Top Tips for Securing Your Campus From Curb to Classroom
Effective security measures in schools and colleges can bring many benefits. A reduction in theft and vandalism and a greater feeling of personal security can greatly improve morale and contribute to a far better learning environment.
Whether starting an initial review, adding to existing measures, or looking for a solution to specific problems, we hope you will find this information useful. This information should be coordinated with the details identified in Secured by Design.
What You Need to Do: The Security Route Map
Decide in advance what you want to achieve. Are there existing problems which need to be overcome, or potential risks to counter? These should be prioritized, so that you clearly understand what is essential. Any security system involves a trade-off in terms of convenience and cost. You will also need to balance deterrent measures (such as video surveillance) with security systems which physically prevent intruders from gaining access.
Carry out a risk assessment. Threats to security include:
- Parents, visitors or students getting into areas where they aren't allowed without supervision
- People breaking in while the premises are empty to carry out petty theft or vandalism
- Professional thieves after valuable equipment such as computers
- Violent intruders breaking in during the day
One thing to remember is to balance security needs with the requirement for safety. A building may need to be evacuated in a hurry if there is a fire or bomb scare and security measures must not hinder this.
A review of your current security measures can identify weak spots. An open and frank conversation with your staff about the problems they encounter is usually the first step. Also reach out to your local police department for helpful advice, or approach a professional security consultant for a security survey.
Draw up an action plan to meet the threats. This obviously needs to be balanced against the available resources. Do not neglect possible hidden costs such as maintenance, replacements, or the need to provide specially trained staff to operate a system.
What Needs to be Considered
Educational security needs to be considered from several viewpoints and Secured by Design is a good starting point:
- Protection of the grounds, which can include fencing gates and security cameras
- The building perimeter, usually the main line of defense Ideally there should be a single entrance, so that all visitor access can be monitored and controlled. However, safety requirements may call for many exits to the building to allow rapid evacuation
- Within the building/campus, most rooms will not normally be locked, although the option to do this if necessary may be required. Certain rooms, such as laboratories, computer rooms and secure storerooms may need a much higher level of security
- Security requirements may change at different times - during the teaching day, in the evenings and at night, as well as in term-time and the holidays
To learn more about how Genetec Synergis™ IP access control and ASSA ABLOY solutions work together, please visit this webpage. For more on securing campuses, check out this PDF from ASSA ABLOY or download our best practices for selecting campus security systems white paper.