Herbert signs bill allowing 'barricade locks' in Utah schools

    Herbert signs bill allowing 'barricade locks' in Utah schools (File photo: KUTV)

    (KUTV) - On Monday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed an amendment to the state's fire code allowing schools to install barricade locks on classroom doors.

    The new law does not address where the money for barricade locks would come from or when they would be installed.

    Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross) sponsored the bill after a parent came to him with a problem. The parent volunteered to purchase the locks for every classroom in his daughter’s school but was restricted by the former fire code.

    Weiler said he wanted to make the change to allow schools to decide for themselves if their communities want these locks.

    "We've restored local controls so districts and school principals can decide if they want to pursue a barricade type policy. They're still going to have to get a sign off from police and the fire marshal," he said. "I did not request any money for this because it's a local decision. But I did want to allow those discussions to take place at the school level."

    Parents at Washington Elementary said they support school safety efforts and would like to learn more about classroom security options.

    Currently, Salt Lake School District has more than 1,500 cameras in their schools.

    By next year, all 27 elementary schools in the district will have access control locks with cameras. People can only enter the school if they have an access pass or if the office lets them in.

    “This is kind of nice. I think it will give the office a chance to know who's coming in," said parent Heather Fairall. "It definitely makes it different, as a parent, knowing there are things in place to keep your kids safe while they're at school."

    School districts generally plan to start discussions about using barricade locks in the coming months, but there is no firm plan on a district or state level to fund the project.

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