School security measures to help your school save money.
The last day of school…children running through the halls with glee, planning their next 3 months of freedom, while creating job security for the janitor/maintenance person by cleaning out a locker that probably holds some type of missing assignment that was due at the first of the school year. By 3:30pm silence and crickets…
Unfortunately the halls of schools do not always remain dark for long. It is commonly known that most K-12 campuses are left virtually empty during school vacations. As a result, school property is vulnerable to crime, vandalism, burglary and other criminal acts. Already this summer, 2 juveniles have been apprehended entering a school in our local area. This year, it is estimated that schools will pay millions of dollars to clean up graffiti, repair buildings and replace vandalized equipment. Whether it is a prank or criminals intent on taking advantage of the vacation to burglarize the school, these incidents are very serious. Entering school property is illegal without proper authorization. So how do school districts curb illegal activity in an empty school? How about a security system?
In the news recently, two schools suffered a $25,000 total loss in computers and electronics. A routine traffic stop and search of the trunk, busted the burglars. They are also suspected of robbing multiple elementary schools in the area and stealing a total 115 Apple laptops and 123 iPads between November 2012 and January 2013. If these criminals had been caught on the first robbery attempt, a security system would have paid for itself, multiple times over. With recent advances in technology, equipment used in security systems today is less expensive than years ago. And as shown in the incident above, a system can pay for itself in preventing crimes and apprehending criminals.
Building a User Friendly, Efficient System
All security systems should be custom built for each application. A reputable company will be happy to come out and walk the premises with the principal and the maintenance supervisor to give you a free security review. You know what you want, let them show you how to achieve it. Know the areas in your school where problems have occurred such as unlawful entry or graffiti. Your system should be user friendly and easy to arm and disarm. If a door is open when arming, the user should be told right where to go to secure the building. If the user is having a problem, your provider should be readily available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assistance.
Verified Video and Audio Systems
When a verified alarm is triggered, monitoring professionals can actually listen or watch to determine whether a break-in is in progress, or whether a false alarm has occurred. When law enforcement receive this type of alarm, they respond knowing that a crime is in progress. Use of this technology reduces false alarms and improves law enforcement response time. If law enforcement can arrive while the criminal activity is in progress, the perpetrators can be apprehended before they disappear with school property. Panic buttons can be added to these devices, which when pressed during an emergency, activate the audio which in turn can give valuable information to responders, including location of incident and how many people are involved.
A picture says a thousand words…and catches a lot of criminals in the act. One school, who had multiple problems with vandalism, installed cameras and within a short period of time, 6 juveniles had been arrested. Knowing the school had cameras, also helped deter others from illegal activities on school property. A Supervisor of Facilities in another school district noted that “Administrators at both ‘of their’ schools have stated that the systems have enabled them to identify and correct student misbehavior issues….One administrator commented that he had been able to isolate, identify and verify infractions….where one student had committed battery on another student.”
Many schools aren’t vacant the entire 3 months. Sports, band and other programs may still need to access the school during vacations and summer months. Using web-based technology, access systems will give administrators finger-tip flexibility to:
- Schedule user access to key areas in the school
- Authorize/Deny user access using a computer
- Program scheduled door locks/unlocks
- View arm/disarm reports
Users do not need keys nor codes. It’s simple for administrators and users.
Fully Integrated Systems
Monitor all areas of your school by utilizing integrated modular technology including:
- UL certified fire systems
- Freezer and refrigerator temperature control
- Emergency generators
Don’t be caught unprepared! Secure your school now!