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Child Safety Week 2021 – What Are The Most Effective Ways To Keep Children Safe In School?

To mark child safety week this year, we would like to share some of the most effective methods and measures for keeping children safe in schools. As an experienced school safeguarding provider, we’ve discovered which ways are the most successful at not only keeping schools safer and more secure, but also at helping staff and students to feel safer and more comfortable in their environment.

 

Site & Perimeter Security

Maintaining a secure school perimeter is essential to its safety. Installing sufficient perimeter security will help to prevent students from leaving the site without permission, and will help keep unauthorised members from accessing school grounds.

key holding and alarm response services by Aegis Security - keep your building secure over weekends and holidays

The best ways to keep your perimeter safe and secure include the following:

 

Proper fencing
Creating a school perimeter with solid fencing will help to establish a school’s boundaries. It will make it harder for students to leave the site at dangerous exit points, to leave during school hours when they don’t have permission, and harder for unauthorised members to access the site during the day.

Access control barriers/gates
Installing access controls in high traffic areas of the school can allow staff to enter safely at all times of the day, including over weekends and during school holidays. It can also effectively prevent unknown members from entering, without securing permission to do so first. This is especially useful now that schools are trying to limit their capacity to remain safe during Covid-19.

CCTV cameras
CCTV camera systems are great for monitoring site activity when no staff are there, and act as a strong deterrent to vandalism, theft and unauthorised access attempts. When coupled with our remote monitoring systems, they can be used to monitor and give verbal warnings to anyone who might be trying to access the site.

Safeguarding officers
By employing extra staff as safeguarding officers, you’ll have someone you can rely on to deal with situations, help to organise students, and help to secure the site. Aegis’s fully trained safeguarding officers are capable of dealing with and providing support for a huge range of scenarios. Whether it’s dealing with an incident discretely, supporting staff during busy events, or helping to secure busy access points, safeguarding officers can provide great all around support for your school.

 

Safety Drills & Emergency Procedures

Another crucial aspect to keeping children (and staff) safe at school is emergency procedure systems, with sufficient planning and training. In the unlikely event that an emergency incident occurs at school, all staff and children should clearly understand what to do in order to safely deal with the situation at hand.

What exactly should you take into consideration?

 

Security and fire alarms
Are there enough around the school site, are they tested frequently and do they all work? It’s key to make sure that your school’s alarm systems are extensive, fully functional and effective in order to keep your site, staff and students safe. By carrying out regular checks, having someone test your alarms, and having them upgraded when necessary, you’ll be prepared for any emergencies.

Planning
Create extensive plans that make clear exactly what to do in an emergency, where to go, and safest ways for people to exit the building.

Staff training
Staff should be trained properly and regularly so that they are able to lead in an emergency situation. All staff members should be aware of what their role is, what emergency procedures there are and exactly how they should be carried out.

Drills
Whole school drills should be carried out on a regular basis, for a range of emergency procedures, so that every single person knows what to do in each situation.

 

Covid-19 Safety

Since last year, schools now have an extra responsibility – making sure that children remain safe and careful to avoid unnecessary spread of Covid-19. Keeping large groups of students organised can be a difficult task, but it’s key to providing a safe education in 2021.

Some ways in which you can minimise the risk of Covid-19 in your school include:

 

Covid-19 marshals
Utilising extra staff to act as safety marshals can help to keep students apart, organise groups properly and prevent large gatherings in small areas of the school.

Signage
By implementing extra signage on walls and floors around the school, you can clearly outline where students should and should not go. It’s an effective and easy way to direct students and close off certain areas of your school.

Specialised cleaning
Creating a specialised cleaning schedule with the use of disinfectants that help to kill the virus can minimise the risk of spread dramatically.

Reducing class sizes
By reducing class sizes, students can maintain a safe distance from each other, even within smaller classrooms. Consider breaking up classes, staggering break and start times, and seating students further apart.

Why Safeguarding and Security Is So Important For Schools

School safeguarding measures can often be overlooked or neglected as a priority. However, the implementation of security and safety measures for schools is extremely important in keeping your school safe. In this short guide, we’ll go over why exactly it’s important and what affects school safeguarding can have.

