Top security technology trends to look for in your child’s school.
Technology has become crucial in helping make schools safer. Although new smart systems tend to be expensive to install, your child’s safety is a priority. School governance should be doing everything, including tapping into technological advances, to ensure optimal safety in the classroom.
So, what are the latest safety trends that advanced technology has to offer?
Visitor management systems
While the old school method for admitting visitors to a school was to check the ID and then have them sign a paper log, with technology advances this is no longer necessary or recommended.
Among other things, modern visitor management systems video record entrances and exits with relative times, as well as scan state or federal identification cards of guests upon entry. The system will then run information through national databases – such as those kept for registered sex offenders or child endangerment issues – to ensure that intruders are prevented from entering.
Many schools now choose to keep entrances and exits constantly locked. Advancements in school door lock security technology and entry control equipment are the most recent tools in use to guarantee that unwanted guests are not allowed on the premises – especially without the knowledge of school administrators.
Electromagnetic doors with wireless door locks permit authorities and security personnel to lock or unlock doors remotely. A visitor to a specific entrance will buzz a video intercom, and school personnel can then decide whether to allow entrance or not. Another technological instrument is known as Integrated Access Control. This type of system will identify a person entering a school for the sole purpose of verifying who they claim to be. They will then be granted access to the appropriate location within a school campus.
Building management systems
The future of smart school buildings will not be limited to controlling operational expenditures, energy and resource optimization, and fire detection. but will integrate access management, video security, and shooter detection systems with gunshot detection sensors.
Ever since the Columbine High School Shooting Rampage approximately twenty years ago, the introduction of firearms onto school premises has been an increasing concern with repeated incidents nationally in the U.S. New smart systems for gunshot detection are capable of detecting a shot fired and communicating it within one second of the occurrence. These systems are now easily integrated into existing technologies to provide police, administrators, teachers, and students with immediate information.
According to safeandsoundschools.org, 90% of U.S. K-12 schools use video cameras and security equipment on school property. This is the data result of a growing trend that saw only 19% of public schools using video cameras in 1999-2000 increasing to 81% in 2015-16.
Video cameras are used in controlled access systems at entrances to manage a myriad of activities from visiting groups to misbehaving. Video security systems are ideally placed in locations where large numbers of students and faculty congregate such as hallways, cafeterias, libraries, auditoriums, and gymnasiums to ensure safety despite crowded spaces. An added plus to this type of video security is when systems also feature alert messaging or buttons with local authorities in case of an emergency.
X-ray machines and metal detectors
As unfortunate as it may seem, depending on where your child’s school is located, these machines can be lifesavers. Normally positioned near entrances, this equipment detects knives, guns, and other objects that can potentially be used as weapons or for violent pursuits, hence allowing confiscation before they are brought inside school buildings.
Panic buttons today take many forms and are no longer limited to a big red button placed under a desk at your local bank. Panic buttons have become mobile with teachers wearing them on belts and pockets during the day. If danger arises or there is a health emergency, the teacher pushes the button, alerting administrators and authorities, who in turn alert everyone on the property while first responders speed to the school. Some of these panic buttons also function as microphones and as amplification. The Inovonics Mobile Duress Panic Button is a perfect example of a mobile panic button.
Automatic lockdown system
Partnering with police and first responders, automatic lockdown systems allow a school or campus to go into lockdown mode as soon as a button is pressed. Proactive measures that give school administrators control over every door, entrance, or exit within an edifice, these systems were invented to prevent intruders and school shootings from taking place. They also permit pre-authorized personnel such as police immediate access to a facility that has been placed in a lockdown mode through immediate ID scanning.
Parents trust educators and school systems and expect learning environments to be safe for their children. Regrettably, increases in gun violence, school shooting episodes, and even cyber-attacks on information technology systems have created a need for investments in security technology.
There is no one and nothing more important than a child and his or her future. Safe, serene, and secure educational environments can only be guaranteed through technological investment and preparation for future challenges.