SAFE SCHOOL SPECIFICS
The following suggestions are specific design and management tips for a safer school:
• Conduct a security needs assessment for each school with a uniform survey instrument.
• Have a districtwide crisis response plan and establish practices annually.
• Integrate school security systems and have them remotely monitored.
• Use natural and mechanical access control.
• Selectively use CCTV.
• Eliminate design features that provide access to roofs or upper levels.
• Develop a safe corridor program.
• Communicate your security policy to faculty and students.
• Have lighting on grounds from dusk to dawn.
• Have self-engaging locking mechanisms on all windows.
• Provide landscape buffers to reduce access to walls vulnerable to graffiti.
• Provide piano hinges on vulnerable external doors to reduce access.
• Be careful of placement of utility boxes along the sides of building walls that could provide climbing access to the roofs or
• If basketball courts are exposed, provide and external water fountain to reduce need to climb over fences to get water.
• If basketball, volleyball or tennis courts are attracting nuisance behavior after-hours, remove the nets and hoops at the end of day.
• Be sensitive to placements of internal space protection devices near air conditioning vents or exhaust grills because the vibrations of the compressor kicking on can trigger false alarms.
• Doors, frames and locks must be Institutional grade to withstand heavy use and abuse. Faceplates should be used over locks to prevent jimmying.
• Reconsider the use of student lockers. The trend is for no lockers, and allowing the use of clear or transparent backpacks.
• School boundaries and exercise areas should be fenced with a vandal-resistant picket type of fencing.
• Limit the number of buildings to as few as possible, preferably one, to restrict access to outsiders and illegitimate users.
• Minimize the entrances to as few as possible - preferably one for student and faculty use - to restrict access to legitimate building users. All fire exits should be exit only, with no handles for reentry.
• Allow for a security person to be positioned at a single entrance onto the school campus to challenge each vehicle for identification of all occupants if needed. Buses and school employees would have their own separate and controlled entrance.
• Minimize the number of driveways or parking lots that students have to walk across to get to the school entrance.
• Allow for the ability to lock off the rest of campus from the gym during after-hours.
• Provide the conduit for present and future communication and security systems in classrooms and common areas.