Educational facilities require a secured learning environment. Implementing efficient education and school security systems is a top priority to ensure the safety of students, teachers, staff, and others within the school premises. This task requires a balance between creating a welcoming learning environment for students and implementing sound security solutions that keep them safeguarded. Access control systems are a great way to maintain this perfect balance. School access control is an important part of a comprehensive security plan.
Here are 8 ways Access Control Systems can provide School Security:
Establishing a door barricade solutions
Lockdown door barricade systems have the ability to prevent access to specific areas of a building or the entire facility for security measures. In the school environment, the lockdown can be as small as a classroom or as broad as the entire school premise. This can be achieved by pressing a button. A signal is transmitted internally to the software interface or through an integration with physical panic button technology, that locks all the doors in the facility. The speed of the lockdown is critical and how quickly lockdown is achieved depends on the system installed. Most K-12 schools have implemented lockdown procedures because it is one of the most effective security solutions that lock doors, clearing hallways, common areas or the entire building within mere seconds.
There are 2 types of lockdown – internal and external.
Exterior doors are not locked, and an intruder is inside the building.
The Exterior doors are locked, and a potentially violent situation may unfold outside the building.
When combining a lockdown procedure with an access control system, intruder access can be delayed, giving school authorities enough time to get to the spot and take necessary actions. Fire is statistically more than three times likely to happen than an active shooter incident in a school. School administrators when thinking about risk management and security should only consider the tested products for locking that meet the code requirements for securing life. Classroom security locking functions that allow users to quickly lock the door from either side and meet code requirements for free egress and fire protection. They are the safest solution for “lockdown” situations and minimize the possibility of an exit being blocked during an emergency situation. Read more on “Classroom Door Lockdown Devices: What Works and What Doesn’t.”
Choices among various Electronic Access Control locks
Physical keys have several drawbacks in securing school buildings. They can be easily duplicated, difficult to track, wear and tear of the key parts, etc. A smart electronic door lock system can help to check an individual’s identity and entry authorization against the system’s database before allowing the person to access school building. The system also stores the record of each time the person accesses the building.
Here are some electronic access control components and devices that are used to verify an individual’s identity and grant access, include:
Coded swipe cards
Biometric devices like fingerprints, hand geometry, retinal eye scans, etc.
Wireless electronic locks
Video Surveillance system Integration
Integration of access control systems for schools with video surveillance devices can help monitor the entry points into your school and provide a visual record of who is entering and exiting your school building. These recorded videos can be helpful to identify any intruders, who access school building. Most systems can be monitored, managed, and controlled remotely using a web browser. Events can be viewed in real-time or later in recorded footage.
Visitor management system
Visitor management is the procedure to identify, determine right access, and track a visitor’s access to school premises or buildings. This system merges with access control by determining who is authorized to enter the facility, where they are authorized to go, how they will be monitored, as well as documenting entry times and destinations. Access control systems should be implemented in each area of school facilities. The school district and school visitor management procedures should address all visitors entering the facility, what forms of identification are acceptable such as driver’s license, collect necessary information from visitors during the sign-in and sign-out process as well as information visitors need regarding rules and emergency protective actions.
With advanced technologies and time constraints, it’s important that the access control systems should have a quick pin or barcode or QR code or proximity visitor card reader for regular visitors like parents for a faster school sign-in process. Integration of access control with the notification system will be a powerful option to alert staff to the arrival of their visitors.
Security Turnstile for campus safety
Installing access control systems for schools with security turnstiles is the most efficient and effective way to elevate security. This is because security turnstile doors and other security turnstile systems are designed to restrict access to one person at a time and will only allow access to the individuals with the correct credentials. A person entering a security turnstile presents credentials such as an ID card, key fob, etc. to a reader attached to the turnstile so it can check the person’s authorization to pass through the turnstiles lane. If the credentials are correct, the turnstile will unlock and allow the person through, promptly locking immediately after the person has made the passage. These security turnstile systems provide one of the most efficient entry security solutions available because they prevent any unauthorized entry to the facility.
Automatic Number plate recognition
For schools, colleges or university sites where students may be driving in and parking onsite, Automatic Number Plate Recognition may be a viable option. To monitor the entrance of vehicles on site, video surveillance cameras and computer software can be used to identify number plates of vehicles. Some systems have the ability to store photos of the driver and vehicle for subsequent and in-depth analysis. This software allows critical information to be passed to the police for the identification and capture of offenders. Visual proof of parking offenses with time and date information is provided as evidence to avoid such disputes.
Time attendance systems
Biometric access control systems are integrated with time and attendance platforms to ensure the accuracy of work time along with providing access to a facility. This saves time with a manageable process. Students profiles are created using all the demographic and necessary information, and a photo of the student along with his or her biometric credentials. Once registered, the student will be able to gain access into the school and submit their attendance in every class with a digital fingerprint.
Facial recognition technology
Facial recognition technologies help to streamline the campus access and cutting the amount of time students, staffs spend on gaining access to a school building. IP cameras generally scan the face of the individual and compare it to a database of authorized persons in the facility. If it’s an authorized access, the system unlocks the door automatically for a few seconds. In case of an unauthorized access, the person would press the doorbell and be admitted into the school manually as before. This solution prevents any unauthorized entry to the building and keeps people safe.
Few tragic school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Texas have prompted a fresh wave of security upgrades in school districts across the country. Florida recently passed legislation allowing Classroom Teachers to be armed. Florida School District Adds Closed Access Control System to prevent unauthorized access to schools. Districts in Kentucky and Indiana will start using metal detectors to screen staff, students and visitors at entry points. And a school district in Lockport, New York, near Buffalo, currently upgrading its surveillance system to employ facial recognition technology. Statistics show in a typical month, 54% of intrusion or trespassing occurs in schools and 52% of school properties are theft. Breaking and entering seem to occur more frequently in schools than elsewhere. In a typical month, it is estimated that more than 11,034(or nearly 70%) break-ins occur in more than 8,000 (or nearly 10%) of the nation’s schools.
Are you interested in installing Access Control Systems for your school?
Umbrella Technologies have the experience and knowledge in securing your school with access control systems.