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Schools are among the safest places in our communities and parents should have every confidence sending their children to these educational havens. Yet, according to Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011, (Washington DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education and Statistics 2011) in 2010, a greater number of students ages 12-18 were victims of violent crimes in the school than out of the school.

Unfortunately, school violence is a serious problem that no school can afford to ignore. Even small disturbances are not as harmless as we might like to imagine and can be indicators of bigger problems or future crisis.

However, there are measures that drastically reduce the likelihood of violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research shows using multiple prevention strategies and levels of influence and intervention, can reduce violence and improve the school environment.

Best Ways to Improve School Safety

Since there is no way to predict a crime, and likewise no one factor that causes crime, it is imperative to use several methods to increase school safety. Your safety measures should include a combination tactical improvements, as well as measures that involve the staff, parents, students, and community. Here are some key ways you can improve school safety.

1. Start at the Personal Level

Develop programs that help students learn conflict resolution, communication, teamwork, and emotional awareness. Bridge the gaps in the teacher/staff and student relationship by developing better communication, positive engagement, and creating a more community oriented atmosphere. Improve access to school counseling.

2. Involve Parents and the Community in the Prevention of Violence

By involving parents in a well-developed crime prevention program they are more able to enforce the strategies at home and able to spot possible threats in the community. In many cases, just having an increased parental/adult presence in the school is a powerful force in preventing violence. Programs and training can also help the community deal with a crisis, should one occur.

3. Consider Tactical Improvements

Every educational institution should consider implementing the tools that will help keep students and staff safe and aid law enforcement in the event of a crisis. For example, school facilities should have a comprehensive security system that incorporates a video surveillance system. Consider a system that allows remote (such as with a smartphone) and centralized locking for the swiftest and most controlled lockdown procedures. Make sure every building is clearly labeled from all angles, including the roof. Both staff and students should be trained in emergency procedures.

About Security Instrument

At Security Instrument, we are here to answer your questions and address your concerns about school security. We’ve been proving integrated solutions for schools and campuses since 1960.

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffee pot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smart phone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Security Instrument a call today.