Security Concerns Fuels New Stair Protection

By Bruno Caligara

Today’s security concerns has many building owners with high rise  to low rise  buildings, commercial, or residential uses, are looking into ways to provide  protection for their tenants in the event of an active shooter situations.

There are unexpected complications. The Building Code does not allow for many of the newly proposed protection systems that have been presented.  Systems such as card entry readers, stair well security gates, aren’t permitted as of right, and need to be presented to the DOB for special approval. The Building Code simply does not take into account the ever changing security threats presented in today’s world.

These newly thought of access protection systems can be granted but under the strict direction and approval conditions granted by DOB and FDNY.  The systems that are proposed must be designed with fail-safe exit releases and ventilation to insure that exits are in no way blocked or locked in the event of a fire/smoke emergency.

This special approval is to be filed under a predetermination prior to the actual permit filing and installation.