Security cameras point in three directions

Protecting Your School Property During the Current Lockdown

by Shane Mooney | 3 min read

May 25th, 2020

The country is facing into another 100 days of strict social-distancing regulations under the Government’s roadmap for exiting the lockdown following the arrival of COVID-19 pandemic to our shores. Therefore, it is important that any of the security checks outlined in this article are carried out in compliance with the various phases and timelines outlined in the Government roadmap, which is contingent on whether COVID-19 remains under control at each juncture.

Each year, we receive an increasing number of property damage notifications following the re-opening of schools after holiday periods. With the closure of schools since 13th March and with little activity taking place at schools until September, school buildings and grounds will in most cases, be vacant over a long period of time. We have already seen a number of malicious damage claims, leaking water pipes, glass breakage and anti-social behaviour on some school grounds over the last number of weeks.

We therefore recommend (subject to compliance with the Government social-distancing regulations prevailing at the time) that you carry out a security check of school building and grounds. The following areas should receive particular attention:

 

Fire and Arson Prevention

Many fires start accidentally because of a momentary act of carelessness or failure to take account of obvious hazards. However, an increasing number are started deliberately. Some schools and areas are more prone to arson attacks than others. Below are five tips, with some mentioned above already, that are specifically targeted to help reduce Arson:

  1. Deter and prevent unauthorised entry onto the school premises. This can be done by use of signs, defining and securing the boundary of the premises by use of robust security fencing, good security lighting, CCTV surveillance and/or a monitored intruder alarm detection system. Schools experiencing trespass issues should also liaise with the local Garda station to patrol the area.
  2. Eliminate features such as deep recesses and alcoves around the exterior of the school building.
  3. The weakest point of entry into a building is via the windows and doors.  Clearly, means of escape must never be compromised but inspections should be carried out to ensure that windows and doors are adequately secured after school hours and external doors fitted with approved locks. The local Crime Prevention Officer can provide further advice on this subject.
  4. Refuse and recycling containers including wheelie bins should ideally be kept in a secure compound or alternatively secured by a padlock and chain to a post sited no less than eight metres from the building to prevent them being moved against the building and set a light. 
  5. Obsolete and combustible materials such as old tables/chairs should be stored in a secure compound or disposed of on the same day if no longer required.

 

At all times, the health and safety of school staff is of primary importance and as outlined above, any checks or work carried out on school property and grounds must be subject to compliance with the Government guideline prevailing at the time. Please also refer to our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions which will be regularly updated. In addition, do contact your local Allianz Representative or your Insurance Intermediary if you require any further assistance or guidance in relation to the content of this article.


This guidance is for general information purposes only.

About the author

bio image for Shane Mooney
Shane Mooney

Shane is the longest serving member of the Allianz Local Representative team. Having joined Allianz over 40 years ago he found his calling with the Education & Religious team looking after customers in the West, and has been a key part in that team for over 20 years.