Safety & Security

Providing you information on access control, communication systems, the latest security technologies, fire and life safety, planning and preparedness, issues and initiatives and the elements of design that make our institutions safe and secure.



  • Predictions & Trends

    Spaces4Learning 2024 Predictions for Educational Facilities: Part 2

    We asked our readership to send us their predictions for 2024 trends in educational facilities. Across K–12 and higher-education campuses both, we asked for opinions on topics like technology, flexible learning spaces, campus safety & security, disaster response, and more. This article is the second in a three-part series compiling responses from educational professionals and vendors. 02/06/2024

  • Predictions & Trends

    Spaces4Learning 2024 Predictions for Educational Facilities: Part 1

    We asked our readership to send us their predictions for 2024 trends in educational facilities. Across K–12 and higher-education campuses both, we asked for opinions on topics like technology, flexible learning spaces, campus safety & security, disaster response, and more. This article is the first in a three-part series compiling responses from educational professionals and vendors. 02/01/2024

  • Storm Shelters

    Storm Shelters’ Growing Importance in Schools

    Reliable storm shelters must include the engineering necessary to ensure safety, comply with required guidelines and create comfort during emergencies. 09/11/2023

  • Campus Security

    Best Practices for Ballistically Protecting Your School

    Ballistically protecting a school can be a daunting and complicated task. Focusing on practical best practices streamlines the process and makes your efforts more effective. 08/15/2023

  • Campus Amenities

    Solving the Challenges of Printer Jams, Card Waste, and Long Lines at the One Card Office

    NC State University One Card offices face tough challenges trying to serve tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff. Every person needs an ID card to access various aspects of campus life, from entering residence halls and other buildings to linking to debit accounts and proving student status to participate in university activities. One Card office challenges include improving printer efficiency, reducing card waste, and eliminating the hassles of having to visit one central location to pick up cards. 08/09/2023

  • Campus Audio
    Campus Audio

    Defending the Campus Perimeter with Audio

    How can audio from intercoms and IP speakers play a role with perimeter security? 06/27/2023

  • Campus Safety

    Five Considerations for Your Emergency Communications Plan

    Communication is the lifeblood of any emergency response. Whatever events are happening and whatever your response is, the information must be communicated to the appropriate people. 05/11/2023

  • Security & Planning
    Children running in a school hallway

    Preparing Teachers and Staff for an Active Shooter Event

  • May 2011 killer EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin, MO

    Tornadoes, Shelters and Tubes, Oh My!

    Twister. Funnel. Whirlwind. A tornado by any other name is still considered the deadliest and most destructive natural disaster on earth. Occurring on all continents except Antarctica, tornadoes have both terrified and fascinated mankind for centuries. The U.S. averages almost 1,300 tornadoes per year, more than all other continents combined. How do we protect ourselves when a tornado strikes? It is this question that has driven architects, engineers and the construction industry to develop codes and guidelines such as ICC 500 and FEMA P-361. These guidelines, at least in part, will help to ensure the proper construction of tornado shelters in order to save lives. 05/01/2021

  • COVID-19 and Schools
    University of Virginia

    University of Virginia Combats COVID-19 Outbreak

    The University of Virginia reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, Feb. 15, and 229 new cases on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The university has announced a new set of health and safety regulations that are set to last through at least Friday, Feb. 26. 02/18/2021

  • Podcast
    Schools in Focus podcast logo and Tom Saccenti

    Schools In Focus: Active Shooter Response Planning

    In this episode, we spoke to Tom Saccenti, a former campus police chief and security expert, about active shooter response planning in schools. His first piece of advice is to walk through an active shooter scenario with all teachers, janitors, staff members, etc. at the school. 10/13/2020

  • Acoustics
    Office spaces at Scott Hall.

    Retrofitting University Buildings for Sound Masking

    When a physical space offers a little passive noise control, such as high cubicle walls, private offices or softer, sound-absorbing materials, the effects on the well-being of each person — as well as their productivity — can be profoundly impacted. 10/12/2020

  • Safety and Security
    Student wearing a face mask stands in front of thermal imaging device.

