New Guide Provides Advice on School Security
Secured by Design has launched a new guide providing advice on how best to design schools to help reduce crime levels. The New Schools 2014 document is aimed at developers, planners and architects and covers a range of areas, including fencing and lighting.
Secured by Design
Secured by Design is an initiative run by the UK police to help reduce crime levels through better building design and layout. Schools and other establishments can apply for Secured by Design certification.
Their latest document covers all areas of a school's design and layout to assist those involved in planning. It provides advice on specifications for a number of important areas, such as boundary fences and gates, entrances, pedestrian and vehicle access points and lighting.
How to Ensure a Secure Site
The Secured by Design document highlights that one of the most important ways of securing a school facility is by first addressing issues with the boundary. Erecting a fence not only defines the area and who it belongs to, but it also supports security initiatives. A well-built and durable fence will reduce access to the site by stopping burglars from entering or slowing down their progress. It also provides a clear entrance route for visitors and ensures children are secure and remain on site throughout the day.
A secure fence should ideally range from 1.2m to 2.4m high. Any lower than this and the fence will not be effective enough at maintaining the security of the grounds. In most instances, timber or wrought iron fencing should be adequate. There are certain specifications that this should adhere to if a school wishes to receive certification. Timber should be supplied from FSC-certified sources and have been treated to provide resistance to insect infestations and rot. Steel fencing should meet the relevant British Standards and be expected to last over 25 years.
Where the timber or wrought iron fencing is used over ground of varying levels, it needs to maintain a consistent height. This will stop the potential for lower levels offering easier access. All the fencing needs to be of a style that prevents people from climbing over the top.
As well as fencing, the use of gates can also maintain the security of a site. Gates help to define an entrance point and enable all visitors to be monitored when entering and leaving the grounds. When schools are installing gates on the site, they need to be an identical height to that of the fence. This again will increase the security along the whole perimeter. The gates shouldn't be easy to climb and can be secured either by a remote locking system or a padlock and key.
It's essential with all educational facilities that the site is as secure and well maintained as possible. This is important not just for preventing unauthorised access to the site or thefts from the building. It also ensures that pupils are able to go about their activities safely and are not able to leave the grounds independently.