ASSA ABLOY’s Back-to-School Access Control Security Checklist

The complimentary checklist integrates new requirements launched this summer by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

ASSA ABLOY’s Back-to-School Access Control Security Checklist

(Photo: madedee, Adobe Stock)

School bus driver shortages, teacher recruitment and retention, and post-COVID enrollment declines are top of mind these days as millions of children head back to school. The enthusiasm and promise of a new school year is tempered for administrators as they continue their focus on keeping classrooms and all areas of their schools properly secured.

ASSA ABLOY, a manufacturer of access control solutions, is committed to helping educate the public, school administrators, and government officials about the steps and processes that should be followed to improve school security, safety, and emergency preparedness efforts.

“A key finding from the tragic Uvalde, Texas incident last spring was the lack of classroom doors that can be locked from the inside,” says Ron Baer, Director of Business Development for K-12, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas. “The ability of a teacher to lock the classroom from inside can save valuable time and potentially lives during an active threat situation. This is one of many situations that can be addressed and remedied relatively easily and expeditiously.”

Based on new requirements launched this summer by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), ASSA ABLOY recommends a simple, yet powerful door and lock security checklist for school administrators:

Back-to-School Security Checklist

  1. Conduct an audit of all doors and look for the following:
    • Perimeter doors:
      • Are they locked and secure?
      • Are all components functioning properly?
        • Door, frame, lock, door closer/power operator
    • Classroom doors:
      • Do they have working locks?
      • Can they be locked from the inside?
      • Is it easy to tell whether the door is locked?
      • Are all components functioning properly?
        • Door, frame, lock, door closer/power operator
  2. Conduct weekly sweeps of all doors to ensure they are closed and locked while school is in session
  3. Review and, if necessary, update access control procedures to help ensure:
    • A policy is in place to ensure exterior doors are closed and locked and that visitors can only enter the facility through primary entrances
      • Staff have been trained on visitor procedures, including what forms of identification are allowable, and under what situations visitors are permitted to enter the building
      • A policy is in place requiring classroom instruction to be conducted with doors locked
      • A multi-disciplinary team is established to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement of current practices or facility features and conditions
  4. Implement an Intruder Detection Audit program of random inspections to identify weak access points, as the State of Texas has implemented

“Taking these very effective steps can help give educators greater peace of mind and help maintain their focus on teaching,” adds Baer. “As annual funding is appropriated for school districts nationwide, we encourage state government leaders to allocate appropriate funds for improving outdated or broken door and lock systems. It can make all the difference.”

ASSA ABLOY recognizes the many trusted organizations whose mission is to help schools create a safe and secure learning environment for students and teachers, such as the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), The Door Security & Safety Foundation and its “Opening the Door School Safety” initiative, and local organizations like the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC). The company says it supports these organizations and their recommendations for best practices in safely securing schools.

To help ensure the health and safety of students and staff, ASSA ABLOY is offering a complimentary consultation to help schools review the condition and readiness of the doorways in their facilities. School districts can complete this brief form for immediate support.

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