7 Security Measures for Schools

School Slow Traffic Warning SignWhilst schools are a place of learning, they are also at risk of potential crimes and therefore robust security measures need to be put in place. Here, we discuss 7 security measures for schools. 

Have access control 

Access control measures are a great way to ensure the flow of people into the school is limited. Having keypads at entrances to buildings that require a pin code or an ID badge can help keep track of who is in a building at any one time. Access control cards can also be assigned to students as well as staff. This will create even greater control of who is on-site at any given moment.

Use signs effectively 

It has been proven that barriers, gates, and other perimeter security measures can be complemented with the effective use of signs. These signs can be used to not only deter criminals (For example, by installing signs that state CCTV cameras are in action on-site) but, can also highlight exits in cases of emergency, keeping everyone safe and aware of what to do in an emergency.

Ensure the perimeter is secure 

It is vital that the entire perimeter of a school is protected. Perimeter security measures such as barriers, gates, and turnstiles can all be used effectively to ensure there are no easy access points. Assess the perimeter on a regular basis to check there are do damaged areas to the perimeter. For example, check for any holes in fences or any weak points that need to be repaired. 

Try and install metal gates and fences where possible as although they are more costly, they will last longer when properly maintained.

Consider having a gated entrance, ideally one that requires keypad or swipe card entry. Although during peak times such as the start or end of the day, the gate may have to be left open, having the added gate protection can help staff feel safe when they are leaving work after the children have gone home.

Although securing the perimeter is vital, whatever is installed needs to be able to unlock in case of emergencies when an alarm is triggered, so bear this in mind.

CCTV

Install CCTV in key areas, for example where high-value items such as computers and money are kept. Having this extra layer of security helps protect the higher risk areas. Although the CCTV footage may not be reviewed regularly, it is invaluable to consult after an incident such as theft, fires or vandalism. 

Keep track of visitors 

Ensure all visitors naturally have to walk past the reception of the school. Try and limit the places on the school grounds that a visitor can access without temporary access cards. Keeping access limited will help stop unauthorised personnel from being able to wander around the school site.

Install security lighting 

During the colder, darker months, it is always a good idea to install security lighting through the site. Especially near playgrounds and footpaths to ensure accidents and trips are avoided and the staff and students feel safe walking around outside.

Carry out regular risk assessments

Security requirements will inevitably change over time. More security solutions will be available and the needs of the school may alter. Therefore, you should assign someone to be in charge of assessing the site. Alternatively, you can hire a security company to come in to carry out the risk assessment. The benefit of using someone external is the fresh eyes and new perspective they can provide.

Enforcing these measures will help create a safe environment that will benefit the staff and students alike. By have strictly enforced security measures like the ones discussed above ensures that learning can take place without being disruptive, there is higher morale, less cost in the long run as theft and other criminal damage will be reduced. In addition to this, schools that can be clearly seen putting safety as a key priority will gain a great reputation which will benefit the school for years to come.

What’s Next? 

For more information on how Gateway Automation can help keep your premises secure, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment. 

University Campus Security Challenges

University campusUniversity campus security can be a difficult challenge to overcome. With hundreds of students coming and going around campus, it is crucial that sufficient security measures are in place. Here we discuss some of the best ways to approach campus security challenges and what measures should be enforced.

STEP 1: Define the problem & Identify Potential Issues

Before investing in more security solutions, it is of upmost importance that all potential threats are considered. The region and demographics of the campus and threat type should be considered. Identify the trends you are experiencing before thinking about which security measures will be best for each of them.

STEP 2: Implement Security Measures

Here are just some of the methods which have proven to be successful for improving university campus security. Use the information you have collated from step one to tackle the campuses specific problems and risks.

•    Access Control– Using access control has been proven to be an effective form of security on campus. Each student usually has an ID badge which provides them access to specific buildings. These not only help identify students, they can provide a sense of protection. An electronic visitor management system should also be considered to keep track of all visitors and people on campus.

•    Turnstiles-Turnstiles can be extremely effective, especially when teamed up with access control equipment. Having these together, can stop the risk of tailgating and help ensure that only authorised people can enter.

•    Bollards– Bollards can successfully protect both vulnerable buildings from damage but also protect pedestrians. Having bollards strategically located throughout the campus can help reduce the risk of accidents from vehicles as they do not allow cars to enter and helps indicate to students and staff where the designated pedestrian areas are with ease.

    Sufficient Lighting– There have been many studies that highlight the importance of lighting as a security measure. Not only does sufficient lighting automatically make people feel safer, but the light also helps identify any criminals or potential criminals more easily when caught on CCTV and can help act as a deterrent.

   Barriers- Barriers at the entrances of University campuses can be extremely effective. Especially if they are teamed up with manned security. Having these measures in place from the beginning helps ensure the correct people are let on to campus.

    Training Courses- Although all the measures mentioned above can be successful, it is crucial that everyone is aware of these security measures and understand the importance of them. Therefore students and staff alike should have security training courses if possible to help them stay safe as well.

STEP 3: Measure effectiveness and continue to measure and adapt

Once you have adopted a strategy the work has not finished. To ensure that it will continue to be effective you must measure the results. If the results are negative, amend your strategy accordingly. Building a university campus that is as safe as possible is a continuous process and will always be adapting and changing.

Here we have discussed the steps needed to approach campus security challenges. A combination of security measures will ensure a 360 holistic security approach that can be extremely robust. However, the important thing to remember is to always measure the impact these security methods have and change and amend wherever necessary.

What’s Next?

To find out more about how security can be used successfully on an University campus , please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

What are the security risks in schools?

