Integrated Visitor Management Means Safer Schools
April 15th, 2019
While we all hope that schools in Austin, TX are places where children can get a good education and start discovering who they are, the sad reality is that sometimes, American schools aren’t safe. As the #1 country in the world for school shootings, our educational institutions have to be prepared for this tragic possibility.
What this means is that schools in Austin, TX must be prepared. Assuming that it won’t happen at a school can mean the difference between saved lives and another tragic headline for the news about mass casualties. Integrated visitor management is one of the ways to ensure a greater chance of safety, and these suggest systems can make a difference.
Remote Locks & Door Alarms
Door alarms can be an important safety mechanism, especially if they are implemented on doors that should only be used for emergencies like fire evacuation. Intruders to school grounds will often try to avoid coming in through the main doors and use less accessible doors, so if these have an alarm monitoring them, it can be a critical warning to staff.
Electronic, remote locks can be incredibly important in an active shooter situation. With remote locks, certain areas can be blocked off, preventing entry to an assailant and creating more safe areas. This also restricts the movement of an assailant, making interception and neutralization easier thanks to the decreased mobility.
ID cards, keycard, biometric ID, key fobs or even apps can all be part of an access control system. By ensuring that certain areas always remain accessible only to authorized personnel, such as specific teachers or other staff, this creates better control to areas among students.
However, it also acts as another critical funneling system in an active shooter situation, since an assailant no longer has carte blanche to go into any area with impunity. Anything that restricts shooter movement is advantageous in an active shooter situation.
This is important both for a police response, as well as for a safe situation assessment that doesn’t endanger anyone. Properly positioned and protected surveillance cameras can normally be used to monitor student activity, and better control issues like truancy.
However, in an active shooter situation, surveillance cameras show everyone the movement and location of an assailant. This data can, with modern surveillance systems, be remotely transferred to any armed response unit that may need it, thus aiding in neutralizing the situation faster and with more precision and safety.
Call stations are a good way to ensure a rapid response is required in an emergency. Consider implementing them at regular intervals throughout a building to ensure that there is always one within easy access. Call stations are normally routed straight through to security and/or police or other EMS systems, so it’s important to prevent access in all but an emergency.
When an incident arrives, however, call stations can often be one of the fastest ways to alert appropriate authorities about an active shooter event.
Schools in Austin, TX concentrate on providing a quality education while keeping children safe. Integrated visitor management systems are one of the ways these institutions can do so without compromising that education.