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Legislation Approves Use of Lockdown Devices
Governor Whitmer signed into law Public Act 45 of 2020, effective June 1, 2020, which amends the Construction of School Buildings Act to permit a temporary door locking device or system to be installed in school buildings. The Act clarifies that this installation does not violate the Fire Code.
A “temporary door locking device or system” (lockdown device) is an “anchoring mechanism or system installed on the interior side of a door that, when engaged, secures the door against forced entry.” Before installing a lockdown device, school officials must receive approval from the local building code enforcing agency that the lockdown device:
- May be locked without opening the door;
- May be disengaged from the door’s interior side without a tool or key;
- May be unlocked and opened from the door’s exterior with a tool or key;
- May be released from the door’s exterior by a properly trained firefighter, law enforcement officer, or school official;
- Is portable and not permanently affixed to the door;
- Does not modify the door closure, panic hardware, or fire exit hardware; and
- Complies with statutory requirements for those with physical impairments.
School officials must notify local law enforcement and the fire department before installing a lockdown device. Additionally, a school must provide training about the lockdown device to school staff working in a building with such a device.
If your school already has a lockdown device installed, the local building code enforcing agency must approve the device if:
- Within 90 days after June 1, 2020, school building administrators submit to the local building code enforcing agency drawings, diagrams, and installation instructions that demonstrate how the lockdown device meets the above-listed requirements;
- School building administrators apply for and obtain necessary permits outlined in PA 45; and
- The local building code enforcing agency inspects the device and determines it meets PA 45’s requirements.
If your school is considering purchasing a lockdown device or if a lockdown device is already installed, contact your Thrun Law Firm attorney to discuss the intricacies of the amended statute and how they may affect your school.