Lockdown System Need to Know Information
In the interests of clarification, everything you need to know when selecting a School Lockdown System. Although there are not currently not any set national guidelines for School Lockdown systems we have put together a list of important guide lines that should be followed for best practice.
Please note we have come across several organisations offering ‘Emergency Lockdown Systems’ that use technologies that if it was a ‘Fire Alarm’ it would not be allowed! We urge all schools to seriously consider how the Lockdown Alert System they are considering works and if it would not be allowed for a fire alarm consider why would it be acceptable for any other form of emergency alarm?
Our List of Important Considerations
1) Ensure the notification is not an alarm bell or siren that can be confused with a fire alarm bell or other type of evacuation alert. Ideally ensure the alert has an audible instruction element to ensure clarity in an emergency especially when used with children.
2) In no circumstances use the existing fire alarm bells, this will cause confusion in an emergency situation and must be avoided. Especially when used with Children. This is stated in the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) Guidance Developing Dynamic Lockdown Procedures document.
3) Ensure that all speakers and sounders are wired and not wireless, you must not use wireless technology for emergency alarms as this introduces possible points of failure.
4) Under no circumstances connect to your Emergency Lockdown System to your IT Network, ensure the system uses its own cables to ensure no point of failure is introduced. IT Networks are often adjusted by IT Support staff and if they ‘adjust’ the wrong part your emergency alert could be disabled.
5) Ensure your emergence plan clearly states how the School Lockdown system should operate and be used.
6) Ensure all members of staff and pupils are aware of School Lockdown Procedures, who can and should trigger an alarm and of course in what circumstances?
7) Regally practice an invacuation Lockdown drill, we recommend this is done as often as you practice your fire alarm drills.
8) Utilise videos in training to show all staff and pupils how the Lockdown procedures should work.
9) Purchase a tried and tested solution.
10) Ask lots of questions, have a demonstration, don’t assume.