School security has never been a bigger priority and necessity than it is now. Unfortunately in today’s world, schools are the targets of a number of threats ranging from minor vandalism to sex offenders and active shooters. It is imperative that schools take the proper measures to protect themselves from these threats. School budgets being what they are, administrators may find this difficult to do, especially when most lack the knowledge to discern what is really necessary in a school security system. Aggressive salesmen may convince some that only the most expensive components will do, but the reality is that schools can implement viable security protocols on almost any budget
Improving School Security on Any Budget
The first step in this process is to seek the input of security professionals who can perform a risk management assessment to locate any vulnerabilities and determine where upgrades are needed for the following access points.
Security starts at the main entrance to the school. The outdoor area leading up to the main entry should be well-lit and free of bushes or any other obstacles that could be used by intruders to hide and sneak into the building on the tail of a student or staff member. Glass panels next to doors should be protected by stainless steel mesh security screens. Signs in the parking lot should indicate that all visitors need to use the main entry.
When a visitor approaches the main entry, he or she should be prompted to converse with the main office via a video intercom to state their identity and reason for requesting entry. Once this information has been determined legitimate, the receptionist can open the front door via a remotely controlled lock. Front doors should open into an anteroom that is still separated from the school’s hallways and classrooms but allows visitors to speak with the front desk directly.
At the front desk, visitors should be prompted to present a government issued ID which can be scanned and run through a visitor management system that cross-checks it against databases for criminals and sex offenders. If their ID checks out, visitors should be provided with a temporary photo ID badge to wear at all times during their visit. If it is determined that the visitor presents an immediate and serious threat to the building, the receptionist should be able to press a panic button under their desk to alert emergency responders. Video surveillance, of course, should monitor the entire visitor entry process.
Other parts of campus are vulnerable to threats as well, meaning the proper steps should be taken to secure them. Exterior doors should be locked at all times. Loading docks should be locked as well, and monitored in a similar fashion as the entrance. Video surveillance should be used both in the exterior and interior of campus facilities. Classroom doors should be locked during class, and teachers should be able to see who is requesting entry without having to open the door, by means of a window or peephole. Faculty should enter through one door only, using an access control method such as a keycard or pin entry system.
Security Systems in Columbia from ARK Systems, Inc.
Located in Columbia, Maryland, ARK Systems is dedicated to providing unsurpassed quality and excellence in the security industry, from system design to installation. We handle all aspects of security with skill and experience. With over 30 years in the industry, ARK Systems is an experienced security contractor. Trust ARK.