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School Security Survey

Accompanying Documentation Check List
School Data
Security Survey 
Site Plan Consideration Check List and Floor Plan Check List

This information was developed and is shared by the Kentwood Police Department.
For further information, please contact Officer Tom Zimmerman, 616-554-0629

1.. Outdoor Areas

1.1 Parking Lots

1.1.1 What provisions have been made to
increase the security in and around parking lots?

Can illegitimate users use the parking lot without being detected?

Are there only essential access points to public thoroughfares provided?

Is the lot is close to the building?

Is the lot bordered by low barrier, such as curbing, hedges or some other symbolic barrier?

A wall, chain link, borders the lot fence, or some real barrier?

Is the lot overlooked by many windows?

Do access points have gates?

Can cars be routed through internal spaces near school buildings to increase surveillance potential?

Can cars be prevented from taking shortcuts with curbing, low hedges chains?

Can the lot can be moved to another outdoors space that requires less protection?

1.1.2 What has been done to increase the security for bicycle parking?

Is bicycle parking close to building?

Are bicycles overlooked by window?

Is bicycle parking fenced or gated?

1.2 Bus Loading Zones

1.2.1 What provisions have been made to increase the security of bus loading zones?

Do the line of buses create a visual obstacle to areas where crime may occur?

Is the bus zone visible from school offices of other interior areas?

Is the bus-loading zone located near an entrance?

Is the bus-loading zone free of trash containers?

1.3 Gathering Areas

1.3.1 What provisions have been made for formal gathering areas and the security of these areas?

Are there specific formal areas, such as mini-plazas, patios, or courtyards?

Do the formal areas provide natural surveillance for other outdoor areas, such as an entrance to school, a parking area, or playgrounds?

Can activities in the formal gathering area be easily overseen?

Can the formal gathering areas be easily seen?

1.3.2 What provisions has been made to minimize damage when students sit around and hang out?

Is there stiff, breakable planting in hang out areas?  heavy-duty trash containers in hangout areas?

Are there planters in hangout area that can be used as trash baskets?

Can walls be painted?

Can walls be easily cleaned?

1.3.3 What has been done to eliminate or minimize damage in small niches created by recessed doorways, loading docks, fire stairs?

Are all niches around the building for purposes of safety where doors are?

Is there exterior door hardware on doors in niches?

1.4 Play Areas

1.4.1 What has been done to minimize breakage of objects around playgrounds and basketball courts?

Is there sufficient space around formal play areas for normal play?

Are low lighting fixtures and other hardware out of the way of ball playing?

Is there a buffer between formal play areas and the school building?

Is glass around formal play areas specially protected?

Is there damageable planting immediately adjacent to formal play areas?

1.4.2 What has been done to be sure that playground equipment can withstand the especially rough treatment it receives?

Does playground equipment need special tools to be disassembled?

Can official play equipment accommodate rough play?

1.4.3 What has been done to be sure that objects will not be broken around play areas?

Are there consciously designed areas for play?

Can fixtures be hit by balls in play areas?

Are windows protected?

1.5 Walkways and Landscaping

1.5.1 What has been done to minimize trampling of grass adjacent to paved pathways and along natural shortcuts?

Are paved pathways located so that they provide the shortest walk between the two points they connect?

Have natural shortcut paths been predicted?

Are there subtle barriers between hard paved pathways and adjacent soft grass or dirt areas?

Is there grass or other soft material immediately adjacent to narrow pathways?

1.5.2 What has been done to minimize damage to shrubs, bushes, and trees?

Near active area, is all planting flexible and resilient?

Is there thick planting which willbe difficult to clean around?

Is there climbable planting near edges of buildings?

2.0 Structural Characteristics

2.1 Entrances

2.1.1 What has been done so that people see from a distance that the school is closed when it is closed and open when it is opened?

Are there large sliding grills or garage type doors to cover transparent doorways in the main entrance which are visible from a distance when school is closed?

Are deep recesses at entries inaccessible when school is closed?

Do the entryways look open when it is open but closed when school is closed?

Are there blind spots near entrances?

2.1.2 What has been done to minimize unnecessary damage to exterior door hardware?

Do all doors that have a primary exit doors have no locks or door handles ?

When there is a series of connected doors does only one of these doors have exterior door hardware?

Are double doors extra duty strength?

Do double doors have sturdy center mullion?

Does panic hardware requires a minimum amount mechanical movement?

Is panic hardware easily repaired?

2.2 Windows

What has been done to increase natural


Do classroom windows provide easy and convenient visual access to the outdoors

for teachers and students?

Do office windows provide easy and convenient visual access?

Are there clouded window panes?

Are windows too small or too narrow to see out of?

Are there interior windows providing surveillance between corridors and classrooms?

2.2.1 What has been done to minimize potential damage to vulnerable windows?

Are there windows in formal play areas?


