The best strategy to improve school safety is to be familiar with lockdown procedures. Events like the Columbine and the Sandy Hook shooting have taught us that, unfortunately, school shootings are becoming more common as the years go on. Understanding the right procedures and security measures can make a difference between life and death for your staff and students.
An emergency lockdown happens when there is danger, and faculty and staff need to ensure the safety of their students by acting quickly and efficiently. It’s crucial that all staff members be trained and educated on how to handle emergencies in dangerous situations.
Why Should Schools be Better Prepared?
In the last couple of years alone, the United States has seen an uptick in the purchasing of guns and mass shootings. The gun violence archive has counted over 300 mass shootings this year, painting a scary picture for the months to come. To help create more situational awareness, schools should take extra precautions if an emergency ever arrives at the school’s doorstep. These include extra security measures like lockdown doors, knowing how to spot a potential threat, and adding additional lockdown procedures.
There are multiple different events to be prepared for. The types of emergencies that require extra lockdown procedures include:
- Active shooter or mass shooting
- Hostage holding
- Protests and riots
- Natural disasters
Now that you know what kind of events require extra precaution, here are a few tips to consider to better prepare you for an emergency.
Know the Layout of your School
While this seems self-explanatory, you would be surprised at how many faculty members do not know the full layout and available exits in their school. Teachers and staff should be aware of all classrooms, room numbers, hallways, and exits within the school. Knowing this information will be crucial to making decisions and communicating during a hostile situation.
Plan How to Barricade your Classroom
Assess the environment of your classroom and plan how you would barricade and lock the doors. Arrange furniture, your desk, and the students seating in strategic ways in the room. Planning how to handle a true lockdown beforehand will ensure better protection and preparation for your students while in the classroom.
Utilize Alternative Evacuation
In the instance that there is an active shooter in the hallways, or the doors are barricaded, understand how to utilize the windows for evacuation purposes. This depends on whether it is safe enough to climb out the windows in an emergency. Practice opening the windows in your classroom so that you are prepared if you ever need to use them as an evacuation tactic. If your classroom windows do not open, you may have to break the window if necessary.
What to do if a Lockdown is Issued
Utilizing the above tips could help make an attack harder when you are better prepared for it. Each school may have a different set of lockdown procedures to know. However, below are the most common lockdown procedures all faculty, staff, and students should abide by.
- Lock the doors and windows
- Turn off the lights and close the blinds
- Instruct the students to stay quiet and away from any doors and windows
- Silence all technology like computers and phones
- Count every student in the room
- Wait until further instruction
General Sequence of Events during a Lockdown
Each lockdown is unique based on the circumstance. However, a lockdown is typically the same sequence of events, meaning it’s more than possible to prepare as best you can for any situation. The first thing that will happen is the sounding of an alarm. An alarm is set off to immediately notify the staff of an intruder or a natural disaster. This is the first step in the lockdown procedure, and upon hearing this signal, faculty and staff should prepare accordingly.
The second step is to commence the lockdown procedures for the specific disaster. This is where teachers lock the doors to their classrooms and get the students away from the doors and windows. Someone will call 911, where the police should arrive, and implement further instructions on how to proceed. During the lockdown, teachers should maintain a secure classroom. Teachers should keep the students in a safe area away from the doors and windows, and should not open them under any circumstance unless told to do so. Teachers should also take a head count of their students, and if any are missing, notify someone immediately.
After the event has passed means it is the end of the lockdown and is safe for teachers and students to come out of their classrooms. The school principal should also notify the parents of the students if the parents do not already know.
Teachers should constantly be prepared for a lockdown, and practice these drills with their students. The more everyone is prepared, the safer the environment is in case of a tragedy.
At the time of writing this article there has been 27 school shootings in the United States in 2022, and there will no doubt be many more before the end of the year. School systems across the country are scrambling to implement safety measures that will protect students from the threat of active shooters, but taking such measures requires allocations to their budgets which just don’t exist.
There are solutions to increasing much needed school security, with funding that exists through Federal Grants that can be secured to cover the costs for active shooter door locks such as the school lockdown systems provided by the HAVEN Lockdown.
Listed below are 2 Grant Programs that can help schools obtain the funding they need to secure their schools, and lower the potential for tragic loss from active shooter incursions.
The ESSER Fund
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund is a federal funding program that was approved by the Department of Education and is directly used to assist state education agencies (SEAs), which is then allocated to school districts, also known as local education agencies (LEAs). Although originally intended for COVID-19 aid, this fund also helps schools by investing in infrastructure, and provides emergency financial assistance for a variety of necessary projects to school districts across the country. The program is available to K-12 institutions until September 30, 2024.
