Enhancing your center's security plan
There are a number of ways organizations can enhance their security efforts. One great resource that offers guidelines for improving security is the National Fire Prevention Association. The NFPA 730 – Guide for Premises Security, provides guidance for evaluating and enhancing your security efforts.
Conducting a security vulnerability assessment
Security planning should begin with a security vulnerability assessment (SVA). An SVA is a systematic and methodical process for examining ways an adversary might exploit an organization’s security vulnerabilities to produce an undesired outcome.
According to the NFPA 730 – Guide for Premises Security, an SVA should assess the current status of an organization’s vulnerabilities, including but not limited to threat exposures, security features, and preparedness.
A security vulnerability assessment should include but not be limited to the following steps:
The NFPA further recommends that any security plan should include procedures for movement, communication, facility management, reacting to security incidents, and reporting and analyzing incidents.
The ins and outs of door security
Implementing strategies to secure exterior doors are important safety measures for any child care facility, however effectively regulating the ingress and egress of entryways can be a challenge. Child care standards typically require no lock or fastening devices be used that prevent free escape from the interior of a center.
Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standard states “in centers, only panic hardware (hardware that can be opened by pressure in the direction of travel) or single-action hardware (hardware that allows a door to open either way but keeps it from swinging back past the enter point) shall be permitted on exterior doors.” This standard is designed to facilitate a speedy exit in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation. For security during operating hours, use locks that do not allow the door to open from the outside, but permit it to open from the inside without a key.
In addition to the above recommendations, aggressively manage door security to reduce the possibility of unwanted intruders and children leaving the premises on their own accord by utilizing these strategies as well:
National Fire Prevention Association. (2014) NFPA 730, Guide for Premises Security Edition. Quincy, MA.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2002) Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards. Grove Village, IL.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.