More than 20% of U.S. school districts lack comprehensive plans to respond to emergencies, according to Reuters. No matter the location, school size or type of education system, emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time. The overwhelming statistics of school disasters and life-threatening emergencies are not to scare you but help schools evaluate common trends, areas of risk, and how they can better prepare themselves. Let’s start by assessing school emergency findings:
- Nearly 40% of all school fires are started intentionally
- S. fire departments respond to approximately 5,690 fires at education buildings each year
- Around 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. every year
- The average lead time for a tornado warning is 13 minutes, but some can have little warning at all
- Indiana reported 20 bomb incidents in 2015-2016
- Since 2011, there has been an increase in bomb incidents of 1,461%
- There were 206 school-based bomb incidents, an average of more than 10 threats per school day across the U.S., in 2016
- 53% of bomb threats are delivered by phone call
- 79% of schools respond to bomb incidents by evacuation
- On average, there’s been 1 shooting a week since 2018 began
- Since 2013, there have been more than 300 school shootings
- The average school shooting lasts 12.5 minutes
- The average police response time is 18 minutes
- School shootings that involved a homicide reduced student enrollment and depressed students’ standardized test scores by nearly 5%
As schools around the nation, continue to look for resources, workable solutions and support from the community to keep students and staff safe and put an end to violence, it’s important school districts also assess what security systems they currently have in place and what can be enhanced now. To get a better idea of how protected your school is, ask yourself these questions:
- Can you immediately communicate to all in your building and throughout campus?
- Do teachers have an instant way to contact the office for help?
- Can you effectively hear what’s going on in a classroom in an emergency?
- Has your response equipment been inspected and is it ready for its intended use?
- Can first responders receive access to your video and audio systems quickly and efficiently?
If you answered ‘No’ to any of these, there’s more you can do to be prepared.
By talking to an education systems technology and solutions partner, you can get a comprehensive view of what your school needs to promote safety and maximize security while maintaining the same comfortable, learning environment you’ve worked hard to foster. Fairchild Communication Systems, Inc. has been working hard to help schools prepare for the future and improve the safety of their students and staff.