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Jeremy Cassady

Safety special: Cost-effective school security solutions

Jeremy Cassady from Securikey offers advice on securing school buildings

Posted by Stephanie Broad | September 28, 2015 | Security & safety

Over the years, a number of tragic events have emphasised the need for a safe and secure school environment so that teachers and students are free to work in an environment which minimises the risk to their personal safety. However, it is also important that the building feels like a safe space for learning, so students can grow and develop rather than feeling they are being continually threatened as a result of over-the-top security measures.

Fortunately, there are many low cost security solutions available that have been designed to meet the safety requirements unique to school buildings and ensure the safety of teachers, students and visitors, while still being discreet and convenient.

Strict access control

Access control is one of the primary security concerns in schools, with the ideal being a system that prevents any unauthorised visitors from entering whilst providing a convenient method of access for those who enter the building, or particular areas of the building, regularly. Due to the volume of students and staff members and the high turnover in schools, the allocation of keys or cards to access particular areas of the building is unpractical. In these cases, digital door locks are widely used because they provide a low cost, easy to install access control solution.

As they require no additional hardware and are completely self-contained, digital door locks are quick and easy to fit as well as being ideally suited for retrofit on a small budget. As digital door locks offer a simple solution compared to ‘high tech’ access control options like biometric fingerprint readers, there is little that can go wrong and consequently models purchased from a reputable supplier can last for many years. In addition, once installed, they can be reprogrammed at any time so security can be instantly reinstated if compromised or if there is a changeover in staff. 

Electronic upgrades

When updating security measures in conjunction with new building works, safes should not be overlooked in school buildings. For schools that already have adequate safe space but who are looking to move to a ‘no key’ system in order to monitor safe use more closely, an easy and low cost solution is to upgrade existing key locks with an electronic alternative. One of the main advantages offered by some electronic safe locks is that they allow for multiple user codes as well as providing an audit trail, so use of the safe can be carefully monitored. An electronic safe lock also offers flexibility as the safe combination code can be changed at any time.

Mini vault with electronic lock

Reflecting on safety

Depending on the extent of a refurbishment project, areas of a school building can change dramatically in terms of space configuration. With a large amount of foot traffic in areas like school corridors and reception areas, convex mirrors are a popular and inexpensive safety measure to counteract any risks in these areas. These mirrors have wider fields of view than other reflective surfaces like flat or concave mirrors and consequently are highly effective in enhancing safety and security by improving surveillance and eliminating blind spots. An established supplier will be able to provide valuable information to ensure that the mirror meets the requirement and complies with all the latest regulations.

Corner convex mirror

Knowledge is key

During any school refurbishment project, it is important that individuals responsible for implementing effective security measures are aware of the choices available; Trusted security equipment manufacturers are well placed to share their expertise at an early design stage and recommend solutions that are inexpensive as well as being compliant with health and safety legislation. 

Jeremy Cassady is Managing Director at Securikey    

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