Date: November 3, 2008
During the Summer of 2008, Andrews University hired an access control company to begin upgrading building security systems within our residence halls. Based upon recommendations made at a recent on-site visit of the Michigan State Fire Marshal’s office, the university has removed the existing magnetic locks from all of the residence halls and is in the process of upgrading to a more modern electrical “crash bar.” A crash bar is a horizontal bar mechanism for unlatching a door by simply pushing on it. Electrical wiring isn’t required for exiting the residence halls but is used to gain keyless entry. These additional safety and security measures were recommended to enhance the safety of the three Andrews University residence halls: Burman Hall, Lamson Hall and Meier Hall.
“This process, once completed, will increase the overall safety of the residence halls while also saving the university on maintenance costs,” says Dale Hodges, chief of the Department of Public Safety. The old magnetic lock system was costly to maintain. “The new crash bars will be installed in the center of the doors, rather than at the top as the magnetic locks were. These safety locks will also function regardless of power failures, ensuring they are ultimately the safest option for our residence halls.”
While the doors are being retrofitted to meet this goal, some additional security measures have been put into place. All Lamson Hall residents have been asked to enter only through the east and west doors, which can also be used as exits. The north and south entrances to Lamson Hall are currently exit only. In addition to increased daily foot patrol, an officer from the Department of Public Safety is now securing the west Lamson Lobby during the nighttime hours while the east Lamson lobby is monitored by the front desk worker. Extra foot patrols have also been put into place in Burman and Meier Halls until the crash bars are installed. Additionally, security cameras have been installed to monitor the north and south entrances to Lamson Hall.
-Written by Keri Suarez, media relations specialist, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication