Secure Schools Alliance Opposes Proposed Changes to National Life Safety Code
Executive director says new rules could compromise classroom safety
WILMINGTON, DE (June 1, 2017) – The Secure Schools Alliance (the Alliance) opposes proposed changes to National Fire Protection Association 101 (NFPA 101) – commonly known as the Life Safety Code – that would allow a releasing mechanism to open a door leaf with up to two operations. The Life Safety Code has required hardware to unlatch with one releasing operation for almost 30 years. A door that requires one releasing operation would be more readily openable than a door that requires two or more releasing operations.
The proposed change to NFPA 101, which would apply to existing buildings in certain occupancies, including schools, does not prohibit two simultaneous releasing operations and does not require classroom door hardware to be operable without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.
“We believe that this provision violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the International Fire Code and the International Building Code,” said Robert Boyd, executive director of the Alliance. “More is not necessarily better – particularly in this case. Communities don’t have to sacrifice life safety for security. Fire codes have kept people safe for many years and the ADA aims to protect vulnerable populations, making it important to continue to abide by these statutes. There are affordable solutions available that meet codes and can be used to secure our nation’s schools.”
The Alliance is focused on improving the security infrastructure, security technology and life safety systems of America’s K-12 public schools. The Alliance and 11 other organizations representing parents, educators, first responders and industry have called on the Administration to provide resources to improve school safety and security in ways that adhere to current codes and laws.
“Schools house our nation’s future, our children, and their safety should be first. We oppose the proposed changes to NFPA 101 and urge others to do the same,” added Boyd.
About the Secure Schools Alliance
The Secure Schools Alliance and Secure Schools Research and Education are taking a leadership role in launching a national conversation about the issue of school safety and advocating a course of action for addressing it. This convening of education, industry, public safety, law enforcement, corporate and community leaders will work together to ensure the security of our nation’s schools through federal and state policy, legislation, research, pilot programs and the promotion of best practices. The goal is to improve the security infrastructure, security technology and life safety systems of all public K-12 schools.
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