16 May 2019

In any organization or facility, security is a crucial portion of its day-to-day operation. Schools are no exception to that – they are subject to public interest and work to educate our youth and need to be protected on a more complex level. School administrators are legally and morally bound to implement protocols and protective measures for safety in their facilities. As there are multiple systems that make up a comprehensive security system, access control is one of the most used systems to protect from outside influences and secure areas. It is also proven to be the most effective system. It ensures that the school’s perimeter is secure and that all entries/exits are monitored in great detail.

Emergency Situations 

As school shootings are becoming more of a threat, it is critical for schools to take extreme measures in being prepared for the worst case scenario. It is important to have an access control system that locks exterior entrances in these emergency situations. They prevent dangerous people from entering the facility and give administrators the ability to lock all doors during certain hours with the click of a button. 

Monitoring All Movement 

Monitoring visitors is another important task in a schools security measures. There needs to be designated entry and exit points specifically for visitors to come in and out of during the school hours. That way, you are able to monitor the visitors movement throughout their time at the facility. From the time they enter the parking lot, their path needs to be clearly communicated with signage. Funneling them into the main office to “check-in” is deemed most successful in monitoring all movement. Keeping all other doors locked and having a buzzer system will keep the students and staff safe from outside threats. 

Safe Entry & Exit

In emergency situations, there needs to be a system in place that still allows police, medical professionals, etc to exit or enter the facility in a safe matter. There are specialized locks that can be used for both entry/exit within the school if students need to evacuate or if emergency personnel need to attend to a victim. These locks need to be strategic and communicated to all involved so there is a clear plan in place.

Things to Keep in Mind While Auditing Your School’s Access Control System:

  • Test the physical barriers in the building. Complete routine tests on auto-lock doors, magnetic doors, turnstiles, etc. It is important to ensure all are in proper working condition on a regular basis in case of emergency. 
  • Ensure all staff understands the importance of their identification devices and how keeping them secure at all times is critical to the students safety. Keeping an accurate and timely log will help keep the correct clearance levels for restricted areas.
  • Monitor Clearances. Keeping up with employee turnover and deactivating terminated employees access fobs is an important aspect of auditing. This needs to be done on a regular basis – more than a normal audit. Human Resources should be involved in this process regularly.
  • Make sure you have a contractor you can trust. Technology isn’t perfect and can make mistakes – Having a trusted partner to make sure everything is installed and maintained properly is just as important as the system itself. 
Reference:

Low Voltage Solutions would love to help audit your school’s current access control and security systems. As we lead into the summer months, our education projects are lined-up to complete before the start of the new year. Get in touch with us here!