Physical School Safety Solutions
As a result of the tragic school shootings that have taken place across the country, safety has become the top priority for education officials entering the next school year. Though there’s been debate about how to best prevent school shootings, it’s all too clear that we need to do everything we can to protect our children if tragedy strikes.
Physical security measures can save lives. In Georgia, for example, a man was arrested outside of a primary school with a .32-caliber pistol in his waistband. He was stalking a teacher at the school with plans to kill her, but he couldn’t find a way in thanks to good physical security around the school’s perimeter.
Does your child’s school have these physical security tactics in place?
Fences and gates
There’s nothing new about using barriers for protection. Unfortunately, many schools aren’t protected by fences and gates. Not only do they help keep out unwanted individuals, but they also make it harder to see into the school grounds to plan attacks.
Light, hollow doors may be less expensive than metal doors, but they’re also a safety liability. They can be easy to force open, even when locked.
In the lock business, “classroom function” refers to mechanical locks that can only be locked from outside of the classroom. This is dangerous when there’s an intruder on campus, because it requires the teacher to enter the hallway in order to lock the door. More schools are installing locks than can be operated from inside the classroom, which keeps students and teachers safer in the event of a lockdown.
Windows are typically the most vulnerable entry point of any building, but they don’t have to be. Some clear films, like 3M’s Safety & Security Window Film, can actually slow down armed intruders by up to two minutes. They hold broken glass in place in the event of impact caused by anything form severe weather to bomb blasts.
Security cameras are a great way to deter common problems like vandalism and bullying. Perimeter cameras can also make it easier to spot unknown intruders. To serve this function, however, they need to be regularly monitored.
Visitor identification system
Today, most schools implement some type of visitor identification system. Visitors are typically required to wear badges signifying that they’ve checked in at the front office. Requiring visitors to check in at the parking lot is a good way to potentially stop dangerous intruders before they get on campus. It’s also important that school officials properly enforce the ID system they have in place.