NGA’s school security task group rapidly develops ASTM International standard
NGA announced today at the NGA Glass Conference taking place this week in Northbrook, Illinois, a new ASTM International document created through the F12 Security Committee entitled Standard Test Method for Forced-Entry-Resistance of Fenestration Systems After Simulated Active Shooter Attack.
Frequency and severity of school shootings have risen in recent years, and with it, an increased need for a relevant international standard that considers the need to slow and, if possible, prevent intruders from entering facilities through locked fenestration. Security glazing products are a part of the equation for designing and creating safer schools by deterring and slowing forced entry during active assault events.
Test Method Standard
After review of applicable security test methods, the school security task group of NGA identified gaps in the referenceable standards such as repeatable, mode driven, consensus-based fenestration test methods which included system weakening and forced entry. NGA’s school security task group was successful in getting a new comprehensible, yet simple to administer standard through the multi-step review process within eight months. The standard was initiated on November 21, 2021, and is now pending successful full ASTM International society review prior to publication. The complete and published standard, if no objections are raised, is expected to be cleared for publication from ASTM International by August 1, making the standard available sometime in third quarter 2022.
The test includes weakening of the fenestration system with projectiles followed by mechanically driven impact to simulate an active shooter weakening the system and trying to force their way in. Fenestration products are rated on eight levels of forced-entry resistance. The test gives a range of performance options with easy-to-assess pass/fail criteria and will give specifiers performance and cost options to fit their needs.
“This standard should yield a good selection of accessible high-performance products that when incorporated properly may add a highly functional layer of protection for schools. The goal is to help minimize the number of injuries or fateful occurrences by deterring active shooter scenarios,” says Julia Schimmelpenningh, technical engagement manager for Eastman Chemical Co. in Springfield, Mass., laminating technical liaison for NGA’s Fabricating Committee, and member of NGA’s school security task group. “Once published, we expect specifiers for new schools, universities, as well as commercial and industrial applications, to readily adopt and incorporate this standard in their design and performance criteria.”
“This is a major step forward toward making schools safer against forced entry from active shooters,” says Urmilla Sowell, NGA technical services and advocacy director. “NGA thanks the ASTM International F12 committee and the NGA school security task group members for their work on this issue, and to Julia Schimmelpenningh for her leadership and passion in advancing this standard.”