In the wake of the Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings, security access control has become a hot topic for school administrators. Once thought to be a concern for only big-city schools, now suburban and rural schools also are looking for proactive security solutions to prevent unauthorized access by individuals looking to cause harm to students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Unfortunately, the days of depending solely on locks and keys to secure school buildings is no longer. Keys can get lost. Departing employees may not return keys. Locks can be jimmied. Constant rekeying of doors can be costly. Therefore, you need more than just keys and locks to keep your school building secure from unwanted visitors with ill intentions.
At Conzer Security, Inc., we offer a variety of security solutions to deter and prevent unapproved admission into your school. Here are three tactics you may want to consider to stop potentially threatening or dangerous incidents:
- Automatic Door Locks
K-12 schools can have many interior and exterior doors, depending upon the size of the building. Exterior doors provide an immediate access point into your school. Therefore, entry needs to be controlled 24/7/365. Interior doors may be locked or unlocked at various times throughout the day, depending upon their function. But, during emergency lockdown situations, these doors need to be locked.
An automatic door lock does what it says – it automatically locks a door. Depending on the type of lock, an automatic door lock can be:r
- Locked for entry but allow an individual to exit the building
- Date and time controlled for specific events, such as weekends or school breaks
- Automatically locked or unlocked during power outages
- Unlocked only after a person identifies themselves
For an added layer of security, automatic door lock systems can be tied into an alarm system. In the event a person breaks into the school through a door, an alarm will sound and notify school authorities as well as the police.
- Electronic Access Control Systems
An electronic access control system uses automatic smart door locks and a variety of devices to check an individual’s identity and entry authorization against the system’s database before allowing the person to enter the building. If the individual has been preapproved for access, the system will unlock the door and the person can enter. Additionally, the system records the entry in the database for later retrieval, if needed. If the individual doesn’t have, or no longer has, entry approval (for example, a previous employee), the system can deny entry into the building.
Some types of electronic access control devices that are used to verify an individual’s identity and grant access, include:
- Coded swipe cards
- Proximity key cards
- Voice prompts
- Hand geometry
- Retinal eye scans
- Bluetooth ID via a digital device
- Near field communication (NFC) with a mobile device
Depending on the level of security needed, some schools may require more than one type of access control into specific areas. For example, an employee may need to swipe a card to enter the school and punch in a key code to gain access to school computers or AV equipment. The access control system keeps records of when access is granted to the building or specific areas and by whom.
Additionally, an alarm system and security cameras can be tied into an access control system. If the access control system is tampered with or an individual tries to gain unapproved entry into the building, school officials can be notified. Also, security cameras can be activated to record the potential security breach.
- Video Surveillance Cameras
Security cameras or IP video surveillance can be used alone or to bolster other security measures employed by schools. Cameras can monitor entry points into your school and provide a visual record of who is entering and exiting your building. Recorded video can help identify any intruders, so law enforcement can track them down. Plus, video can provide documentation in case you need to pursue legal action.
Additionally, cameras can enable staff or security personnel to trigger alarms or lockdown the building, if unwanted and out-of-control individuals enter the building with malicious intentions.
Identifying the Right Access Control Solutions for Your School
The experts at Conzer Security believe security is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every school is different when it comes to creating a safe and secure environment for your students, faculty, staff and visitors. Therefore, a cookie-cutter security approach is not in your school’s best interest.
To create a unique solution for your school, you need to partner with a security consultant that is willing to help you assess your district or school’s current security efforts – instead of just pulling products off a shelf and installing them. With Conzer Security, we will work with you to identify security solutions that meet your specific needs while staying within your budget.
Contact us to learn more about Conzer Security’s innovative security solutions. We would love to help you create the ideal access control system for your school, so your students and faculty can focus on education instead of worrying about safety.