Overcoming School Security Challenges Through Integration
published on May 19, 2015 by Jon Ecker
What security challenges are standing in the way of properly securing your school? The rise of emergencies within schools throughout the country has created a unified security front to uncover and protect against every potential risk and threat scenario. Determining your current security needs is the first step in addressing security challenges through better processes, technology and integration.
Yet, the kind of security integration we’re talking about has as much to do with your technology as it does with a coordinated effort on behalf of security staff, teachers and students.
A Sample Security Integration Plan
Today’s schools are combining video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection and emergency communication devices in a seamless integration plan. Security and senior management officials are seeking to control communication and security management through a single centralized platform. This simplifies management by streamlining technology training and encouraging widespread use. An integrated security system of this kind has the potential to increase security, boost operational efficiencies and reduce costs. For example, a college integrating new electronic access controls throughout the entire campus has the option of instituting the use of a multi-purpose ID card that acts as a student ID, campus debit card, library card, meal card and, of course, access control card.
In order for technology integration and a stronger security plan to satisfy the needs of everyone in the school, it’s essential to seek a synchronized effort between security staff, administrators, students, parents and the local police. Plus, involving everyone in the planning stages before integrating technology and beefing up security protocols ensures all angles are covered and all needs are satisfied.
Better coordination and communication between schools and the local community is another trend continuing to rise in an effort to deter crime and increase the safety of everyone in the school.
Why An IT-Focused Integrator Adds Value
Schools have different IT needs. Partnering with a security integrator who has experience with IT and understands your specific enterprise’s technology needs is crucial for the project. An experienced security integrator brings the knowledge of how to create a security system that uses your current network infrastructure but never interferes with other devices. Plus, involving an IT-focused integrator in the beginning ensures new security additions are scalable from a technology perspective.
Depending on the size of your site and the extent of the integration, tel/data infrastructure cabling work may be necessary for completing your installation. Partnering with an integrator who handles all infrastructure cabling, including IT, A/V and security saves you from dealing with multiple vendors and coordinating multiple installation projects.
Stay Flexible To Architectural & Structural Changes
The layout of your site and architectural features may present unforeseen roadblocks during the installation of new security equipment. For example, older and larger schools or campuses might contain locks or doors requiring an update before security technology is installed. When installing access control, a common problem is improperly sized doors and entryways with heavy traffic queues and congested flows.
The security design phase of installing new equipment is important for identifying these kinds of structural or architectural issues ahead of actual integration.
Form A Better Integration Plan, A More Unified Front
The best part about installing new security technology through an integrated plan is coordinating a focused assault on a variety of security challenges threatening your school. More schools are taking the integration route as a way to ensure proactive – not reactive – security.
Today’s best security integration plans take a comprehensive approach to your school’s security and safety. A truly optimized plan contains emergency preparedness, practiced and practical security measures, partnerships with the local police, school and public safety entities and crime prevention programs. Plus, the right integration strategy enables technology expansion at a later date in order to address new school security challenges as they arise.
After you integrate security technologies, what’s next? Learn how to accomplish more with less through our free guide: Remote Monitoring: Why Your Security Force Needs Support.