VIDEO: Preventing Piggybacking – 5 Tips to Safe Entryways

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Holding the door open for another person is usually an act of kindness or of being polite. Have you ever thought that this action could inadvertently put children, employees and visitors in danger? Jason Russell of Secure Education Consultants explains why holding the door open for someone, otherwise known as piggybacking, should be discouraged within our schools.

A problem that faces many childcare facilities and schools across the country is called piggybacking.

Safety and security is of utmost importance to every school and childcare facility across the country and that starts at the front door.

Many facilities have invested time and resources in the entry control of buildings. These entries must be used correctly. One way to do that is to prevent people from holding the door open for others. This practice – “piggybacking” stems from people trying to be polite and helping others through the door. What it really does is dramatically reduce our ability to maintain access control at our schools.

What can we do to try to prevent this practice from happening? Eliminating the practice of piggybacking is not easy. It takes diligence and a slight cultural shift because it’s against people’s normal way of behaving to not hold the door open. It takes an effort on the part of everyone to maintain access control within facilities.

Someone who wants to gain access to a facility (someone who we might not want inside) is going to use people’s human nature to provide access. We need to take all the steps we can to try to prevent that from happening. Establishing a strict, non-piggybacking policy will allow us to do that. Here are five tips that will hopefully prevent people from piggybacking in your entrances.

1. Set the tone early – Communicate with new families that we have a no-piggybacking policy; this will create a culture from the start.

2. Communicate with families and staff – Maintain better access control. When anyone holds or opens the door for another, we create a potentially unsafe environment for every child.

3. Model correct behavior – Ensure you use the entry correctly each time to reinforce the strategy. If the staff is doing wrong, visitors will certainly do the same.

4. Post reminders at the door – This strategy reminds staff and families that we cannot hold or open the door for others.

5. Say something – Gently remind violators that we have the access control for a reason and we appreciate their cooperation in keeping the facility safe.

Following these simple five steps will help you increase security and safety even more. Watch a video of Jason explaining piggybacking and the five steps to reduce unwanted visitors from entering your entryway.  Watch the full video explaining piggybacking here.

About Secure Education Consultants (SecureEd):

SecureEd is a team of highly trained former US Secret Service Agents who design and train staff members on an emergency and critical incident response plan customized for their school, child care center, or business. SecureEd offers site assessments, emergency preparedness plans and critical incident training to schools and child care centers, corporate organizations and churches and faith based institutions. Learn more about SecureEd.

About Jason Russell, Founder/President/CEO of SecureEd:

Jason Russell, President/CEO and Founder of SecureEd

Jason is the founder of Secure Education Consultants, LLC (SEC) and is its President and Chief Executive Officer.  He is responsible for overseeing all company operations, product development, and quality assurance. SEC is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and serves 100’s of clients in over 30 states.

Prior to founding SEC, Jason served with the United States Secret Service as a Special Agent. During his tenure, Jason was involved in protective and investigative assignments as well as protecting the President and Vice President along with all living former Presidents. In addition to protection assignments, Jason served as the Secret Service Lead Instructor at the International Law Enforcement Academy, a Physical Fitness Coordinator, and on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Jason began his law enforcement career with the Lansing Police Department (LPD). While with the LPD, Jason was recognized with a lifesaving award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Jason has worked on the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and various multi-jurisdictional enforcement initiatives.

Jason is a frequent Keynote and content speaker at conferences on the topics of emergency preparedness, active shooter response, and safety and security process.  Jason additionally has taught criminal investigation and security courses as an adjunct professor.

Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jason holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Western Michigan University and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Security Management from Michigan State University.

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