Heads of schools and educational institutions have a huge task of ensuring the safety of all students and school under their duty of care. Apart from running the daily affairs of the school as an administrator or head of the school, security and safety of students should never be compromised for anything.
Security emergency can occur anywhere and at anytime. If not for anything at all, we are aware of shootings in schools in America and the reported kidnapping of students by Boko Haram that shocked the world and the likes.
There is no doubt, school safety is a huge challenge for school heads and owners. Some researchers state that the presence of security officers and outdoor cameras made students feel safer, but others suggest that more security may affect students psychologically and sow a seed of fear.
No matter where you stand on the above argument, you should not wait for something bad to happen before you implement effective security in your school. Take action and follow these school security tips to ensure the safety of your students and school.
Here are 5 ways that guarantee students and school safety.
Create A Security Policy
You should put together a security policy or document that will guide you and your staff when an emergency arrives. This document can be a simple 3 to 5 page long that encapsulate actions to be taken.
For instance, have a school member lock the main gate once school is in session. All unlocked doors should be monitored by an individual to avoid any unwelcome guests from walking in. Consider access controls as a locking system s where only people with the proper credentials can enter once school begins. An access control system is key to ensuring the prevention of unauthorized persons.
Many people consider their School to be a safe and comforting place and might not think to look around to find the nearest exits. Pointing out clearly where the exists are will help students know where to go when an emergency strike.
Talk About Safety
Scheduling meetings to discuss security measures with parents, staff and students allows for a fresh perspective on security issues and even reveal possible flaws in the school’s security policy. Such meetings also encourage and help students to be more security conscious.
One way to identify trouble spots is to have someone point them out. Inviting security experts like security service providers, police officers, ambulance service, or fire officers can help you and students understand the possible risks in your school. They can also offer ideas to solve the issues they see in order to create the safest school environment possible.
Train Staff and Assign Roles
In emergency situations, backup never hurt. Take time to train all your staff members not forgetting student leadership. Train everyone because It does not matter how small someone’s role may be, what matters is whether they can effectively respond to bad situations. In times of stress at schools, students will look to their teachers and student leadership.
To avoid chaos, determine beforehand who will do what. Assign somebody to call the police, someone to talk to authorities, and someone to calm down. It’s also beneficial to identify who could be helpful in emergency scenarios.
You can also establish lock-down procedures during your training. Decide the best way to protect your school and students. Pre-school, primary and JHS areas especially should have a clear plan. Many access control systems have a lock-down feature for emergency situations.
Install Video Surveillance
Even if you don’t think you’ll ever look back on it, it’s good to have security footage. Video cameras should be placed both inside and outside your School. The existence of the cameras discourages crime within the school compound, and hopefully from outside too. You can integrate your access control system with your cameras so you can be alerted if a door is held open.
Test Security Systems
Whether it’s an alarm you install or emergency lights in the case of a power outage, test it. A regular checkup on these systems should be done.
Is there a broken window? Don’t wait until a month from now to fix it. Taking care of problems as promptly and professionally as possible should deter criminals. If the upkeep of the School is consistent, there’s an assumption that everything about the school is organized, deliberate, and prepared for any situation. On the other hand, signs of neglect are apparent to all and might be sending the wrong message to parents and the public.
As long as you have a plan and have done everything you can, your School will be as safe as possible. Acting with intent pays off in the long run. If you’d like to get in touch with a security expert you can submit your information here and we’ll be in touch.