After a lot of studying and getting ready for what seems like an endless stream of exams, teachers and students alike will enjoy having some much-needed time off — whether it’s just for a weekend, a break during the school year or the long summer holidays.

Schools that are left empty for a sustained amount of time obviously increases the risk of arson attacks, thefts and vandalism. Staff members at an establishment should therefore work through this checklist before they leave the classroom on the last day of term — as well as throughout the new school year heading into weekends:

Checks around the school’s perimeter

Before looking at the school itself, there are a few aspects that should be checked around the perimeter of the education establishment. Report any large or overgrown trees or shrubbery both inside the school grounds and around the perimeter. These can make access to the grounds easier, as well as lead to unnecessary blind spots of CCTV coverage.

Ensure all locks have also been checked to make sure they are still fit for purpose, as well as that the access control features on gates are functioning properly so that trespassers cannot gain easy access to a school’s grounds. It is wise to have a look that all of the fencing around a school is fully intact too, with no damage or footholds that allow for simple access into the grounds.

Security measures to be checked

It is important to review a school’s maintenance programmes to ensure everything is in working order before leaving an establishment empty. This will ensure that fire alarms, intruder alarms and sprinkler systems are all operating properly.

Cloud CCTV means that a space can be monitored without the requirement of being on site at all times

Are there any areas around the school which are in need of additional alarms or security? Look out for areas that do not have adequate surveillance currently but house many pieces of expensive equipment and technology. Cloud CCTV should also be considered when enhancing security, as it means that a space can be monitored without the requirement of being on site at all times.

If set up in a school, make sure that security shutters and grills are operating correctly. Damage to the fittings or bulbs of any external lights should be reported as soon as the issue is seen. So that they cannot be used as an accessory to gain access to a school, make sure that bins and skips are also stored within a secure part of the grounds and at least eight metres away from any building.

Checks inside the classroom

Before leaving a classroom at the beginning of a weekend or a school break, check to make sure that all windows have been closed and locked, and that all electronics have been switched off at the mains. Ensure all valuable equipment has been kept out of view, by locking it away in a secure place.

Throughout the term, any breakage or deterioration to doors, windows, roofs, wall cladding, ceiling tiles, alarms and locks need to be reported upon being discovered. That way, there should be enough time to get them repaired before the weekend or holidays begin.

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