Barricading in an Active Threat Situation

March 01, 2019

How familiar are you with barricading techniques? Unfortunately, the most common response in an active threat situation is to hide. Whether this is under a table, in a bathroom stall, or in a closet, it is not an effective response to an active threat. 

In fact, taking an active stance, although it can be more daunting, is a far better option in an active threat situation. 


For instance, if you are located in an open room, it makes more sense to barricade and then escape. If you are able to move heavy objects (that aren’t heavy to the point that they will take too much valuable time to move), do it! Heavy chairs, tables, and even a bookshelf are great items to push up against a point of entry. Another small, but a substantial movement is to lock the door along with barricading. However, locking a door can often require fine motor skills, which can be negatively impacted by stress. Therefore, this is a helpful technique to keep in mind, however barricading is more necessary and should be done first. Once a barricade layer has been put into place, do not stick around! It’s important to then escape using the techniques we teach you. 


When you’re in an office with another individual, there is a particular stacking technique that was used by students during the Virginia Tech Shooting. By laying down with feet against the base of the door (any point of entry) and another individual stacked behind with their feet on the other’s shoulders, this creates a chain. If it’s possible to reach a wall or an extremely heavy object, this creates an even stronger chain, making it almost impossible for an active threat to enter. 


If you are alone in a setting like we show here (3:43), often times this location is in a bathroom, additional tools can be used to help barricade, whether or not the object is heavy. By placing an object between yourself like a trash can, and the point of entry while contacting an unmovable object such as a wall, you are creating an unbreakable chain.



Do you have any questions about barricading? Comment below! One of our resident experts will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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