Facility managers are tasked with making the best possible choices to support security in their schools. One thing that makes this especially challenging is that school buildings are constantly changing: Each summer sees rooms re-assigned, renovations made, and entire areas of the building re-purposed. Committing to a custom bullet resistant barrier system may feel like an especially daunting decision. Fortunately, your built-in barrier system is not set in stone or frozen in time. A good barrier system will grow with you, even if you outgrow your current facility.
Quick-Fix Bullet-Proofing: A Scattershot Approach
“Quick-fix” solutions–from “bullet proof” furniture and cubicle walls to peel-and-stick self-adhesive “bullet resistant” door coverings and window-films–seem easy and versatile. They get lots of media coverage, and are the items that worried parents are most likely to mention in a school board meeting. Most notably, quick-fix security solutions tend to focus on small alterations to individual classrooms. This includes modifications like reinforcing a door, replacing a lock-set, coating a window, or outfitting the room with items that will hopefully function as ballistic shields in the case of an active shooter event.
Jim Richards, CEO of Total Security Solutions, understands why customers gravitate toward modular and a la carte ballistic solutions. “It seems like an affordable solution, and if the manufacturer says that this cubicle wall or that desk or this coating is UL-rated Level 3–well, they’re saying it’s been tested at a lab and the results certified. There’s no reason to doubt them. But that rating is just for a single piece; it’s not a system. How you bring the parts of that system together is very important. You can’t just throw the pieces together or slap them up like drywall. A barrier built using all UL-rated components, but put together incorrectly, can fail to stop a bullet.”
Addressing Ballistic Security Comprehensively
In addition to lacking a real-world track record, quick fixes also fail to conform to crisis prevention and management best practices: You’ve reinforced the classroom door, but left entryways and halls unsecured, and building-wide policies unaddressed.
The current industry consensus is that school security is best addressed holistically, not on a classroom-by-classroom basis. The goal is to prevent a potential shooter from ever entering the building. This means increasing sight lines, improving lockdown procedures, and installing remote-controlled bullet-resistant security barriers at key access points.
Custom-built school barrier systems are modeled on the sorts of ballistic entryways long used in banks and government buildings. They have an established track record, and focus on exactly the task schools need: Allowing students, staff, and approved visitors to easily come and go, while instantaneously locking out threatening individuals.
Built-In Systems Don’t Have to Be Permanent
While built-in custom ballistic barriers are integrated seamlessly into the building, they aren’t set in stone. Total Security Solutions can upgrade existing systems and modify or renovate systems they’ve installed in the past. They’ve even entirely moved existing bulletproof systems from one address to another.
Call a Total Security Solutions design specialist today to get more information on the bulletproof products we engineer and fabricate, and to find out which ones will work best for your school’s security needs.
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