Safe School Facilities
Safe School Facilities Checklist
NCEF provides a free checklist that combines the nation's best school facility assessment measures into one online source for assessing the safety and security of school buildings and grounds. It includes over 400 measures covering school surroundings, school grounds, buildings and facilities, communications systems, building access control and surveillance, utility systems, mechanical systems, and emergency power. The checklist is updated frequently and may be used for planning and designing new facilities or assessing existing ones.
Safety & Security Videos
View these new NCEF videos to help identify potential safety and security hazards (vulnerabilities) in school facilities, and to learn how to implement non-cost or low-cost solutions. The videos are based upon NCEF's Safe School Facilities Checklist, a free checklist for assessing the safety and security of school buildings and grounds.
This video discusses what the NCEF Safety and Security Checklist is, and how to use it.
Inside School Buildings
This video discusses safety issues and low-cost safety solutions for school interiors.
Specialized Learning Environments
This video discusses safety issues and low-cost safety solutions for laboratories, shops, and auditoriums.
Outside School Buildings
This video discusses safety issues and low-cost safety solutions for school grounds.
This video discusses emergency preparedness for school facilities.
NCEF Publications on School Safety & Security
CPTED 101: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design – The Fundamentals for Schools. Discusses the concepts of natural surveillance, natural access control, and territoriality as a means to improve school security.
Door Locking Options in Schools. School door locking options and the limitations imposed on them by building and fire codes.
Earthquakes and Schools. Earthquake basics, preparing for an earthquake, reducing nonstructural hazards, seismic upgrading, and appendices on nonstructural hazards, past earthquake damage to U.S. schools, and schools as post-earthquake shelters.
Emergency Management Standards for Schools. Discusses emergency management standards for school use and lists standards recommended by FEMA's National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Emergency Response Information for School Facilities. Information needed for managing school buildings, grounds, occupants, and rescue and recovery personnel during and after a crisis.
Flooding and Schools. What flooding can do, preventing or mitigating flood damage, preparing for and responding to flood emergencies, recovering from a flood, and schools as post-flood shelters.
Improving School Access Control. A wide range of access control measures for thinking about and devising better ways of controlling access to school buildings and grounds.
An Investigation of Best Practices for Evacuating and Sheltering Individuals with Special Needs and Disabilities. Response to the June 2007 General Accountability Office report GAO-07-609 concerning evacuating and sheltering students with special needs and disabilities.
Low-Cost Security Measures for School Facilities. Fifty school safety and security measures that may be implemented at little or no cost and without the use of complex technology.
Mass Notification for Higher Education. Things to consider when designing a mass notification system, and the pros and cons of current notification devices.
Mitigating Hazards in School Facilities. Guidance for making school safety and security assessments and for planning, funding, and implementing safety and security improvements. Includes 25 downloadable, subject-specific NCEF Assessment Guides.
School Security Technologies. Current information on access control, surveillance, weapons detection, communications, alarm, and emergency notification system technologies.
Selecting Security Technology Providers. Describes a process for selecting security technology consultants and systems integrators. Includes two appendices, "Identifying Desired System Attributes" and "Identifying Desired System Components."
Severe Weather Planning for Schools. Understanding, preparing for, and coping with weather emergencies, including severe thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes and storm surge, flooding, and extreme heat and cold. Six appendices contain detailed weather information.
Wildfires and Schools. How a building catches fire, determining your school's risk, creating a survivable space, importance of maintenance, the fire resistant school, meeting code requirements, related flood and mudslide risks, and an appendix on wildfire response.
Safe School Publications Recommended by NCEF
Key publications on safe school facilities:
Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks and School Shootings, 2nd Edition
FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2012
Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2011
National Center for Education Statistics Institute of Education Sciences, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012
Preventing Violence and Crime in America's Schools: From Put Downs to Lock Downs.
Greenwood/Praeger Press, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009
Security Design for Sustainable Buildings and Campuses.
Applied Risk Management, Stoneham, MA, 2009
Ensuring Quality School Facilities and Security Technologies: Effective Strategies for Creating Safer Schools and Communities.
Hamilton Fish Insitute on School and Community Violence, Washington, DC; Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, OR, 2008
Educational Facilities Disaster and Crisis Management Guidebook.
Florida Dept. of Education, Tallahassee, 2007
Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities.
U.S. Department of Education, 2007
Safe and Healthy School Environments.
Oxford University Press, New York, 2006
Security Design Considerations for Instructional Facilities.
Texas State University, San Marcos, 2006
Security Planning and Design: A Guide for Architects and Building Design Professionals.
John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2005
Design Guide for Improving School Safety in Earthquakes, Floods, and High Winds.
Federal Emergency Management Administration, 2004
Jane's Safe Schools Planning Guide for All Hazards.
Jane's Information Group, Alexandria, VA., 2004
Safe School Resource List
NCEF lists of continuously updated links, books, and journal articles on safe school facilities topics:
Access Control Systems in School Buildings
Assessing Flood- and Wind-Damaged Schools
Campus Safety and Security
CPTED for Schools: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Disaster Preparedness for Schools
Fire Safety in Schools
Healthy School Environments
Safety and Security Assessment of School Facilities
Safety and Security Design for Schools
School Preparedness for Natural Disasters
School Preparedness for Terrorism
Seismic Design and Retrofit for Schools
State and Local School Emergency Planning Guides