What about Bearacade® and fire codes?
The mere purchase or presence of Bearacade® is not a violation of building or fire code. Under normal conditions, our engineered unit is stored off to the side. The device is not a part of the door or connected to the door. The device is not a permanently mounted deadbolt, slide bolt, flush bolt, or incorporated operating mechanism. The device is only deployed under controlled administrative protocols for a well-defined, finite period of time when the room use has changed to a Place of Detention or Restraint for the benefit of the room occupants.
Because there is no change made to the door or door frame, the fire rating and warranty of any interior door remains fully intact. The threshold of a doorway is prepared to receive the unit. This is why we note “Doorway Preparation” NOT “installation.”
We paid close attention to the International Fire Code from the very beginning of pursuing a safer solution for temporarily blockading entry. Many US states have issued clarifying memoranda on lockdown responses. Give us a call or send us an email with any specific questions. We stand ready to assist.
INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO THE STATE OF OHIO CAN BE FOUND here.
Call us toll-free at 1-855-350-2321 or email us for detailed code-related information based on IFC, NFPA, and specific state codes.
We are considering our options. What do we need to consider?
Here is a one-page list of Design Considerations and questions we answered in developing Bearacade® products. While there are some well-meaning good intentions out there, you need a lockdown solution that is proven, certified, and effective. Feel free to share, print out, or distribute.
Strength: Bearacade® is 100% Made in Ohio at our ISO 9001:2008-certified facility. Every device is put through the most stringent testing for consistent quality and strength. Our unit will withstand ballistic rounds from any handgun and most long guns. Bearacade® will also withstand 4,800 pounds of force. If you would like to tour our facility in Northeast Ohio, please let us know. You will be impressed at the level of technology and engineering involved. Ask about quality control and certified strength ratings.
Proven: Schools have used Bearacade® during actual hostile intruder incidents here in Ohio and across the US. Most recently, a Southwestern Ohio high school had a back-to-school issue with a student bringing a gun to school. The entire high school was locked down and secured in less than 8 seconds with Bearacade® while the student was calmed and taken into custody. During the 2017-18 school year, Bearacade® units were used 20 times across the US during actual incidents.
Protocol for Use: Classroom doors are open 33% or more of a normal school day. Classes change, tutors come and go, lunch is served, recess and physical education classes occur, and more. Our districts typically follow some version of the FBI/Homeland Security recommended Run-Hide-Fight. The most recommended first move is to evacuate and escape. This process involves information and the ability to quickly assess your ability to safely evacuate. If a door is closed, the Bearacade® can be deployed in under 6 seconds.
Daily Safety, Liability, and Risk: According to the CDC, 9% of teachers report being threatened by a student last year. 1 in 4 girls/women report being sexually assaulted in an educational setting. Since bullying of all types is at such a high level, Bearacade® is purposefully designed to alert when deployed, allow for gained entry by safety forces with our proprietary tool, and be intuitive to deploy and release under duress. Imagine not knowing that some other unit were deployed as you walked down the hall. Are your classrooms safer with a secret barricading unit? What is your risk? Liability?
Doorway Preparation: Bearacade® does not require mounting of any plates to a door, door frame, or floor … yet it is still stronger than other options. There is no trip hazard or challenge for daily ADA-accessibility with Bearacade® either.
Chosen: In addition to K-12, colleges, and universities, Bearacade® units are now an added layer of safety for the US Air Force and hundreds of retail stores throughout North America. All said, Bearacade® is in education settings, hospitals, churches, government, and military institutions in 48 states and 9 countries.
Cost: At typically less than $49 per classroom and with all of the In-Service Training and documentation requirements included at no additional charge, Bearacade® is designed with the utmost sensitivity to the funding constraints of any institution. Let us develop a no-obligation Quotation for your review!
What recommendations do you have to ensure that the Anchor Hole stays clear of debris?
Our longest standing partner has had Bearacade® units in their school buildings for 4 years now. They drill/practice with them quarterly and have never encountered debris concerns for a few reasons.
- We detail that the Anchor Hole should be drilled at least 3.5” deep – much deeper than necessary for engagement
- Some of our partner institutions place a small piece of cellophane tape over the Anchor Hole that is easily punctured when deploying the unit.
- The janitorial staff is charged with inspection as well.
- The quarterly drills help keep an eye on everything – since they are to fully deploy the units during those drills
- The Anchor Hole is 5/16” to 3/8” in diameter – almost imperceptible to the casual observer.
- We recommend suggested Code of Conduct – Student Handbook amendments that align the device with fire extinguishers, pull stations, AEDs, and EpiPens, so that tampering with, disabling, misusing, or affecting the device or the doorway are serious offenses.
To date, we have not encountered a concern with debris, over-waxing, wax-accumulation, or anything that prevents the engagement of the Anchor Pin into the Anchor Hole. Our devices were used six times (four times in Ohio, twice in Massachusetts) during the 2016-17 school year for actual emergency lockdowns – not drills – and the schools did not encounter a concern. Fortunately, the students (parent in one instance) intending to do harm were calmed and taken under control without incident.
Once ready, where should we store each device?
We strongly suggested the device hang on a wall very close to the door. Storing or hanging the units consistently in each room is also recommended. In the heat of the moment, seconds count. You will not want to have the device far away from the door. Nor will you want to search for it on the other side of the room or in some drawer out of sight when sheltering in another classroom or office.
Does Bearacade® work on all doors?
Bearacade® was developed for interior office, classroom, and other interior rooms. The original Bearacade® device was designed for inward- and outward-swinging commercial doors. One Bearacade® works on many double doors, like those you might find in a conference room, media center, or church. The B2™ was designed for inward-swinging commercial doors in office, retail, government, medical, and worship settings. While both can glide over simple floor transitions, they were not meant to glide over significantly raised exterior door thresholds.
What needs to be changed on a door?
Nothing. No change to the door or door frame is needed for the Bearacade® or B2™ devices.
Importantly, the floor preparation does not yield a trip or passage hazard. The Floor Anchor Hole™ is a minor spot (5/16″ wide) that does not alter the level of the floor. Importantly, this floor Anchor Hole allows the device to be only placed on doors your choose and only in the correct direction. This means a device cannot be taken from one location and used the wrong way to trap occupants in another room.
View simple Doorway Preparation video here.
Is the Bearacade® mounted to the door?
No. Bearacade® was designed with both lockdown security and building codes in mind. Normal and customary door operation should be maintained for ease of egress. The unit should not be permanently deployed. The devices are not permanently mounted operating mechanisms. It is only under the administrative protocols of a lockdown drill or the circumstances of an actual lockdown that the Bearacade® and/or B2™ devices should be deployed.
Outside of a lockdown practice drill or actual lockdown, your Bearacade® device will be stored by a hanging hook or on a shelf adjacent to each door.
Do you install the Bearacade® or B2™ products?
The only preparation required to make a doorway enabled to accept a device is the drilling of a standard 3/8” Anchor Hole™ based upon our template. This is a simple process that can easily be handled by your facilities department. When deploying, the device is slid against the existing door jamb to align it directly over the Anchor Hole™. We are ready to walk you through preparing for the Bearacade® device. We provide complete instructions and a step-by-step video for Doorway Preparation.
The process for carpeted rooms requires the added step of removing a small plug of carpeting using either a hole punch or hole saw (operated in reverse).
If you would like us to perform all of the doorway preparation, we can help! This option will need to review number of doorways, location of your building(s), time, and travel. Therefore, a custom quote for that work will be provided. Just give us a call at 1-855-350-2321 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: We do not use the term “install” as there is no permanent hardware and no alteration to the door or doorframe in order to maintain full code compliance. A doorway is “prepared” to be able accept a unit in an emergency situation.
What about the concern of the device being deployed outside of a lockdown drill or actual lockdown?
