What’s inside the new door barricade device rules

The Ohio Board of Building Standards has finalized the door barricade device rules mandated by HB 64. Found in the Ohio Building Code, the rules address active shooter drills, emergency situations, and establishes conditions for the use of the temporary locking devices.  The rules are effective as of April 18, 2016.

Generally, the building code requires door handles to be accessible, meaning they should not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist to operate. The new rules provide an exception to the building code for temporary locking devices. Doors also must require only one motion to unlatch a door, but an exception has been built into the code for barricade devices. The devices may not be permanently mounted to the door. Individual parts of the device, such as bolts, stops, brackets, pins, etc. that don’t prevent ingress or egress through the door may be mounted permanently. If they affect the fire rating of a rated fire door assembly, they may not be permanently mounted.

To use the devices in compliance with the new code, the school district must have:

1. Adopted and filed a school safety plan.

2. The barricade devices may be used only in an emergency or during active shooter drills.

3. Only a trained member of the school staff may use the devices for a finite period of time, as determined by the school administrative authority according to the school safety plan.

4. The district must provide training to school staff on the temporary locking device, keep records of the training, and provide those records to the fire official upon request.

5. The district must provide proof to the building official that the fire and police officials with jurisdiction over the school building have been notified about the placement of the temporary locking devices.

6. The building official will approve the devices upon compliance with all rules, and will note the same on the certificate of occupancy.

Operation of the barricade device may not require more than one operation to be removed after it has been engaged. Two operations are permitted to remove the device only if the building has an automatic sprinkler system throughout the building. The building code notes that the Americans with Disabilities Act may affect the use and operation of temporary locking devices like door barricades, but states that this potential issue is outside the scope of the rules.

There are different vendors selling barricade devices, and not all of them may be compliant with the rules as outlined above. For example, the placement of the device (low, medium, or high on the door) or devices that require more than one motion to remove once engaged may be problematic. Carefully consider the requirements before selecting barricade devices for your schools: we suggest working with your local fire officials. Consult counsel for specific questions.