Utilize Proven Measures for Safer Access Points
Controlling Access Points Reduces Crisis in Schools
Safety aspects in school settings must be met in order to foster an environment of learning, but safety cannot happen without security. While they need each other in order to flourish, school security can be difficult to provide. Children are seen as easy targets and many times the buildings on campus are spread out, offering easy entry. By utilizing some proven access control, security can become easily attained.
Here are some key areas that you should consider researching for more controlled access points:
- Electronic Door Locks
- Single Point Entry
- Do uble Entry System
- Reinforced Glass
Electronic Door Locks
In the past, teachers were given keys to their classroom doors, when an alert went out for a lockdown, usually over an intercom, teachers would rush to the hallway to lock their door, then go back in the classroom, shutting him or herself in the classroom with the students. This was common practice, but it left room for error. Teachers would potentially be harm’s way for prolonged periods of time, which also made the classroom full of students vulnerable to crisis. By installing and utilizing electronic door locks, educators are now able to push a button and lockdown their classroom without even being in close proximity. This innovation has significantly reduced the time that it takes to lockdown a school and has added to the security of the students and staff.
Single Point Entry
In the past, pre-Columbine, schools were fairly relaxed in the amount of doors that were unlocked from the outside. After Columbine, and a slew of other related incidents, schools began locking exterior doors and only allowing entry through a main door. This proved to be highly effective in visitor management, but also in securing access points. It allowed administrators to keep track of who was in the school, and gave peace of mind that everyone was entering through a single, designated and patrolled area.
Double Entry System
Also called a vestibule, the double entry system is possibly the most effective way to securing access points. In the past, schools had one door that led straight to the interior, usually an area near the administrative offices. While this isn’t entirely bad, it left a lot of room for crisis situations to occur at the front of the school, where many students and staff might evacuate in case of emergency. Take for instance an active shooter, they come in and start shooting, students and staff are trying to leave the building and go toward the front doors, leading them straight to the shooter. By installing a double entry system, this is somewhat preventable. A double entry system is set up where a visitor enters the school and is immediately met by another wall with windows and electronically locked doors. There is a camera and intercom. The visitor speaks with an administrator that identifies the visitor and electronically opens the next set of doors, allowing the visitor to enter the office and get a pass. This set up significantly reduces the potential for emergency situations by identifying a person’s reason for visiting without giving them access to the school.
In the past, schools were filled with windows so that natural light was let in and an open environment was created. These days, windows are smaller and reinforcing them is something to consider, especially large windows, or windows around access points. The idea behind reinforced windows is that they allow openness and light, without being easily broken by an unwanted visitor. Sometimes reinforced glass is obvious, it may have wire in between, and other times, it is invisible to the naked eye. Either way, reinforced glass aids in reducing forced entry access, especially in schools.
By implementing some minor changes to the safety atmosphere at your school, you are ensuring the security of the students and staff in your care. Utilizing electronic door locks, single point entry, double entry systems, and reinforced glass are all areas proven to increase security for access control in school settings.