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3 ways to make schools safer with integrated security

Schools today face a wider range of security concerns than ever before. From petty acts of graffiti or vandalism to the ever present risk of mass shootings, administrators in New Jersey and beyond are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to enhance school security while maintaining quality learning spaces for their students. Ultimately, the goal of any integrated security structure within a school should be to manage the area more effectively, keep students safe from harm, and allow everyone to feel secure while they learn and teach.

Security technology and basic building management now go hand in hand. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2011-2012 school year 88% of schools locked entrances and monitored entrances to the building. Another 44% used locked and monitored gates to secure access to the grounds. Sixty-four percent relied upon security cameras to watch what was happening throughout the building. These changes allow administration and security staff to more efficiently monitor what happens during the day and come up with appropriate policies for their schools.

The right mix of security systems and freedom of movement can make a tremendous difference for the quality of education children receive while they are in school. These three areas are key to that success.

VISIBILITY AND MONITORING

Not surprisingly, if 90% of a building can be in direct line of sight to a teacher or other authority figure, the rule breaking will almost always happen in the other 10%. Using cameras to monitor behavior between classrooms helps reduce bullying, fighting, and vandalism by putting eyes in those areas, cutting down on incidents and bringing culprits to justice. Videotape recorders are still common, but vary significantly in quality. Fortunately, digital recording technology has come a long way and is quickly becoming the standard for school security.

METAL DETECTORS

In 2003-4, only two percent of public schools had students pass through metal detectors daily. That number has doubled by the 2011-12 school year, and the number of random metal detector sweeps have increased as well. Given the proliferation of gun violence across the country, this is hardly surprising. They are most commonly found in urban school settings and at the secondary level, and play a key role in preventing random school shootings.

ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES

Many schools now favor electronic access control over the entrances and exits. While card swipes, fingerprints, or code boxes may cost more in the short run, they are more secure than regular keyed entries. They also offer flexibility for other staff members, who may need to come and go from front or side doors during the day. This allows even main doors to remain locked and makes it harder for intruders to enter the school.

The ultimate goal of all these security systems is to make the school feel as secure as possible for the students inside, while having the smallest effect on how “jail-like” the building becomes. It is an important balance of safety and freedom for students, teachers and administrators alike.

3 Advantages of IP Video Surveillance

Internet Protocol (IP) devices are entangling themselves into every facet of our lives, and video surveillance is no different. Although adoption has been slow, the steady development of new technologies, from camera sensors to network infrastructure, is surely making its benefits known. From simple IP cams connected to a standard desktop for small homes and businesses, to full, expansive networks of cameras serving diverse operations. Let’s take a look at 3 advantages to IP video surveillance:

1. FLEXIBILITY

This technology is advancing quickly, but the most obvious benefit at any cost level is the flexibility afforded by basic wireless operation. Though certainly standard to any device in this category, it is still the best selling point for the tech.

From installation to operation, the ease and access to each camera really does justify the cost associated with new technology. Whether you’re a concerned homeowner out of town, or a business owner/manager maintaining an operation from the road, the power to immediately access camera feeds through the internet is simply invaluable.
This is particularly true of larger security operations overseeing broad territories. A central command hub is invaluable to these organizations, and the immediate synchronization of video feeds makes IP cameras an obvious and important investment.

2. MOBILITY

Just as our personal devices have become our passkeys to Cloud backups and cross-platform content, adding mobile surveillance options has been a key driving force across every level of the industry. For good and bad, the ability to observe your business or home from anywhere you have a cell phone signal is an incredibly powerful motivator for anyone concerned with a security camera in the first place. All around the world, small business owners are delighting and demurred by immediate and total access to their video feeds.
Add an internet-enabled storage solution, and suddenly every feed gains a rich, searchable history of content, anywhere you want it.

3. EXPANSION

Current DVR systems are already accommodating both analog and IP cameras, and those options will only grow. However, the flexibility afforded has already been making inroads to utilities unrelated to security and loss prevention.
With a networked solution already in play, for example, it’s increasingly easy to send the feeds through any modern digital service you could imagine. For example, operations like those at Amazon’s warehouses depend a great deal on AI-assisted evaluation of the site’s operations. With software keyed to track a range of variables in the space, efficiency and quality are suddenly given hard metrics upon which to be measured.

This may sound futuristic, but truly, IP cameras represent one part of a cultural shift towards ultra-connected, intelligently-operated efforts at every level. Sure, in some cases this will result in a team of contractors running security and maintenance on a business from 10,000 miles away, with nary a human involved. But on another scale, it means that a small business owner can check on their livelihood, while a concerned parent can check in on their loved ones. IP cameras are only expanding their reach, and that’s only half as scary as it sounds.

To schedule a complimentary on site consultation for your business, contact Complete Security Systems today.

Business Security Systems: Why Upgrading Makes Sense

Security systems evolve according to new threats. Businesses are always trying to stay ahead of potential threats that can put staff and customers at risk as well as risk-prolonged disruptions in the carrying out of daily business. Companies with government or military contracts are required to meet certain security minimums before they can even begin to provide products or services. Here are four trending security advancements businesses are using to stay ahead of the game.

Biometrics

Access control used to be nothing more than a locked door. Then, alarm were added to warn of illegal entry into unauthorized areas, but there was little accounting of traffic that was authorized. Sensitive areas that require a complete record of daily access are served well with biometric devices that can positively identify who is entering and leaving a secured area and at what times. Biometrics can be as simple as a thumbprint reader on a computer server to advanced retina reading devices, hand scanners and voice recognition.

Visitor Access

An area still hard for many businesses to control is visitor access. The traditional approach of adding security staff to monitor and control visitors is costly yet still widely in use. Modern digital visitor tracking options can be as simple as visitor ID badges to the high-end facial recognition software in use by casinos and other corporations. Controlled visitor access is an absolute necessity in environments that have public, semi-private and controlled areas such as hospitals. A hospital may have a cafe or dining area fully open to the public, patient rooms where only friends and family are permitted, and pediatric areas where infant access is restricted to parents and specific hospital staff.

Loss Prevention

Shrinkage due to retail theft is the bane of stores everywhere. The shoplifters are getting bolder and more savvy, and the stores need to keep up not only to reduce shrinkage but send a message to the criminals that ply this trade that their retail locations are too high of a risk to shoplift at. Larger retailers may incorporate facial recognition to know when prior shoplifters enter their stores. Retail product security tags have evolved from the stick-on ones that needed to be applied to every product to ones that have been embedded at the point of manufacture such as security tags inside shoes.

IP Surveillance Cameras

Affordable video surveillance was an exponential leap in business security. However, it was limited to on-site viewing. Internet Protocol camera and DVR systems now allow for remote viewing by any authorized person that has a computer, tablet or smartphone and Internet access. The cameras can be fully controllable for pan, tilt and zoom. Modern digital surveillance cameras can also have quality optics so clear that not only can the hands of cashiers be observed, but the individual serial numbers on the money can be seen too. The latest DVR systems can record a year’s worth of footage from multiple cameras, giving an instant and easy-to-access record of every second.

Insurance providers along with government and military customers are not the only ones expecting businesses to up their game when it comes to state-of-the-art security systems. Customers and visitors are demanding safety systems be in place to protect them against property, personal and violent crime while visiting the businesses. It is not necessary for every business to adopt every new security option, but it is necessary for them to have in place the ones in standard use by their industry. The costs of implementation can be offset by the prevention of one major litigation claim.

For a complimentary on site consultation please contact Complete Security Systems today.