School Security: Lessons from the Past and Suggestions for the Future


Outside Building Security Measures



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Outside Building Security Measures:

One school that posted its security measures online was Idaho Hill. The outside of Idaho Hill Security measures are as follows: “During school hours, ALL exterior doors will be locked to outside entry with the exception of the door by the office. Emergency evacuation drills are conducted on a regular basis. Procedures are in place to evacuate students off site in school buses should the need arise. All persons entering the building must check in at the office and obtain a pass. This includes parents picking up their kindergarten student(s)”. (Lewis)

Possible the biggest reason for having secure outer doors on a building is to deny or delay unwanted entry into a building. There are basically 5 elements or 5 “D’s” of physical security to look at. The first element of physical security is to deter. This is where the intruder can be deterred by the presence of physical security methods. Poorly maintained and poorly built gates, fences, and lighting send a message to the potential intruder that nobody cares about this property.

The second element is detection. This can be done by diverting intruders into an area where they can be easily seen or where they might activate some type of alarm system. For schools this could mean having a one-way drive in front of the school. While a one-way drive might slow the traffic of buses and parents dropping off kids, it also limits the access a potential threat has to access the building by vehicle.

The third “D” is delay. This element slows the intruder once a perimeter breach has occurred. Even after the intruder has entered the grounds, the way barriers are arranged can cause enough delay for special devices or alarms to be activated. This does not mean that special barriers need to be created however. Simply putting benches around winding pathways into a building or school can cause enough of a delay to raise the attention of officials to a potential threat. This can be achieved by using a tactic call Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Strategies and Applications or CPTED.

The fourth “D” is to deny. This element is denying the intruder entry by a hardening of barriers or making them more difficult to penetrate the closer an intruder gets to the building itself. This can also include providing many barriers which would allow proper officials to respond more quickly.

The final “D” is to destroy the intruder. This option is not as possible or probable in the application of school security. Threats to the school will often be intermingled with people that are in need of protection which limits the ability to destroy them safely without damaging the surrounding people.

Entrances into the school need to be well lit and also overlooked by windows. Any and all entrances need to be clearly defined and monitored as well. Also, schools should have clearly defined perimeters for schools through the use of fences, gates, environmental design, signage, and other professional security measures; Use designated parking areas especially for visitors and register staff and student vehicles; Provide supervision and monitoring of parking lots and outside areas as appropriate. Secure roof hatches and eliminate structural items that facilitate easy access to school roofs. (National School Safety and Security Services)





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