In vulnerable, are windows made of several small panes rather than large ones?

Are the windows less that 3 feet from the ground?

Is there acrylic or Plexiglas in windows in hangout places?

Are ground floor windows made of extra-tempered glass?

Are ground floor windows made of thick acrylic or Plexiglas?

Are there windows in student stores?

Are there windows in administration storage offices?

Are there windows in industrial arts storage areas?

Is there thin wire mesh screens over specially vulnerable ground floor windows?

2.3 Walls

2.3.1 What has been done to minimize the possibility of damage to exterior walls and to fixtures and signs attached to exterior walls?

Are large expanses of easily marred wall space composed of small easily replaced sections?

Can wall surface materials in vulnerable areas be inexpensively and easily repaired?

Is the paint on walls is the same color as the material underneath?

2.4 Rooftops

2.4.1 What has been done to be sure that rooftops accessible from the ground are able to withstand rough play?

2.4.2 What has been done to be sure that people cannot climb onto vulnerable rooftops from the ground or from accessible parts of the roof?

Are glass and fixtures on accessible rooftops ground floor type?

Do doors on accessible rooftops have minimum exterior hardware?

Is there climbable planting, or planting which will grow to be climbable, located near the building?

Are there built-in footholds on telephone poles adjacent to the building?

Can incinerators or housings on roofs be climbed upon or used to get from one roof to another?

Can gas meters be climbed upon?

Have permanent custodian ladders been replaced by convenient storable type ladders?

2.5 Fixtures

What has been done to accommodate the rough use given to fixtures and hardware reachable from the ground—both on walls and scattered around the site, like lampposts bike racks and guardrails?

Are all fixtures out of reach of students on each others shoulders or holding sticks?

Are there unnecessary fixtures on buildings exteriors?

Are all fixtures covered with heavy-duty protective plate?

Are all fixtures recessed?

Are there vulnerable rainwater pipes less than 6 feet from the ground?

Do site fixtures challenge students to damage them?

3.0 Indoors

3.1 Corridors

What has been done to prevent or reduce corridor congestion and blind spots?

Are the doors in the corridors large enough so that they do not cause bottlenecking?

Do right angles in the corridors have good surveillance because of interior windows in classrooms or offices, or see-through wall panels?

Are there designated hangout areas that support natural surveillance but do not interfere with traffic?

Are classrooms located along corridors in ways that do not allow classes to see other classes?

Are offices and teacher assignment areas located in places that provide corridor surveillance?

Are there windows between the classrooms and corridors?

3.2 Stairwells

What provisions have been made to prevent or eliminate blind spots or  isolated areas at stairwell landings?

Have blind spots in stairwells been eliminated by being converted into locked storage areas?

Have blind spots been converted into  teacher assignment planning cubicles?

Have blind spots been converted into sanctioned hangout areas?

3.3 Gathering Areas

3.3.1 What has been done to be sure that students have places to meet in public and to be sure that damage will be minimized in informal active hangout areas?

3.3.2 What has been done to accommodate behavior in and minimize damage to out of the way places where students gather for more private discussions?

Are hangout areas consciously identified and prepared for heavy use?

Are fixtures within reach in hangout areas extra durable?

Are there convenient and durable trash containers in hangout areas?

Are there alternative legitimate lounges for students to use as an alternative to student gathering areas?

3.3.3 What has been done to minimize potential damage to restrooms?

Is there exposed plumbing pipe?

Is there exposed bathroom accessories?

Are air vents located so they cannot easily be used as ashtrays?

Are ceilings in lavatories solid?

Do toilet partitions have tamper proof screws?

3.4 Walls

What been done to be sure that walls can be easily repaired and cleaned—in order to minimize the possible "epidemic" effect of wall damage?

3.5 What has been done to be sure that community programs can be run effectively and with least probability of conflict with the rest of the school?

Is the school zoned for different evening and weekend community uses as well as for alternative daytime school uses?

Are different zones separated by gates strategically placed at corridor entrances?

Zones, when separated have separate entries from the outside

Are offices of school and community supervisory personnel located near multiple-use entries to the school building?

Are there places for people to gather comfortably near entrances and exits so that groups can serve as potential "people locks"

3.6 Other Concerns

Is there access to adjoining rooms via ceiling space and/or air ducts?

Does the facility have an internal intrusion alarm system?

Is building equipped with interior fire sprinkler system?

Does the building have a closed circuit video system?

Does building have an interior or exterior audio monitoring system?

Are windows present on exterior door?

Are exterior doors locked during the day?

Are exterior doors equipped with push bars?

Are all janitors closets and unused classrooms locked?

Are the hallways and classrooms clearly marked ?

Do classrooms have two-way communication to the office?

Do classroom doors lock from the inside?

Yes    No    NA    PT

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