Lockdown Plans

Code Section

IFC 404.2.3
IFC 404.2.3.1
IFC 404.2.3.2
IFC 404.2.3.3

Change type



Updates and prescribes details for facility lockdown plans.

2018 Code

404.2.3 Lockdown plans. Where facilities develop a lockdown plan, it shall be in accordance with Sections 404.2.3.1 through 404.2.3.3. Lockdown plans shall only be permitted where such plans are approved by the fire code official and are in compliance with Sections 404.2.3.1 and 404.2.3.2.

404.2.3.1 Lockdown plan contents. Lockdown plans shall be approved by the fire code official and shall include the following:

  1. Initiation. The plan shall include instructions for reporting an emergency that requires a lockdown.
  2. Accountability. The plan shall include accountability procedures for staff to report the presence or absence of occupants.
  3. Recall. The plan shall include a prearranged signal for returning to normal activity.
  4. Communications and coordination. The plan shall include an approved means of two-way communication between a central location and each secured area.
  1. Identification of individuals authorized to issue a lockdown order.
  2. Security measures used during normal operations, when the building is occupied, that could adversely affect egress or fire department operations.
  3. A description of identified emergency and security threats addressed by the plan, including specific lockdown procedures to be implemented for each threat condition.
  4. Means and methods of initiating a lockdown plan for each threat, including:
    1. 4.1 The means of notifying occupants of a lockdown event, which shall be distinct from the fire alarm signal.
    2. 4.2 Identification of each door or other access point that will be secured.
    3. 4.3 A description of the means or methods used to secure doors and other access points.
    4. 4.4 A description of how locking means and methods are in compliance with the requirements of this code for egress and accessibility
  5. Procedures for reporting to the fire department any lockdown condition affecting egress or fire department operations.
  6. Procedures for determining and reporting the presence or absence of occupants to emergency response agencies during a lockdown.
  7. Means for providing two-way communication between a central location and each area subject to being secured during a lockdown.
  8. Identification of the prearranged signal for terminating the lockdown.
  9. Identification of individuals authorized to issue a lockdown termination order.
  10. Procedures for unlocking doors and verifying that the means of egress has been returned to normal operations upon termination of the lockdown.
  11. Training procedures and frequency of lockdown plan drills.

404.2.3.2 Training frequency Drills. The training frequency shall be included in the lockdown plan. The lockdown drills shall not substitute for any of the fire and evacuation drills required in Section 405.2. Lockdown plan drills shall be conducted in accordance with the approved plan. Such drills shall not be substituted for fire and evacuation drills required by Section 405.2.

404.2.3.3 Lockdown notification. The method of notifying building occupants of a lockdown shall be included in the plan. The method of notification shall be separate and distinct from the fire alarm signal.

Change Significance

Given the recent increase in school and workplace violence, this proposal is intended to address the various security means and methods that have been proposed by parents, teachers and, in some cases, state legislators. While the well-intended proposals address criminal activities, many of these proposals have unintended consequences in their effect on emergency egress and fire and life safety systems.

This change adds specific topics that need to be addressed in a lockdown plan. One specific issue is the need to identify the organizational structure in charge of making decisions during a lockdown. Clear authorities and communications must be addressed for a plan to succeed.

When developing a lockdown plan, it is important to consider that all threats are not equal. Procedures suitable for an unwanted chemical release will be substantially different from those during an active shooter incident. The revisions in these sections allow for flexibility in the plan, but also require that the plan is approved by the fire code official.Item 4.3 requires a description of the means and methods of locking doors and securing areas. Part of the review by the fire code official would evaluate the method of securing doors. There are many devices and mechanisms available, but some also present a detrimental impact on the means of egress. The lockdown plan must specify all methods used for security, and demonstrate compliance with IFC Chapter 10 requirements. Item 10 also requires the establishment of a process to ensure that after the lockdown is cancelled, that all doors and egress paths are again available and unhindered egress is provided.