One valuable aspect of the Bearacade® is the External Notification Panel™. Once deployed a student, teacher, administrator, or resource officer can quickly realize it is in place. In addition to guiding administrators, resource officers, and first responders, we did not want a secret or hidden device for this exact concern. Statistically, a student or staff member is more likely to be a victim of abuse, assault, bullying, or harassment. We don’t want to solve one issue and enable a handful more safety concerns.
An added design consideration for our team was that Bearacade® will only work on doors pre-selected by your administration and only in the correct direction way. The doorway preparation ensures this occurs. We did not want such a portable solution that a device from one room could be put in place on the outside of another room to trap individuals.
Upon introduction of our solution, we recommend taking the time to discuss its purpose and the ramifications and penalties for misuse, abuse, tampering, or disabling a Bearacade® or B2™. This is a good time to explain the recommended amendment to your Student or Employee Handbook associated with adding these devices to your safety equipment.
- A Bearacade cannot be deployed secretly. The unit cannot be put in place without the external notification. This serves the purposes of quicker identification of the room status during an actual lockdown or drill – but, just as importantly, immediate alert of deployment or misuse during normal operations.
- The unit’s location on the door is precisely known. There is no wonder or attempt to figure out where it is on the door.
- Every building receives two Defaulting Blades and as many as your local safety forces would like. Access can be gained in 30 to 45 seconds.
- If someone is counting on our unit as their sole means to hold a room hostage, access can be achieved.
- While the release takes a little time, we didn’t want an easy or immediate release. Over time and practice drills, students will realize that pressing a button or deactivating with a coat hanger renders the entire concept of sheltering in place and blockading useless if a barricade is easily defaulted.
Now, consider a secret element or someone creating their own makeshift blockade:
- You might not know for an extended period of time
- You might not know precisely where on the door
- You may or may not have a way to gain entry
Of the more than 200,000 classrooms with Bearacade to date, we have not had one unit misused. This is due to our in-service training, recommended ways to introduce into a classroom, and penalties outlined for misuse in both handbooks/code of conduct and misdemeanor law. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared for any circumstance.
Lastly, when we set out to make Bearacade following our school shooting in 2012, we incorporated fire, building, ADA, bullying, assault, harassment, and misuse concerns BEFORE we continued with a lightweight, simple, and super strong unit. We certainly don’t want to make a classroom less safe and are extremely careful about what we introduce to any office or classroom.
We have adopted the principles of certain well known response protocols, will Bearacade® work with this training?
Most definitely, yes. In fact, during the design discussions with school administrators, police, and fire, we discussed how Bearacade® actually makes such proactive training even more effective. In three to eight seconds, you can effectively barricade your door, calm your students, and plan for next steps. Getting away from the door as quickly as possible is also a very serious concern. Deploy the Bearacade® and get away from the door. No belts, tying of door closures, moving furniture, or concern about outward-swinging doors.
Our devices are initial physical responses to provide a time barrier. Lockdown is not a stand-alone defensive strategy. When securing in place, this procedure should involve barricading the door and readying a plan of evacuation or counter tactics should the need arise.
Getting out, getting away, avoiding an incident altogether, and evacuating is considered the first and best choice. If circumstances do not allow for evacuation, the Bearacade® and B2™ devices are an option that will greatly reinforce an interior door.
We have many doors. Do you offer volume pricing?
Yes. We developed Bearacade® with pricing in mind. Times are tough and funding is always a concern. We are glad to be able to work with every partner institution to develop quantity discounting … and if you are close to a next-level price discount, we will work with you! Volume pricing begins at $49 per unit and can quickly reduce based upon quantity. Let us give you a no-obligation quote to see how affordable our award-winning safety systems can be for you!
Why not just lock the door?
The US Department of Homeland Security recommends BOTH locking AND barricading your office or classroom door. Instances of needing to barricade a locking door are documented from Virginia Tech, Columbine, Sandy Hook, the Navy Yard, and Fort Hood shootings.
The presence of a window within a door or adjacent to a door may make it easy to reach in to open a door. The location and strength of the Bearacade® provides another level of support in a unique location. Each device can withstand close to ten times the external force of a lockset.
What type of training is needed?
