Safe Schools

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.

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