 

UK Government Regulations and Guidelines

The first reason why your school should make sure that it has sufficient safety and security measures in place, is so that it adheres to government guidelines. These guidelines set out certain aspects that your school should focus on when considering a security and safety policy.

Why school security is so important - government regulations on school safeguarding

They include things that should be factored in, such as how you’ll prevent issues such as vandalism, incidents involving weapons and intrusion, as well as how your plans should be created so that they’re realistic, easy to follow and understand. The guidelines also include the legal obligations your school has to adhere to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

You can discover more info on these guidelines here.

Failing to put proper security and safeguarding measures in place, as suggested by the government, can actually impact your Ofsted score. Many schools in the UK are now being failed by Ofsted due to insufficient levels of school safety.

 

Keeping Your Learning Environment Safe

Safety within schools should be the top priority, which is why carefully considering the right security measures for your school is so important – without them you might allow greater opportunity for threats and hazards. Incidents such as vandalism, theft and trespassing are still common in educational facilities, especially during holidays and weekends.

All schools are different – built differently, of different sizes, and located in different areas, which means that no one solution will fit every school. Taking the time to plan out emergency procedures, security measures and prevention tactics is important in making sure that your students and staff are in the safest possible environment at all times.

key holding and alarm response services by Aegis Security - keep your building secure over weekends and holidays

If you would like to explore the perfect custom solution for your school or college, please get in touch with us.

By utilising the correct security and safety measures, you’ll help your school to:

 

 

How Can Aegis Group Help?

Here at Aegis, we’ve got years of experience in helping schools and colleges to remain safe and secure at all times. By providing your school with the perfect custom solution, we’re able to minimise the risk of any potential hazards in your area.

Whether you need support with remote access and CCTV surveillance over holidays and weekends, safeguarding officers and visitor tracking during school hours, or emergency and alarm systems – we are able to provide you with fantastic service that won’t let you down.

For more information on any of the services that we can provide you, please visit our Service Pages. If you’d like to discuss which specific measures could help your school to become safer, please get in touch with us so that we can advise you on the best solution.

It’s World Day for Health & Safety At Work – How Can You Make Your Workplace Safer And More Secure?

Today, Wednesday the 28th of April, is World Day for Health & Safety At Work – the perfect time to reflect on how safe and secure our workplaces are, and what we can do to continuously improve them. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs puts safety and security right up there with our most important needs and with the workplace being a second home for many, it’s extremely important that these needs are met for all staff, at all times. So how can you make your workplace safer and more secure?

Staff Training

Training your staff plays an important role within the workplace, as it not only improves efficiency, but can also help to significantly increase work safety. Carrying out regular health and safety trainings with your staff should be priority for Facilities Management leaders, and should include the following:

Your staff will feel much safer and more confident within the workplace once they know how to deal with incidents and that there are procedures in place to deal with them.

Workplace Signage

Now more than ever, clear and effective signage around the workplace is key. Covid-19 signage should be in place to let staff and visitors know where to go and how to avoid close contact with others – set up one-way systems around the office or warehouse and let people know where they need to socially distance.

Signs can also play their part in helping with safety – they can be used to instruct people where not to go, where dangerous machinery or chemicals are being used, or how to use certain equipment. The range of uses for workplace signs is virtually endless and definite must if you want to achieve maximum safety.

 

Remove Hazardous Waste and Objects

Workplaces are constantly at risk from hazards; anything from dangerously placed objects, to broken equipment, to leaks and building damage. Removing these hazards as quickly as possible is essential in maintaining a safe working environment.

You should always be on the lookout for objects or cables that may be trip hazards, machinery and tools that have broken and become unsafe to use, and any damage to the infrastructure of your workspace such as leaks, broken pipes, or damaged flooring.

Your staff will not only be safer once you remove dangers from the workplace, but they will actually feel safer knowing that regular checks are being done to prevent hazards from arising.

 

Security

Making sure that your workplace is completely secure is the final step in making your staff feel safer and more secure at work. A building that has no security measures in place and no entry barriers or checks, is going to make staff feel as though anyone could enter their place of work at any time, and in turn make them feel unsafe.

