Durham company pitched door barricade system to Broward County, Fla., schools

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Thursday, February 15, 2018
Durham company touts its door barricade system
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A Durham company says its door barricade system can help keep classrooms safe.

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- The school shooting in Broward County Florida hit home for representatives of a Durham company that makes a device called the RhinoWare Door Barricade System.

The device was developed in response to mass shootings inside buildings, especially schools.

Just two weeks ago, Campus Safety Products pitched its device to Broward County school officials.

But the husband of CPS's owner says the school system is so large that outfitting all of its 310 schools would have been costly.

"They just didn't see how that something like would be feasible. The gentleman from Broward County schools actually said, 'We're totally secure. We have everything we need. We don't need any more physical security,'" Ed Johnson told ABC11.

Johnson said as he watched the carnage, he couldn't believe it happened where he had hoped to put his company's product.

Although it's not clear whether the device would have made a difference in the incident Wednesday, he hopes it will one day.

"I was shocked," he said. "I was heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken. If this can save one life, if it saves one life, then it's worth it."

The device is a pin attached to a metal frame at the bottom of a door below the handle. Using your hand or foot you simply flick a lever and a metal plate rotates out and falls into the slot of another metal frame mounted on the floor.

"Once it's locked down, it will withstand several tons of direct sustained force," Johnson said. "You simply touch it and it automatically locks the room down. And there's no getting in the room without the RhinoWare tactical breach tool for law enforcement and first responders."

He says teachers and school administrators also have breach tools in case of student misuse of the device.

It's already been installed in at least one school in Iredell County here in the company's home state.

And Johnson said it's also in other schools, offices, churches, and even Fort Knox.

He said that in some schools, installers have gotten hugs from teachers after installing the device.

"Knowing that they have this control, that they can lock that room and they know nobody can get in once it's engaged is a tremendous peace of mind," Johnson said.