Year over year, school planning strategies emphasize safety and security. The primary goal when planning for a school district is to provide students and teachers with the ability to learn and share in a safe and secure environment.
To foster a productive learning environment, administrators should have the ability to:
- Ensure student and staff safety
- Deter violence and theft
- Minimize vandalism and other costly repairs
- Easily investigate incidents
5 Considerations When Taking a Smarter, Safer Approach to School Security
1. Are the systems all connected and secure?
Historically, school districts have had disparate security systems that incorporate arbitrary analog equipment from a variety of vendors across all facilities on an ad hoc basis. As a result, troubleshooting issues become a problem since different companies are only responsible for a small piece of the total system. Whenever a problem arises, calls need to be made to several vendors and manufacturers in a costly and time-consuming attempt to fix the issue – leading to added stress and wasted time.
Issues can be avoided with an integrated and centrally managed security solution that can address multiple needs, reduce downtime, lower costs, and improve satisfaction. Building a solution from a single supplier ensures that every piece of the system was designed, built, and tested to work together.
2. Is this something you will need to budget for once, or every year?
Although hardware may be a one-time purchase, many software licenses for managing the system and access to support, require recurring fees. Budgeting for something once is often easier than budgeting for it every year. If this is the case for your district, ask about security solutions without recurring fees, whether monthly or annually.
3. Do you trust the supplier?
You should feel confident about your trust in both the security solution and supplier in which those systems come from. Relationships are important when doing business, and you want to have the same trust in the companies you are investing in.
4. Is the system easy to use?
Do you have a dedicated security team, or is that “team” one person? Does your security strategy require 24-hour surveillance to monitor video feeds, or do you only check feeds after an incident occurs? Either way, network security solutions can enable schools to take advantage of the resources available to them.
A solution that is easy and intuitive to use is essential for more limited security staff. Remote monitoring capabilities can also provide added value for schools with limited security staff.
5. Will the system grow with us?
Acquiring a new security solution is a large investment to address your current security needs. But what about a solution built for the future of your district? Understanding how scalable a solution is and what other possibilities exist can help build confidence that you chose the right system.
Even if phase one of a security solution is built with a few cameras, a network video recorder, and video management software, it ensures the potential to grow your system. As the unique needs grow across the entire district from kindergarten to high school, there may be cases to add network audio, intercoms, access control, and analytics to reach new heights.
Choosing an Integrated Network Security Solution
Integrated network security platform partners, such as Axis Communications, enable schools to take a best-fit approach across their district. These platforms allow facilities to leverage video surveillance solutions, audio and announcement capabilities, reliable access control, and a single point of contact to help reduce downtime and improve efficiency.
An integrated network security solution can provide more control and flexibility, including:
- Intelligent video to provide situational awareness: High-resolution images in any lighting condition and active alerts can help schools reduce risks including, bullying, vandalism, and absenteeism.
- Access control to ensure student and staff safety: Let the right people in and keep the wrong people out. You can remotely screen visitors and grant after-hour school access without additional staff costs.
- Audio solutions to enable clear communication: You can send messages anywhere inside or outside your school – even remotely from your smartphone.
- Sophisticated recorders and video management software to give you full control: Trusted video management software that is intuitive and easy to operate is a reliable tool for exporting evidence. It can connect and manage all parts of your security solution in one place.
The Smarter, Safer Step
When committing to something like a wholesome security solution, you want to ensure you are investing in a reliable and versatile solution with access to the support you need. With an integrated security platform partner, like Axis, you have the benefit of saving yourself time, resources, and peace of mind.
In addition to high quality and reliable products, working with Axis means you are also working with Axis’ extensive partner network to ensure you get a solution customized for your needs.
The opinions expressed in this piece are solely Axis’. They do not necessarily represent WESCO’s views.