Just like the college campuses we looked at in the most recent article, K-12 level schools have security needs to protect against active shooters and other emergencies. Schools need the ability to instantly go into a lockdown while at the same time sending alerts to staff, students, and parents or guardians. These integrated security systems also serve the day to day needs of the school, restricting access to certain areas based on time of day, performing video surveillance, as well as access control.
When schools implement technology as single tools instead of holistic solutions, they miss out on control of the campus, reduction in operating cost, and overall effectiveness. With emergency management systems, it is important to use a layered approach with the ability to secure a perimeter, control access, send emergency messages, manage surveillance, and enter a lockdown state. The state of a full school lockdown is used in these smaller schools as it would be next to impossible to implement well in a university setting, but K-12 environments are small and institutional enough to be able to make use of it.
Using secured entrances and exits for all points of entry allows management to track everyone entering and exiting during the day. Door locks may be linked to security personnel who can open or close doorways in emergency situations. Integrating turnstiles, video analytics, intercoms, and intrusion detection devices are all options to be deployed at access control points. The school can assign different levels of access to students, staff, and visitors, and can track their movements and how long they spend in each location. This can all be valuable security data to mitigate future threats and to monitor in ongoing analysis.
Using IP-based video surveillance is a must. The cameras will be integrated into the larger system and backed up to the cloud. The school can then take advantage of digital storage, remote monitoring, and video analytics if desired. A well designed system will also include monitoring of individual room condition statuses, which are important in case of the need for a lockdown, evacuation, or order to shelter-in-place. All of these features work in concert to provide a truly next generation level of security at the K-12 level specifically designed to cater to the needs of schools of this size and with this young of a student population. The integration of the fundamentals, access control, IP-video, lockdown features, emergency messaging, and analytics makes it possible to have near total control over the campus in the case of an emergency.
Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom designed systems such as this from the ground up or integrated into existing infrastructure, where possible. We are available 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863.