The Nonprofit Security Grant Program
This grant provides funding from FEMA for the support to nonprofit organizations (such as schools) that are at high risk for active shooter incursions or terrorist threats. The purpose of this grant is to add physical security enhancement such as what HAVEN Lockdown provides with their lockdown systems that prevent an active shooter from breaching classroom doors.The intent of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts. It is also intended to provide greater coordination / collaboration for emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies.
Contact HAVEN to Learn More
For more information about how you can obtain federal funding or to schedule a consultation with HAVEN, please fill out the form below and we will get right back to you.
We want to hear your voice—and you can win big!
Our schools should be havens—places to nurture young minds and engage the next generation of leaders and deep thinkers. Tactical training and defensive drills shouldn’t be part of the curriculum; teachers shouldn’t have to feel that they’re putting their life on the line to teach reading and math. Creativity, passion, kindness, and curiosity belong in our classrooms. Armed intruders do not.
At HAVEN, our mission is to make every school in America safer and less vulnerable to active threats. We know our teachers and children deserve more, and we know that teachers are incredible advocates for themselves and the children in their care. That’s why we want to hear from you this holiday season. Snap a picture of your classroom (make sure none of your students are in the photo!) and send it to us with a brief statement to tell us why you’d love to have Lockdown at your school. Tell us about your classroom and all the amazing things happening inside it; tell us about your kids; tell us about your passion. Inspire us and teach us about everything that’s worth protecting. We want to hear your voice, and we want to keep you safer.
Share your “All I Want for the Holidays” story and you could win school supplies for your classroom! If we publish your photo and story as a finalist, you’ll get a $50 Staples gift card to purchase supplies for your classroom. We know you’re going to wow us, so we’re planning to have lots of finalists! If your essay is selected as the ultimate winner, you’ll get a $500 Staples gift card.
Just upload your classroom photo (NO KIDS PLEASE!) below, and include your statement about why you’d love to have Lockdown at your school. A few quick notes: You can be creative with your classroom photo—it doesn’t have to be a shot of the entire room. Feel free to show us your favorite spot, your kids’ favorite spot, or maybe even the place where your kids have to go during lockdown drills. When it comes to your statement, be as personal as you can without using names or revealing details about students or other teachers. Tell us a compelling story with your words and your image, and you’ll be a winner! You can composes your statement right in the window below, or cut and paste it in. (The window looks small, but there’s no character limit, so type away!) Any questions? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!
HAVEN values teachers, and we want to hear what you have to say. Thanks for all you do.
When Alex Bertelli first deployed to Iraq in 2008, he didn’t know that he’d find his passion and his life’s work welded to the inside of a door outside of Tikrit. He was headed to the Middle East as a helicopter pilot with an Army Special Operations team flying active combat missions. His goals were simple. Fight for his country. Defeat the bad guys. Come back alive.
Over the course of his eight year deployment, Alex flew repeated missions into insurgent territory in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that thing he first saw in Tikrit? He saw variations of it everywhere. It was a solid bar of metal welded to the bottom of the doors his team needed to enter. It was simple, but it was strong, and it did a really good job of keeping the Special Ops forces out.
Recreating the Metal Bar in Nashville
Fast forward 8 years. Alex was out of the military, living in Nashville, and faced with a string of robberies in his neighborhood. His friends and neighbors were falling victim to a different kind of bad guy, and the deadbolt locks they had trusted to keep their homes secure were virtually useless. Alex remembered the welded bar, and he set out to replicate the incredibly strong device in a design that would work in today’s modern home. HAVEN was born.
Havenlock is based on the same physics principles that allowed the insurgents to confound our military’s Special Ops across the world. But instead of welded metal, it’s formed from military grade Delrin® plastic and steel with a sleek appearance that blends seamlessly with any home’s decor. Havenlock is ten times stronger than a deadbolt, and infinitely smarter. The lock can be controlled manually or remotely via key fob or mobile app.
Adapting Havenlock for Institutional Spaces
With Havenlock proving its worth in the residential market, Alex and the rest of the HAVEN team looked at the mass shooting epidemic plaguing the U.S. They knew that with some design tweaks, their smart lock could offer an immediate security solution for schools, churches, and offices. Haven Lockdown™ uses the same military grade materials and smart design, adapted for application in wider institutional doors. In the event of an active shooter or other threat, teachers and administrators can activate the HAVEN Lockdown™ device instantaneously, stopping the shooter in their tracks.
Havenlock and HAVEN Lockdown™ are the stronger, smarter solutions for residential and institutional safety. Alex Bertelli’s combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan informs every aspect of the company, from design and manufacturing to the company’s position as a thought leader in the security space. HavenLock, Inc. proudly employs veterans and manufactures their line of security products in the U.S. Learn more about HAVEN’s residential products at www.havenlock.com.