School Security: How Do Fences And Gates Make A Difference?

Have you ever been curious about how schools are keeping your kids safer? In the wake of school violence around the country, many educational institutions are looking at how they can keep their premises more secure and prevent unauthorized entry during the school day.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of public schools controlling access to their buildings went from 75 to 92 percent, and those controlling access to school grounds jumped from 34 to 46 percent. That's good news for parents worried about an unauthorized visitor getting into the school that their children attend.

Do school security fences and gates really make a difference?

While crimes at schools are -- hopefully -- a rare occurrence, maintaining controlled access through the use of perimeter fences, gates and other security measures helps prevent criminal acts and violence against school kids and the buildings they attend.

It's sad that parents have to be concerned about school security, but new and more secure fencing delivers more bang for the buck. When installed correctly, fencing is a one-time purchase that requires little maintenance, so it's a great use of your tax dollars. Manual and automatic gate systems can also be added to a school's perimeter so that school personnel can actively monitor who has access.

Additional benefits to school fencing:

  • Delays or prevents criminals from entering school grounds.
  • Keeps kids from exiting school grounds when not authorized.
  • Can be positioned around play areas to better define them -- kids know the boundaries for where they can play.
  • Provides a platform for installing other security measures, like lighting and closed circuit security cameras, if they need to be added in the future.
  • Give a feeling of safety and security to staff and students.
  • Define the school grounds as a place worthy of community respect.

What types of fencing are usually installed at schools?

When deciding on fencing for a school, a big consideration is making sure that the fence and gates are not easily damaged or vandalized. At the same time, fencing shouldn't be solid because you want kids and the community to be able to see through it. You may want a school fence to be really attractive and as minimally invasive as a fence can be, but functionality is more important than appearance.

An ornamental iron fence is considered one of the best options for schools, as this type of fence can be sturdy, attractive and durable. Ornamental iron meets most of the requirements for a school fence and can look nice and not "institutional" -- making it a great choice.

Chain link fencing is popular at schools, because you can easily see through it, but it is easy to climb and to cut through. It may also need to be replaced more often.

What types of gates are usually installed at schools?

Most schools don't have gates at all entrances, but as school security becomes more important, they may be considered. Gates that are automatic and provide entry for authorized personnel are optimal for security purposes but not always practical for school grounds.

Ideally, gates should allow students to exit as necessary. While no one wants kids to leave school grounds during the day when they're not allowed, it's also important to make sure they can quickly leave if there is an emergency, like a violent visitor or a fire.

Are you working with your school on security? A fencing contractor may be a great resource to come talk to your parent group or school administrators about other options for the school. Talk to school officials about having one come and offer professional advice about ways to strengthen security.

Talk to a contractor like Carter Fence to learn more about fencing options.