Why end-to-end solutions are critical to ensuring safety in schools

A major factor when designing and implementing a school security system is to ensure a reasonable level of security for staff, students, and the community. Situational awareness is paramount, and this can be achieved by implementing the right security strategies and integrating the right technologies. This means that in the event of an emergency not only is there security in place, but it is fully accessible to administrators. By integrating security systems like cameras and access control, public address and other IoT devices to function as one unified solution – i.e., an end-to-end approach – administrators and school security will improve their ability to take appropriate action.

Most schools have limited security resources, so different IoT devices, such as network cameras, network access controls and intercoms, network speakers, are used as a “force multiplier” to use automation to extend 24/7 security coverage over a wide area. These devices can send alerts and live video footage to your central monitoring station or to a security officer’s smartphone for follow-up. Choosing a video management software (VMS) that can ingest information from these different devices and provide useable insights before, during and after the event can drastically reduce response time, prevent costly damages, and improve post incident processes saving both time and money.

Network cameras keep a close eye

Choosing surveillance cameras that will provide crisp, useable images in harsh or low lighting scenarios can go a long way to ensuring situational awareness during or after an incident. Cameras with low-light capabilities will provide you with high-resolution, full color video even in the near absence of light.

Cameras also can utilize the latest AI technology which allows them to monitor a scene for incidents without the need for your security team’s intervention and create events such as audio or lighting to deter further damage or intrusion while also notifying your guards or local authorities. These AI analytics are designed to enable proactive monitoring and access to actionable insights to quickly verify detected events or set up automatic responses.

Limiting entry with access control solutions

It is important to ensure a modern access control system is implemented at your school’s facilities. This will limit entry to the buildings to certain people and can be programmed to work on schedules that fit the specific needs of each location. When integrated into your video management system creating an end-to-end solution, you can achieve better management of access to your buildings from a unified interface. When used in combination with embedded analytics on intercoms or cameras installed near the entrances, school officials can be alerted to loitering or other suspicious activity.

By having the access control system as part of your larger VMS, event information can be shared between the camera system, intercom system and access control allowing even greater control and ease of use. Video footage can be tagged for follow up based on access control events. Visitor records can be easily video verified along with the entry log to spot any anomalies. You can verify, trigger, and monitor lock down or hold and secure procedures from one software solution, allowing you total control easily, quickly and effectively. This drastically improves access on the fly while also making post incident investigations easier and quicker.

Network audio supports de-escalation and deterrence

Audio is a powerful and cost-effective tool to improve student safety and increase your operational efficiency. Implementation of IP speakers throughout a primary or secondary school, as well as campuses is the final touch to a full end-to-end solution and is a major factor in many of the scenarios already mentioned. AI analytics in cameras provide the information and a means to trigger, while the audio component actively provides the deterrence. A message from a speaker warning an intruder or troublemaker that authorities are on the way, is an incredibly effective way to reduce costs associated with security events, effectively stopping bad behavior on the campus in its tracks.

Your school’s administrators or security guards/officers can communicate quickly and directly with students and school staff, diffusing situations, and letting people know that help is on the way in case of accidents or emergencies. These audio components can also provide updates and instructions during the previously mentioned lockdown or hold and secure scenarios.

In addition to audio devices, a network strobe siren can alert both with visual signage and audible signals about an ongoing incident, emergency, or simply deny access to restricted area. Coupled with cameras running analytics, it can be an indicator that access is granted or denied to a parking area, or that a vehicle is driving too fast on school or campus premises.

End-to-end systems provide comprehensive support

When all these systems work together in a simple and easy to use solution, your school’s administrators and other stakeholders not only have the tools to make premises and communities safer, but centralized accessibility to those systems. By utilizing the force multiplying abilities of automation through cameras with AI, integrated access control and audio capabilities all under one platform, it creates a safer environment, and improved ability for you to act quickly before, during and after an incident.

Click here to learn more about integrated security solution for education.

Education solutions