• GUEST BLOG: Keeping educational establishments protected during holiday periods

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien
    School Security

    By 2020 Vision

    Students and teachers are currently enjoying some much-needed time off, following a year of studying and preparing for numerous exams.

    While there are many reasons for those in the educational sector to look forward to the summer break, it also means that schools will be left empty for a sustained period of time.

    And it’s the same for half-terms, Christmas, Easter and, of course, weekends.

    This obviously heightens the risk of thefts, vandalism and arson attacks. Therefore, staff members at an establishment should work through this checklist before they leave the classroom on the last day of term — as well as throughout the new school year heading into weekends:

    What security measures should be undertaken?

    Performing an adequate check of a school’s maintenance programmes before leaving for a break or weekend is very important. This will cover that fire alarms, intruder alarms and sprinkler systems are all operating properly.

    Take a look around the entire school as well and find if there are any areas that could benefit from added security or additional alarms. Look out for areas that don’t have adequate surveillance currently but house many pieces of expensive equipment and technology. Cloud CCTV should also be considered when enhancing security, as it means a space can be monitored without the requirement to be on sight at all times.

    Security grilles and shutters should also be checked to ensure they are operating correctly, if these are used at an establishment, while damage to the fittings or bulbs of any external lights should be reported as soon as the issue is seen.

    Ensure bins and skips are kept eight metres away from buildings too, as well as stored within a secure part of the grounds, so that they can’t be used to access the school.

    What should be checked inside the classroom?

    It can be tempting to rush out of the classroom once the final day of term draws to a close or the weekend begins, but be sure to carry out a few checks before leaving.

    All deterioration and breakage to doors, windows, roofs, wall cladding, ceiling tiles, alarms and locks should be reported as soon as they are discovered, so that there is enough time to get them repaired before the holidays begin.

    There’s also a few quick checks that can be undertaken. Ensure all windows have been closed and locked before leaving a classroom for the final day of term, for example, as well as that all electronics have been switched off at the mains.

    Valuable equipment should be kept out of view too, so lock them away in a secure place before leaving the classroom.

    What should be checked around the school’s perimeter?

    It’s not just the school itself that should be checked before leaving to begin the holidays or the start of the weekend. Report any large or overgrown trees or shrubbery both inside the school grounds and around the perimeter. These can make access to the grounds easier, as well as lead to unnecessary blind spots of CCTV coverage.

    Locks need to be regularly checked to ensure they are still fit for purpose too, while it’s also wise to have a look check that all of the fencing around a school is fully intact, with no damage or footholds that allow for easy access into the grounds.


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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