Posted January 31, 2022

It’s highly important to keep your students, staff and school premises safe and secure.

We know it sounds a daunting proposition, as there are so many potential risk factors at play.

We have over 20 years experience in this field, so you could say we are experts in keeping schools safe and secure. We install, and maintain fire alarms, and security systems throughout the education sector in the UK.

We hope this article will help you understand any areas of risk, and feel more prepared.

A school environment is a unique place for students and teachers alike, and there are hidden dangers.

Below are some shocking statistics. They are from a few years ago, however, we anticipate they will be a lot worse in todays’ schooling landscape.

A total of 30,394 crimes were reported at UK primary schools, secondary schools and further education establishments in 2014. This figure excludes universities. According to the data of 32 forces. In 2013, there were 28,444 crime reports.

Theft, burglary or robbery was the most common offence, with 13,003 incidents reported. There were 9,319 reports of violent crime, 4,106 reports of criminal damage or arson, and 754 reported drugs offences.

You can read more here in the online BBC article.

So how do we keep our schools safe and secure?

Hopefully, our five tips below will help you update your school safety. Leaving you rest assured your students, staff and premises as secure as physically possible.

School safe and security – tip #1 – Plan for an emergency situation

Plan for any given situation you think may arise and have a set of procedures for it. Here are a few examples:

What happens is you have extreme weather conditions, and the school needs to be closed?

What happens if there is a fire?

If a student is stabbed at lunch time?

A procedure needs to be written for each scenario. Make sure they are consistent with the school policies and also your local authorities policies. Get these prepared in advance. The last thing you want to do is to improvise when you’re in high alert mode.

School safe and security – tip #2 – Deter unwelcomed visitors

Stopping unwelcomed visitors entering the school grounds is very important. We understand in some schools it’s close to impossible to have a physical barrier so there are other alternatives like security warning signs, intruder alarms, access control and CCTV.

Remember, you need to make sure the CCTV is being monitored, out of school hours too. This can be outsourced at certain times of the day, if you don’t have 24-hours cover.

School safe and security – tip #3 – Fire safety 

Hopefully you have a responsible person to run regular checks of the school’s fire alarm system. In addition you need to cary out regular fire drills. constantly reminding students of the prcoedures, meeting points and how to act. This is probably more essential than ever, with the increased amount of absenteeism and home-schooling over the last 2 years.

If you have made any changes to the school layout, extended or changed the use of certain classrooms, you’ll need to carry out an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment.

See below a recent testimonial we received from Derwent School.

“As a school we were in need of our current hardwired system upgrading to bring it up to current standards. When we received the options presented by SSSystems Ltd we were surprised to see that for a minimal increase in price, we could have a complete new wire free system. The system was installed without fuss within 3 working days. We now have one common easily controlled fire alarm system throughout the infant and junior school and are very pleased with the result.” Carol Tuck, Derwent School

School safe and security – tip #4 – Access Control

Access control is one of the best ways to ensure a safe environment. It only allows welcomed guests into your school and when they are in, allowing them only access to safe spaces. Temporary, restricted passes can be given at reception once regular ID checks have been carried out.

School safe and security – tip #5 – Windows and door locks

Depending on how old your school is will more than likely age your windows and locks. Doors have more chance of being damaged or widened and therefore upgraded later on.

Because of this they may be old and out of date and not as robust as you’d like to think. You need to make sure windows can be opened in case of a fire but not from any intruders outside (if the CCTV hasn’t put them off).

If you’d like to discuss any of the above services or arrange a specialist fire risk assessment, please give us a call on 03300 417170. Where one of our experienced members of staff will be happy to help. Alternatively contact us here.