Banned: Classroom Barricade Locks

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 14, 2016

In this age of classroom shootings, many are looking for barricade locks - a cheap and easy stopgap to bolster door security.  

Critics condemn barricade locks as dangerous and even deadly because they do not satisfy basic building codes, while proponents claim their simple operation and cheap price outweigh the risks.

Access dealers, worried parents, and school administrators alike have waited to see if building code exemptions would be made.

The world's biggest building code group have weighed all these arguments, and made clear their position in the upcoming 2018 edition of international building codes. Inside, we examine the changes, the proposed code, and where current barricade locks run foul.

Summary of Changes

For the new 2018 version of IBC, the industry group responsible for proposing lock and egress codes BHMA has published their recommended language for 2018 IBC 1010.1.4, called "Classroom Lock Requirements':

  • Any locked rooms must be able to be unlocked from the outside of the room
  • Egress requirements apply in that 'no special knowledge or tools are required to unlock them, and unlatching can be done in a single movement (per IBC Section 1010.1.9).
  • Modifications shall not be made to listed panic hardware, fire door hardware or door closers.

Current Barricade Locks Illegal

Even with the clarification, most (if not all) existing barricade device products will remain forbidden. For example, these ~$125 devices which have gone viral on Facebook:

As an example, these simply will not meet the clarified requirements, specifically:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

"The door shall be capable of being unlocked from outside the room with a key or other approved means" and "Modifications shall not be made to listed panic hardware, fire door hardware or door closers." (emphasis ours)

We examined this barricade lock series, and a range of other similar products in our Barricade Locks - Pros vs Cons note. Because the majority of these devices are little more than improvised hardware, prevailing concerns and objections to their use still apply in the scope of the new language.

For Many Countries, IBC Codes Are Laws

IBC language changes are important, because they directly compose architectural laws in many areas of the world. Especially for systems like access control, where many products might unintentionally contribute to injury or death of building occupants when used incorrectly, codes like IBC are important to observe to maintain life safety. If products do not meet these codes, punitive fines, building closure, and urgent corrective actions can be enforced by courts and police.

For the 'classroom lock' market, IBC requires all products or devices for securing doors must satisfy code requirements designated by version or year.  While the 2018 IBC version will not be ratified as the authoritative code in all areas immediately, in three to five years it will be the most widely used and referred to version in North America and many part of the world.

For more on the jurisdiction of IBC and other important building codes commonly applied to locks and access control, see:

IPVM Opinion Mixed

In our previous reports on barricade locks and after laying out the potential upsides and risks of the units, IPVM member opinions remain mixed on whether or not IBC barricade lock prohibition is too strong and should be exempted for classrooms:

Indeed, opinions are mixed nearly 50/50 between continuation of the ban and outright or conditional acceptance in classrooms.

In any case, IBC has upheld its former prohibition and shows no signs of changing in the future.

Comments (1)

Only IPVM PRO Members may comment. Login or Join.

Related: The Ohio building standards board on Friday gave final approval to rules allowing schools to deploy barricade devices in the event of an active shooter...

Related Reports

Hackable 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide on May 19, 2017
Despite being one of the most popular credentials, 125 kHz credentials are easily copied and insecure as we showed in our test results, video...
Smartphone Controlled Kevo Lock Tested on May 04, 2017
Smartlocks are a growing market, with millions sold. Kwikset's Kevo is one of the most common choices, using the Unikey smart phone access control...
Hack Your Access Control With This $30 HID 125kHz Card Copier on May 01, 2017
You might have heard the stories or seen the YouTube videos of random people hacking electronic access control systems. The tools that claim to do...
IPVM First Dean's List W2017 - Thomas Atkinson, Matt Hurly and Fredrik Lundqvist on Apr 24, 2017
IPVM is happy to congratulate and celebrate our first "Dean's List", the top students in our courses. For the Winter 2017 IP Networking course...
Lenel President Is Out on Apr 20, 2017
Lenel's challenges continue. Now, Lenel's President is out, suddenly. This follows increasing challenges for the company who has broadly upset...
Access Control Course Spring 2017 on Apr 14, 2017
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer training that focuses only on a small part of the...
Bosch B-Series Intrusion Tested on Apr 10, 2017
Bosch is one of the biggest names in intrusion but their B-Series panels, targeted at smaller site installs and available through distribution, are...
Milestone / Lenel Resell Partnership on Apr 03, 2017
Lenel has never found success in video management. Nearly a decade ago Lenel OEMed an OEM of Milestone. Now, in an equally uncommon move,...
ConvergenceTP (CTP) Claims VMS Integrations Simplified on Mar 30, 2017
Developing integrations with 3rd party systems can be expensive and time consuming, especially in the physical security market with hundreds of...
2Gig Intrusion Megatest (GC2 & GC3 Panels Tested) on Mar 28, 2017
2Gig is one of the most widely used intrusion systems, with two product lines that are the main offering of many alarm companies, huge national...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis Criticizes OEMs: "When You Buy An Axis Camera, An Axis Camera Is What You Get!" on May 19, 2017
When you buy a Honeywell camera, you likely get a Hikvision, Dahua or some other company's product. The same goes for easily 100 different...
Hackable 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide on May 19, 2017
Despite being one of the most popular credentials, 125 kHz credentials are easily copied and insecure as we showed in our test results, video...
Forget The Backdoor, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on May 18, 2017
Less than 2 weeks after the Hikvision Backdoor was confirmed, Hikvision has launched a sale "ON ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS". In this note, we examine...
Amazon Techs Installing IP Cameras Tested on May 18, 2017
In 2015, Amazon started offering video surveillance installation. Now, Amazon has made it a lot easier, with automatic add-on options and...
Hanwha Recorder Vulnerability Analyzed on May 18, 2017
ICS-CERT has released a vulnerability notice for Hanwha SRN-4000 recorders.  Hanwha provided additional information to IPVM about this issue,...
ShotSpotter To IPO, Facing Low Revenue and Losses on May 17, 2017
A rare event for North American security manufacturers is upcoming. ShotSpotter is planning to IPO on the NASDAQ, aiming to raise $34.5...
DMP Video Doorbell / Access Reader Examined on May 17, 2017
Consumers increasingly demand video doorbells, with "doorbells selling like hotcakes, everyone wants a doorbell", according to ADT's CEO. At ISC...
FLIR Is Giving Away $3,000 Demo Kits on May 17, 2017
Everybody likes free stuff, and FLIR is using that concept to attract dealers by giving them $3,000 worth of demo gear for attending a...
Shark Tank Startup Guard Llama Mobile Panic Tested on May 16, 2017
A Shark Tank TV show appearance has attracted big attention for Guard Llama, a security startup touting a 'panic button' paired with mobile app...
Axis Beats Avigilon Growth Rate (AVO Q1 2017) on May 16, 2017
In what is likely the first time ever, Axis beat Avigilon's revenue growth for Q1 2017. Inside this note, we examine Avigilon's Q1 2017 financial...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact