A Closer Look at Security in the Classroom
A sense of safety allows students to learn and teachers to teach to their maximum potential. Security should be the last thing on their minds. Sadly, but necessarily, active assailant drills have become as common as fire drills.
When an active assailant incident occurs, students are likely to be throughout the building in hallways, classrooms, offices, the gymnasium, or cafeteria. Regardless of where they are when the event starts, classrooms are relied on as a place to seek shelter and barricade in place when evacuation isn’t possible.
Several topics need to be considered when classrooms are expected to serve as shelters:
How are occupants notified of an unfolding emergency?
Is your intercom system capable of automation?
Are volume levels adjusted based on ambient noise?
What instructions will be given?
Where is the incident occurring? Evacuate or shelter?
How have your students and teachers been trained to react to an active incident?
There are many training and education programs available.
A unified emergency detection and alerting system should accommodate the plans created in training.
Can the classroom be secured?
Are there physical or electronic measures in place to secure a door and prevent ingress?
Physical devices may need to be reviewed and approved by local authorities.
Electronic door hardware can be incorporated into an automated lock-down system.
What is the age of the students? What about students or teachers with disabilities?
Student ages and physical capabilities must be considered.
Can all students and employees adequately hear voice commands?
Are there visual cues indicating the unfolding emergency?
Is there furniture in the classroom to block the door(s)?
Often, furniture is moved to block doors and views through windows in doors. Can the occupants physically move desks or cabinets?
Regardless of the location, it may not be possible to rely on a person under duress to activate a panic button or notify authorities. In these cases, a fully automated system is required.
During a safety alert, classrooms near the initial alarm location can be locked down automatically, allowing open egress if it’s safe to exit, but preventing ingress. Classrooms further from the initial alert are advised to evaluate or perform other emergency measures based on institutional guidelines and training programs.
Consider a tiered automated response system that intelligently manages interior movement and accessibility. Integration to a mass notification system should provide directed instructions to school occupants and responding authorities.
Door control hardware operates under normal conditions to allow entry into specific areas of the school by authorized students and teachers. This system maintains a standard level of security during normal classroom hours. During an emergency, access control door hardware can prevent the assailant from moving around the school.
An audio analytics system can immediately detect a shooting event within the building. Upon detection, a digital signal is automatically sent to access control and other integrated systems. Video surveillance cameras provide multiple views of the school, allowing responding authorities to minimize the time required to engage the threat.
Emergency mass notification and crisis communication system are triggered automatically through system integration. They deliver life-saving audio notifications quickly and clearly to all students and building occupants via desktop computers, public address speakers, digital message boards, mobile devices, and the building fire alarm system.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all technology solution that will guarantee 100% safety, but an experienced security organization will give you a significant advantage.
A security professional can visit your school and work with administrators and security staff to devise a tailored, comprehensive solution.
In the event of an active assailant situation, the unified systems will react immediately, notifying students and staff that an emergency is unfolding. Emergency responders will be alerted immediately, saving valuable time. Staff, students, and visitors will be clearly informed and can react according to their preparation and training. Assailant movement within the building will be limited, allowing people in other parts of the building to escape through open doors. As responders arrive, they can quickly locate the assailant using real-time video surveillance.
Securitronics is uniquely positioned to support security solutions of all sizes. From schools to banking and manufacturing, our team has the experience to ensure a successful deployment. Securitronics is solution-driven, and known for selecting the right technology and integrated security systems design for every vertical market. Solutions include video surveillance, access control, intercom, communications, and intrusion detection systems.