It is vital that our schools are as protected and secure as possible. Students and teachers alike spend large portions of their weekdays here, so they need to know they are as secure as possible for their own safety.

Unfortunately, there are many security risks that can occur at school ranging from truancy to unauthorised access which could lead to fires, vandalism and threats. Although security measures are expensive, and schools are run on strict budgets, it is a lot more costly to deal with the effects of a security breach than it potentially is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here we discuss some of the security risks schools face and how we can try and combat them.

Property related crime is a relatively common occurrence and risk at schools. Vandalism and theft not only cause damage to the property and the need to replace the equipment, it could lead to a serious data breach if sensitive information is leaked. It also causes disruption to the running of the school and lessons, which in turn will impact the quality of learning. Having repeated acts of this type can also have a demotivating impact on both staff and students.

Perimeter Security
It is common for vandalism to happen on school grounds after hours and during school holidays. Due to the school being unoccupied for significant amounts of time during these school breaks, it makes the premises vulnerable, especially if the sufficient security measures are not in place. Perimeter security is the easiest and often most cost-effective method of controlling this. Having gates and fences around the entire boundary of the school not only prevents unauthorised people from coming onto the site whilst the school is closed, they are equally as effective during school hours as well. Having security gates in full time use will also reduce the risk of truancy. Schools with extensive fields and land need to ensure that all of the perimeter is as secure as possible.

Access Control
A lot of schools have many different points of entry which makes securing the property difficult. In many circumstances the school may offer services to the local community such as a gym, library or nursery which will mean access to the general public will be necessary. Not having control over who comes into the school can cause problems. To reduce the risk of anything bad happening, ensuring the main buildings, and rooms storing important equipment and data such as computer rooms and server rooms, should have additional security and methods of access control. Having key cards and entry codes are ways to add this additional security. Its also important to ensure computer rooms and server rooms are not on the ground floor if possible, as these are in a more vulnerable location.

Bollards and Speed Ramps
It is not only the risk of vandalism, theft and unauthorised entry which schools have to consider. School car parks are there to be used by staff and parents, however these come with their own security risk. Due to how busy car parks come at the beginning and end of the school day, the volume of vehicles and pedestrians can lead to the risk of injury or damage. Having bollards to block off some areas from vehicles parking as well as having speed ramps to ensure traffic is always slow are two simple ways of reducing this risk.

The risks discussed are just some that schools can face daily. The security of schools needs to be measured and assessed regularly to ensure the staff and students remain safe. Although security measures can be costly, Gateway Automation can help to choose the most cost-effective options for you. For a free non-obligation quotation and feasibility survey please contact Gateway Automation on 01522 682255.

How access control equipment could help schools to be outstanding

how access control equipment can help schools to be outstandingOfsted visits are as stressful as it gets for school teachers and meeting their ever-changing criteria is a common source of headaches. While security equipment is by no means a fool-proof method of guaranteeing a positive outcome with Ofsted inspectors, there is evidence it could impress them.

Ofsted’s job is outlined as ‘inspecting and regulating to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people’. While Ofsted does not outline specific standards in their guidebooks regarding security, they do require that schools protect “their pupils, staff and property”.

The Ofsted inspector’s recommendation document helps schools and teachers to understand what aspects they find impressive at other schools around the UK. It highlights examples of security, in particular managing the follow of children and visitors using access control equipment.

Besides impressing Ofsted inspectors, access control equipment can provide some very practical benefits to schools. They can ensure that students stay safely inside the school buildings during the day, they can track staff entry and exit times, prevent truancy and prevent access to unwanted visitors. Access control equipment can include intercoms, keypads, cards, fobs or even turnstiles all of which can improve safety levels on-site.

For many schools, access control equipment is high on their agenda, but cost can often be a barrier due to shrinking budgets. Here at Gateway Automation we can help you find the most cost-effective option for your school while maintaining high standards of safety and control.

Are you interested in finding out more? Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help educational sites to secure their premises and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

How to keep schools safe and secure with access control equipment

How to keep schools safeSchools are very busy environments with lots of pedestrian and vehicular traffic throughout the day, something which presents a challenge in terms of security. How can schools ensure that their sites remain safe from crime and under control with so much activity? Here we look at the role that access control equipment can play.

According to Ofsted guidelines, schools are required to provide a safe and secure environment for children to reside in. This means that it is essential for schools to find ways to secure the entry points of their sites. Whether this is achieved through access control equipment like intercoms, keypads, cards or fobs, or by installing a turnstile system allowing staff to check credentials, it should be high on the agenda when looking at how to meet their expected requirements.

It’s not only their pupils that schools are obliged to find ways to protect, either. Many schools today hold lots of important confidential information as well as highly valuable equipment such as computers, printers, photocopiers, TV’s, medical supplies and much more. The relatively low-key attitude that many schools have taken in the past to site security means that walk-in-thieves and trespassers view them as easy targets. Access control equipment strategically placed can help to shut down access in certain areas where high value equipment is stored, making it more difficult to access, at least for those who are unauthorized to do so.

Many businesses and organizations turn to us for access control equipment as a means of recording attendance, both among staff and among pupils. By installing fobs or key card systems at strategic points through a school you can ensure that you have up to date records of who is on your site and when they arrive and leave. This is a proven way to not only reduce absenteeism and truancy but also to help with fire safety guidelines.

Access control equipment may be a relatively new concept for schools, however in uncertain times, it can provide pupils, staff and parents peace of mind that no unauthorized visitors are making their way onto the site to cause harm.

Gateway Automation provides a range of products including access control equipment to help businesses and individuals secure their sites against crime. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more please call us on 01522 682255.