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School summer holiday security tips

The Master Locksmiths Association issues security guidance to schools ahead of the summer holidays

Posted by Jo Golding | June 03, 2019 | Facilities & buildings

With holidays being an opportune time for thieves to target empty school buildings, the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) is advising educational facilities to be prepared and vigilant to ensure their premises are protected over the upcoming holiday period.

Dr Steffan George, managing director of the MLA, commented: “As schools are left empty for long periods during the holidays, unfortunately they are subject to theft, vandalism and arson attacks. However, with adequate planning and security measures in place well before the end of term, you can help to deter these attacks and the risks can be easily minimised.”

The Master Locksmiths Association is urging schools to follow these simple steps to ensure the empty buildings are kept safe and secure during the summer holidays:

  • Locks: Make sure all windows are double glazed, have security film where necessary and are fitted with appropriate locks which are in good condition and meet your insurance requirements. Ensure all external doors are fitted with high security, independently tested and approved locks and that where applicable all internal doors are locked/access control systems active. Doing this and ensuring gates onto the premises are also securely locked will help to prevent burglaries, as well as providing additional peace of mind. A local MLA approved security expert can correctly specify security that needs to be secure when a building is not in use and provide the correct egress on escape routes when a building is in use. Fitting the wrong type of security can lead to entrapment areas with devastating effects so safety requirements must be met.

  • Sound the alarm: As well as immediately alerting the police to any issues, alarms and security systems can also act as a great visual deterrent. Ensure that your alarm is regularly maintained and that you change the code every six months to gain maximum benefit from the system.

  • Secure storage: High value items such as IT equipment and musical instruments should not be visible from the outside and empty packaging must be discretely disposed so it doesn’t entice opportunist criminals. Expensive items such as these can be safely stored in a room with enhanced security features or in specific secure storage well away from any prying eyes.

  • Secure the grounds: Any fencing around the school site should be inspected to see that it is fully intact with no damaged bolts, hinges or handles and with no potential access points which could work as a foothold for easy access to thieves.

  • Tend to the trees: Large or overgrown trees and shrubbery can provide unnecessary cover for intruders. This aspect of security is often overlooked but it can lead to blind spots on your CCTV coverage, leaving you susceptible to burglary.

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