‘It’s our life work’: Michigan-based company sees spike in interest in innovative lockdown system

The Lockdown Company shares story behind SmartBoot lockdown and alert system

It's been a week since 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The mass shooting has more schools looking at their security measures. Some local districts are turning to a Michigan-based company that installs an innovative lockdown and alert system.

BRIGHTON, Mich. – It’s exactly a week since 19 children and two teachers were shot and killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX.

The mass shooting has more schools looking at their security measures. Some local districts are turning to Michigan-based The Lockdown Company, which installs an innovative lockdown and alert system.

“It’s our life work,” said The Lockdown Company CEO Brennan Woodruff. “It’s making something positive out of something that was really terrible for our family.”

Her father, Rob Couturier, owns the company. He invented the barricading device for their company’s SmartBoot system.

Read: Downriver schools, law enforcement work to make security changes after children murdered in Texas

Couturier said Woodruff was attacked while running years ago, and her attacker barricaded himself in a room. Couturier couldn’t get in because the man held his feet at the bottom of the door, and that’s where he got the idea.

Once initiated, Couturier’s ‘boot’ can withstand 16,000 pounds of force.

The family didn’t think to take the invention to market until news broke that 20 children and six staff members were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“We saw these faces of these beautiful children and the teachers that lost their lives and just thought we have to do something, you know, we have to try,” Woodruff said.

Nearly a decade later, they have a system that’s installed in schools, businesses, and churches across Michigan and Ohio.

The SmartBoot system is code compliant and, once initiated, will send an alarm through a facility and can also connect to emergency dispatch.

In the seven days after the Uvalde, TX shooting, The Lockdown Company said more than a dozen schools have reached out to get more information or give the green light to move forward with services.

Woodruff said every install is personal and meaningful work; they ensure all their staff, even crews on-site, know that.

“Yes, it might be construction, and it might become mundane, but this is really important,” Woodruff said. “The work you’re doing every day is very important and could save somebody’s life.”

School districts in Melvindale, Allen Park, Flat Rock, and Taylor are on board to install SmartBoot.

The Lockout Company also provides training and drills to the schools with their services. For more information on The Lockdown Company, click here

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.