The winter months bring many security risks to schools and according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the economic downturn is stretching caretaking budgets.
Add in the priority to safeguard staff and pupils and it becomes essential that schools have solid, cost-effective security solutions for keeping premises safe out of hours and during the holidays.
With 700 education sites to keep safe during winter, we’re well aware of the security challenges at this time of year and how best to tackle them.
What are the risks to schools during winter?
No surprises here – during winter, dark, cold evenings are a given.
Staff are increasingly responsible for responding to alarm calls or allowing contracting crews onto the premises out of hours. Some even lock and unlock the premises during term time. No one wants to do these tasks in the dark. It presents a security risk and adds yet another responsibility to an already growing list that teachers take on in their role.
The extended Christmas holiday also presents a challenge. Anti-social behaviour is at its peak during holiday time when schools become a popular target for property theft and criminals look to exploit a lack of security. It’s vital to have a provision for protecting your grounds from those who shouldn’t be there.
Managing school security over winter is complex – schools need to keep their staff and students safe by taking the advice of specialists
Sherrelle Blackwell, Strategic Solutions Director, The Keyholding Company
So, how can you protect your school during winter?
Protect your staff by leaving alarm response to the experts
Keep your staff out of harm’s way (and out of the dark) by choosing an alarm response specialist. They’ll be best placed to respond to the alarm quickly, assess the situation and keep your premises secure if emergency services are needed. They’ll also report back on any issues, so you’re kept fully up to date.
Delegate responsibility for locking and unlocking your premises
Outsource the responsibility for locks and unlocks, so your staff feel secure out of hours and during the holidays. Dedicated officers can conduct final checks and set the alarm before locking your premises at night and open up promptly the next morning.
When maintenance crews or contractors need to be let into the building, leave it to a trained officer. Your staff won’t be called out over the weekend or during their hard-earned holidays, keeping them protected and covering the school in case of accrued time in lieu.
Deter criminality with mobile patrols
If you’re looking for a visual deterrent to anti-social behaviour or attempts at property theft, you should consider mobile patrols from a licensed security officer. Making sure your school has year-round perimeter and grounds protection limits criminal activity, protects your premises from theft or vandalism, and discourages seasonal mischief.
Get security solutions you can trust
Year-round security for schools is important but the winter months do present unique challenges. It’s vital that measures are put in place to safeguard not only your staff and students, but your premises too.
The Keyholding Company is on the ESPO Security Services Framework (347) and currently services over 700 educational sites across the UK. As well as being the UK’s number 1 keyholding and alarm response specialists, we offer a full suite of flexible services that can be scaled up and down depending on what cover you need, helping keep costs down and your school safe all year round.
If you’d like a free quote today, click here and one of our experts will be in touch as soon as possible.
For all general enquiries, email email@example.com or call us on 0370 770 6886.
Secure your school this winter
Learn more about our school security services and find out how we can help keep your school safe this winter.Speak to an expert
N.B: This article was originally created for ESPO.