Are You Making These 10 School Security Mistakes?

With many schools still overwhelmed by the pandemic, it is important not to let basic school security protocols fall by the wayside.

Are You Making These 10 School Security Mistakes?

Security and vulnerability assessments, commonly referred to as SVAs by those in the campus safety and security industry, are one of the most efficient and thorough ways to determine what your school or district is doing both right and wrong when it comes to keeping campuses safe.

According to Gary Sigrist, CEO and president of Safeguard Risk Solutions and a retired school district safety director, in addition to a physical examination of both the interior and exterior of a building, a full inspection of operational systems, and interviews with key school leaders to gather information on the security and fire and life system systems within a school, SVAs should also evaluate:

  • Emergency preparedness and evacuation, sheltering and lockdown procedures
  • Vehicular movement and parking lots
  • Lighting
  • Security hardware and alarm systems
  • School resource officers
  • Access & egress of the building
  • Policies, procedures and programs
  • Security sensitive areas (mechanical, electrical, computer, holding areas, chemical storage, remote buildings and offices)
  • Communications systems
  • Site integration with emergency support services (police, fire, EMS, hospitals)


Take a look at the photos in the slideshow to see if you can pick out the security mistakes. We’ve also included a handful of images of schools that took proper safety measures to protect students and staff. All of the photos in this slideshow have been provided to us by Sigrist, who conducts dozens of SVAs each year.

In case you missed it, Gary also hosted a Campus Safety webinar back in December that discussed how to conduct an SVA and what free resources are available to help. You can watch the free archived webinar and read additional tips provided by Gary after the webinar.

Want to test your skills more? Here are the links to our previous SVA quizzes:

Do you have any examples you’re willing to share from your own site assessments? We would keep the school(s) anonymous. Send your photos to

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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