School entrances are a critical location for security measures. A recent article by Campus Safety Magazine outlines 11 components of a safe school entrance. They included:
- perimeter fencing
- single point of entry
- staff monitoring of arrival and dismissal
- visitor management procedure
- double entry system (e.g., vestibule)
- minimal glass
- electronic access control
- video intercom for visitor screening
- door hardware
- office panic button
- situational awareness
We agree with all of those measures and would like to add a few other components that can improve the security of a school entrance.
- Make sure your cameras point not only at the door / entrance itself, but also at the pathway from the parking lot to the door. If the camera only looks down at the door, the first time you have eyes on a bad guy is when he’s already at the door. Cameras that view the path to the door can give valuable extra time to observe the threat and prepare.
- Make sure your front desk isn’t directly in the line of sight of the glass doors so that the bad guy at the door can’t see the person at the front desk. This can give valuable extra time for people inside the school to observe a threat and prepare before he enters the building.
- Make sure your panic button is in a reasonable location. If the panic button is 4 feet up on a wall, the person hiding under their desk isn’t going to risk getting out from under the desk to hit to panic button. Place these in logical places and places where people would hide or evacuate.
- Train your teachers and staff on what to do should a threat appear. If you don’t know what you’re going to do when a bad guy shows up, all these security measures are futile. Make sure your faculty and staff know exactly what to do if a threat appears on campus.