11 Tips for Improving School Safety and Security

       Improving school safety and security can be troublesome in this day and age. Especially with security threats increasing in the past year. There are many options on the market, whether you’re an educator or an administrator for a school. With so many different methods of safety, there are guaranteed to be methods that fit your tastes. Being able to prepare your school and your students for any security threats is an absolute must, especially to preserve the quality of education. 

Within this article, the methods of further protecting your school and campus are outlined. Ensuring a safe environment increases the credibility of the schools education and also endorses the quality of service. Since there are various threats that could happen to school systems daily and within the grounds, here are 11 tips for improving the safety of the students and faculty. 

Upgrade or Install Security Cameras

Be active in trying to improve your school’s safety and security. One of the most effective ways to make a school safer is by installing or upgrading existing security cameras. Most security cameras nowadays have higher resolution and cloud storage capabilities that make it faster and easier to identify intruders. Utilizing this type of security can prevent assaults, suspicious activity, and/or incidents like vandalism. 

A majority of surveys have concluded that having security cameras in place for schools make faculty and students feel safer. It also discourages students who wish to cause harm or crimes on campus. A crucial aspect to look for before purchasing a security camera system is the ability to easily share footage with emergency responders. Having this capability increases the chance that help will arrive before a disaster or crime can continue. 

Upgrade or Install a VMS for CCTV (Video Management Software)

Upgrading or installing your Video Management software is crucial to quickly analyze your CCTV footage. This ensures that the content recorded by your security cameras can be easily searched, to find: license plate numbers, particular articles of clothing, and/or specific moments in time. By upgrading your VMS for CCTV, it allows both advanced and novice users to see when alarms were activated, access was denied into the building, and alerts were triggered due to unknown license plates entering the parking lot.

Utilizing a video management software ensures an environment which is safer for students and staff. This is because of the ability to easily identify and narrow down times of misdemeanors and theft. Having footage stored in the cloud is crucial and ensures data retention even if power outages or system failures occur. 

Upgrade or Install an Access Control System

This component is essential to schools especially with recent shootings and also preventing kids from leaving without authorization. School security options include being able to preview who will leave, who will enter the building, and also enable monitoring those areas near entrances. It also secures the school property by stopping potential intruders at the perimeter and tracking times of entry.

In addition to keeping tabs on who enters school buildings, it’s important to have a vestibule area to verify with main office staff before allowing entry to unidentified people. Having a buzzer or a camera alongside access control systems are an absolute must as it is important to verify any new visitors that are entering the campus. 

Upgrade or Install Burglar alarms

By updating and/or installing burglar alarms you ensure the safety of the students and faculty within schools, especially when there are intruders with malicious intent. Emergency notification systems help employees initiate security procedures when the moment strikes as well as be useful in monthly drills. Most of these burglar alarms also come with software to alert faculty with notifications via email, phone and more. 

Installing up to date burglar alarms are essential especially within a large school. This provides a way to actively alert faculty and students in the case of an emergency situation or if the school is broken into during non-operating hours. 

Hire a School Resource Officer

Hiring a school resource officer is a viable option for updating the security of your school. Especially because they develop safety plans and are in charge of training faculty on proper security procedure. Having a specialized professional in safety will aid the progression of increasing security within your school system. It also puts students at ease to see a professional be consulted to keep them safe. 

School resource officers increase security in schools because of their specialty in protecting and serving an educational environment. These officers also promote open-door policies among the students and faculty by providing mentoring sessions, social services, legal aid, and also community services. 

Regularly Practice Your Lockdown Procedure

Some of the best school security practices are lockdown procedures. This ensures that students know what to do during panic as well as providing teachers with information on what to do in the case of an emergency. Since these incidents are never planned, it is important to practice lockdown procedures often and update them accordingly with the government’s protocols. Make sure to enforce sessions which teach staff and students about helpful methods. 

There are many different types of lockdown procedures which consist of: Shelter in place, internal threat, external threat and full lockdown. These methods all address different emergency situations in regards to active shooters, hostage situations and national disasters. 

Regularly Practice Your Fire Drill

Practicing your fire drills is crucial in case of an actual case. This is because usually the sheer multitude of students in schools would cause chaos that could congest accessible escape routes. By educating students and teachers about the routes to take in the case of a fire as well as what to take with them will help the ease and efficiency of escaping in an actual fire. As always, it is important to inform and educate employees and children within school systems about fire procedures. 

The key to maintaining order during fire drills is to instruct students to follow orders quietly and exit out of a certain set of doors. You should aim to carry out fire drills at least once per year, especially at the start of each term. It is also useful to perform surprise fire drills at set intervals during the school year in order to practice spontaneously. 

Regularly Practice Your Disaster Drill

This drill provides ways to prevent injury during natural or unnatural disasters such as extreme weather, lockdowns or bomb threats. By practicing methods of safety within your school often, the chances of higher success rate will be greatly increased. It is important to always be prepared and educated in order to be actively improving school safety and security. The main reason for regularly practicing a disaster drill is that it provides a plan in case of an unanticipated event. 

Performing stimulated emergency drills will increase the readiness of students and also the staff when unprecedented times occur. Make sure to preserve the intention of this exercise being a learning opportunity so that students will not feel too much pressure during drills. 

Review Your First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits must be reviewed fully and often in order to preserve the quality of assistance at schools. Increased security in schools requires that First Aid Kits be up-to-date and to code so in case of emergency, wounds or health problems can be treated quickly and effectively. Having an updated First Aid Kit is important especially if the hospital is not in close proximity to the school or if an emergency vehicle is detained. 

Consistently maintaining a first aid kit in sight within a classroom or a school hallway promotes a sense of safety whilst being in school. In addition, it is important to prioritize teachers and faculty being trained in first aid. This allows staff to become more aware of the different types of accidents, illnesses and treatments possible in school settings. 

Ready for disaster – checking off the items on the emergency preparedness form

Train Staff on School Security Procedures

Training your staff on school security prevents any mishaps in the event of an emergency situation. If your faculty feels uncertain on how to make a school safer, this method will definitely increase comfort as well as increase awareness in staff. Make sure to inform your staff of school security procedures well before school starts in order to not clash with class preparations. In addition, establish ID entrance policies to provide a certified method of security.

All staff are important when concerning school security procedures. The lunchroom is just as susceptible as other areas of the school when it comes to breaches in security. It is vital that staff get trained on procedures as it also includes incidents like anger-management with individuals on campus, bomb threat calls and even their role in access control. 

Involve Parents in School Safety

An important and often overlooked aspect of school security is involving parents. Your school should provide parents with informational packets containing actions that they can implement into their own emergency procedure or information regarding the schools procedures for safety and security. It is also important to convey to parents that they should listen to their child’s concerns or opinions on school safety to make sure that students are feeling safe within the institution.

Ensuring the parents trust in the safety measures of the school system will help them feel more at ease during the enrollment process. In addition, encouraging parents to be more actively involved in school procedures and activities will make them a partner in the security plan of the whole student body and community.

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