Each year, the widespread concern about the dangers students face at school continues to grow. That’s why school districts are turning to technology to better secure their buildings and protect the people inside of them.
As technology advances, so do solutions to keep students, teachers and administrators safe and secure on campus grounds. But with so many companies pushing their products and services, it can be difficult to conclude what’s worth the investment.
Below is our list of the different technologies we believe schools should have in 2019 to not only help prepare for a worst-case scenario, but to also maintain school protection at all times.
The best technologies for a safe and secure school
Access control: Traditional keys and locks for doors and a sign in forms at front entrances are no longer enough to safely secure schools. Instead, schools need access control systems to serve a number of different purposes. A comprehensive system should cover access control, visitor management and emergency response in one.
For building entrances and classroom doors, schools can use wireless locks for quicker, easier and safer access. These locks have card readers to make coming and going keyless and effortless for both students and staff with ID badges. With ID badges, schools can quickly identify students and staff, permit or restrict access based on identification and determine who should or shouldn’t be on the premises. ID badges can even be set up to make payments for things like books or food.
Using wireless locks has a number of benefits for schools, but one of the biggest is the ability to control the system from a central location. With the push of a button, administrators can lock or unlock all school doors, which is valuable during emergencies and drills.
Surveillance: A major school safety goal is knowing what’s happening on campus at all times, which can be achieved with surveillance. When installing surveillance cameras, schools should make sure their security providers assess the grounds and strategically position cameras to ensure a clear view on every inch of the property. It’s important to remember that low-traffic areas as just as important as hallways and classrooms. Cameras should cover everything, including stairways, outdoor fields, etc.
The best surveillance uses high-tech, IP-based cameras with wide area coverage, high-quality footage and extreme weather resistance. Many cameras being manufactured today can even incorporate perimeter and loitering analytics. This type of technology enables automatic detection of unwanted activity, which is useful in monitoring low-traffic areas that a security guard might not check up on as often.
Remote video monitoring: To take surveillance to the next level, schools can implement central station monitoring. With this service, remote agents watch live camera feeds and remain on the lookout for suspicious activity. When they suspect something, they take appropriate action, which could be anything from deterring an onsite criminal through a voice-down speaker system to notifying the police of a live crime in progress.
Remote video monitoring acts as backup to existing security staff to ensure every inch of a school is being monitored at all times. The service can do a lot, like complete remote site patrols of set areas during scheduled times, integrate with camera analytics to alert remote agents when unusual activity is detected and even save schools money on guard costs. Learn more about remote video monitoring here.
Intercom and alarm: Schools need a platform for seamless communication between teachers and administrators, as well as mass notification in the event of an emergency. An intercom system is an efficient mode of communication that schools can use for daily office-to-classroom messages and bells, as well as alerts and warnings if necessary.
School intercom systems should be integrated with alarm systems for mass notification during an emergency. One audible alarm, however, is not enough. Schools should have unique alerts for all kinds of emergency situations so that teachers and students know exactly what to do when one is triggered. Alarm systems can also integrate with access control systems to institute a school lockdown if necessary.
Drill and emergency tools: While fire drills have always been a school standard, shelter-in-place and lockdown drills have become just as important. While these drills play a pivotal role in preparing for emergencies, they also take up a lot of instructional time. That’s why schools are using technology to not only aid in safer emergency response, but also make drills more efficient.
For this type of technology, we recommend Ruvna. Ruvna is a mass communication platform that can be accessed on any Internet-connected device, such as a cell phone, computer or tablet. With it, teachers can account for safe, injured and missing students while administrators follow along live. This technology replaces outdated walkie-talkies and clipboards with a safer, easier option, and it significantly speeds up drills.
Learn more about school security in New York and New Jersey
If you have questions about your school’s security in New York or New Jersey, quickly provide your information here or give us a call at any time at (212) 688-2767.
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