Safety & Security in School Planning Tom Neff, AIA, LEEP AP â€” Schmidt Associates
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O N -S I T E
SAFETY AND SECURITY PLANNING IN SCHOOLS Quality education isn’t the only concern for students and parents. Ensure a safe and secure learning environment is a critical factor in school function and design. According to Campus Safety Magazine, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) provides guidelines to create ‘safer’ schools. It suggests designs take into consideration: 1. Natural Surveillance 2. Access Control 3. Territoriality 4. Publicizing Your Efforts
NATURAL SURVEILLANCE Studies show people are less likely to commit crimes if they feel they are being observed. There are numerous ways in which to make the public feel like they are being observed. For schools, the following are practical ways to implement natural surveillance.
Clear lines of sight throughout the building.
Staff monitoring arrival and dismissal times.
Situation awareness, or the ability to immediately respond to a threat or emergency. This is the result of drills and training for staff and students.
ACCESS CONTROL Limiting the number of access points and making sure they are limited access increases the facilities security. One of the most effective solutions do this is with a secure vestibule.
1. The concept of a security vestibule is that someone would enter the vestibule. 2. After entering, the person would check-in at the office before gaining access to the rest of the building. 3. The second set of doors would remain locked and only open out.
Storm vestibules at the ends of corridors reduce damage from wind born debris blown down the corridor, as well as restricting potential easy access to the building.
Minimizing the size of windows and using mullions for exterior door hardware further protects possible entry points.
Having a visitor management procedure is key to a school security program. This allows you to know who is in your school, who they are visiting, and why they are there.
Electronic access control systems allow for electronic verification and identity for entry into the building. Authorized individuals would have an electronic key card to allow them entry through locked doors.
Have a panic button in the office for an â€œall lock downâ€? as well as a 911 call to the police ensures an additional level of security.
TERRITORIALITY Territoriality is the clear delineation and definition of space to create a sense of ownership for â€œlegitimateâ€? users (teachers, staff, and students). It creates an environment where intruders stand out.
Fencing helps to clearly define the site as well.
PUBLICIZING YOUR EFFORTS This will let more people know what the security enhancements are and how they are beneficial to the school and the community. It helps to inspire confidence in the stakeholders and will discourage potential attacks. Mike Seger serves as P-H-M’s Director of Safety and Student Services Seger is recognized as a national expert in the field of school safety. He works closely with the entire community — district administration and staff, parents and students, emergency responders and community partners — to make P-H-M schools amount the safest in the nation. Learn more about P-H-M’s safety awards and national recognition here. If you have questions about school safety, contact Director of Safety and Student Services Mike Seger at (574) 258-9551.
415 Massachusetts Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46204 317.263.6226 â€˘ www.schmidt-arch.com