Is Campus Security Making the Grade?
Midterms and finals may be coming to an end for students this year, but it’s time for test prep of a different kind for schools around the country. Before kids return in the fall for a new school year, it’s time to prepare for a campus risk assessment.
Experts recommend that schools undergo a regular risk assessment as technology and times change, but what security issues should schools be concerned with?
Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT, talked about how important it is for schools to take a hard look at the safety concerns of students, teachers, staff and parents.
Fiel gave a quick list of important ‘must-haves’ before beginning the assessment:
1. A detailed campus map or floor plan- noting every door, emergency exit, gate, storage room and parking lot on and around campus. Schools should be prepared with all keys and codes to allow access to all areas of the campus.
2. What are the main safety and security concerns on campus? Administrators (principals, school board members), students, staff, teachers and parents should share safety concerns. Meeting with different groups independently paints a more complete picture of a campus’ security needs.
3. Are there special area-specific security concerns? Schools in California face different security challenges than schools in New York or Washington. Schools near facilities like nuclear plants, banks and hospitals might also have special security concerns.
4. Is security technology already in use on campus? Is it maintained? Smoke alarms and access control systems on their own are just fine when they’re properly maintained and monitored, but for a campus to be safe, Fiel says, it should have a well-rounded, comprehensive system with technology that integrates completely.
“It’s important to get a complete understanding of all of the school’s security concerns from top to bottom, it’s the only way we can pinpoint critical areas of vulnerability and provide a range of solutions to make the campus as safe as it can be,” he said.
– PSW Staff