By implementing sufficient security measures for your building, your workplace will become safer and help staff to feel safer. Use access barriers for your carpark, add smart locks to all of your access points, utilise security guards for the front of your building and install sitewide CCTV monitoring.

These measures will not only make it harder for unauthorised access to your building, but they’ll act as visual signals to staff that their workplace is being effectively protected and secured.

How You Can Reopen Safely On April 12th

On the 12th of April, it will finally be time for shops to open up again, however, it’s still a key priority to remain safe and healthy at all times. There are a range of measures that shops can put in place for reopening that will allow them to operate safely, from Covid-19 measures, to security.

Effective Covid-19 Measures Should Be In Place

Unfortunately, Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere, which means that shops and businesses must ensure they are still operating as safely as possible in regard to preventing spreading of the virus. This can be done in a range of ways including:

Distancing Marshals who can actively ensure that people are keeping a safe distance from each other and prevent too many people from entering the building all at once.

Signage on walls, at tills and on the floor that will help customers to understand where they can go, and where they should stand in queues to avoid getting to close to one another.

People flow systems that will help to count the number of people within the building and only let new people enter when there is sufficient space.

Security Should Remain A Focus

Whilst keeping customers safe from Covid-19 will be the main priority when reopening, security should still remain a focus for shops and high street businesses. Data has shown that anti-social crimes – including causing harm to others, causing damage, and getting rowdy – have been on the rise during the pandemic, and so it is extremely important to protect yourself against this increased likelihood of incidents occurring.

CCTV systems are one of the most effective ways to do so. They are able to record all areas of the building, and in turn will capture any event that may happen. Footage can then be used as evidence in order to justify the incident. CCTV cameras also act as a great visual deterrent, reducing the risk of something happening in the first place.

Security Guards are a physical measure to help deter, prevent and deal with any crime or anti-social behaviour. Professional security officers are able to work with shops to create an extremely safe environment, as they are able to deal with any incidents as soon as they occur, often preventing situations from escalating.

What’s more is that they can act as social distancing marshals too, fulfilling two important roles – shop security and Covid-19 protection.

By implementing effective measures like those outlined in this article, shops and high street businesses can remain secure and Covid-safe when reopening on April 12th. Without additional action taken, these businesses are putting themselves at risk to losses due to crime, or fines for not behaving safely during a worldwide pandemic.

Key Holding & Alarm Response – Is your building secure over weekends and holidays?

With Easter Weekend and the school holidays coming up, it’s crucial that your school, college or building is safely secured. The way you can ensure this is by working with a company that can be entrusted to hold your keys and deal with alarm incidents.

Especially now in 2021, where the pandemic has fuelled criminal activity, putting vulnerable buildings at more risk than ever.

Besides safeguarding the keys, trained Response Officers will be the first to react whenever an alarm goes off within your building.

Reasons To Consider Key Holding:

Aegis Security offer affordable protection for your business

For less than £1 a day, you can use a professional key holding service that will assure you that they will be quick to respond and provide you with peace of mind. Any alarms, be they legitimate or false, will be dealt with professionally and effectively.

To secure your school over weekends, holidays, and other times when it could be useful, find out more about Aegis Security’s Key holding services today.

How K9 Dog Security Keeps Construction Sites Safe

Construction sites are often targeted for criminal activity in the UK, mainly for theft and vandalism. As there are often no security or prevention measures in place to deter unauthorised personnel, it makes these sites a popular target, with the UK construction industry losing over £800 million per year from theft and vandalism alone. Effective security measures, including K9 dog units, are a great way to reduce and even eliminate this risk in many circumstances.

 

Construction sites are a major security risk

The UK construction industry is a major target for theft and vandalism, due to the regularly unprotected access to materials, machinery and equipment. According to a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Building, around 92% of all construction sites suffer from some kind of theft, and over 2 million acts of vandalism are reported each year.

This drastically raises costs to construction companies in the form of damage repair costs, equipment replacement, increased insurance policies and even a loss of business resulting from serious incidents.

