The ALICE Training Institute (ALICE) has received numerous requests from manufacturers, distributors and garage innovators asking that we support their door locking devices. While many of these devices appear to be quite capable of allowing occupants a means to quickly and effectively lock a door that may otherwise not have a lock, ALICE does not endorse any brand of door locking device for the following reasons:
- Fire Codes: the application of (secondary) door locking devices can be a violation of local or state Fire Code. A device accepted by one Fire Marshal may be rejected by another jurisdiction. Some Fire Marshals have exercised discretion by issuing special variances but rarely do these variances include permanently mounted devices. ALICE does not manufacturer door locking devices but rather teaches the use of barricading using environmental and personal items during an active shooter event.
- Not a Complete Solution: We frequently see instances where organizations have spent large sums of money to purchase door locking devices and concluded that they are now prepared for an active shooter event or even called themselves ALICE trained. This is analogous to buying fire extinguishers for your building but not training the building occupants how to respond during a fire. Door locking devices only aid in one of the many options building occupants have during an active shooter event. These devices should never be considered a substitute for proper training.
- Innovation: Like any emerging, competitive, and extremely important new market, the marketplace for secondary door locking devices is rapidly changing. What may seem state of the art today, could easily be yesterday’s news tomorrow. As more people are trying to meet the challenge of better protection, better products are constantly being developed. It is very difficult to ensure we have found the best product. Additionally, it is still very expensive to purchase a device for every door that could possibly separate bad people from good people. Most institutions, especially schools, do not have the amount of extra funds needed to outfit every door.
ALICE teaches that if building occupants choose to lockdown during an active shooter event, it is imperative that securing in place is not based on merely locking a door. Barricading and fortifying is essential, as well as being prepared for further action should the secured area be entered. Once people understand the basics of barricading and fortifying, they can easily accomplish the feat using readily available items.
ALICE does not dismiss an organization’s choice to purchase items that they believe will allow their personnel to achieve the objective quicker, however, for the reasons stated above, we cannot and do not endorse any specific secondary door locking device currently marketed.