School safety is no longer simple in most American communities. From the most severe crimes to petty theft to harassment, schools are at risk from both internal and external threats.
However, according to CNN, it’s difficult to determine specific risks: neither public nor private secondary schools are required to report their crime statistics.
Even so, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 75% of public schools in the U.S. had security cameras in the 2013-2014 school year, and 93% had controlled access to school buildings. In recent years, school security has steadily increased overall.
With the lives of innocent students and faculty on the line, there’s always room for improvement. Here’s an outline of security equipment that can enhance school safety.
8 Essential School Security Methods
- Monitored burglar, fire and carbon monoxide alarms keep watch from these dangerous risks around the clock. In the event of a break in, fire or chemical threat, an emergency dispatch system will alert school administrators and emergency responders—even when school is not in session.
- Video surveillance, especially in real time, allows your security team to keep watch on your school throughout the day. In the event of a crime, stored video footage can be re-visited for evidence. Security personnel can view live or recorded video from your entire school building, and use their smartphone or computer to remotely control cameras and adjust views. Event-based alerts can also notify security if a room or area of the school is accessed without permission. Log in to view a live video feed to catch a trespasser in the act.
- Access control provides faculty and administrators access to restricted areas, such as offices, while restricting unauthorized persons. Implement swipe cards for faculty or turnstiles for your school media library to ensure both students and teachers are held accountable. Access control systems can also be synced with video surveillance systems for the highest level of monitoring.
- Environmental hazard monitoring can alert administrators in the event of flooding or a burst water pipe. Install this system in your school bathrooms, kitchen or basement to detect risks in real time and limit damages.
- Visitor management is a key to keeping staff and students safe. Visitor management technology logs guests and deliveries, gathering individuals’ information and photos. Temporary access cards provide an added layer of control, keeping visitors out of restricted areas.
- Emergency alert notification (EANS) inconspicuously notifies administrators and security personnel in the event of a serious threat via SMS text message, email or phone. Messages are customizable and can be triggered online, by phone or in an automated process. Linked with your school security system, your EANS will keep everyone in the loop during an emergency.
- Mass notification helps you notify parents, educators and your district in the face of a severe threat. These services can also be utilized during risky weather conditions, to notify relevant personnel of cancellations or delays.
- Emergency phones, placed throughout the school, provide a way for students, visitors and faculty to contact help in the event of an emergency. Phones can also be placed strategically outdoors, near your school’s practice fields, parking lots or recess area.
Though the hope is that you will never face an emergency or serious crime, every school can benefit from the conveniences and peace of mind afforded by security offerings. Safeguard your school and maintain its reputation for the highest standards in safety.
How do you secure your school? Share your thoughts in the comments below!