code (ie: IBC 1008.1.9).

I do not understand the question? Authorative agent?

According to the NFPA, a external threat lockdown implementation consists of "Barriers to both Ingress AND Egress". In the next column, they state as you have repeatedly, that the interior locking hardware shall allow egress.

The question is simply, what does NFPA mean by a "Barrier to egress", since it obviously does not mean the locking hardware?

Agreed, it sounds backwards.

Though the product can be used as you say or any number of ways.

What is the legality of lockdown anyway, what does code say about that?

Perhaps the ambitious editorial staff may have taken this quote

?"We are very pleased to bring the LB7000 lockdown solution to market," says Larry Reed, CEO, ZKAccess. "Sadly we live in dangerous times. Schools unfortunately are no longer the safe haven for our children they once were. We're seeing increasingly more horrific atrocities committed by active shooters who now target our schools. The LB7000 allows facility managers to quickly lockdown their buildings and, hopefully, contain the shooters and limit the damage shooters can inflict."

and created this

If, for example, a campus has only two buildings, the facilities manager can opt to create two groups, one for reach building. If a threat is reported in only one building, the manager can accordingly lock down all the doors in that particular building and keep the doors open in the other building so occupants can evacuate.

What is the legality of lockdown anyway, what does code say about that?

Code tells you you can't trap people inside. If a door (in a relevant occupancy code) can be unlocked and opened in one egress movement (ie: Exit Devices Tutorial), the rules don't prohibit locked doors.

But if anyone inside can get out with one movement, how is that a lockdown?

You might be interested in this topic: Barricade Locks - Pros vs Cons

I am interested, and have read it, thanks.

As for the "lockdown", Wikipedia says this

...a partial lockdown means that the doors leading outside of the building are locked and people may not exit or enter the building. A full lockdown means that people must stay where they are and may not exit or enter a classroom, apartment unit, store unit, an office space, condo unit or the building.

I don't see how a true lockdown device could be compliant, from everything mentioned in that thread. What am I missing?

I won't comment on what wikipedia defines, but rather how "lockdown" is used in buildings that meet code. Life/Safety codes are clear and legally binding to follow where they apply.

In that case it sounds like you agree with my assessment that the author of the article likely added an example that was erroneous:

If, for example, a campus has only two buildings, the facilities manager can opt to create two groups, one for reach building. If a threat is reported in only one building, the manager can accordingly lock down all the doors in that particular building and keep the doors open in the other building so occupants can evacuate.

The implication is that the people in the lockdown buildings can't evacuate, which would be illegal.

Lock downs for active shooters vary, in general you want to restrict access to anyone entering the building or additional areas in the building while allowing free access to exit (egress). This prevents innocents from entering the area. Even in a lock down, the free exiting rules still apply.

In this scenario all buildings would typically be locked down, preventing ingress to regular credential holders. It would enable access to special credentials, typically issued to security with the ability to pass to law enforcement.

If they have a mustering location(s) then you know who is still in the building which is a bonus...UNLESS...the perpetrator is familiar with the policies and then that becomes the target. All good deeds have issues.

Do you think that what is described in the OP is legal then? Yes/No

I think the OP referenced an article that lacks sufficient detail.

This device appears to be a simple point where someone can go to "lockdown" a building or group of buildings as well as see the status of the doors without being at a computer. As it states "a lockbox" location.

As for what it defines as a "lock down" that level of detail is missing. If it were to activate separate "bolt locks" that could not be operated until released by this device then I think many AHJ's would have a serious issue with it. Actually I don't know a single one that would allow it.

To answer a question from above, lockdown is simply to prevent anyone from getting into the building. If you are in the building, you can exit. The only thing that can physically stop you is an adult. Whether or not individual classrooms are locked varies greatly. Some schools within the same district lock doors as a practice during normal circumstances, others do not. Some cannot be locked.

Looks like U1M beat me to it.

Thanks for the info, people!

It appears that Brian's assessment in the first reply is right on - it was just poorly written in the article.

... I'm still unsure how I feel about an auto-locking solution in an active shooter scenario. Too many variables, imo.

The facility first needs to develop an emergency plan/active shooter plan. Out of this plan will come the need, if any, to lock down specific doors or groups of doors. You want to keep the bad guys out, but also need to be able to let the good guys (students walking between buildings, emergency responders, etc) in, as well as comply with emergency egress requirements.

I have developed many such plans and I can tell you that this subject is a lot more complicated than it first looks. Sometimes there are just no good options available.

This is one of those cases where the plan should drive the equipment selection and not the other way around. Too often, equipment manufacturers try to take advantage of recent news events to promote their products as a "quick-fix" to problems that they really have no understanding of.

Why would you lock an active shooter Inside? You own a gun range....