Running a school is a huge responsibility. The larger the campus is, the bigger the…
As unfortunate as it is, there is no denying that active shooter incidents have become increasingly more common in the United States in the last several years. Schools are a common setting for shootings, and, in order to keep students and staff members safe, it is crucial that schools are properly prepared for the event of a shooting, as well as other crisis situations.
School security can be improved in a number of ways, whether it’s through upgraded security technology or increased safety practices. By properly implementing safety precautions and an effective security system throughout your school, you can provide greater peace of mind for students, parents, and staff members.
Updating and Increasing Physical Security Systems
First and foremost, in order to ensure that your campus is as secure as possible, you must outfit your building with the latest safety and security technology. Not having the following security systems puts you, your students, staff members, and any visitors at serious risk.
Speaking of visitors, the ability to regulate who is entering and exiting the building is a serious concern. Without proper access control and door security measures, anyone can come and go as they please, which poses a serious security risk. Doors should be locked at all times when school is in session, and visitors need to be properly authorized before they can enter.
When it comes to students and staff, it could be beneficial to install some form of door access control. Students and staff all have their own identification cards, and, with the proper systems in place, they can be used to gain access to entrances into the building. That way, those without the proper IDs cannot enter the building unless they have permission to do so.
Of course, there is always a risk of people losing their ID cards or intentionally giving it to somebody who is unauthorized. If you feel that this is too great of a risk, then you should consider only giving access cards to staff members. If students need to enter, then they can hold their IDs up to a camera, so that the front office workers can verify that they’re allowed to be there.
When you think of a security system, video surveillance cameras are probably one of the first things that come to mind. This is for good reason, as security cameras are one of the most important layers of any good security system, and they should absolutely be installed on your campus if they have not been already.
Without security cameras, there is no way to monitor any suspicious activity or unauthorized people on the campus. Video cameras don’t just help with intruders, however. They can also be used to identify safety hazards, fires, and high-traffic areas of the school that could lead to issues if an evacuation needs to occur.
There are many different types of security cameras, each with their own benefits. Utilizing a combination of high-quality security cameras and placing them in important locations, such as hallways, entrances, and parking lots, is crucial to keeping your campus safe.
Alarms and Intercoms
Alarms and intercom systems are important for proper communication amongst staff members and students. Every school should be outfitted with a fire alarm system, and intercoms can be used to communicate important safety information to everyone in the school at once. For example, if there is a fire, then you can inform everyone where the fire is taking place, and if there is an intruder, then you can announce what part of the building they are currently in.
Proper communication is key to creating a safe environment, and alarms and intercom systems are one of the most effective ways of communicating important school-wide information very quickly.
Proper School Safety Precautions and Procedures
While implementing a proper security system is important, it is nothing without properly educating all students and staff about what procedures to take during crisis situations. At the beginning of every school year, plans need to be put in place to determine what the best course of action is for each potential scenario. This includes situations such as an active shooter, a fire, a severe storm or tornado, or even chemical threats.
Instructing Students and Staff on Course of Action
Once these plans are in place, the next step to take is to inform all students and staff members of the best way to conduct themselves in the event of an emergency. Conducting regularly scheduled drills is one of the best ways to do this, as well as reiterating the correct procedures at the beginning of each semester.
When it comes to fire drills, these should be practiced once a month, and each teacher should go over with their students the best route to take out of the building, as the closest entrance and fastest evacuation routes change depending on the location of each classroom. Severe weather and tornado drills, as well as what to do in the event of an intruder, should be reviewed on a regular basis.
Performing Risk Assessments
Once you have a plan in place and have made sure that all students and staff have been instructed on how to handle themselves during a crisis, it is important that you continually assess possible risks and ways that you can improve your plans for the future.
Whether this is analyzing areas of the building that tend to get overcrowded, making evacuation routes for more efficient, or determining security camera blind spots, make sure that you and the other administrators review drills and safety procedures on a regular basis to ensure that they are as effective as possible.
Partner with TED Systems to Outfit Your Campus with the Latest in Security Technology
TED Systems is one of the industry leaders in advanced security technology and can outfit commercial buildings and schools with the latest in access control, video surveillance, alarms, and intercom technology. With our security solutions and a well-developed plan in place, your staff members, students, and their parents will have greater peace of mind while school is in session.