Safety Access Rooms Designed to Combat Mass Shootings
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Today marks one year since 19 students and 2 teachers were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Kevin Thomas of K-T Security Solutions in Cullman, Alabama, which is just about 100 miles from Chattanooga, was driving home last year when he heard about the Uvalde shooting.
His company before focused on making bulletproof material for military bunkers.
But after a conversation with his wife, he realized something needed to be done.
His company designed what they call rapid response safety access rooms.
Thomas said, “They give you an opportunity to have a safe place inside the classroom in a time of need.”
In a time of crisis, a teacher can pull out the safe room from the corner of their classroom in the matter of seconds.
They can then quickly get their students inside and lock the door.
When it’s not in use, the outside of the rooms can be used as a white board.
Thomas said, “We designed this to fit in the inside corner of a classroom. Takes up about five or six inches of wall space as far as depth is concerned.”
These rooms are made out of material that is ballistic resistant.
Thomas says the rooms have NIJ Level 3 ballistic armor protection, which would protect from the majority of shots fired by recent mass shooters.
He said, “We need to give them a place, a way to feel safe so they can go back to school because I know that is a hard thing for children who go through tragedies like this, to actually get up the confidence to return to school, and as I like to say, return to childhood.”
These safe rooms were introduced in March in Cullman, and the company has since placed them in schools in Franklin, Tennessee.
They are hoping to further spread their usage across the country.
Thomas says he knows these rooms won’t solve the root causes of mass shootings, but says we cannot wait to act.
He said, “In the interim, we still have these mass shootings and school shootings, and we still need protection in that time.”
Thomas did say that these units are priced roughly between 50 and 60 thousand dollars per unit, which is the lowest they can sell them to schools.
He also said that business, offices, and other public schools have reached out to inquire about obtaining these units.
He encourages any heads of school interested in installing these units to contact his company.