Nothing invokes fear more than an active shooter. In 2019 alone, almost 250 people were shot during active shooter situations. Thousands more witnessed the events and experienced psychiatric problems.
A shooter can appear in your building at any moment. You need to protect yourself through several different means. One means is a door barricade.
Many people are confused by an emergency door barricade. They assume they are illegal or too hard to use. That’s far from the truth.
Keep you and the people you love safe with the facts. Here is your quick guide to the door barricade.
A Door Barricade Should Meet Other Safety Requirements
Door barricade devices should not impede other aspects of building safety. The most common one is fire evacuation. A barricade should not prevent people from evacuating the room if a fire starts.
Public doors must swing outward. In the event of an emergency, occupants should be able to push on the door and leave. If your device prevents you from doing this, you should not install it.
You should be able to activate the device with minimal effort. An active shooter situation can occur at any moment so you should be able to barricade your door in a few seconds.
You should also be able to take your device off. You may need to evacuate your room, especially if the shooter enters a window or side door. You will also need to let in law enforcement.
The device should not create noise. It should not draw a shooter’s attention with movement or noise.
A person who has never seen the device before should be able to use it. You may not be in the room when an active shooter situation starts. It should have an intuitive design that even children understand.
The barricade should withstand high force. A shooter should not be able to kick the door down. It should give enough time for an entire room to evacuate.
Review the fire and safety codes for your building before purchasing a barricade. Make sure any product you choose meets all of the codes.
Whichever product you buy, test it out. If it doesn’t work, return it right away.
There Are Multiple Kinds of Devices
Reinforcement plates are one of the simplest ways to increase safety. They are metal plates installed over the latch, keeping it from being kicked in.
You can also install a reinforcement lock. The lock has an arm that latches the door shut, keeping it from opening. Even if the frame breaks, the door will remain closed.
If your door has a door closer, you can install a door-closer disabler. This slides over the closer, keeping the door from opening. You can install one in seconds and it produces no noise.
A door barricade bar fits over the doorknob. It keeps it from being twisted and opening into the room. When you need to remove the bar, you can use a safety pin to pull it off.
Door jammers go at the bottom of the door. They keep the door from being forced open. Simple jammers are made from plastic or metal, but they provide enough security from an active shooter.
Advanced door jammers lock onto floor plates. They become anchored to the floor, keeping the door shut.
Companies like Rhinoware even include remote technology. When the jammer is activated, a signal goes to 911 to send the police. Read more about Rhinoware before purchasing a product.
Incorporate a Door Barricade With Other Strategies
A door barricade can only work if you use it in coordination with other safety strategies. The easiest active shooter situation to stop is one that never occurs.
Active shooters show a number of warning signs before engaging in their attacks. They may engage in aggressive behaviors, or they may say that they are being wronged. Their performance at school or work may change, and they may undergo dramatic shifts in their personalities.
Check in with people who show these signs. Ask them if they are okay. If they seem obsessed with violence, tell them to seek psychiatric help.
Many people are on edge about an active shooter situation. A loud bang or screaming in another room can induce panic. Remain calm and assess the situation before concluding a shooter is in the building.
When a situation unfolds, you should evacuate the building. Go out through an exit, including emergency doors with alarms. Crawl out through a window.
Keep running until you are out of sight. Once you are, call 911 and tell them what is going on.
If you cannot evacuate, use your barricade. Draw blinds over the windows and turn off the lights. Move everyone away from the door and place objects between you and it.
Stay quiet and calm. Wait until law enforcement arrives. Do not open the door unless multiple officers come to it.
If the shooter does manage to enter your room, fight them. Stab and strike them with improvised weapons. Continue attacking them until they are incapacitated.
Stopping an Active Shooter
A door barricade keeps an active shooter from entering your room. But you need to read fire and safety codes for your building.
Make sure the device does not attract a shooter’s attention with noise. It should be easy to use and disarm.
You have a range of devices to choose from. The easiest solutions are new locks. Other ones include bars and door jammers.
Evacuate the building if a situation presents itself. If the shooter enters your room, fight back with everything you got.
Staying safe means you have to stay smart. Follow our coverage for informative safety guides.
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