How to assess school exterior security
School security is more than just keeping criminals away from your school—it’s also about making sure the outside of your building protects the people inside. Yes, you can invest in security cameras and elaborate security systems, but CM Regent can also suggest some less expensive ways to protect your school’s exterior:
Think like an intruder. Take time to walk around the perimeter of your building and determine where you would hide if you were planning to gain access to the facility. Consider where the easiest place to break in (such as an easily accessible window) would be. Then, use these observations to assemble a list of easy changes you could make to deter intruders and thieves.
Prevent crime through environmental design. Once you have identified the areas where your security is weakest, brainstorm ways you could use natural surveillance to discourage criminals. Natural surveillance involves increasing visibility around your perimeter. You can do this by planting trees and shrubs in areas where they will not block visibility to and from playgrounds, storage areas, parking lots and windows. Make sure there are no trees close enough to your building that an intruder could climb a tree to gain access through a window.
Place barriers in strategic locations. Vehicles should not be able to drive to the rear of your school and remain undetected for a long period of time. Restrict the areas in which cars can park during the day and block off low-visibility areas of the building. Provide curbing in high-risk areas of your parking lot. If there are parking spaces close to your building, make sure you put barriers in place so a car could not easily drive into the building.
Involve your staff members in security. There are many ways your staff can help keep your building secure. Remind them never to prop doors open—even if they’re only going to be outside for a moment. Empower them to keep their eyes open for suspicious behavior. If they work in a classroom or office with a window, they should make a regular habit of checking outside for any strange behavior. When they walk into or out of the building, they should constantly be observing their surroundings.
Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your security. For more ideas on keeping your building secure, visit cmregent.com.