6 Tips to Ensure Your School Security Alarm System is Prepared For an Emergency
As another school year rolls around, it's time to take stock of your emergency preparedness level. Sure, the biggies are always on our minds: fire, severe weather, and the potential for an active shooter scenario on campus. But most emergencies that strike schools aren't the headline news makers. They are everyday incidents that involve just a few people, but good response times and a strong preparedness plan can mean the difference in whether or not the event ends up being an amusing anecdote for the high school graduation ceremony or a serious event that alters people's lives. Here are some tips for emergency preparation success.
1. Choose a School Security Alarm System That Works With Your Emergency Plan
Your emergency preparedness plan should be unique to your school. It should take into account the emergencies most likely to unfold on your campus, the layout of the buildings, the number of students and faculty onsite, and other factors. After your plan is in place, it is essential to select a school security alarm system that meets the requirements specified in the plans. For instance, do you need a way to communicate discreetly among staff members? Do you need a wireless system that isn't dependent on power or phone lines working? Look for a system that matches the specifications laid out in your emergency plans.
2. Train Staff, Teachers & Students on Your Plan
Schools have a unique situation when it comes to emergency preparedness, and it's not just the fact that you are charged with protecting our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. It has to do with the nature of the school: every year new faces come and old ones move on. That means that training must be constant and persistent. You can't depend on the new folks to know anything about your emergency plans, so training should begin the first day of school and continue throughout the school year to keep everyone freshly aware of things like emergency exits, exit strategies, and the difference between sheltering in place versus evacuating.
3. Make Sure Your Plan & Alarm System Isn't Dependent on Power Connections, Landlines, Cell Towers
It's easy to dismiss the critical aspect of communicating during an unfolding emergency. But that's not always as easy as it should be. What if power is lost? What if telephone landlines are out? Some emergencies can knock out cell towers, and even if towers are intact, an emergency in the area quickly jams the connections making it difficult or outright impossible to get communications through. Don't be hostage to these systems. Pick a school security alarm system that works independently of power and phone connections.
4. Provide Access to Emergency Supplies
Another thing that's easy to overlook is access to emergency supplies like water and first aid kits. What if teachers and students are stuck in classrooms for several hours, or are unable to reach the cafeteria or nurse's station? Make sure that emergency supplies are kept available throughout the campus, and that teachers and staff know where those essential items are if they are needed.
5. Make It Clear How You Will Communicate With Concerned Family Members
When an emergency goes down in a school, one of the most urgent needs will be letting the families of your students know what's going on and what's being done about it. Without this communication, you could have parents pouring into an already tense and dangerous situation. Set up a notification system and be sure that family members are well informed and constantly reminded of how that system works and how to get information in the event of an emergency.
6. Don't Forget Plans to Accommodate Those With Special Needs
Your emergency preparedness likely includes measures to protect your students with special needs, but don't forget any others that might have limited mobility, hearing or vision difficulties, or other issues that could make it harder for them to follow the plan. Also, consider students or teachers who are in temporary need, such as those wearing a cast or recovering from injury, illness, or surgery. There should be plans in place for students and faculty with all levels of ability and fitness.
To get the school security alarm system with the features you need, visit today to request a quote.