 

K9 Dog Handling will help to keep your construction site safe

Specialist security dog units who have been professionally trained are able to effectively deal with incidents on construction sites. Working in combination with alarm systems, K9 dog units can be dispatched rapidly after any alarm trip or sign that somebody has unlawfully accessed the site. Once they arrive, they will complete a full search of the site until they have established that no intruder is present.

If, however, there is a trespasser within the site perimeter, the K9 unit will be able to quickly detect and locate them. From there, security guards can detain the criminal until the police arrive to deal with them. Often, this rapid response will prevent the criminal escaping with any stolen goods or machinery, eliminating the large costs that they may have otherwise caused.

 

Aegis Security Can protect your construction site

At Aegis Security, we know how important it is for construction companies to be able to provide reliable, affordable services to their clients, which is only made harder by theft and vandalism. We can provide fully trained K9 units, along with a range of additional security measures that will help to keep your site safe and secure at all times.

Whether you would like security guards present during the day, CCTV cameras and alarm systems to cover the site at night, or K9 units that are ready around-the-clock to search and secure your perimeter, Aegis Security can provide you with highly trained, professional solutions that will minimise criminal activity and reduce the costs for your construction company.

5 New Security Technologies That Have Developed From The Pandemic

The pandemic has forced change to our lives in a great deal of ways and in how we operate on a daily basis. This has brought about the need for rapid changes in technology in order to continue living safely and as normally as possible. The security industry, like many others, has seen many new technologies develop as a result of Covid-19. Here, we’re going to take a look at five new security tech developments that have been fuelled by the pandemic.

 

Touchless Access Control Systems

Touchless access control first gained traction during the Ebola outbreak in 2013, in order to reduce the need for touching buttons or handles. The tech was fairly limited due to how new it was, but with the rise of Covid-19 came increased needs for such technology. As a result, touchless access control systems are now more useful and more effective than ever – they’ve been developed for use on doors, barriers, gates and even in elevators.

On top of their endless range of uses, usability issues have been improved to make them safer and more secure with manual override options and contactless key card and biometrics security.

 

Face Recognition With Built-in Mask Detection

Facial recognition detectors have become a popular method of access security thanks to their speed, ease of use and high level of secureness. However, with everyone now wearing face masks, it’s prevented many of these systems from working as effectively (without the need to remove masks), creating a new development in the technology.

There are now sensors that can use facial recognition, with masks on – allowing people to safely enter buildings with less risk of spreading germs. What’s more is that these sensors can detect whether or not somebody is wearing a mask and can deny them access if they are not following mask wearing rules.

 

Hybrid Surveillance & thermal camera systems

The use of thermal imaging cameras has increased during the pandemic as they have been a useful way to check body temperatures of those entering the building. Thanks to this, thermal imaging and CCTV technology is improving rapidly, with some solutions combining the two for ultimate surveillance.

The most recent thermal imaging IP camera systems can utilise regular HD video recording during the day, and advanced thermal imaging at night that allows the camera to see in total darkness. Due to their high thermal sensitivity, they can see through rain, fog and snow, and even offer early fire detection that could help to save lives.

 

WIFI Occupancy Monitoring For Social Distancing

Social distancing and people flow have become important focuses when monitoring buildings since the outbreak of Covid-19. New developments can now use sensors to measure real-time occupancy, using Wi-Fi probes from mobile devices.

The sensors can then measure the presence and flow of people in a given space, with the ability to notify team members when numbers exceed what is allowed. The range of the sensors can fit to almost any sized area up to 300,000 square feet.

 

Advanced Video Analytics Software

New advanced video analytics software, like that from BriefCam, now allows for in-depth remote video review by security professionals. This is hugely beneficial during the pandemic as it allows for quick, effective CCTV response with less need for security staff to congregate. With a huge range of features, including multi-camera search, face recognition, real-time alerts, and one-click case creation, the software greatly improves CCTV system efficiency.

What’s more is that the software allows users to extract quantifiable and qualitative data, such as the number of men, women, children and cars, or the size and colour of the vehicles. This allows for deeper security analysis and can improve the effectiveness of standard CCTV systems.

