Bearacade® FAQs (click to expand)
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
Once ready, where should we store each device?
Bearacde 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.
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.
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.