A school security breach may have serious consequences for kids, teachers, staff, and parents. It not only endangers persons in the building, but it may also have an influence on learning quality and raise the chance of litigation. It is the obligation of the school administration to safeguard pupils and employees.
How can we strengthen school security? There are several responses to this question. Consider applying these broad concepts, which have proven to make America safer.
15 Ways to Increase School Security
If you are a school administrator, you should do all you can to improve school security, whether that means implementing facilities management strategies, establishing emergency procedures, or purchasing economical equipment.
1. Protect the Perimeter
To maintain school safety, both the inside and outside of the building must be considered. Student drop-off zones and designated parking lots are critical places that should be secured with perimeter barriers as needed. Include fences and gates around your school’s perimeter to increase safety, whether school is in session or not.
Designated student loading and unloading zones are required for parents, carpool drivers, and bus drivers. Display signs and clarify regulations that prohibit illegal cars from entering certain locations. The school will have greater access control this way.
A security guard or video surveillance should watch school parking lots 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Designate separate parking lots for workers, students, and guests, and include an identifying system to monitor activities in these locations. It’s also a good idea to keep visitor parking apart from any school drop-off areas.
2. Exterior Lighting for Your School
Install sufficient lighting in all surrounding areas to safeguard students, personnel, and the facility itself at all times. To maintain adequate visibility in covered pathways and other naturally dark locations, use automated and programmable lighting management systems.
Set programmable lights to turn on at the same time every evening when after-school activities may still be going on. To assist avoid trip-and-fall incidents, use motion sensors that switch on automatically. Combine these controlled lights with video monitoring to deter trespassers and anyone with more worse intents.
3. Access Points Should Be Limited and Monitored
Limit the number of access entrances into the building. To improve security, construct one primary entry for all student, employee and guest usage. Keep the remainder of the access doors secured, and examine them occasionally to verify nobody has tampered with them or propped them up.
Schools that require more than one useable access for students and employees should install visible signs guiding people to the main entrance. These strategies and procedures simplify the monitoring process, allowing you to better track who enters and exits the premises. Building capacity and fire code standards apply to exits, however you must take care to prevent anybody from utilizing these exits as unauthorized access points.
Ensure your school’s safety in the case of an emergency by providing rapid exits for fire safety and secure entryways for intruder prevention.
4. Ensure that areas are kept locked.
Keep vacant portions of the school closed off and secured while not in use, in addition to monitoring entries and exits. Prohibit trespassing in locked portions of the structure.
Implement a key control system to properly handle all keys and duplicates. Limit the number of persons responsible for locking and unlocking the building. Semiannually, test door locks and electronic access devices, and replace any locks with unaccounted-for keys.
5. Control Visitor Access
Schools may strengthen security by implementing strict visitor check-in procedures for both planned and impromptu visits. All visitors must sign in at the front desk or security station so that you can keep an eye on the visitor log throughout the day. Require visitors to have school-issued identification – for example, visiting badges are often used for security at private schools.
Train your security personnel to search for people without the proper badge or other identification. After signing in and receiving a visitor badge, accompany them to their destination.
6. Encourage school-community collaboration.
Security communities, such as neighborhood watch groups and police monitoring, may improve your student safety practices outside of the school grounds. Request that parents volunteer for a part-time role on the security team or assist in the formation of valuable community relationships.
7. Examine the Inside of Your School
Display signage throughout the premises indicating that guests must register their presence. Highlight the main reception area, the security office, and any additional guest check-in places. To verify that all important utility systems, server rooms, custodial storage closets, and roof access points are closed, do frequent checks.
Place security staff and surveillance cameras in enclosed stairways and communal spaces like corridors, cafeterias and playgrounds. The monitor retains regular oversight and discourages undesired conduct, while video surveillance captures anything they could miss.
8. Enhance Classroom Security
Classroom doors should be locked from inside. An automated locking device will assist build classroom safe zones and protective sections. Windows and doors with glass components in classrooms should have some kind of covering that can immediately hide a trespasser’s view.
Provide proper security information and training to instructors, students, and employees. In an emergency, faculty should organize seats to allow for quick departures. Students should be aware of the significance of school safety protocols. Encourage constructive dialogue about security concerns among students and staff members so that everyone is on the same page.
9. Create Two-Way Communication
A two-way communication system links all teachers, employees, administrators and security officers. All classrooms should have a microphone and speaker linking them to the security office. Consider using panic button technology so that hired security professionals and first responders can respond to situations even faster.
Keep the local law enforcement aware of the security mechanisms in place at your school. Provide frequent updates anytime you adjust the emergency procedures.
10. Prioritize digital security.
Technology has become a great tool in many school settings, but these advantages raise new safety issues that must be addressed. School leaders must understand and support safe internet use. New initiatives that focus digital safety have the potential to have a substantial influence on students’ mental health. Reduce the possibility of online bullying and protect yourself from unsuitable or upsetting information.
11. Electronic security equipment should be updated.
Video surveillance, burglar alarms, and access control systems are used to protect the school both inside and out. In order to guarantee timely repairs and replacements, inspect your electronic security equipment on a regular basis.
12. Hire Professional School Security Guards
The presence of paid school security guards and local police officers is a vital strategy in discouraging violence and criminal activity on school premises.