 

As a result of Covid-19, many changes have come about quickly, including in the security industry. We’ve gone through just a few of the tech developments but there are many others that we’ve seen as a result of recent events. What do you think of the new tech that we’re starting to see? Are you optimistic that they will bring about positive change to security as a whole?

Facilities Management Tips For Reducing Costs

As a business, you’re always looking to cut costs wherever possible, especially in times like these where saving has become even more important. One way to reduce costs is by optimising your facility to require less heating and energy costs. Let’s take a look at a few ways to do so.

 

Switch to LEDs

Lighting is a huge cost for any business with a building, as they usually need to remain on for the duration of the workday and because the sheer quantity needed to light a large area. In fact, lighting can account for up to 40% of all electricity costs for some businesses!

If your business doesn’t yet use LED bulbs in all lighting fixtures, you should strongly consider making the switch – LEDs save up to 86% on electricity costs over an older filament bulb. On top of that, they will typically last around 50 times longer than a filament bulb, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often.

Upgrade your windows

Another effective way to reduce your longer-term building costs as a business is to ensure that all windows are updated and provide you with maximum efficiency. Although they may seem like a minor issue that’s not worth spending money on, having newer double-glazed windows can save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds per year (depending on the size of your business) in energy costs.

Modern windows are double-glazed and will often come with a “window film” coating that will further reduce heat loss. If all windows are new and efficient, then your building will remain warmer, whilst spending less to heat it as the warm air will remain inside for much longer.

Check your roofing

The roof of your building is another way in which energy efficiency can be drastically worsened, or improved. There are several ways in which a good quality, new roof will keep your building extremely well insulated. As your roof ages, it will lose these abilities and will in turn cost your business more.

Whether it’s insulation within the roof becoming old and less efficient, roof ventilation becoming blocked, or roof shingles being outdated and less efficient at keeping out wind, an old roof will cost your business considerable amounts in energy costs. By getting your roof upgraded or replaced entirely, you’ll save lots in the long run.

Seal your air ducts

Air ducts are what transport air from your HVAC system all around your building. Over time, they experience a lot of stress and pressure causing them to slowly wear out. In particular, the sealing can become damaged or come loose, allowing air to leak.

Having air ducts resealed so that no air escapes has been shown to reduce HVAC energy consumption costs by up to 20%. Not only will you reduce costs but you’ll be able to heat or cool your building much more effectively in future.

 

If you require any Facilities Management services to help you upgrade your facility and reduce your costs in the long run, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

How to keep your business’s data secure in 2021

Your data is one of the most important aspects to your business, especially in 2021 with so many digital aspects and software being a part of every organisation. Unfortunately, with that, the likelihood of data breaches is constantly increasing, so businesses must do ever more to protect their data. Here are a few ways to step up your security, both physical and cyber, in order to keep your business’s digital brain safe and secure.

 

Physical security

There are a range of physical security measures that businesses can put in place that will prevent any unauthorised access to servers or computers that might be holding confidential information.

General Building Security

The first measure to take is to make sure your building’s external security is up to date and effective. This includes testing or installing CCTV systems, implementing security guards and using smart locks on all entrances to the building.

By doing this, you’ll make it very difficult for unauthorised personnel to even enter the premise, let alone breach any data!

Server Room Security

Another physical measure that you can implement to keep your business data secure is to add server room security, including things like locks and CCTV monitoring.

Adding a smart lock system for entry to your server room can prevent people from entering who shouldn’t, as well as alerting any breaches or failed attempts to gain entry.

Server Rack Locking

Just as it sounds, server rack locking is when you lock access to the individual server racks within your server room. This provides yet another layer that will make it that much harder to access.

To lock your server racks, you can use secure cabinets with either a standard physical padlock, or by using a smart lock system that requires either a fingerprint or ID card to allow access.

By using a combination of all of these security measures, you’ll create a layered system that will be extremely hard to breach. This can also be applied to any other secure areas that your business may have.

