NFPA Stands Against Ad-hoc Barricade Devices

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) met in May of 2018 with the purpose to address life and safety codes. During that meeting was noted the growing trend of targeted gun violence in public gathering locations and event spaces. This comes in a time when some barricade type products are promoting themselves as security solutions in active shooter situations. Even though these (often not code-compliant) products do prohibit entry from outside danger, they also prevent help from easily entering a room or those in danger from easily exiting a room.”We have serious concerns with these types of devices. First off, they usually require some special knowledge to engage it,” states Robert Solomon, Director of Building Fire Protection & Fire Protection Systems talking about the NFPA’s stance on barricade type device usage in an NFPA video to address the concern.

“That’s a potential problem. Number two, they definitely require special knowledge to disengage it and that’d be in direct conflict with our life and safety code provisions.” One of the objectives of the Building Safety and Security Workshop was to more closely determine door locking protocols and to respond to the growing amount of products that endanger people by not meeting the requirements of their provisions.

“Ad hoc, interim solutions such as adding door locks, is oftentimes pointed to as the best or easiest solution … Unfortunately, these devices often violate the fundamental premise of many existing code requirements based upon a fire event,” reads the summary of the NFPA event pointing out the concerns barricade type devices and ad-hoc locks create by violating regulations and recommendations the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), International Building Codes (IBC), and NFPA have set.

Recognizing Public Gatherings as Targets for Violence

The NFPA Building Safety and Security Workshop also focused on furthering the discussion of the rise of targeted gun violence beyond simply schools and education facilities. “Seemingly, no occupancy type or venue is immune from such violence. In the last six years, targeted violence events have unfolded in schools, office buildings, a movie theater, a retail establishment, and an outdoor concert venue.”


IDN, Inc. believes in complying with authority-having-jurisdictions (AHJ) and provisions surrounding building codes, accessibility, and life and safety concerns. We stress the importance of knowledgeable sales staff aware of the concerns of unregulated security products and their usage. If you have questions about how to upgrade your current building or facility for emergency safety, contact your nearest IDN Branch to schedule an assessment or to speak our sales staff.

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Kwame Shorter is the Digital Communications and Website Specialist at IDN, Inc.