FERRIER FILES: Tennessee fire marshal now allowing schools to use door barricades

(Submitted to FOX 17 News)

The Tennessee Fire Marshal is now allowing schools to use temporary door barricades to protect students and staff in an active school shooter situation.

The move comes after a rural Tennessee sheriff and FOX 17 News investigated whether these barricades posed any danger to students.

Earlier this year there was a big fight over temporary door barricades in schools – then the Perry County Sheriff took on the state fire marshal over codes.

Perry County Sheriff Nick Weems was so upset over the Florida shooting, he vowed to no longer stand by and watch.

He donated and then raised money to buy temporary barricades for every classroom in the county.

But the State Fire Marshal forbid it, saying it was a violation of code and that children could die in fire if those temporary barricades were used.

FOX 17 News’ Dennis Ferrier did several investigative stories about the barricades, questioning the fire marshal's claim that they were dangerous and a bad idea for Tennessee schools.

After several meetings at the legislature and follow up stories, the sheriff was forced to keep the barricades in storage as the fight continued to legalize them.

But now, the fight is over.

The Fire Marshal announced it will no longer issue citations for barricade devices, so long as they are properly used only in emergency situations.

Now every school in the state of Tennessee can legally install temporary door barricades.

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