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The barricade hammer is a very common civilian tool. The hammer may be the oldest tool for which definite evidence exists (dating back to to 2,600,000 BCE).
The Barricade Hammer featured in NMRiH is used to barricade areas defined by the map designer. In order to do so, you require barricade boards. Using the alternative fire (Mouse 2) brings out a board ready to use. This will also show you where you can board up.
While being a useful tool, it can also deal damage and acts like many melee weapons. The hammer can be used in conjunction with a maglite.