 

Cyber Security

Data and software can’t just be secured with physical methods – it requires layers of cyber security too. By using both in combination, you’ll ensure that all important digital information is kept completely secure at all times. Here are some cyber security measures you can take:

Staff training

Especially in times when many staff members are working from home, it’s very important that staff are trained to protect online details. This includes training them on how to login and logout effectively, which cyber security programs to use and how to write secure passwords.

Regular updates to password protection

Passwords are what keep people from accessing certain areas, so the weaker they are, the more likely it is for unauthorised people to be able to access those areas. By regularly updating passwords and the software that uses them, you’ll make unauthorised access very difficult.

All passwords should be random and secure so that they are harder to guess or stumble upon.

Layered security

Finally, a simple yet effective method of preventing access to precious business data is to layer your cyber security. This means that you create individual areas for different steps of the access path, each one with a separate login.

This means that anyone who wants to access your data will have to break 3 or 4 layers and passwords, instead of only 1 or 2.

 

By using a combination of all of these tips, your business can maintain a high level of protection for all business data and online information. In an age when cyber-crime is at an all-time high, it should remain a priority for all businesses.

Keeping Your Business Safe In The Next Lockdown

It’s that time again – businesses will have to adjust to the rules of yet another lockdown. Buildings and offices are likely to be empty, upping the need for effective remote monitoring and security deterrence. Those businesses who continue to work will need to reinstate effective Covid-19 measures to make sure they’re operating safely. Let’s take a look at what businesses can do to stay safe, no matter what.

Why do businesses need to up security during a lockdown?

During the lockdown, it’s likely that many businesses will move back to operating from home – if they weren’t already doing so. That leaves offices and buildings more vulnerable to crime, especially if there are no visible security measures in place.

Studies have shown that the majority of burglaries that take place are in fact impulsive, often occurring when somebody notices unguarded valuables or a lack of security. With less or no people in the building to deter events like this, it becomes even more of a risk to businesses.

Which security measures can safely help out during a lockdown?

Remote CCTV

Remote CCTV monitoring is one of the best ways to prevent and deal with any incidents during lockdown. By implementing a system of cameras around the property, with sufficient signage, businesses will be able to deter the majority of criminals.

What’s also great about remote CCTV monitoring is that it captures everything that happened in high-definition video, allowing businesses to deal with any unfortunate events more effectively. As they can be monitored from anywhere, nobody has to be on-site at any point to make the most of the cameras – the perfect solution during a stay-at-home lockdown.

Mobile Patrols

Mobile patrols are another great way to have an eye kept on your business whilst away. Security patrols in high-profiled cars will be able to regularly inspect the building without getting in the way and without increasing the contact between groups of staff. Security vehicles and officers will deter crime and make sure that everything is in order when no other staff can.

Key Holding

As we’ve mentioned before, key holding for businesses is one of the best ways to ensure that any on-site activities or incidents can be seen to rapidly when there is nobody around. Alarm response officers will be able to reach any site within 20 minutes of an alarm trip, no matter the time or day of the week. From there, they’ll be able to analyse the situation and create reports on any false alarms, break-ins or damages.

Businesses who will continue at work

For any businesses who’ll continue to work during the lockdown, safety measures will be extremely important. Maintaining a healthy and safe working environment is paramount as the pandemic continues to worsen, so there are certain systems that should be implemented to help businesses achieve this.

Thermal Imaging Systems

If you are a large organisation, operating with large numbers of staff, then it’s important to make sure that everyone is healthy when entering the workplace in order to avoid a large breakout. A great way for businesses to do this is to use thermal imaging systems at entrances to the building. This will allow staff to enter quickly whilst taking temperature checks to reduce the likelihood of somebody carrying Covid-19 entering the building.

Automated People Flow Control Systems

Another key issue that businesses and offices have to consider is the number of people in each room. In order to work as safely as possible, staff should be able to keep a distance between them and not have to work face-to-face. By introducing automated people counting systems, rooms can easily be filled with a suitable number of people, without becoming overcrowded.

 

By using a range of sufficient measures during lockdown, all businesses can remain safe and secure. Whether moving to a work from home system, or remaining in the building, there are suitable measures that can help to operate as best as possible.

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