7 Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security

Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security
A 2014 report by Safe Havens International for the Indiana School Safety Specialist’s Academy, Indiana Department of Education

There are many opportunities to enhance school safety, security, climate, culture and emergency preparedness through physical design features. This guide introduces some key concepts that can reduce the risk of harm while also enhancing the ability of building occupants to avoid or reduce injury and death if a crisis does happen. Safe Havens International (SHI) produced this document at no cost for the Indiana School Safety Specialist’s Academy (ISSSA). Our analysts drew from the experience we have gained through assisting in six statewide school security assessment projects and our work in assessing security for more than 6,000 K12 schools globally.

We also relied on our extensive experience in working with architects and engineers to help design safer schools. The seven building design features highlighted in this document were selected because they are among the most common features that are missed in new school construction and renovation projects. While there are a number of other important school safety design features, these are opportunities for improvement that we observe with the most frequency in our assessment work and our security reviews for renovations and new school construction projects. These concepts are part of a larger body of knowledge known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Read the full report.