Early warning: a strategy to prevent injuries and loss of life during active shooter attacks on K-12 schools
Graves, Susan M.
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Active shooter attacks occur quickly. Schools have to take immediate action to protect students and staff. Public address systems do not adequately warn everyone at the first sign of danger. This thesis asks to what extent the school fire alarm system can be a model for a lockdown notification system for emergencies involving violence. The research reviews the history, mechanics, and regulations of fire alarm systems, and uses that information to design a conceptual lockdown notification system. A tool to evaluate school warning system technologies was also developed. Six case studies reviewed schools or districts that use a lockdown warning system modeled after the fire alarm system. The thesis concluded the school evaluation tool is useful for identifying strengths and weaknesses of school warning systems. The tool showed that reliability is a strength of the conceptual lockdown notification system because it is aligned with National Fire Protection Association codes. The lockdown notification system has the potential to solve the problem of early warning. The research recommends school decision-makers use this new tool to evaluate and select communication and warning system technologies. It recommends a pilot project to test the implementation of the conceptual lockdown notification system in schools.
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