Lockdown Procedure Systems - London, Middlesex, UK
As a safety contingency response to the escalating threat of adapted copy-cat attacks using firearms or other weapons and the recognised vulnerability of schools and colleges, having an emergency procedure backed by a Dynamic Lockdown System provides an effective capability to rapidly restrict movement onto or around the school campus.
NB: It is worth considering that some of the systems used – primarily Public Address, CCTV and Access Control, but also, in some cases, parts of the Fire Alarm - also have valuable everday applications quite apart from making the site prepared for an actual Lockdown situation.
What is a Dynamic Lockdown System?
An integrated combination of Communication systems and Access Control, with programmed strategy and usually at least four zones of operation. A dynamic lockdown procedure provides an effective plan and capability to quickly restrict access to, and movement throughout, a building (or areas within a building), through communication systems and physical electronic controls.
Why should you develop a Dynamic Lockdown Procedure?
Lockdown procedures are being planned in more schools since the technology has made it more easily feasible and as the threat of planned and attempted attacks has grown. This type of system is relevant in particular on sites of schools, colleges and Universities and public buildings. The location of the school and the sensitivity of parents or staff to assessed risk will be factors in deciding the scope of the procedure and the systems required.
While is is possible to co-opt the limited functionality of an existing sounder system to create a "tick-box" compliance solution, PEL recommends planning a systems strategy based upon using a Public Address output system to enable voice alerts. Happily the PA system core element has other everyday campus applications for a school setting, including intelligent class-change - allowing more flexible use of more of the campus - and remindersto students about those extra-curricular activities - especially where numbers need to be maintained, thus making best use of staff time.
What to consider when planning a Lockdown Procedure
Clear communication with staff and students during an implemented Lockdown Procedure is a key objective: Ensuring fast, clear communication when activating - and during developing events of an activated lockdown - is essential to ensure safe guidance, to prevent uncertainty and to support confidence in a challenging and intense situation.
- Identify the Lockdown Communications needs of all staff
- Identify how to immediately secure all access points
- Remember that access points may be more than just doors and gates
- Identify at least four suitable zones for limited or graduated lockdown
- Ensure clear roles and responsibilities
- Plan regular training and refreshing
A graduated range of communication methods and messages is recommended (some of which may already be part of available resources in the building). A scaled system adapted specifically to your needs is part of a resilient, dependable Major Incident plan.
- Public Address system (PA system) – using a microphone for maximum flexibility
- Intercom and Access Control systems with audio capabilities
- Existing internal messaging systems, such as text messages, email, staff phones
- Pop-up messages of staff computers
- Word-of-mouth contingencies and verbal “codes”
- Pre-defined dedicated alarm tones (or pre-recorded voice-messages)
- Digital signage systems (message reinforcement)
What technologies can be applied to a School Lockdown System?
Public Address/Audio Systems – including typical 100v line, as well as EN54 & IP Audio system types
Automatic Activation Systems
Video Door Entry Systems
CCTV and Surveillance Systems
Visual Warning Systems such as Digital Signage, dot-matrix displays or beacons
Train your staff on your school’s Lockdown Procedure:
The fast-changing initial nature of an attack means that it is imperative that staff are able to react quickly, correctly and effectively. Training staff on the drill for your building’s specific lockdown procedure is therefore crucial, once you have the systems in place.
PEL will work with you to design system capability which enables a clear decision tree to be put in place and implemented under pressure.
Contact us today to discuss your system requirements and how PEL Services can help your organisation meet its security needs. Alternatively, find out more about us, how we help other organisations fulfil their needs or read more about our capabilities in the case studies section.