This article was previously published on October 1, 2015 and updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

School safety is no longer simple in most American communities. From the most severe crimes to petty theft to harassment, to health and safety, schools are at risk from both internal and external threats. There is no federal mandate to report crimes in schools, so it’s almost impossible to know the true crime statistics happening at our schools from a public perspective.

Even so, school security has steadily increased overall in recent years. Over 91% of all schools currently have security cameras to help monitor day-to-day functions. Likewise, over 97% of schools have access control policies to limit who can enter and exit facilities during the school day.

With the lives of innocent students and faculty on the line, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to security. Here’s an outline of how security cameras for school can enhance your school’s safety, as well as other security solutions you could implement.

School Security Cameras Make Your Students and Staff Safer

In real-time, video surveillance allows your security team to keep watch on your school throughout the day. In the event of a crime, stored video footage can be re-visited for evidence. Security personnel can view live or recorded video from your entire school building, and use their smartphone or computer to remotely control cameras and adjust views.

Event-based alerts can also notify security if a room or area of the school is accessed without permission. You can log in to view a live video feed to catch a trespasser in the act and issue a campus-wide alert if needed. Video surveillance assures that your students and faculty are always covered during an emergency.

Video surveillance can help keep your campus – and the people on it – protected:

  • View live video or recorded clips of exits/entrances/gates to see who’s coming and going;
  • Communicate with our central station with built-in two-way audio so help can be dispatched quickly in an emergency;
  • Check in on common areas like the cafeteria, playground, library or hallways for crowd management;
  • Turn cameras on and off, and adjust views using your smartphone or computer;
  • Enable motion-triggered settings and receive alerts when video is recorded. If anything is amiss, you’ll know right away.

Access Control as Your First Line of Defense

Smart access control systems are the first line of defense between outside intruders and your students and staff. Access control provides faculty and administrators access to restricted areas, such as offices, while restricting unauthorized individuals from entering. You can also use it on main entryways once the school day has begun.

Implement swipe cards for faculty or turnstiles for your school media library to ensure both students and teachers are held accountable. Access control systems can also be synced with video surveillance systems for the highest level of monitoring.

In addition to access control systems, it’s also important to have strong visitor management policies in place. Visitor management technology logs guests and deliveries, gathering individuals’ information and photos. Temporary access cards provide an added layer of control, keeping visitors out of restricted areas.

Benefits of access control:

  • Let parents and authorized visitors in; 
  • Lock and unlock doors quickly and remotely;
  • Keep students out of restricted areas while allowing staff to conveniently enter with customized credentialing; 
  • Incorporate time and attendance features for teachers and staff;
  • Touchless features reduce contact with shared surfaces like keypads and door handles;
  • Integrate with video surveillance to record events triggered by specific access credentials.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms with Environmental Monitoring

Not all school dangers come from outside. Fire and carbon monoxide leaks are internal dangers that put everybody at risk. Monitored fire and carbon monoxide alarms keep watch of these dangerous risks around the clock. In the event of a fire or gas, an emergency dispatch system will alert school administrators and emergency responders—even when school is not in session.

In addition, environmental hazard monitoring can alert administrators in the event of flooding or a burst water pipe. Install this system in your school bathrooms, kitchen, or basement to detect risks in real-time to limit damages and prevent safety risks.

How Partnering with an Experienced Security Integrator can Better Protect Your School

Protecting your school is an around-the-clock affair. When partnering with the experts at Vector Security, you can be confident knowing that our team is actively monitoring your school 24/7. And if there’s ever an emergency, you will receive notice immediately and we can instantly dispatch authorities and others to assist.

Though the hope is that you will never face an emergency or serious crime, every school can benefit from the conveniences and peace of mind afforded by security offerings. Safeguard your school and maintain its reputation for the highest standards in safety. If you would like to learn more about Vector Security and the security solutions we provide to our business partners, feel free to contact us today.