Four Advantages of IP-based Security Systems in Schools

By Joe Gillis - 18 Mar, 2019
Most educational facilities are shifting to IP-based security systems and mass notification / paging systems when they upgrade. After all, any alternatives would be a step backward in technology. But, apart from it being the latest technology, are there advantages to IP-based systems compared to CCTV cameras and separate communications systems for schools?

If you haven’t upgraded your school security systems since the Bush administration – or perhaps even longer – now is the time. With technology grant money available for such upgrades, as well as an increased emphasis on school safety procedures, these systems are a necessary investment.

At the beginning of the school year, we talked about how integrated security systems can save money and create safer schools. But there are many other advantages to IP-based security systems that can make the technology upgrade an easy sell to your school board, administrators and the taxpayers.

Reliability: IP-based Security Systems Work When You Need Them Most

Monitored security systems used to work using what those in the industry call “Plain Old Telephone Service,” or POTS lines. While seemingly secure, telephone lines could fail to operate due to storms or service disruption due to repairs. Lines could even be manually cut. The industry shifted to cellular service for monitored alarm systems. But cellular networks evolve so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up with the protocols, and systems are not backwards-compatible. We are already looking at 5G capabilities in many areas.

Meanwhile, internet service is only getting faster and more reliable – and bandwidth upgrades only require technicians to switch out a router, rather than upgrade the entire network infrastructure. You can control costs and future-proof your security systems with IP-based components. Networking technology today is reliable, ubiquitous, and more affordable than ever before.

SAFE System Provides Faster Response Times

One option in IP-based security systems is the Signal Alert For Education (SAFE) System™, which enables teachers and security staff to send alerts instantly, communicate with first responders, and receive notifications from office staff that help is on the way, providing peace-of-mind and a sense of control in nearly any emergency situation.

The SAFE System also integrates with IP-based video systems, access control, and mass notification, providing an integrated system that leads to faster response times from on-campus staff and, subsequently, emergency personnel.

Integrated Systems: IP-based Systems Offer Enhanced Capabilities

The sky’s the limit when it comes to integrating access control, communications, mass notifications, door locks, and security cameras over an IP-based system. Best of all, these capabilities can be accessed by authorized personnel from virtually anywhere using their mobile device, office computer, or through their home network if an incident occurs outside of school hours.

Unlike older CCTV systems, IP-based cameras can display images in full-color, HD, 4K and even 8K resolution in any light, making it easier to identify offenders and see what really happened in cases of bullying or theft. Teachers, administrators, and security personnel can also send camera footage directly to emergency response teams, police, or fire departments quickly and easily.

Scalability of IP-based Systems Allow You to Spread Out Costs Over Time

There is virtually no limit to how many devices your IP-based security system can support. Using a peer-to-peer network topology, you can scale from one to 10,000 cameras.

IP-based security systems should also support a hybrid of analog or conventional CCTV cameras along with newer IP-based models, enabling you to reduce project costs by keeping some of your old equipment.

Because the systems are scalable, you can upgrade cameras and other components as needed, rather than all at once.

Are You Ready to Upgrade Your School Security Systems?

If you are still relying on paper sign-in sheets at your front door and black-and-white CCTV cameras, it’s time for a campus security system upgrade. Even if your school security system uses more up-to-date technology, integrated systems can bring functionality you never imagined to your school.

Today’s IP-based systems can provide control of temperature, lighting, and shades, along with your school’s security systems, all on one secure network with remote management and monitoring capabilities. You can give students, parents, and school staff peace-of-mind with updated, IP-based security systems while reducing overall operating costs in your educational facility.

Author: Joe Gillis

Joe Gillis, a graduate of Loyola University, began his career with FTG Technologies, a New Era Technology company, in 2010 as an Account Executive. After proving his skills in team-building, client interaction, and developing strategic relationships, he was promoted to Sales Manager in 2012. Today, Joe continues to lead the sales team and serves as a member of the senior management team. When Joe isn’t leading the sales team he enjoys time with his young family and is an avid golfer. Prior to joining FTG, Joe worked for the PGA Tour within Tournament Operations.