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Posted on

It isn’t a stretch to think that administrators are not only genuinely determined to increase school security in the wake of recent events, but are also expected to do so by their constituencies.

Pictured above is a video intercom unit which can be used for school security.


We know that the solutions we present in this blog post can’t stop every situation and may not have stopped all the horrible situations of the past.  But to take no action with the knowledge of the things that can happen isn’t the answer.

We wanted to present a few safety measures, keeping in mind that nothing can be completely impenetrable.  However, these safety measures can be put into place that can sometimes stop a situation from happening altogether, and at the least, can delay things until law enforcement can arrive.

One area we’d like to focus on today for school security is access control through video intercom.  This would make it necessary for anyone who wants to pass through an entrance to be buzzed in—but only after being seen via video by someone in the main office.

Not only would the staff be able to see things such as how a person was dressed and what he may be carrying, but may also be able to judge his frame of mind from his behavior in some cases.

They would ideally enter a vestibule one by one.  The aforementioned video component should render any screening window in a vestibule unnecessary.  Due to their proximity to a potential dangerous person, a window can obviously be unsafe.

There are two ways to achieve video intercom.  One could have an intercom unit installed that includes a camera lens inside the housing, or a separate security camera could be installed above to capture more of a field of view.  This would make it much more difficult to hide.

Another important layer of school security is to install panic buttons in the classrooms, almost always under the teachers’ desks.  An alternative to this, while achieving the same result, is to have strategically located pull stations.

These devices make it possible for teachers, staff and administrators to relatively easily send out a distress signal that transmits immediately and directly to the police, and can also set off a tone or horn that informs everyone in the school to lockdown.

And speaking of lockdown, universal keys are an effective tool.  They allow teachers and staff to quickly lock any classroom with the same key—any teacher can jump into any classroom and secure it.  Another important thing is that they lock from the inside.

The issue of door security is a challenge at many schools.  Ideally, you’d have an entrance or two that can be secured, electronically and automatically.  Then, several ancillary and peripheral doors can be locked by a custodian once classes begin.

This allows the main office to monitor everyone who tries to enter.  And even if an entry was forced, the panic hardware mentioned above could be used to immediately notify authorities…and even more importantly in the short term, would allow teachers and staff to take cover in secure classrooms.

But the ideal situation mentioned above does not always present itself.  Sometimes there are courtyards that have students crisscrossing to and from several entrances throughout the day.  How do you keep those secure?

Also, there could be separate buildings that students travel to and from during school hours.

These are situations where it’s best to have a professional security integrator come visit your school for a consultation.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.

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