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What is a lockdown policy used for?

The safety of staff and pupils is always going to be the most important consideration in any place of education which is why fire drills are so common. The school needs to ensure that everyone knows exactly what to do in the event of a fire and prepares them for that. But do schools know what to do in the case of a dangerous intruder on the school ground? How does everyone get word that something is happening without causing a panic and keeping everyone in a safe area?

A lockdown policy and procedure are necessary for keeping everybody safe in the school. If pupils know exactly where the safest area in the school is and how to secure it, there is a much better chance that they will remain secure. Despite this, many schools still don’t have a policy in place.

Such a policy should involve instructions on where to go in an emergency, how to secure the designated safe zone, how to communicate the issue to emergency services and how to respond to the different situations that may arise. This policy should also include the form of communication used to raise the alarm that explains the situation at hand.

While fire drills prepare us for one type of crisis, schools must be equipped to handle a range of potential threats like intruders on school grounds and nearby hazards/civil disturbances. If you have any questions regarding lockdown policies then you may want to check out our FAQ for this topic. You can find it in our other insight.

School lockdown alert systems

The DfE require that the alarm used for a lockdown to be a distinct noise. Otherwise, everyone will be filing out of their rooms and possibly towards the danger as this is what they’ve been trained to do upon hearing that noise. It also needs to be instant which again could be achieved by a fire alarm but there is still the issue of a distinct noise being needed.

LOCAS, standing for Lockdown Alert and Communication System, is a response alarm for maintaining the safety of both students and staff during emergencies. LOCAS sets itself apart from conventional fire alarms in two significant ways. Firstly, the entire system, including the alarm, buttons, and lights, is presented in blue, a visual distinction from the common red associated with fire alarms.

Secondly, the alert sounds are designed to be unmistakable, offering various settings tailored for different emergency scenarios. An added feature includes an annunciator, allowing pre-recorded messages to be relayed throughout the school. All of this can be controlled from a desktop, allowing an admin to set what alert is sent out depending on the situation. A perfect solution for this modern problem that schools are facing.

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