It’s that time of year again — teachers are preparing their lessons, parents are preparing their children, and students are trying to adjust after a long summer break. Back-to-school means preparation and planning in many different areas, and security is one that should never be neglected. There’s no better time than now to evaluate and adjust your school’s current security plan. Here are some tips to help:
1. Review, review, review
With the many threats schools face today, you most likely have emergency procedures in place. Having procedures is a huge step, but it’s still important to continually review these plans at the beginning of each school year to ensure they are still the best and most viable practices for your school. Schools are constantly evolving; if the size of the student body has changed, buildings have been added/renovated, or new staff members are starting, security practices must be updated and taught accordingly.
2. Form a strict visitor policy
Some schools take pride in being open campuses, but this isn’t always the safest policy. At the very least, visitor access should be granted only when a photo ID is presented. But with the increase in school violence in recent years, it’s best to take visitor security even further. Visitors should be checked in and a temporary visitor badge should distributed for identification while the person is on school grounds. Electronic visitor management solutions can be implemented to ensure all visitors are properly documented and remote video monitoring solutions can be used as an extra set of eyes to monitor everyone on campus. To go even a step further, you can implement a secure vestibule (man-trap) at the main entrance of your school to make sure visitors are in a secured space until they are authorized to enter.
3. Keep technology updated
From alarms to surveillance cameras to access control systems, your school’s security technology should be continually checked for necessary updates, especially when new generations of equipment are introduced. This reduces the risk of systems becoming outdated and ineffective. As for video surveillance, it’s not enough to have just any cameras installed. It’s important to have advanced video surveillance that gives you complete visibility into the school’s most high traffic areas. This is useful to schools throughout NYC, as school security and threats depends on subjects being visible.
4. Don’t discount the doors.
Even the simplest door locks should be inspected annually before the beginning of the school year to ensure they are in good working condition. Make sure classroom doors are able to be locked from the inside and out. Or better yet, equip classroom doors with electronic access control so that only a teacher or administrator can open the door with an electronic card reader. Having electronic access control also reduces incidents of lost keys, which leads to major security risks for obvious reasons. As for doors to lunchrooms, libraries, gyms and the front offices, be sure that door handles and push bars are flush with the door. If law enforcement or rescue workers are using the doors in an emergency situation, these “little things” can become very important.
5. Plan for after-hours
Security risks at your school don’t end when the final bell rings. If anything, security becomes even more important after students and staff go home. If you are concerned about security after-hours, your school can benefit from managed security services such as remote video monitoring. It is a service that patrols the premises on a nightly basis and alerts authorized staff or security personnel if any suspicious activity is detected. Voice-down capabilities are also possible, in which a remote specialist can actually warn an intruder to leave through an onsite speaker. Remote video monitoring is useful whether your school is usually empty after-hours or if it hosts after school activities, such as sporting events, clubs, ceremonies, etc. It adds an additional layer of security.
Like anything worthwhile, planning for back to school security takes time, effort and resources. Fortunately, there is technology to make the endeavor as effective as possible. For administrators and school security specialists in NYC, any back-to-school security measures you need can be accomplished with the help of POM Technologies.
About POM Technologies
Peace Of Mind Technologies has delivered site-specific, cost-effective security solutions to facilities throughout the greater New York Metro area since 2002. We aren’t your average security company, with a wide range of equipment and services for building security. NYC facilities can contact us at (212) 688-2767 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free security analysis, or reach out via the contact form below.
Peace of Mind Technologies, LLC (POM) is New York’s premier systems integrator for security and surveillance technology.
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