Is Your School Lockdown System Secure?

Emergency preparedness in schools is an important part of keeping learners and educators safe. This duty of care to all children on a school premises means having lockdown systems and emergency protocols in place, functioning and tested at all times.  We have seen a recent increase in the number of schools and offices across the UK that have been forced to implement more stringent lockdown system procedures following various incidents and terrorist threats.

Types of School Lockdown Systems – Plan for All Emergencies

There are generally three types of lockdown systems implemented in schools, but each school or building will of course have its own unique requirements and protocols in place to ensure the safety of people on the premises.

Partial lockdown (shelter-in-place): this lockdown system and procedure is activated when there is a risk event in the geographical area surrounding the building. Access to the property is locked down and movement on the property is restricted for the duration of the incident.

Full lockdown system: unfortunately, there is a growing number of full lockdown situations happening in the UK and around the world. When there is a direct threat to the school and classrooms are locked, windows protected and there is no movement allowed until the threat has been eliminated.

Dynamic lockdown has to occur when a situation is active. Specific areas may need to be locked down, others not. A threat may be contained in one area while allowing for evacuation from others.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and mitigating factors can include building layout, structure, age of the building, as well as ongoing security protocols and budget. Putting a school or office into lockdown is a way to protect pupils and staff from unauthorised member of the public accessing the grounds or keeping people protected when there is a threat happening close to a school’s location.

Prepare for a School Lockdown Situation

To helps schools define the best lockdown procedure for their unique situation, EA Combs has created a range of hardware for lockdown systems and provides a free onsite consultation service to schools to help with emergency preparedness.

Schools need to ensure staff and pupils have a clear message when a lockdown situation arises, and an emergency lockdown system that will help staff and pupils recognise the difference between a fire alarm announcement and a lockdown announcement by using clear concise messages. These messages can be as a voice command or a pre-recorded message or alert sound. The lockdown can be triggered by the simple pushing of a button located within the school or by remote control in the playground.

Government advice from NaCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office) recommends that using a different tone from other alert tones such as fire alarm and security/burglar alarm to avoid confusion.

EA Combs School Lockdown Systems

E.A. Combs provides a wide range of audio devices over IP which allow you to implement your lockdown procedure (amongst other things) correctly, quickly & efficiently via

  • Public address using a gooseneck microphone console
  • Pre-set coded announcements via a push button device

Each speaker can store on board sound files that can be played via the push button device in case the need arises for a coded or pre-determined message lockdown procedure.

Multiple buildings? No problem.

With the E.A. Combs Lockdown system, providing the devices are installed on the same LAN they can be installed across multiple sites and buildings and communicate as one synchronised system.

Lockdown Your School – But Let the System Work For You

Of course, as important as a lockdown system is to the safety of children and staff around the building we would hope that these procedures are rarely needed. That’s why to get the most out of your system it can also double up as a PA announcement system or even bell ringing system for class change and break times, with the ability to zone particular announcements and bells to certain areas of the building.