Having a comprehensive set of safety measures in place at school helps foster a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning. By planning ahead and adopting effective safety measures, schools can prepare students and staff to quickly and confidently respond in an emergency situation.
This article highlights key reasons for implementing new safety measures in schools. We will discuss five ways to improve school safety measures and outline next steps for upgrading your school’s safety measures.
Improving School Safety Measures Is More Vital Than Ever
Unfortunately, emergency situations and school shootings are more prevalent in the United States than ever before. In fact, as of November 17th of 2023, there have been a shocking 77 school shootings in the U.S. this year.
A broader view of the numbers reveals a grim reality. The past ten years show a dramatic increase in annual school shootings. In 2023, there were more than two and a half times as many annual school shootings than in 2013.
With threats against students and teachers approaching historic levels, schools must prepare for potential emergencies. Equipping themselves with a complete and detailed set of lockdown protocols is an excellent place to start. Fortunately, there are many ways that implementing new safety measures can increase safety and bring peace of mind to your school.
Five Ways to Improve School Safety Measures
There are many things a school can do to upgrade their safety measures. From simple policy changes and training, to installing a state-of-the-art school lockdown system, every detail matters. Even small safety improvements can make a huge difference during an emergency. These preparations lead to streamlined and effective responses from students, staff, and first responders.
1. Automate Your School Safety
Do your school’s current safety measures for lockdown situations require manual activation at each step of the process? If so, consider the benefits of switching to an automated safety system. Automated safety systems ensure that critical steps of the lockdown process are carried out without human action. This subsequently results in a lower chance for human error.
When activated during a lockdown event, our SmartBoot System triggers a series of lockdown protocols. This simple system simultaneously provides campus-wide lockdown alerts and notifies local law enforcement. It also features a physical door barricade, predetermined safe areas, and an unmistakable all-clear alert for when the lockdown is over.
2. Utilize the Latest Security Tech
Advancements in technology bring more possibilities and opportunities for improving school security. By staying up-to-date with the latest security innovations and implementing cutting-edge safety technology, your school can be fully prepared for any situation.
Security systems with multiple school lockdown modes keep schools in control at all times. For example, silent alarms let school staff discreetly report concerning behavior without warning the person causing the disruption. This gives staff a chance to respond swiftly before the situation escalates and compromises school safety.
3. Create Safe Zones
Another fantastic way to improve school safety measures is to establish safe zones in each room. These zones provide a safe place for staff and students to hide while they wait for law enforcement to arrive.
Properly positioning the safe zone is critical. When determining where a safe zone should be located, make sure that it is not visible from windows and doors. The area should be large enough for students to lay flat on their bellies. Large, solid furniture like a bookshelf or cabinet can be positioned around the safe zone to create additional cover if needed.
4. Have Clear Signage and Maps
First responders rely on clear signage and updated facility maps to navigate a school during an emergency. Without these critical tools, it might take longer to determine their location and locate rooms.
Developing a color coded zoning system will clearly define the main layout of your school, breaking it down into manageable zones so first responders can quickly identify different areas of the building. Combining zoning with signage like our highly reflective Rapid Response Placards will further help first responders locate rooms quickly and accurately, removing any guesswork.
5. Train Staff on Safety Measures
An excellent security system depends on the user’s ability to understand its capabilities and properly operate it. Through training sessions and practice drills, schools can provide staff and students with the knowledge and skills they need to properly utilize a new security system.
As you implement new security measures, take time to train everyone in the building how to use them. It’s helpful to hold multiple training sessions and lockdown drills throughout the year. This allows people to practice using any new equipment and build confidence with the system. Through ongoing training, school staff will be better capable of reacting to dangerous scenarios and contributing to the overall safety of your school environment.
Ready to Improve Your School's Safety Measures?
Now that you know why having a plan in place is vital to school safety, take a serious look at the current state of your school’s security measures. If your school’s safety measures are underdeveloped or simply aren’t up-to-date, improving them should be your top priority. Not sure where to start? Consider working with a team of professional safety experts to help guide you.
At The Lockout Co., we have experience enhancing the security of schools, offices, government buildings, and many other types of facilities. We offer the most impressive state-of-the-art security products including the SmartBoot System, color coding zoning system, and Rapid Response Placards, which work together to secure your building and everyone inside.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you implement new safety measures in your school, reach out to us today. We look forward to aiding in your efforts to keep your students and staff safe and secure.