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Secure Entrances...Why Natural Surveillance Matters in K-12 Design

Design of a secure entry for a facility isn’t something to be taken lightly. Providing for the safety of students is something that we at Moake Park take very seriously. Providing those that greet school visitors with as much information as quickly as possible is imperative in the event of an intruder trying to gain access to a school facility. Thus, we strive to orient reception desks such that they have direct visual access to the natural path that a visitor would approach a school facility. Having eyes on approaching school visitors provides for more confidence than having to rely solely on security camera monitors. The aspect of direct visual communication “natural surveillance” of spaces is one of the fundamentals of CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

In addition to proper desk orientation, we also give care and consideration to the types of glazing that are used. Safety films and bullet resistive glass are also ways to provide precious minutes to warn authorities in the event of a school intruder. Proper care and design should also be given how door hardware systems act and function. We believe that all door hardware systems to be used for safety and security are to be fail-safe. In other words, in the event of a power outage, doors will close, therefore no longer allowing access from the exterior but building occupants will always be able to safely egress from the facility.


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