Keeping school security elements such as access control, video surveillance, fire protection and voice alarms systems in separate silos, integrated by different companies, can slow down response times and add unnecessary costs to crucial technology. Shifting to IP-based systems and integrated solutions remotely managed by one firm can make school security systems more reliable, more effective, and more affordable. If you can unite your video management systems, access control, visitor management, and communications to work seamlessly together, it will not only help ensure the safety of students and staff but can also create a more effective learning environment.
Why Is Security Important?
It should almost go without saying that the safety of students and staff on a K-12 or higher learning campus is of paramount importance. With an average of one school shooting per week in 2018
, no educational facility wants to be the next headline. But did you know students who are victimized at school are prone to truancy and poor academic performance? Bullying in schools can also lead to high drop-out rates and violent behaviors, according to a report from the National Institute of Justice
. Robust, integrated security systems act as a deterrent to not just crimes, but bullying, and also as a record of behavior so administrators or law enforcement can take appropriate disciplinary action. Integrated, IP-based security systems can give schools the latest technologies, improve communications with first responders, and give staff more control over their own safety, all with substantial cost savings over using disparate systems. Many times, schools can use their existing security and infrastructure technology to take the next step into a fully integrated security system that incorporates the following elements.
Networked Video Management Systems: Provide a Record of Activity
An IP-based video management system has potential to increase the amount of storage, so you can retain records longer. Today’s high-tech video cameras, available in 4K or 8K resolution and able to capture clear, full-color pictures even in low-light conditions act as a deterrent and a record of bullying, vandalism, trespassing, and more serious criminal acts. The IP-based system allows security personnel to monitor video camera feeds on mobile devices and share relevant footage quickly and easily with law enforcement personnel, all across a secure network.
Access Control and Visitor Management: Integrates with VMS for Efficiency
An access control system that includes a time and attendance module, visitor management system, and environmental monitoring helps ensure the safety of students and staff at all times. An effective system should provide access based on time, location, and personnel, ensuring that the right people have access to the right areas at the appropriate times. By integrating access control with a visitor management system, schools can eliminate low-tech, paper sign-in logs and maintain an accurate, tamper-proof record of all visitors who enter the building. When IP-based access control interfaces with fire and burglar alarm systems, with the capability to remotely trigger a lockdown, security personnel and high-level administrators know their power to protect the school is accessible at any time, from anywhere.
Networked Communications: The Heart of Seamless Security
The school’s networked communications system ties together video, access control, visitor management, connections with law enforcement, and internal and external mass communications systems. The school may be able to leverage the existing VoIP solution for door intercoms, turning communications into an extension of the proven, trusted phone system. Door intercoms should offer the ability for two-way audio communications and one-way video of the entryways, with all content recorded to the VMS for playback as needed.
Is It Time to Re-evaluate Your School’s Security System?
School security is on the minds of teachers, administrators, parents, and taxpayers. With grant money available to enhance and upgrade the security systems in schools in the northeast U.S. and beyond, now is the time to assess your campus-wide security and monitoring systems to see where today’s advanced technology solutions can play a role in keeping your students and personnel safe. If you are currently using disparate systems to monitor your building and grounds, keep track of visitors and personnel, and communicate situations to people inside the building as well as to parents at home, it may be time to consider how integrated security systems designed and installed by a team of professionals can bring your campus security up to date.