NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Safe and Sound, a nonprofit organization founded by families directly affected by the Dec. 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., recently gained the backing of door safety and security solutions firm Assa Abloy.
Safe and Sound provides schools and communities with toolkits, ideas and resources to help assess the safety of their facilities, along with strategies for making schools safer. The organization’s ultimate goal is to unite the national school community with a nonpartisan, grassroots approach to problem solving and provide school communities a platform for building local and national partnerships between parents, educators, students, first responders, safety and security experts, and community members. Assa Abloy was announced as the organization’s newest platinum sponsor in October, and will support Safe and Sound’s efforts to improve school safety.
Assa Abloy has long provided entrance and access solutions that address common K-12 facility challenges like classroom security, sound transmission control, accessibility and energy efficiency. The company’s security professionals also conduct no-cost school site assessments, and will work together with Safe and Sound to increase public awareness of school safety. Though the amount of the company’s gift was not disclosed, Platinum sponsors include only those contributing $15,000 or more annually, according to the Safe and Sound website.
In a statement, the company outlined its support for the organization and its mission of empowering communities to improve the safety and security of their schools.
“Assa Abloy supports Safe and Sound’s goal of creating a safe learning environment that protects students and staff,” said Mike McGorty, executive vice president of sales for Assa Abloy Door Security Solutions, in a statement. “We are proud to sponsor Safe and Sound and share our expertise in school security. Together, we will make a lasting impact in the safety of our schools and well-being of our children.”
“We are grateful for Assa Abloy’s generous support of our mission at Safe and Sound,” co-founder Michele Gay added. “Through support like this, our work is made possible and our message, materials, and resources are shared with school communities nationwide.”
The sponsorship announcement coincided with America’s Safe Schools Week, a week- long public awareness campaign headed by the National School Safety Center designed to bring greater attention to the importance of school safety. The event provided an ideal starting point to begin the joint effort.
The company has recently launched several safety-related products for use in schools, including the Security Sidelight doorframe unit. This particular product includes both a window panel alongside the door, as well as a heavy duty hinged panel that can close over that window from within the classroom, offering light and visual access when open and added security when closed.
“Studies show [school intruders] are looking for a sure bet,” Vice President of Marketing for Assa Abloy’s Architectural Hardware Group Leslie Saunders told WFSB in an interview. “If they don’t know that the room is occupied they will typically pass it by.”
Additionally, Assa Abloy’s RF Fob allows teachers to automatically lock their classroom door from up to 75 feet away via a small key fob attached to their person. A secure lock attached to the inside of the door prevents outside access, while ensuring teachers and students can still quickly exit the classroom.
“You always should have free egress from a room,” Saunders told WFSB, “but people should not be able to get in.”