While politicians engage in lively debate about gun control and solutions to an epidemic wave of violence in schools across the country, the discussion about how to harden our schools has become the top priority for parents and educators. When we think of hardening of schools, we generally think in terms of big hardware and armor, but there are 3 critical ways integrated technology can be implemented to make our schools safer immediately:
Access control is a way of limiting access to a system or to physical or virtual resources. In schools, access control is a process by which users are granted access to the building or specific areas. It can also be used to restrict access to equipment or information systems.
With access control systems, users must present credentials before they can be granted access. In physical systems, these credentials may come in many forms, but credentials that can’t be transferred provide the most security.
For example, a key card may act as an access control and grant the bearer access to a specific building or multiple buildings. Because this credential can be transferred or even stolen, it is not a secure way of handling access control.
A more secure method for access control involves two-factor authentication. The person who desires access must show credentials and a second factor to corroborate identity. The second factor could be an access code, a PIN, or even a biometric reading, such as a fingerprint, palm print or facial recognition.
Unlike most public-school systems, many private schools do not have direct communication systems between the classroom, administration and security. Modern two-way communications systems provide the ability to initiate instant emergency notifications & alerts during duress situations. Using a compact personal panic button device, a school-wide alert can be sent within seconds simultaneously to the main office and security staff members using visual alerts and playback of pre-recorded voice messages with specific instructions.
It should go without saying that a current video surveillance system should be part of any school’s security. The ability to visually monitor all access points to a building and common areas within the building, coupled with a robust storage system to review details of an incident are vital to on-site security and response teams. This data can also be used to make key changes to the emergency planning process to aid in the recurrence of and event.
At AV Design Integration, our representatives are available to answer any questions you might have about improving the security of your school by utilizing our affordable integrated technology solutions.