ACTION LINE: Outward swinging doors a problem

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Q:  I would  like to know why, in the wake of the University California, Los Angeles shootings that doors that swing outward have not been looked at as a security issue. Bldg. 238 has some of these doors. The Quality Assurance office is one. Please let me know if this will be looked into. This issue has been brought up to prior supervision but not resolved. Thank You.

A: In examining the physical security issues raised by the UCLA active shooter event, the issue becomes more a question on how to lock doors, than one of which way they open. One of the problems noted with regard to classroom doors at UCLA was they could only be locked from the outside. This caused the teachers to have to go into the hallways to swing the doors shut and then lock them, with the teacher still outside the room. So, an active shooter lockdown plan for a facility should include ensuring doors can be locked from the inside as well as the outside. Another consideration is safety. Doors that only open inward can inhibit safe, swift evacuation in the event of a fire or active shooter type event, which is why most doors swing outward. Facility managers are highly encouraged to coordinate any lockdown plans with security forces and the fire department prior to implementation.

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