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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

3.3.1 Premises and Security


  1. Introduction
  2. Security Procedures

1. Introduction

Security of homes is important not only to prevent crime but also as a reassurance to children and young people. Many young people may feel vulnerable and experience uncertainty and fear, particularly during their initial period in an establishment. Good attention to matters of security may well help a child feel safe and cared for. Engaging children in being responsible for their own safety and that of others may also help them to develop a positive attitude towards caring for themselves and others.

2. Security Procedures

  1. When the building is unattended, all windows must be closed and locked if possible and all doors locked.
  2. All fire doors should be kept closed and free from obstruction.
  3. All money pertaining to the establishment must be kept in the safe or a petty cash tin in the office and the key held by the most senior member of staff on duty. The petty cash tin should be locked in a filing cabinet or drawer.
  4. All keys to the building which are not in use should be locked in the wall cupboard in the office. There should only ever be one set of house keys in circulation and these should be held by the most senior member of staff on duty.
  5. At night the staff member who is sleeping-in should check that all doors and downstairs windows are locked and that fire doors are not propped open.
  6. The doors which should be locked are:
    • Office.
    • Any other rooms which do not prevent fire escapes in an emergency.
    • Front door, if this is not the main fire escape and is not used as a method to keep young people in the building. Where these are issues and concerns regarding locking the front door a full discussion should take place with the Service Manager and where appropriate, Surveyor and Fire Officer.
    • All other doors should be closed to prevent the spread of fire.
  7. During the day time all communal areas of the home should be open. On occasions it may be appropriate to lock certain areas if this will add to security and eliminate damage. Any decisions to do this should be clearly recorded in the log book and relevant incident reports.
  8. Decisions to secure certain areas on a regular basis must be made at a staff meeting in consultation with the Service Manager, and regularly reviewed. Locking areas merely to secure compliance from young people is not good practice.
  9. The staff bedroom should be kept locked at all times when not in use.
  10. All medicines should be locked in the cabinet. (See Administration of Medication Procedure).
  11. In any circumstances where young people are provided with their own keys to their bedrooms they may lock their rooms at night providing they do not leave the keys in the door. Staff may need to unlock doors in cases of emergency.
  12. All files and confidential information concerning a child must be locked in the appropriate filing cabinet when not in use. When such materials are in use they must be kept out of reach of other young person and never left unattended.
  13. All household cleaning materials (e.g. bleach) should be locked away when not in use. When such materials are in use they must be kept out of reach of young people and never left unattended unless part of an independence plan.
  14. The garage/outbuildings should always be locked when not in use. Young people should not be given keys to enter these buildings unsupervised.
  15. In establishments where security alarms are fitted, these should always be activated on any occasion when the house is empty and at night where appropriate. Alarms should be regularly maintained and tested and it is the responsibility of the Registered Manager to ensure that such checks are routinely carried out by qualified personnel.
  16. Establishments that are fitted with outside lights should ensure that these are in use after dark. Outside lights are not only a positive security measure but also a useful safety measure in improving visibility for those approaching the home.