The Standard of Care is for Doors to be Locked
In response to shootings like the one at the San Bernardino elementary school on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 school administrators will start to discuss some of the measures that can be taken to deter attackers. At SafeDefend we often warn superintendents that some of the simplest steps are often overlooked in the pursuit of a one size fits all solution. Listening to professionals and following Department of Education recommendations is a good first step. A simple look at the actions of the shooter can go a long way toward thwarting such an attack in the future.
There were three adults in the room with the children. One of the aides stated that she was unaware of the presence of the perpetrator until the shooting started. The shooter was in the room when the shooting started. Why wasn’t the door locked? The standard of care for all schools is that the doors should always be locked when there are children in the classroom. No exceptions. Yes, I know, it’s inconvenient to unlock the door when they come back from the bathroom, but look at the alternative. We will never know how things could have happened differently if the teacher saw her estranged spouse knocking at the door and had an opportunity to sound the alarm.
School districts across the country are installing barricading systems in the hopes of securing against an attacker. The problem is that they take too long to implement. Even 30 seconds is too long. If the door is locked the problem is already solved. The Door Security & Safety Foundation and the National Association of State Fire Marshals have both created pamphlets that support the notion that a locked door using standard hardware can be sufficient to prevent entry into a room by an attacker. The FBI has shown that no attacker has ever breached an interior door during an attack. Side windows have been broken, but a locked door works fine. Attackers know that the police are just minutes away so there isn’t time to break down doors.
At SafeDefend we instruct businesses and schools on the best practices for surviving until law enforcement arrives. The number one thing that should be done during a sudden hostile event is to notify emergency responders as well as building occupants. Alarms in the building enable staff to initiate security protocols without having to take time to call 911, get on the intercom, or try and protect you and your students. Reducing response time has been proven to save lives. In a crisis, which one should you do first? The SafeDefend system does all of this at the swipe of a finger. www.safedefend.com