When it comes to security, your goal is always to protect people and assets, minimise risk, and keep threats at bay. While the basic ethos behind a security system is the same, whether you’re protecting a military base, an office building, or a primary school, each of these sites will have radically different needs.
A military base obviously requires more robust security measures, but the people who populate it are also accustomed to such high-level installations and procedures. For office workers trying to carry out administrative tasks and children trying to learn, strong security can be an alarming distraction that impacts their comfort, mental health, and ability to perform at their best.
This is just one of many challenges that makes security a complex balancing act for schools. Both internal and external threats must be factored in, the safety and privacy of children and staff must be prioritised, sprawling campuses must be covered, and all of this must be achieved without negatively impacting the school’s learning environment.
With so many competing factors contributing to the demands placed on school security systems, a customised solution is needed to create the perfect balance. BPoint’s security technicians speclialise in the development of such complex, bespoke systems. To give you an idea of how a customised security plan is developed, we’ve broken the process down into the following steps.
Site assessments are crucial for developing high-quality school security systems
From the location of the campus to its size and layout, there are many environmental factors that must be considered when developing security systems for schools. Likewise, it is essential to discuss the school’s less tangible security needs with staff and relevant stakeholders to ensure all potential threats are accounted for with technology that’s proportionate to their likelihood of occurrence.
A site assessment tells our technicians:
- Who and what needs protecting?
- What are the relevant threats?
- How likely are these threats to materialise?
- Which parties must have their needs, rights, and requests taken into account?
- Who needs to be informed of all security undertakings? (students, parents, local authorities, other relevant stakeholders)
- What does a successful outcome look like for each of the threats identified?
The essential elements of an effective school security system
Though site assessments determine the details, there are a set of general security measures that most schools need. The layout and installation of the technology will differ from site to site. However, a high-quality school security system will generally comprise the following fully-integrated components:
An alarm system with 24/7 monitoring
Vandalism, break-ins, and thefts are a major problem for Australian schools, yet this remains an understudied crime type in Australia. This means schools must be vigilant in protecting themselves from property crimes that could be costly for the administrator and disruptive to students.
A school alarm system with 24/7 monitoring is the best way to catch would-be criminals before they’ve been able to inflict any damage or make off with any valuable property. Modern alarms can be integrated with your school’s access control system, giving you greater control over who can access the campus and when. Bosch alarms tend to be well-suited to smaller schools, while the Integriti system is ideal for larger campuses. However, the final decision will come down to the specifics determined by your site assessment.
With 24/7 monitoring, you have a team of security professionals keeping an eye on your school’s system, responding to any alerts, and ensuring you have continuous coverage, even in the event of wild weather or power outages.
School security camera systems
While CCTV cameras are an essential component of school security, these can be tactfully placed within the campus to avoid creating an uncomfortable environment for students. On the perimeters of the campus, more visible cameras create a deterrent effect for would-be criminals.
School security cameras can be programmed to record footage during the day, with motion detectors activated outside of school hours. If any suspicious activity is detected at an odd hour, the cameras can send an alert to your security team. Certain cameras are even capable of sending footage directly to the local police department, and in many cases, action can be taken so swiftly that crimes are prevented, saving you from having to deal with the aftermath.
An access control system for schools
The level of control needed will differ greatly from school to school. However, most campuses can benefit from an access control system. For schools where a high level of security is essential, the access control system can include programmed keycard access to certain areas of the school, ensuring that only students, staff, and other authorised parties are able to enter. Within school bounds, such a system can also restrict access to certain areas and allow for lockdowns if needed.
Even those schools that do not wish to install such high-level security can benefit from an access control system as it gives you far greater insight into the events taking place on campus at any given time. For example, dynamic mapping allows you to zero in on the precise location of a triggered alarm, and this can help you respond to critical issues with speed and efficiency. Meanwhile, data recording allows you to monitor staff movements on campus, making it easier to track down teachers, admin, security, and other employees when needed.
An intercom and PA system designed to suit the education setting
Communication is central to security in an educational environment. When an event occurs during school hours, it’s essential that you’re able to communicate quickly and clearly with those in your care.
The latest school intercoms and Public Address systems can be integrated with your alarm system, CCTV cameras, and access control system, allowing you to alert all those on the property to any critical issues. An integrated system like this allows for highly targeted messaging, meaning you can broadcast to certain zones of the school while excluding others if necessary.
Through the aforementioned site assessment, BPoint’s technicians will be able to ensure that there are no uncovered areas on campus where students or visitors may be unable to hear any important announcements. If you have concerns about the security in place at your school, contact BPoint Security today. Our skilled technicians would be happy to answer your questions and conduct a risk assessment to help you determine the ideal security solution.