Students learn and gather in the gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria and other large spaces, making them an extension of the classroom. These areas should be able to quickly lockdown, just like traditional classrooms. These doors are also very important to consider because of the potential for many building occupants to be gathered there, which means they must also meet fire code.
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Exit devices are required on any space that can hold more than 50 people. Von Duprin offers products to fit all a variety of needs with options for reducing noise, visual indicators to show if the door is locked, and automatic lockdown.
An additional point of security to consider is the use of cross-corridor doors. These doors allow for a section of the building to be blocked off and locked. They were originally intended to contain smoke during a fire. However, they also play an important purpose when it comes to school security.
Considerations when using cross-corridor doors to compartmentalize for security:
The school must have a means of immediately notifying building occupants that a security breach is taking place.
In most cases, the doors must allow free egress from the push side and can only be locked on the pull side.
Impact-resistant glazing should be used in doors and sidelights adjacent to the door hardware, to delay access to the inside lever or touchpad through broken glass.
Planned egress routes should lead out of the building through outer doors—preferably directing occupants away from lobbies and other congested areas.
Periodic drills should address the use of cross-corridor doors and the planned egress routes.
Keys or access-control credentials should be readily available to allow emergency access to secured areas.
Example Solution for Cross Corridor Doors
Specify panic hardware that is locked on the access (pull) side, with wall-mounted electromagnetic holders.
The doors are held open most of the time but can be released with the push of a button-typically in the main office-that cuts power to the magnetic holders.
Depending on the system, this could also be done automatically when the alarm sounds to indicate a security breach.
Since the access side of the hardware is already locked, the doors are automatically secure as soon as they are closed.