7 Ways To Improve School Entrance Security
Do Schools Need Security?
Schools should be places where staff and students feel safe and secure, but the unfortunate reality is that assaults and active shooting incidents can occur anywhere. In fact, violence in schools has been on the rise for years now, making the issue of school security more important than ever.
Parents want to know that their students are safe when they send them off to school every morning. So, how can schools ensure that they are doing everything they can to physically protect teachers and pupils? Keep reading to find out some of the top ways to improve school entrance security to discourage crime on school grounds and keep bad guys out.
7 Tips for Improving School Entrance Security
1. Secure school entrances with access control systems
Equipping all in-use entry points with access control units ensures that only the people who are supposed to have access can get in and out of the school. Staff and students can be supplied with RFID chip cards that allow them to open the doors they need to use, including the main entry door and classroom doors inside the building.
Anyone who is not supposed to have access to the school then has to be let in by the front desk staff, a security guard, or another authorized person. This makes it much easier to monitor visitors to the premises. Access control systems also allow you to monitor all the property’s doors to ensure they’re closed and locked when they should be.
2. Use one main entrance during school hours
While school is in session, only letting teachers and students in and out through one front entrance helps keep the school secure and facilitates easy monitoring of who’s coming and going. Staff or security personnel can be posted at the front door during entrance and exit times to keep an eye out for security threats and make sure everyone gets in and out safely.
Having one main entrance also allows you to most effectively put your security budget to work. You can focus other efforts around this area to ensure the highest level of school entrance security.
3. Monitor activity on school grounds with CCTV
A monitored surveillance system is another vital component of a comprehensive school security system. Visible, wide-angle cameras should cover all school entrances and high-traffic areas. The first benefit of the cameras is to help deter crime — bad guys are much less likely to try and force entry to a school if they know they’re being watched.
The cameras also allow staff or security personnel to keep an eye out for suspicious activity on school grounds and respond appropriately. Finally, if there is an assault or another crime that occurs at the school, footage from the cameras can be used to help catch and prosecute the perpetrators.
4. Utilize monitored alarm systems
Schools should be fitted with modern alarm systems that detect forced entry and alert staff and the authorities if there is a breach. These alarms can also make loud sounds to deter criminal activity and make would-be intruders think twice about continuing with their plan.
Additionally, reception areas can be fitted with panic buttons that staff can push if there is ever a serious security threat to the school. These types of duress alarm systems for schools can alert police and emergency services to get them on the way immediately, as well as broadcast warnings throughout the school so staff and students can get to a secure area if there is an active shooter or another security threat.
5. Secure perimeters with fences
If a school’s perimeters are completely open, it’s far too easy for intruders to simply walk onto the grounds and look for a way to gain entry to the school. Installing perimeter fences help direct people to where you can easily keep an eye on them and make it easier to spot a suspicious individual coming onto the property where they’re not supposed to.
6. Funnel foot traffic through an easy to monitor area
Fences, signage, staff, and security personnel can be used to direct pedestrians towards the principal point of entry, where they can easily be screened and monitored. That way, there aren’t people coming onto the property from all directions, making it harder for staff and school security guards to keep an eye on everything.
7. Reinforce glass doors and windows with security glazing
Access control points, controlled entry, and alarm systems are all great to have, but there’s one thing they don’t do: create a physical barrier to forced entry. The wired glass and tempered safety glass often used for school entrance doors and windows do little to nothing to stop forced entry attempts.
A determined intruder can easily smash through a pane of glass to open a door from the inside, or simply climb right in through a broken window. It’s even easier for an active shooter to shoot out a window to gain access to the school.
To mitigate these risks, school doors and windows should be retrofitted with security glazing to create a protective barrier over the existing glass and delay or deny forced entry.
There are various types of security glazing products available, but polycarbonate glazing shields offer the highest level of security for schools. These protective shields look, feel, and function just like standard window glass, but are virtually unbreakable.
This is ideal for school security because the sheets don’t limit visibility or block out natural light. They also don’t make the building look like it’s fortified, but staff, students, and parents can feel assured that the school has an extremely high level of protection against forced entry and other threats.
Final Thoughts on School Entrance Security
The probabilities of teachers and pupils experiencing a violent attack at school are still relatively low, but it’s important for schools to have the right security measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the property at all times. By following the tips in this article, school administrators can greatly improve school entrance security.
Contact Riot Glass® today for information about our security glazing solutions for schools.