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

Automatic Door Operators For Access Tutorial on Sep 20, 2017
Opening and closing doors might sound simple, but it takes a high-tech piece of door hardware to pull it off. Integrating automatic door operators...
HID Buys Mercury Security on Sep 19, 2017
One of the biggest access control deals in years. Mercury Security, the most widely used access hardware OEM, and partner to 20+ manufacturers,...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
Master Keying Tutorial on Sep 14, 2017
Mechanical keys are the most fundamental, albeit unsophisticated, form of access control. Like access control, Master Keying allows large scale use...
Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Tutorial on Sep 13, 2017
Few terms carry greater importance in access control than 'fail safe' and 'fail secure'. Access control professionals must know how these concepts...
Axis: Use QR Codes Instead of Access Cards on Sep 12, 2017
Innovation in access may be hard to find, but Axis recently suggested an idea for credentials few have considered. Rather than using plastic cards,...
Dahua and Hikvision Entering Access Control on Sep 05, 2017
Until now, Chinese video giants Hikvision and Dahua have held back releasing access internationally. Both companies have now pulled the trigger,...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Control Cards on Aug 14, 2017
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be unclear, especially because most look and feel the same. Even the most insecure 125 kHz types...
Competing Against G4S on Aug 09, 2017
G4S Secure Solutions is a global company, operating in multiple countries and offering a suite of products and services from guards to their AMAG...
ONVIF Releases Profile A for Access on Aug 08, 2017
ONVIF has struggled so far in access control. In 2014, ONVIF released Profile C for access control, but in the 3 years since, only 2 companies...

Most Recent Industry Reports

New IPVM Calculator V3 Released on Sep 20, 2017
The New IPVM Calculator V3 is released. An entirely new architecture delivers the following benefits: Turbo The calculator is now ~50% faster in...
Automatic Door Operators For Access Tutorial on Sep 20, 2017
Opening and closing doors might sound simple, but it takes a high-tech piece of door hardware to pull it off. Integrating automatic door operators...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...
HID Buys Mercury Security on Sep 19, 2017
One of the biggest access control deals in years. Mercury Security, the most widely used access hardware OEM, and partner to 20+ manufacturers,...
Hikvision Backdoor Exploit on Sep 18, 2017
Full disclosure to the Hikvision backdoor has been released, allowing easy exploit of vulnerable Hikvision IP cameras. As the researcher, Monte...
Avigilon Touting 'Made In America' on Sep 18, 2017
Canadian manufacturer Avigilon, who completed a US manufacturing facility in 2015, is now running a marketing campaign touting 'Made In America',...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
Forgotten Password Problem Importance on Sep 15, 2017
Forgotten passwords has become a major industry topic. For example, Hikvision has been emailing admin passwords in plain text until IPVM's...
September IP Networking Course on Sep 14, 2017
LAST Chance - Registration is ending. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals...

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