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3 Keys to Minimizing Theft in Your School’s Locker Rooms

By Cathey Lee Subscribe to RSS | January 5th 2012 | Views:

Theft in locker rooms is a crime of opportunity. Therefore, security is a major consideration when designing and outfitting school locker rooms.

Start with the right lockers.

Full-time security allows use of pro-style open design lockers, but schools don’t have the resources to pay for people to watch over vacant locker rooms. Consequently, you need lockers with these anti-theft features:

Heavy duty steel construction for strength and durability.

Mini-louvers that allow plenty of ventilation without visual access to contents.

Built-in locks that automatically lock when the door is closed — padlocks are easily broken. (Don’t know how? You can easily learn online.)

Enough room to store all the student’s belongings, so nothing is left outside their locker, even for a minute. Unless your school has multiple locker rooms, choose the largest size needed to meet everyone’s needs.

Lifetime warranty to protect the school’s investment, too.

Follow these suggestions to design and manage locker rooms:

Locate offices near the entrance, with large windows overlooking the locker rooms. Offices and any clinic supplies or equipment should be fully secured.

Prevent ceiling access that can hide a thief or stolen items. Recessed lockers or those with sloped tops eliminate ceiling access and top-shelf hiding places.

Place lockers only around the perimeter, or limit the height of interior rows to maintain an unobstructed view.

Always secure locker rooms when leaving. A coach or instructor should be present at all times and do a walk-around before leaving and locking up.

Video cameras cut down on crime, but privacy issues for locker rooms in particular make this troublesome area.

Remember the human side.

Don’t assume kids even think about security. And sadly, trust, covering valuables with a pile of clothing or stashing an I-pod in dirty underwear aren’t enough. So talk about it, and promote common sense habits such as:

Don’t share locker or combination

Don’t leave anything outside the locker, even temporarily

Report theft right away

Staff should perform periodic walk-throughs when students are present. Like police patrols in neighborhoods, just the increased presence and knowledge that someone is watching can make a tremendous difference.

Strong, smartly designed lockers combined with constant vigilance are the key to minimizing theft in your school’s locker rooms.

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