Architects, parents, school boards and school supervisors are working hard to make schools safe for all students and faculty. There are many solutions that can help create secure school environments. This article will look at ways to make schools safer with doors and frames from ASSA ABLOY Group brands.
Even beyond the envelope of the school are the grounds surrounding the school. This area can also be protected with perimeter fencing. Available in today’s market are fencing that is decorative and is anti-cut, anti-climb and anti-vandal. The perimeter fencing is a simple way to funnel all entrance points to the school grounds to one controlled and highly visible area.
First and foremost, the school envelope must be secure. Much attention is given to the main entrance to the school. But just as important are the other exterior openings. The addition of steel security doors on all exits other than the main entrance are critical to making sure an intruder does not circumvent the front doors and gain access to the school through a non secure back door. Commercial grade security doors and frames can help keep unauthorized persons from gaining egress into the school.
The main entrance of the school must be designed to be flexible, balancing durability, security & visibility, and aesthetics as necessities. An innovative solution is the construction of vestibules or man-trap access control. In the Middle Ages, mantraps were used to check visitor credentials in prisons. A visitor would be allowed entry into an enclosed vestibule, at which time the entry door would be locked and the visitor’s credentials examined. If the credentials didn’t check out, or if the visitor was determined to be a person of interest – the trapped visitor could easily be detained. Today, this same principal can be used with doors that can only be opened if the other door is locked. Both aluminum and hollow metal frames can be used in conjunction with a durable fiberglass reinforced polyester door combined to construct a modern day vestibule.
In the classroom, door frames with sidelights that can be blocked or closed can keep the intruder from easily seeing into the room and thereby passing that room by, assuming that no one is occupying the room. Bullet resistant doors can also be used for closets (safe room) in each classroom. Many levels of bullet resistant doors, frames, and sidelight panels are available to use even as a retrofit application and can be manufactured to look and feel like a normal commercial opening.
A more devastating disaster that can occur in the Midwest and Southern part of the country is severe weather event. A fast developing storm can quickly produce a major tornado event with only minutes available to seek shelter. A total of 15 school related fatalities by tornado have been recorded in the last ten years. The addition of severe weather shelters in schools is making students and faculty safer than ever before.
ASSA ABLOY and the Door and Perimeter Security Group are very committed to making all schools a safer place for students and teachers.
ASSA ABLOY offers schools a Security Assessment Program to help school officials design a safer school around access of the building. Listed below this article are links to websites and a new K-12 School Security Assessment App available for download.
School Safety from Curries
School Safety from Ceco Door
School Safety from Security Metal Products
Solutions from ASSA ABLOY
Door & Perimeter Security App
School Site Assessment App