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Protecting Schools with Access Control Systems

Last Updated: May 13, 2013

School principals throughout the Mid South are in the middle of a delicate balancing act when it comes to security. They need to create a welcoming, supportive open environment for student, parents, and credible community visitors who have legitimate purposes in their buildings. But they must also keep out individuals who potentially have dangerous intentions. That’s a fine line to walk, but one thing is certain today—locks and keys alone aren’t enough to keep a school’s perimeter secure against unwanted or uncontrolled visitors.

Schools and college campuses throughout TN, AR, MS, and AL are best served to invest in access control systems. Access control systems provide schools an important layer of security by allowing or denying a person’s admittance to an area of facility through the use of access cards or biometric recognition.

For more information on access control systems, call State Systems at 901-531-6550, or keep reading to learn more.

Why Schools Need Access Control Systems

You hear it all too often on the news—an unwanted, dangerous intruder enters a school or university facility to cause harm or damage. It’s true that every school district faces unique challenges, but they all share a common responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of students, visitors, and faculty members. In order to meet this challenge, school systems should incorporate access control systems within their overall safety and security strategy.

The main reasons for using access control systems in schools and colleges and universities are:

  • Protection of administrative areas and other sensitive areas
  • Visitor management
  • Protection of high value assets
  • Emergency response
  • Maintenance of records of facility use
  • Management of operational costs

Contact us today to schedule access control installation for your school or university.

Tips on Improving School Access Control

School administrators can also follow some practical steps for improving school access control:

  • Establish one main entrance and put up signage identifying it as the main entrance. Maintain visible signage on campus and on all school doors directing visitors to the main entrance door.
  • Create a visitor sign-in, sign out, and escort procedure.
  • Reconfigure main entrance design so that there is a secondary set of secure doors and that all traffic is funneled into the main office before they can gain access into the school.
  • Consider use of a camera, intercom, and buzzer at the school main entrance, especially at elementary schools.
  • Require all school doors to be closed and secured from the outside while cleaning personnel and after-hours staff work inside the building during evening and night hours.
  • Train all school staff, including support personnel, to greet and challenge strangers.
  • Train students not to open doors for strangers, other students, or even adults they may know.
  • Educate parents about access control strategies.
  • Use magnetic locks on doors so they close more easily.
  • Make use of surveillance cameras. Many schools—especially high schools and other larger facilities in TN, AR, MS, and AL—use surveillance cameras to monitor and record entrance points. While most schools do not have adequate funding to staff full time monitoring of surveillance cameras, these cameras can serve as a deterrent, and they should be used to at least provide a record of who was in the area.

If you have any questions about access control systems, give us a call.

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