The widespread concern about the many dangers students face at school continues to grow each year. School security is on everyone’s mind, and schools are now turning to technology to help secure people and property.
As technology advances, so do solutions to keep students, teachers and administrators safe and secure on school grounds. But with so many companies pushing their products and services, it can be difficult for schools to conclude what they really need. Here are the core technologies we believe schools should have in 2019 for the best possible protection.
The best technologies for school security and safety
Traditional keys and locks for doors and sign in forms at front entrances are no longer enough for proper school security. Instead, schools need access control systems to serve a number of different purposes. A comprehensive system should cover access control 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 or fob readers to make coming and going key-less and effortless for both students and staff with ID badges or key fobs. This means schools can quickly permit or restrict access based on identification. It can also help with time and attendance by identifying which students or staff members are in the building.
In some systems, ID badges can even be set up to make at-school payments for things like books and food. And in other systems, mobile credentials are implemented to allow authorized users to unlock doors from a mobile device.
Moving from traditional keys and locks to a wireless system 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 every door in the school. This can be extremely valuable during the case of an emergency or lock-down.
Visitor management systems are effective way for schools to swipe in and record each and every person who comes into the building. There are multiple kinds of visitor managements systems, with many being cloud or browser based.
When a guest—such as a parent—visits a school, a visitor management system will scan his or her ID to record identification information. Some systems can even run this information against an up-to-date sex offender database. Once approved for entry, the system will create a temporary visitor badge. This process gives schools assurance that every individual on the grounds is accounted for at all times.
A major school security goal is to have awareness of everything happening on campus at all times. The best way to achieve this goal is with surveillance. When installing surveillance cameras, schools should make sure their security providers assess the grounds and strategically position cameras for optimal coverage. It’s important to remember that low-traffic areas are just as important as high traffic ones. Cameras should cover back hallways, stairways, and more.
Effective surveillance cameras are high-tech and IP-based with wide area coverage, high-quality footage, and weather resistance. Many cameras being manufactured today can even incorporate perimeter and loitering analytics. This type of technology enables automatic detection of triggered 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 remote video monitoring. With this service, remote agents watch live camera feeds to remain on the lookout for suspicious activity. When they suspect something, they take appropriate action. They might choose to deter an onsite criminal through a voice-down speaker system. Or they might choose to notify the police of a live crime in progress.
Remote video monitoring can act as a backup to existing security staff by covering more ground. The service can do a lot: it can 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 it here.
Reliable and effective entrance communication devices can improve school security by better protecting the building. Audio and digital video intercom systems can simplify screening visitors before permitting access to the building. Intercoms also allow remote voice-down communication to authorized and unauthorized visitors for effective and quick response.
Schools need alarm systems for mass notification in the event of an emergency to notify everyone in the building. 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. Alarm systems can also integrate with access control systems to institute a school lock-down.
Drill and emergency tools:
While fire drills have always been a school standard, shelter-in-place and lock-down drills have become just as important. Schools need strategic planning for all kinds of emergencies, and must carry out drills to ensure the plans are understood.
Although drills play a pivotal role in preparing for emergencies, they can unfortunately take up a lot of instructional time. That’s why schools are implementing technology that not only aids in safer emergency response, but improves drill efficiency as well.
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. Ruvna replaces outdated walkie-talkies and clipboard rosters with a safer, easier option that can cut drill times in half or more.
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. We would be happy to discuss your current security strategy and what you can do to improve it.