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HEATING Keeping schools safe from would- be mass shooters requires a multifaceted strategy that brings
together facilities professionals, interior designers, school personnel and
the community, according to a panel
of experts at the 2018 Global Security
Start revamping your security prac-
tices with these four common-sense
Access control strategies for schools
aren’t always about sophisticated technology. Sometimes they’re about reducing the number of ways people can get
into your building and specifying doors
that lock from the inside.
“It begins with access control,”
explains Paul Timm, vice president of
physical security services for Facility
Engineering Associates. “We’ll have
more secured vestibules, fewer exterior
doors and more interior doors that lock
in the classroom. We’ve traded security
for convenience, but it’s headed in the
Designing schools requires a strong
focus on physical security, but without
making the building feel like a jail. Start
by looping in students and teachers on
what security measures you’re taking
and why, Timm recommends.
The entire building should incorpo-
rate the principles of Crime Prevention
Through Environmental Design, including
four focus areas:
n Natural surveillance: Do you have
good lines of sight to see, or is veg-
etation blocking some views?
n Border definition: Do you have a
fence that clearly marks the boundar-
ies of the school property?
n Access control and wayfinding: Is it
clear where people are supposed to
park and enter the building?
n Maintenance: Are you maintaining
a clean, orderly campus to show it’s
being taken care of?
EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK AND IMPROVE
Better Security Policies
Every school needs smart security protocols backing up its technology and design
features. Your state may have requirements
for drills. Unfunded security and prevention
mandates may require creative budgeting, but letting crucial safety and security
requirements fall to the wayside for financial reasons isn't an option, says Andrew
Walsh, deputy chief of the Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department.
Use NFPA 3000, a new standard
designed specifically for responding to
active shooters and hostile events, to
revamp your emergency planning and
response appropriately. Engaging with students is another crucial aspect that has to
be customized to each individual school.
“Teach them to maintain situational
awareness and know their environment,”
says Scott Breor, deputy assistant secretary
with the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security Office of Infrastructure Protection.
“When they walk into a classroom or a
hallway, they need to know where they
are and think ‘If something was to happen,
what would I do?’ as part of their thought
Make the “say something” part of “If you
see something, say something” as easy as
possible by implementing easy ways for
students, faculty and others to report worrisome comments or social media posts.
“Sometimes it’s as overt as a kid on
social media holding Mom’s gun and saying
‘I’m coming to school strapped tomorrow,’”
Walsh explains. “That should prompt an
School resource officers can help moni-
tor social media, says Richard E. Smith, vice
president at large, IACP, and Chief of Police
for the Wakefield, MA, Police Department.
But students are best positioned to spot
questionable behavior since they’re more
likely to interact regularly with potential
Janelle Penny email@example.com
is a senior writer for BUILDINGS.