Michael Brundle, Managing Director of F.H. Brundle, discusses the products employed by schools up and down the country to keep staff and students safe.

It’s probably the most uncontroversial statement in the world – schools are about education.

But their highest priority, arguably even more vital than the teaching, is safety.

A school site needs to keep students safe from people who might seek to harm them, reduce the likelihood of children hurting themselves, and ward off thieves and others who might damage school buildings and the equipment within.

There are all kinds of methods site managers can employ to achieve all of the above – but one of the most effective is also among the oldest and most simple. Installing fences.

Before you buy

But before you can fit those fences, you need to think very carefully about where to put them.

Do a thorough assessment of your site to identify potential vulnerabilities. Where are the places where more basic security products will suffice, and where are the critical zones – such as buildings with large amounts of equipment – that need extra security?

Above all, a school is a large, diverse community – and so it’s also worth getting opinions from teachers, support staff and even pupils to single out areas where more robust security measures are needed.

We all know schools are under huge budgetary pressures – but it’s also important to source security products that will last. The old adage of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ applies.

Is a product from a reputable supplier? Does it come with guarantees? Does it look like it’s made from quality materials? If not, you might find yourself having to replace it a year down the line. Wherever possible, try and see a real-life example before you buy.

Balancing security with aesthetics

School security is important, but no one wants a place of learning to look like a fortress.

That’s why, in recent decades, there’s been a move away from more forbidding perimeter fencing to barriers you can see through, and that are more aesthetically pleasing.

Products like the Nylofor 3-M offer a high level of security, and are difficult for would-be intruders to scale, while remaining almost completely transparent – perfect for schools and other contexts where you want children to be secure, but also need the environment to still be open and welcoming.

What’s more, it’s been specifically designed to be both cost-effective and quick and easy to install – it can be fitted 20% faster, and needs 20% less concrete and posts than other systems of its type.

Nylofor 3D

Keeping school users safe

However, it’s important to ensure that fencing designed to keep intruders out doesn’t accidentally injure the people it’s intended to protect – the staff and students on the inside.

That’s the benefit of Roll Top fencing, which features rolled top and bottom edges without the sharp sections that can be dangerous to children.

Roll Top

Pedestrian barriers are another vital part of any safe school site. At school, children can face risks from car parks and busy roads. Positioning barriers in key danger areas can significantly reduce these risks, and help keep students, parents and staff members safe.

At F.H. Brundle, our range of hot dip galvanised pedestrian safety barriers are fully welded and come complete with fixing bolts for optimal strength, longevity and ease of installation.

Pedestrian Bar

Locks: not to be overlooked

A locked gate is still one of the most effective ways of keeping intruders out and students in – as well as controlling access to different parts of a school site.

But increasing numbers of schools and colleges are now investing in more high-tech access control systems like combination locks.

One of the key challenges around lockable doors in the school environment is the need to keep intruders out of sensitive areas but allow building occupants to quickly escape in an emergency.

Products like the Locinox and Gatemaster gate lock have been designed to allow exactly that – presenting external users with a sturdy lock, but internal ones with a clearly-labelled push pad to allow for speedy egress.

Gate closers are another important aspect of school security – ensuring gates close promptly after an authorised user has been through it, reducing the risk of unwanted visitors sneaking in behind them.

Options range from relatively low-tech solutions like vinyl and spring gate closers, to more sophisticated alternative like gas and hydraulic closers.

Get some friendly guidance

At F.H. Brundle, we’re able to offer an extensive array of fence, gate and lock products suitable for an extensive array of public sector applications.

If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch – call your local branch, visit www.fhbrundle.co.uk or email [email protected] today!