Watch for these ten things when assessing school safety

WP_7329_590x332Safe School Week (October 19-25) is a time for schools to take stock of their security practices. Consequently, Allegion, a supplier of security products and solutions, has released a list of ten things that might actually put students and staff at greater risk of harm:

  1. Door hardware that forces an individual to step out of the room to lock the door, exposing that person to the intruder or conflict in the hallway.
  2. Hardware with “unrestricted ability” to lock or unlock the door. This lets anyone – including students – take control of an opening.
  3. Magnets or tape on the door to prevent latching. Not only is this a code violation if the door is fire-rated but, in lockdowns, one wants the door to latch without having to open the door first.
  4. School doors that don’t automatically close or can be left propped open, potentially preventing them from being in a ready position during an emergency lockdown.
  5. Security devices that are not permanently attached to the door, requiring staff to locate and attach the device in the midst of a lockdown emergency where seconds count and physical and emotional stress is extreme.
  6. Hardware that slows or prevents egress during an emergency situation.
  7. Devices which attach to the door closer arm to prevent the door from being opened. This is a violation of the egress codes.
  8. Floor bolts or other devices that obstruct the door and don’t let it close.
  9. Anything that prohibits entrance or restricts the normal function of the door hardware by emergency responders.
  10. Any option that might be accessed or used by an unauthorized person acting with ill-intent. This could be a student, visitor or another staff member.

Allegion offers a free school security assessment that can help school administrators find avenues to fund door hardware upgrades that will provide the right type of security. For more information about how to improve school security or the free safety assessment, visit the company’s website.

Energy-efficient Pella windows and doors part of sustainable schools

Pella Impervia WindowsPella Windows and Doors will be included in new LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum schoolhouses built in Arizona in 2012, as a partner in the Green Schoolhouse Series.

Three distinctive designs will replace portable classrooms or community centers in Phoenix area school districts. Construction of a 6,291 square-foot classroom and community-center building for Roadrunner Elementary School is now underway in west Phoenix. Two more Phoenix area schoolhouses are slated to break ground in 2012.

ENERGY STAR-qualified Pella Impervia fiberglass windows, donated by Pella will be featured in Green Schoolhouse Project schools. These energy-efficient windows will not crack, shrink, or warp even in extreme weather conditions, like the heat of Arizona.

In addition, EFCO aluminum storefront and door systems are to be used at the school entrances. EFCO doors are designed for use in schools and provide expansive floor-to-ceiling storefront glazing to provide dramatic entrances. EFCO entrance systems are welded to provide solid construction and low-maintenance longevity.

GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and NSSEA Partner to Improve Indoor Air Quality in America’s Schools

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) announced today that they have formed a strategic partnership to promote the manufacture and third-party certification of sustainable, low-emitting products for educational facilities.

GREENGUARD and NSSEA will collaborate on various initiatives that support enhancing the indoor air quality of schools. NSSEA, for example, will establish a program to educate its members on the benefits of achieving third-party certification for their products to verify their indoor air quality performance.

GE, Lithonia Lighting want better school lighting

GE Lighting, Cleveland and Lithonia Lighting, Atlanta, have combined efforts to help schools improve their classroom lighting quality and cut energy costs by as much as 50%. The information-delivery vehicle for this new effort is a website at www.BetterLightingBetterSchools.com.
   According to the press release: “Better quality, more controllable and efficient lighting is an investment that ought to be on the radar screens of school districts across the U.S. this year. Superintendents, business managers, and school boards can take a meaningful step toward extraordinary, lasting lighting energy savings—and improved, more flexible learning environments—by visiting www.BetterLightingBetterSchools.com.”

GE and Lithonia's www.BetterLightingBetterSchools.com website is a new resource aimed at helping schools improve lighting and cut energy costs.

   The site provides a spectrum of information about how schools can improve lighting energy efficiency. It features a lighting audit request form tied to the introduction of energy-efficient Class Pack Lighting Systems from GE Lighting and Lithonia Lighting. By installing Class Pack Lighting Systems, schools can reduce annual lighting-related energy costs as much as 50%.
   “We want to help school districts across the country understand the significant opportunity that today’s energy-efficient lighting systems can provide,” said Jason Raak, a marketing manager with GE’s lighting business. “Recent new product advancements make current high-performance lighting far superior to systems installed just five years ago, and payback periods are shorter than ever.”
   Qualified school representatives can use www.BetterLightingBetterSchools.com to request a school or district-wide energy audit (restrictions apply). Visitors to the site will see a host of supporting statistics and details on how school executives can reduce the cost to renovate facilities by using NEMA premium ballasts and CEE qualified HPT8 lamps which, in many regions, can defray initial costs through utility rebate eligibility.
   The Class Pack Lighting Systems combine high-light-output, full-spectrum fluorescent lighting with a ballast system that delivers customized lighting levels on a two-lamp platform. With fewer, longer-life components, it minimizes maintenance and lamp replacement costs. It’s designed for fast, easy installation after school is out for the day or during summer renovations.
   “We think BetterLightingBetterSchools.com provides school districts with many of the resources needed to make smart financial decisions about lighting and energy savings,” said Monik Mehra, director of marketing, Lithonia Lighting. “It’s a vital tool at a time when school districts have to do more with less, while striving to improve the quality of their students’ learning experience.”—Gary L. Parr