We provide a simple module of information for your use as part of any In-Service Training. We recommend having staff train on deploying Bearacade® units at least four times each year. For schools, we recommend training prior to the start of each school year in addition to other lockdown drills. We also recommend requiring all individuals on your substitute teacher list be trained on deployment of Bearacade® and any other safety procedures like fire, tornado, CPR, AEDs, bloodborne pathogens, and epinephrine pens.
Ask us about our In-Service Training Acknowledgement Forms, In-Service Training Logs, and our ability to train the trainer.
Do you have a recommended protocol for handling and use of the Bearacade®?
Yes. Amending your Student Handbook, Employee Handbook, and/or Student Code of Conduct should accompany the addition of Bearacade® or B2™ units. Call us toll-free at 1-855-350-2321 or email us at email@example.com for your FREE draft language and process for introducing to a classroom!
Do you have any suggestions for how we can fund the purchase of Bearacade® devices?
Yes. Some schools have the opportunity for one-time safety grants. Bearacade® is a perfect one-time purchase that does not require continued investment of software upgrades or annual licensing.
Additionally, we have had good success with the interest of PTA, PTO, and Booster clubs in funding this low cost solution. In Indiana, we have had a local businessman personally fund Bearacade® units for the local school to ensure they had them in place. At $59 per door (or less), it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
We are most excited about our strategic partnership with Razoo™ and their online fundraising platform. For more information, we have created this page dedicated to Razoo™ and Bearacade®. With our volume purchasing discounts and Razoo™, funding your safety solutions can be just one or two clicks away!
Need more ideas and information? Give us a call at 855-350-2321 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
What materials are used in making the Bearacade®?
With the supporting advice of our local School Resource Officer, we looked to high impact polymers similar to the resins used in his police-issued firearm. Our resin mix provides superior performance and impact qualities while keeping it lightweight, easy to handle, and affordable. One of the most distinctive attributes of our polymer is its high impact strength. Few other engineering polymers can match its ability to stand up to hard knocks in very cold or very hot temperatures. Products made from our resin are virtually shatter-resistant and unbreakable.
You will be amazed at the strength of our lightweight Bearacade®. Not familiar with polymers? Because of their superior strength, polymers have replaced steel and aluminum in many industries. Just ask the US Armed Forces. Polymers are main components of personal armor such as combat helmets, ballistic facemasks, and ballistic vests. The PASGT helmet and vest used by United States military forces since the 1980s both have Kevlar as a key component, as do their replacements. Other military uses include bulletproof facemasks used by sentries and spall liners used to protect the crews of armored fighting vehicles. Even Nimitz-class aircraft carriers include polymer armor around vital spaces. Related civilian applications include Emergency Service’s protection gear if it involves high heat (e.g., tackling a fire), and body armor such as vests for police officers, security, and SWAT.
Now you know why Bearacade® withstands rounds from an AK-47, .45 caliber handgun, 12-gauge shotgun, and 9mm handgun yet remains functionally intact. Call us toll-free at 1-855-350-2321 or email us at email@example.com for a detailed Specifications Sheet on any of our products.
Is Bearacade® made in the USA?
Yes. We are proud to offer a high quality product manufactured, assembled, and shipped from Northeast Ohio. Injection molding is undertaken by an ISO-9001:2008-certified manufacturer.
Subassembly and order fulfillment work is performed by developmentally disabled adults in a vocational training program here in Northeast Ohio call Hattie Larlham. Every device meets exacting standards and provides immense training benefit before being shipped with care.
Other than schools, are Bearacade® units in use elsewhere?
Yes. Depending upon the study, educational settings account for 25 to 30 percent of active shooter events. Since offering our solutions, we have worked with several churches due to their open access, multiple rooms, vacation bible schools, and offices. We have also partnered with government, military bases, for profit businesses, and nonprofit entities for offices that are concerned about active shooters, domestic violence issues, and disgruntled employee situations. Our products are designed for the commercial, institutional, and public user. Please note that not all of our solutions were designed for residential use as there are other options and different fire, building, and life safety codes that address residential units, egress, and occupancy.