School Security Products: Building an Effective Student and Teacher Safety Solution

Schools & DistrictsBlog
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Understanding the Scope of School Security Products

In a time when ensuring the safety of students and teachers is a crucial priority, technology plays an imperative role in safeguarding schools and districts. As educational institutions strive to provide secure spaces for learning and growth, integrating cutting-edge school security products is a key strategy to help achieve this paramount goal. A thoughtfully assembled group of technology tools can detect and mitigate threats while establishing a system for communicating vital safety information to help manage emergency situations. However, it can be challenging to understand which technologies are vital and which can be added later to further enhance safety measures once core components are in place. In this blog post, we’ll provide a a comprehensive list of safety technology solutions schools should consider to strengthen their security measures and recommendations for tools that can unite these different school security products.

VoIP Phones

VoIP phones can be placed in every classroom and office within a school, establishing a baseline communication system. Having access to easy-to-use devices that can leverage multicast streaming audio allows simultaneous messages to reach everyone in your buildings during a crisis.

IP Speakersschool-security-products-ip-speaker

When time is of the essence, synchronized communication becomes invaluable. IP speakers offer a multifaceted solution, from LED displays that convey real-time information to horns designed for any outdoor use and weather conditions. The versatility of these devices ensures that regardless of the challenge, there is a suitable solution to deliver intrusive audio that interrupts ongoing activities and grabs people’s attention.

Zone Controllers

The seamless integration of zone controllers with line audio-out ports bridges the gap between existing analog paging systems and modern IP speaker technology. Educational institutions can leverage their existing technology with this integration. This transformation enables efficient broadcasts, amplifying the reach of crucial messages throughout a school building or district.

Digital Signage

Combining audio with visual elements can help make security announcements more impactful. Digital signage can help display important safety messages clearly and prominently throughout your school, taking over standard messages that are displayed throughout the day during an emergency. Through CAP (common alerting protocol), RSS, HTTP, or JavaScript, digital signage can be a flexible and effective component of the school security products you utilize.

Desktop Computersschool-security-products-computer-desktop

In addition to digital signage, desktop computers can also help display security alerts. Being able to have multiple options for how alerts are displayed, including small pop-up notifications and full-screen takeovers can help alert students and teachers about critical events. Having the ability to also play audio from desktop computers can create an even more effective alerting method.

Strobes & Visual Indicators

To offer a complete visual alerting solution to ensure everyone recognizes that emergencies are taking place, strobe lights and visual indicators are pivotal additions to your alerting system. These tools can be especially useful if your school has students or teachers who have hearing impairments or find themselves in areas where audio notifications do not penetrate. These solutions create a more inclusive safety environment and another layer of communication during a crisis.

Mobile Devices

Leveraging mobile devices to send and receive emergency alerts can offer several advantages for schools looking to enhance their safety strategy. Many staff members will have mobile devices on their person or nearby to receive text messages. This can be helpful if incidents occur after school hours when staff need to be reached but are not on school grounds. Using a mobile app can also help schools quickly deliver notifications, request assistance, and create digital student rosters to account for everyone during an incident.

Panic Buttonsschool-security-products-mounted-panic-button

The ability to instantly summon assistance is a critical component of any security strategy. Wearable panic buttons, strategically placed mounted buttons, mobile panic button apps, and virtual panic buttons configured on VoIP phones can serve as simple yet effective lifelines in times of distress. These panic button solutions provide a direct way to request aid or alert others to a serious issue quickly.

Gunshot Detection

Many schools are concerned about the impact an active shooter can have on the safety of their students and staff. Gunshot detection solutions can help schools understand when a serious safety situation is taking place and pinpoint which areas of the school are in the most immediate danger so response teams can provide necessary assistance.

Other Sensor & Detector School Security Products

The future of school security lies in predictive measures. Sensors and detectors offer real-time insights into emergencies before they formulate, from vape detection and open doors to weather alerts and AED cabinets being opened. By providing advanced or immediate warning, these integrations help schools intervene quickly to prevent emergencies from escalating.

Video Surveillancevideo-surveillance

Context is critical during emergencies, and video solutions help provide the details needed to understand a situation. By offering real-time visual insights, responders can make informed decisions, leading to more effective use of resources when seconds count. New AI software is even helping schools identify potential threats, from firearm identification, to alerts about spills and suspicious vehicles, and video surveillance has grown to become an indispensable aspect of modern school security strategies.

Virtual Collaboration

Whether it’s gathering people on a conference call or in a virtual space, having the ability to connect with key stakeholders, assess a situation, and make informed decisions can mean the difference between helping those in need and putting them at risk. Having access to virtual collaboration tools means schools can gather the right people quickly to deploy an effective response.

Visitor Check-invisitor-check-in

Often, the best way to prevent a threat to students and staff is to identify it at the door. Visitor check-in solutions help schools create concrete procedures for guest check-in to screen anyone who enters against sex offender databases, government watchlists, and active legal injunctions. Issues are flagged so school officials can intervene before they gain access to the rest of the building.

Mass Notification Systems

Each item we’ve listed so far can help your school enhance security, but on its own, each piece can be overwhelming to manage. And if those components are not connected to one another their overall effectiveness diminishes. Mass notification systems can integrate with each of these components to provide a centralized hub for emergency alerting and incident management with messages that can be automated and delivered for any kind of scenario a school may encounter from an active shooter to inclement weather.

Bring All Your School Security Products Together

The quest for comprehensive security solutions never stops, and while the list we have provided covers many useful tools, there is almost no limit to the amount of technology a school can invest in to protect its students and staff. The key is finding the tools that are most effective in your environment and identifying ways to create an efficient and effective response plan when a security situation arises.

That’s why more than 1,500 schools across the country leverage InformaCast from Singlewire Software to tie together disparate security products creating a single tool they can use to keep students and staff safe and informed. By integrating with technology schools already own, we can help save money and add value to existing tools. Visit our Technology Integrations page to learn more about our partners and how our solutions enhance safety to help schools better protect their students and staff.