    Why Now Is the Time for Schools to Re-Evaluate Safety Plans

    Many of the CDC’s guidelines can be met through the use of technology, and schools should be investing in and implementing technology solutions that not only helps them adhere to CDC guidelines this fall, but bolsters their overall school safety now and in the future. 08/03/2020

  • Meter ranging from green, yellow and red with the word "risk" underneath it with arrow pointing towards "high."

    School Safety and Security: The Value of Knowing What You Don’t Know

    School districts should conduct comprehensive threat vulnerability assessments that not only focus on existing measures already in place, but also encapsulate a thorough review of operational safety and security focused policies and procedures. 07/20/2020

  • Life Safety
    Rolling doors installed in cafeterias can keep schools safe during extreme weather.

    Specifying for Extreme Weather Preparedness and Safety

    The inclusion of storm shelters, safe rooms and best available refuge areas are steadily increasing, especially due to recent code changes in the heart of the United States. By specifying commercial rolling doors and shutters that meet strict wind load and flying projectile requirements, classroom pods, cafeterias and gymnasiums can maintain a welcoming appeal while able to transform into a safe space within seconds. 07/13/2020

  • Building Blueprints
    theater renovation

    Setting the Stage for Success

  • proper distancing in schools

    Rethinking School Spaces and Structures to Maintain Proper Distancing Amid COVID-19

    When students finally return to school after months of learning from home, there will be dramatic changes. Even when K-12 leaders are allowed to reopen their facilities, doing so safely and responsibly will require everyone to maintain proper distancing while they’re at school, experts agree — at least until there is a working vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. 07/01/2020

  • Industry Spotlight
    Group of students seated next to each other.

    Q&A with the Editor: Tim Nyblom and Dave O’Driscoll, HID Global

    We spoke to HID Global's Tim Nyblom, End User Business Manager - Higher Ed, and Dave O’Driscoll, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, about cloud and mobile technologies that will be important when universities reopen in the fall and in the next few years. 06/24/2020

  • Safety & Security
    Empty school hallway with yellow lockers.

    Gunfire Detection Systems Are More Important Than Ever in a World Impacted by COVID-19

    To aid in a rapid response, innovative technology companies have developed powerful gunfire detection systems to greatly reduce the time required before a suspect is apprehended. 06/23/2020

  • Interior Design
    Caption: Single leaf sliding doors support North Creek High School’s (NCHS) collaborative culture in Bothell, Washington. Credit: © Chris Eden /

    Collaborative Design Through the Lens of Interior Sliding Doors

    In Bothell, Washington, Dykeman, Inc. worked with the Northshore School District to create a flexible, innovative learning center for 1,600 students centered on collaboration. They incorporated state-of-the-art interior single leaf sliding doors and hardware into eight "collaboration cubes" to pave the way for project-based and problem-based group learning, without compromising design. 03/25/2020

  • Safety & Security
    Despite the name, panic buttons are designed to take the panic out of a situation. As instincts kick in, a trained employee can have direct and easy access to alert or summon people for help quickly and discreetly with the push of a button.

    Taking the Panic Out of Panic Buttons

    Despite the name, panic buttons are designed to take the panic out of a situation. As instincts kick in, a trained employee can have direct and easy access to alert or summon people for help quickly and discreetly with the push of a button. 02/12/2020

  • Technology

    Spotlight On: Online Monitoring and Student Safety

    In this interview, Richard Fuller, Executive Chairman of Impero Software, which provides online monitoring and classroom management software to schools, provides his take on using technology to support student safety. 12/04/2019

  • Cyber Security

    Schools Must Call for Resiliency in the Face of Increasing Cyber Threats

    For policymakers, educational institutions and their IT leaders, and even concerned parents, collaborative cybersecurity efforts should rally around the concept of resilience, or the ability to bounce back. 12/02/2019

  • School Safety
    Facial recognition technology is more frequently being utilized in K-12 schools. But how exactly does facial recognition work?

    Q+A with a Facial Recognition Expert

    We spoke to Mike Vance, Senior Director of Product Management at RealNetworks, the company behind SAFR K-12 to get a clearer picture of how their product can boost school safety. 11/08/2019

  • School Safety
    Regarding school security, it’s important that we see facial recognition as a tool, rather than as a panacea. Technology needs to be thoughtfully incorporated into a larger plan for it be effective.

