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Securing schools for better safety

While electronic devices such as tablets are becoming more prevalent at schools so do these valuable items increase the security risk. Criminals are now targeting these institutions more than ever. They wait until nightfall and enter the property via an unprotected fence, window, door and even through the roof.

“We have definitely seen a rise in school burglaries. Just recently we secured a school where the criminals had entered the school through the roof. We provided the school with alarms around the perimeter of the property as well as providing seismic detectors to the safe where many of the valuables are kept – these pick up vibrations from drills and other tools used to gain access to safes. We also placed cameras at the various entry points to the school,” explains Roy McEwan, owner of 6th Sense Security.

Some schools are now being fitted out with costly electronic white boards to replace blackboards – these come with computers and projectors, which all add up to a fortune. Add iPads and personal computers to the mix, all housed on a property which is unattended throughout the night and it becomes a veritable shopping centre for criminals. So, what should schools be doing to up their security?   

7 ways schools can be more security conscious:

Make sure the outside perimeter looks secure and is secure – contrary to what people believe, electric fencing is perfectly safe (when installed according to the SANS specifications) to have installed at schools and can be highly effective as a security measure. When criminals see a secure perimeter they assume extra security measures have been taken beyond the outside wall.

  1. First things first! Take a look at the outside perimeter of the school. Does it represent a security-conscious school or not? The first thing burglars will look for is weaknesses in the fence. If they see a lack of security from the outside they will take it as a lack of security inside – in other words an easy job for them to get in and out. While there are a number of security measures that can be taken to secure the outside perimeter, at the end of the day the most effective are electric fencing, palisade, secured gates and walls.  
  2. When budget allows, an extremely effective security measure is to install cameras on all of the schools exit and entry points. Not only do you get recorded footage of the trespasser but criminals also think twice about robbing a property where there are cameras.
  3. Get safe experts to install the school safe and that only a few employees have access to it.
  4. Again, if budget allows then installing a biometric access control system which relies on the unique physical aspects of a person, such as fingerprints, facial or hand prints, to verify his or her identity. People can only gain access to the property this way through doors or turnstiles. 
  5. If budget only allows for one thing it should be a decent alarm system – make sure the school is fitted with interior and exterior alarms, which should include motion detector sensors.
  6. Employ the services of a good security company that can keep an eye on the school property day and night – make sure that the company you employ is used to working with children.
  7. Make only one entry and exit point through the school’s front office or reception area for adults to gain access into the school – they should sign in upon entrance and sign out when they leave.  

Do you want to better secure your school premises? Our security consultants will give you the right advice! Call 011 482 9957 or visit us at We’ll provide you with all the credentials.