School Safety Plans & Tips: How to Prevent Theft, Vandalism & Break-Ins


For many reasons, schools are frequently the target of vandalism, break-ins, and theft. For one, some people see schools as being owned by no one rather than being owned by everyone. Schools can also be a source of great frustration for the students that go there, so they may use vandalism as a way of expressing that stress.

But whatever the reason, it’s important for schools to develop plans and strategies for preventing these issues from occurring. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to prevent theft, vandalism, and break-ins from happening at your school.

Prevent Break-Ins by Controlling Access

Keeping doors locked on weekends and when the building isn’t in use is an essential tip for keeping your school safe from break-ins and theft. But what about when parts of the school are in use and others aren’t?

In this scenario, moveable gates are perfect for sectioning off hallways and even whole wings of a building. These lockable gates also allow cleaning staff and other personnel to still move freely through the building.

It might also behoove you to think about limiting access from other entry points, like lower-level windows. Consider planting thorny bushes to help deter would-be intruders from attempting to break into your school.

Use Warning Signs to Deter Vandalism

As simple as they may seem, posting clearly visible warning signs can be an extremely effective way to reduce the amount of unsupervised loitering and the problems that arise from such activities. Warning signs play a vital role in setting rules and expectations for your school and the school grounds.

You can also clearly establish the school territory by using student art and gardens. These indicate that the school along with the grounds around it are monitored regularly and well cared for.

People are much less likely to deface or break into a property that’s in good condition compared to one that looks deserted and rundown. Remove any existing graffiti from lockers or bathroom walls immediately.

Stop Theft by Securing Valuables

Any valuable equipment should be kept in a safe and secure place that’s accessible only by authorized personnel. Storing things like expensive audio-visual equipment in the classroom or similar common area leaves the equipment at risk. It could easily be damaged or even stolen when a faculty member isn’t watching.

You can also use carts to move expensive equipment from room to room so only one room has to be secured at a time.

Use Graffiti-Resistant Materials

Given their nature of privacy and being secluded, two things that vandals rely on, school bathrooms are frequently the target of vandalism. One way to prevent vandalism is to utilize materials that are resistant to graffiti and scratches.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE), for example, is a durable plastic material that’s highly resistant to graffiti. It can be used for a multitude of applications, including bathroom partitions, vanities, and lockers. In addition to helping to deter vandalism, this material is 100% resistant to rust.

Want to learn more about HDPE bathroom partitions? Check out this case study from the Dallas Independent School District.