    How to Effectively Utilize Facial Recognition for School Security

    It’s been one year since St. Therese Catholic Academy in Seattle made the decision to adopt facial recognition technology as one of their security tools — here’s what they've experienced since doing so. 10/15/2019

  • Construction
    Construction safety400

    Mastering Safe Construction on the Campus Jobsite

    The construction industry is bringing real-time information into centuries-old processes. Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors can collect job-site data in affordable, efficient, and effective ways, improving efficiency and safety. 09/06/2019

  • Construction Methods
    storm shelter

    Winds of Change: Storm Shelter Design Guidance

    In recent years, the International Building Code has mandated that all new construction for K–12 schools in most of the Midwest and South Central United States include a community storm shelter. This article will explain the requirements of storm shelter design and explore best practices for planning and construction. 09/01/2019

  • Physical Safety

    The Importance of Safety Locks for K–12 Schools

  • Facilities & Design

    Building Trendy K-12 Schools

    The world of education is changing more quickly and more comprehensively than ever before. Two key developments are effectively changing the traditional design of K-12 schools. 07/09/2019

  • trends at collegs and universities

    Trends: Key Developments Driving School Design

  • Facilities (Campus Spaces)
    science lab

    Science on Display

    Creative design can solve the conflict between having an open research lab with natural light and views where passersby can see and be excited about the research being done and safeguarding sensitive or proprietary information. 07/01/2019

  • Safety & Security (Prepare and Be Aware)
    school security bollards

    The Future of School Security

    From stronger but less intrusive safety measures and “shut-down” protocols to juggling varying degrees of clearance in a complex environment, schools and airports share many of the same challenges and goals in public security. 07/01/2019

  • Facilities (Campus Spaces)
    emergency exit

    Residence Halls and Emergency Evacuation

    It's both big things and little things that come together to ensure student safety when evacuating a residence hall in an emergency. Here are three things to take into account. 06/01/2019

  • school cooridor

    Healthy, Safe Schools

    K-12 school environments can cause illness and injuries. What schools must do to prevent these problems. 06/01/2019

  • Setting Social Media Boundaries Between Teachers and Students

  • Safety & Security (Prepare and Be Aware)
    disaster response

    Planning Disaster Responses

    Many different kinds of disasters can strike your school. Are you prepared to respond? 04/01/2019

  • Safety & Security (Prepare and Be Aware)

    Wildfires Go to College

    It doesn't happen often, but every now and then a wildfire threatens lives and property at a college or university campus. 04/01/2019

  • Safety & Security

    Are Your Strategies Wanting?

    Emerging extreme violent attack methodologies. 03/01/2019

  • Editor's Note (The View From Here)

    Examining Our Priorities

  • Sextortion: Another Cyber Danger for Youth

  • Managing Hazardous Waste on Campus

    Colleges and universities should have plans in place at the beginning of the school year to ensure the safe management of hazardous waste. Doing so ensures the safety of both the campus and surrounding communities. 01/04/2019

  • Lifts to Upper Levels of Schools Need to be Quiet and Dignified

  • Safety & Security (Prepare and Be Aware)

    Storm Shelters for Education Facilities

    Designers should consider these three things. 10/01/2018

  • Emerging Technology (Enhancing, Engaging, Connecting)

    Smart Cards Get Smarter

    Card technology is evolving. Are you staying current? 10/01/2018

  • School Staff Goes Back to the Classroom for Mandated Reporter Training

  • The Safe and Secure Campus
    environmental design

    Safe By Design: Can attention to environmental design lead to a safer campus?

    When the conversation moves from how to secure buildings and expands to securing entire campuses, attention to environmental design can help with answers. 09/01/2018

  • Safe and Secure Schools
    credential check

    It's In the Details

    Make sure to check credentials, qualifications of third-party contractors, staff. 09/01/2018

  • Fire & Life Safety (Focus On Preparation and Prevention)

    Stationary Energy Storage Systems

    A look at the safety concerns of renewable energy storage. 09/01/2018

  • Safe and Secure Schools
    security assessment

    Buckets of Rocks and Baseball Bats in Schools

  • Safe and Secure Schools
    safer school dismissal

    A Safer Dismissal Process, One Pickup at a Time

    For one elementary school principal, reorganizing the end of the school day has made life less chaotic for teachers, students, and parents. 09/01/2018