School Safety: Classroom Locks (March 2013 School Leader Update)
School administrators are considering extraordinary steps to secure their buildings against unauthorized entry. This memo is not final guidance; rather, it is intended to make schools aware of the minimum allowable fire code requirements. The Iowa Department of Public Safety is putting this out to try to get ahead of the classroom safety debate before other well-intentioned acts take place, such as installing deadbolts on classroom doors. At the outset, this may not appear to be an issue. However, if the doors are also locked to prevent exit in any type of emergency, this is not only a violation of Iowa’s fire safety regulations, but schools incur unnecessary debt to install and remove the locks.
Contact your local fire inspector for more information regarding fire code requirements. A list of inspectors is available at http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/main/contact/index.shtml.