Considerations for Implementing Security Solutions in Schools
When discussing security in the education sector, it is important to realize that requirements vary greatly between different institutions, with the local primary school and the multi-campus university being the extremes. Also, threats may vary from country to country or even differ between a primary school in a rural area and another one in the center of a major city within the same country. A security concept for an educational facility must therefore always be highly customized and take the specific threats into account.
Using Technology to Protect Students and Staff
From a technical perspective, there are a lot of proven technologies to improve safety and security in schools and universities. Today, most of these technologies, such as fire detection and evacuation systems or video surveillance, can be networked and operated as one integrated system. Management and operations can be carried out from a local or a remote console. This allows installation of security systems even on sites where no technical experts are employed - an important consideration for smaller schools. In larger environments, this kind of integration leads to dramatically reduced operational expenses.
Video surveillance can be used for various purposes, for example the monitoring of entrances and exits, identification of people or collection of behavioral data. In smaller schools, video surveillance will usually be used to monitor entrances, exits and for perimeter protection to signalize unauthorized access or help to collect evidence in cases of vandalism. Mid-sized schools with teenage students may also see a need to monitor some indoor areas. Cameras with built-in IVA enable, for example, the automatic triggering of alarms and detection of objects if interest without the need for security personnel to watch surveillance monitors around the clock. IVA can also help to save money by only streaming relevant information, reducing storage and network requirements substantially. However, when considering video surveillance in schools it is always challenging to balance the protection of students with possible privacy concerns.
In connected environments, both intrusion detection and access control systems can be tightly integrated with an existing video surveillance solution, allowing the school to verify alarms and alerts through live images which are automatically transmitted to a control room.
Some of these management systems, such as the Building Integration System (BIS) from Bosch, even go beyond just controlling security technologies, and can also integrate other building automation systems that use network connections.
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