School staff and administrators look forward to seeing the shining, smiling faces of their students each morning. They are ready to greet their charges, listen to new stories, and answer sincere questions. They also carry on their shoulders the weight of protecting those little people – and each other – in the face of an active shooter situation or other emergencies.
Schools reach out to local law enforcement and other self-defense organizations to help them define and structure a response to immediate threat of violence. They also look to security professionals, like us here at Conzer Security, for assistance in making their schools safe.
Coordinating the school policies and procedures into safety equipment
Every element of the school’s safety process should be assessed and considered before deciding on the security equipment to install in your school. A solid security solution will take into account your policies, guidelines, and local ordinances.
For instance, a variety of controlled access options are available, from doors that lock automatically to those that work in tandem with audio and video surveillance systems. What might be best for your building and situation might not work for the school across town.
Another example is the immediate response you are adopting. The Department of Homeland Security suggests Run, Hide, Fight. Simply put, those are the steps to take when confronted with an immediate danger.
- Run and evacuate to a safe area. If that is not possible, proceed to the next step.
- Find a place to hide. If that is not possible, proceed to the next step.
- Only as a last resort, fight.
If that is your defined response for teachers and students, your security system should work with it, not stand in its way.
Assess, coordinate, and then install your security system
There is always a sense of urgency when we develop security systems for schools. But we caution schools to go through the process, even if they feel they need to hold their breath doing it.
Most schools today have some sort of security in place. It may be a sign-in system, or automatically locking exit doors. Others may have some sort of security camera system. In those situations, we, as a security company have to do two things:
- Assess the existing system to determine what can be utilized going forward, what needs to be replaced, and what is needed additionally.
- Determine how to integrate existing or old technology into the new system.
We take these steps for one simple reason: It saves the school from wasted or additional time and costs.
A good example is illustrated in a story about a school in Texas. A neighboring school had an intruder come into their building. Luckily, no one was injured but the incident alarmed the community and school administration. They wanted security, and they wanted it RIGHT NOW. They purchased door barricades believing it would reduce the cost of retro-fitting the hardware on classroom doors. They subsequently discovered that the type of door locking mechanisms they purchased were in violation of a local fire ordinance. All the door barricades had to be removed and they had to start at the beginning a second time. In the end, their rush resulted in not having all the information they needed to make a solid, informed decision, which cost them more time and more money.
Here at Conzer Security, we live on the edge of security. We understand the risks. We understand the fear. We understand the solutions. That’s because we are not only security professionals, but we are parents, business people, community stewards, and neighbors, too. And that is why we handle your security needs and systems as if they were our own and for our families. We design solutions that work for your situation and your budget.
Contact us and we will help you assess your existing system, policies, and procedures, coordinate it with your local ordinances, and work with you to design a security system that really does its job for you.