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Physical Security

Develop and implement plans for physical security.

Physical security measures can mitigate external threats and reduce the amount of harm inflicted if incidents occur. Conducting a site assessment and developing building security plans can identify existing vulnerabilities and enhance overall school security.

Intruders often exploit vulnerabilities in the school’s physical security, like entering the building or classrooms through doors that are not secured or monitored. Most schools—even those with older floor plans or infrastructure— have a way to “design in” layers of security, starting with controlling access and working inward to secure classrooms and other internal spaces. 

Schools can reduce the likelihood that harm is caused by completing a site assessment that evaluates current security practices and identifies options for preventing and protecting against safety incidents. Schools should also establish a team and identify a lead to oversee security efforts and engage district and school staff, students, parents, and first responders.

Strategies to Consider

  1. Involve district and community partners in the site assessment, including local law enforcement or other experts. 
  2. Conduct site assessments annually or on a recurring basis.
  3. Integrate the results of a site assessment into the school’s Emergency Operations Plan.
  4. Conduct additional assessments at sites outside of the school building, like sporting venues, school bus storage or staging areas, or common routes near the school.

Physical Security Resources

The federal government identified additional resources that highlight strategies for school safety. Use these resources to dive deeper into physical security.

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