The Issue of Classroom Safety
Schools and classrooms should be a very safe and harmless place where teachers and children come together to learn. However, many unfortunate incidents have happened over the years that have brought the issue of classroom safety into the spotlight. There have been incidents in the past that has highlighted the need for more proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of the students and children when they are on campus as well.
Schools, colleges, and universities have also shown some proactiveness in this regard with regular lockdown drills and policies that they have put in place about the lockdown protocols that they follow. A classroom is normally a harmless place where students do their learning along with some classroom fun with their buddies. However, it is always better to prepare for any untoward incident, no matter how low the probability of it occurring may be.
What is the Lockdown Protocol?
The lockdown protocol is based on a set of instructions that need to be followed in the event of any security emergency such as an attack. These are palpable dangers and one must prepare themselves to take effective evasive action. While there are protocols for all sections of the school or college premises, the classroom is the place that is most at risk.
The classroom is where the students and teachers are housed during school hours. So, if the attackers are targeting a student or a teacher or are looking for vulnerable targets to take hostage, the classroom is the place they would attack or focus upon. Hence, taking steps that can improve security within the classroom can significantly improve the chances of survival in the event of any such incident.
How to Improve Security Within the Classroom
There are so many ways in which classroom security can be improved. In the event of a security emergency, the most important thing will be to secure the doors and windows of the classroom so that no one can enter them from the outside. Doing this will help keep the students and teachers inside the classroom safe until the police or any help arrives.
There should be some means for emergency contact within the classroom which can be used in the event of such an attack. Emergency supplies including the first aid kit, basic medicines, some packed food and drinking water, etc. also need to be available within the classroom. These things will come in handy in case the lockdown situation gets extended for more than a few hours.
The second thing that needs to be done is to block out the view of the classroom from the outside. If the assailants can’t look inside the classrooms, they won’t be able to locate their target. This will slow them down and buy some precious time for the police and security to take control of the situation. This can be done by coverings the doors and windows in the classrooms using lockdown shades and similar window treatments.
What are Lockdown Shades?
Lockdown shades, as apparent from the name itself, are designed to serve the sole purpose of blocking out the view of the classroom completely. Now, when we say completely, it is important to take note. Lockdown shades are meant to block out the view completely. Not even shadows should be visible. Another key aspect is that these shades have to be deployed quickly and hence, the shades take too long to lower down won’t be great lockdown shades.
Complete coverage and blackout performance are very important for lockdown shades. This is one of the main reasons why shades are preferred over blinds to be used as lockdown window treatments. Blinds have some gap between the slats due to which the view is not blocked out completely. The lockdown shades have to be sturdy enough to not get penetrated easily. Hence it will be best to have the lockdown shades as internal window treatments.
One can argue that paper can be used to cover the windows and doors so that the view is blocked. One can simply stick the paper on the windows and door frames using adhesive tapes. But, there are some major reasons why it is not a good idea. Firstly, sticking the paper on the windows and doors will take more time than desirable and swift response is very crucial to enhance the chances of survival. Secondly, finding the paper that has sufficient opacity to block out the view completely can be tricky at times in case of an emergency. Moreover, using paper will also increase the safety risk in case of a fire. Lockdown shades take this into account and mostly use fire-resistant material.
5 Lockdown Shades Perfect for a Classroom Door
There are so many shades that can provide excellent blackout performance that makes them worthy of being used as lockdown shades. However, when we talk about the classroom door, some other factors also need to be considered. While the windows can be both fixed and openable, the doors are meant to be opened. Hence, the classroom doors will also have movable parts. What this means is that you will have to mount the shades directly on the door frame so that they don’t obstruct the movement of the door.
In case of a lockdown scenario, the doors will need to be locked from the inside and will also need to have the shades lowered immediately. Door mounted shades will ensure that these important things are taken care of in a swift manner. When working on getting the classrooms more secure and compliant with the lockdown protocols, both the normal requirements for lockdown shades and the needs specific to the classroom doors need to be taken into consideration. To get you started, here are some shades that will be perfect lockdown shades for a classroom door:
Blackout Roll-Up Shades
Roll-up shades have a major advantage and that is their quick deployability. You can quickly lower them down, saving you some precious time that can prove to be a deciding factor in ensuring the survival of the students and the teachers alike. Using blackout material is advisable for ensuring that the assailants are unable to peep inside the classroom.
Blackout Cellular Shades
Cellular Shades are well-known for providing excellent heat insulation, light control, and even sound dampening. Add blackout material to the mix and you get cellular shades that not only keep the interiors cooler and quieter but also block out out the view completely. This means that the attackers are unable to spot people inside the classroom and the sound dampening also reduces the chances of overhearing any quiet movements or stray sounds from inside.
Bamboo shades have many special qualities with the rustic elegance and ‘close-to-nature’ appeal being the major highlight. These shades are fairly simple to install and can be deployed swiftly when needed and the best part is that they can be mounted directly on the door. They should be fitted with a blackout liner to properly block the view. This makes the bamboo shades ideal lockdown shades for the classroom door.
Roller shades make use of a roller mechanism. This makes operating these shades super easy and smooth. You can operate them using a pull cord in the standard variants or can opt for cordless variants if you don’t like to deal with messy pull cords. Another benefit of roller shades is that you can get them retrofitted to convert them into motorized shades. Doing this will enhance the safe operability and reduce the response time of lowering these shades significantly. You can use blackout fabrics for blocking out the view completely.
Motorized Blackout Shades
These shades are probably the most aptly suited window treatment option in a lockdown situation. These shades can be remotely operated using a remote or smartphone. So, you don’t have to reach up to the door to lower the shades and thereby reducing the risk of danger. Another major advantage is that you can program them to function independently or as per a pre-defined protocol.
Things such as a security alarm going off in the event of any untoward incident can be programmed to trigger the lowering of the motorized shades automatically. This will shorten the response time significantly and that can come in handy during a lockdown situation. These features present in the motorized shades coupled with your choice of blackout material to block out the view can turn out to be immensely helpful in tricky situations such as a lockdown.
Lockdown is not a pleasant situation to be in as there is a major safety concern for the students, teachers, and other staff alike. This is the reason why preparedness becomes all the more crucial. The shade options discussed above are designed to deliver excellent blackout performance and can be deployed at short notice. Having them installed on your classroom doors and windows surely makes you more equipped to handle such risky situations.