The threat of school shootings has led many institutions to develop lockdown procedures that will increase the security of both students and staff during a potential incident. Given the differences in designs of buildings and the response protocols of local law enforcement, there is no standard lockdown procedure for schools to follow. The primary aim of devising a plan is to protect occupants from threats of harm in the fastest, safest way possible.
Formulating Your Response
School lockdown procedures may be required for a number of situations. While active shooter threats as a serious concern, institutions may also issue lockdown orders when riots are occurring, during a national disaster or when police activity is going on nearby. Your institution needs to address a response to fits the situation and devises a strategy based on evacuation opportunities, shelter-in-place instructions, internal vs external threats, and full lockdowns.
Conducting training with staff and students increases the likelihood that the lockdown procedure will reduce injury or mortality for the building`s occupants. Some common immediate actions that should take place include:
- Turn off all lights and close blinds or curtains
- Lock all doors and windows
- Silence all electronics
- Clear students from areas that cannot be secured
- Instruct students to stay low and away from doors and windows
For a more comprehensive threat strategy, work with a full-service risk management company to identify and reduce exposures. Taking care of school threats is a complex process that shouldn`t be ignored.