When it comes to educational environments, security is of vital importance. To thrive, students and teachers alike need an environment in which they feel safe. But often, that safe environment isn’t the reality, especially since many legacy systems no longer provide the sense of security they once did.
Schools and campuses need to upgrade their existing infrastructure to meet the modern-day threats posed by both internal and external actors. But what are the specific challenges facing schools and other educational establishments today?
Challenges Facing Schools and Campus Security
The first and most prominent challenge facing most K–12 schools is the sheer surface area that needs to be secured. Even one school will frequently require a broad range of physical and technological solutions to cover a dozen or more buildings spread across campus. At colleges and universities, that number can increase by as much as tenfold.
The next problem facing schools is the increasing number of dangerous incidents taking place on school property. Just under 80% of public schools report one or more occurrences of violence, theft, or other crime each year. Many schools feel underprepared in the case of these emergency security events, with many still relying on legacy technology for their security arrangements.
Despite these worries, many schools haven’t upgraded security measures to combat them. According to recent data, 43% of schools lack a visitor management system, 39% of school video surveillance systems are not integrated with physical access control or communications systems, and 33% have radio systems that cannot interoperate with first responders’ radio systems.
These security deficiencies contributed to a quarter of all schools admitting that they were not prepared to respond to an active-shooter situation.
How Schools Can React to the Increasing Number of Security Threats
Access Control Systems
For most instructions, the most cost-effective solution comes in the form of highly integrated access control systems. Many leading institutions have leveraged Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology to allow access to buildings and even specific rooms via smartphone.
Not only can these access control systems be integrated into all aspects of school life, such as gaining entry to high-specification labs or staggering access to the cafeteria, but they can also connect readers, controllers, panels, and locks to the cloud. Cutting-edge systems then deliver this real-time data for use in remote reader confirmation, diagnostics, and firmware updates, as well as provide predictive system maintenance and threat protection.
These advances are ideal for educational institutions whose assets and buildings are shared by thousands of students.
Video Surveillance Systems
Another excellent upgrade to school security is the installation of high-performance video surveillance systems. High-resolution video surveillance systems can be designed around the specific requirements of each school. Their configuration and integration options include visible or hidden cameras, wireless networks, motion detection, and camera controls accessible from anywhere—including a computer or smartphone—using Internet Protocol (IP).
Schools have rated video surveillance as the most effective standalone security solution based on its ability to quickly identify intruders, provide footage of ongoing situations, and offer evidence of unwanted or illegal behaviors on campus.
By combining video surveillance with access control systems, schools and higher education institutions can orchestrate quicker and more effective responses to security incidents. Better yet, with the ability to control and monitor servers from anywhere, time spent on maintenance and associated costs can be slashed.
Public Safety Distributed Antenna System
Emergency communications are imperative in the event of a fire, natural disaster, security threat, or other emergencies. A Public Safety Distributed Antenna System (DAS) will allow emergency personnel to maintain radio communication in an emergency throughout an entire building. New regulations have been put in place by local, state and the federal government since 9/11 to ensure that emergency first responders and government employees have access to dependable radio coverage in the event of an emergency.
In these life and death situations, they cannot afford to experience signal loss or delays with their communication. Public Safety DAS allows for full connectivity during an emergency and makes your building a safer place.
Upgrade Your Campus Security Today
The threats presented to educational buildings will never recede. However, you can take great strides in lessening the potential impact that threats have on your faculty, staff, and students by upgrading your security arrangements.
Here at NCS, we can provide turnkey security solutions for your campus. With our structured cabling expertise, we can help your organization leverage IoT technology to facilitate an IP network capable of running your security from one central platform that’s accessible from anywhere.
By installing state-of-the-art wireless mesh networks, devices can send data right across campus. You can use the collected data to make intelligent decisions, such as running your buildings more efficiently or better identifying and apprehending suspects of malicious behavior.
NCS can design, install, and maintain a security system that will futureproof your campus for years to come. Make sure to contact a member of our expert security team to inquire about an installation quote for your preferred campus security solution.