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Achieving School Security Through Clever Architectural Design

School with rounded window facade

Between 2019 and 2020, there were around 140 million reported criminal incidents in schools. Security is a priority in the educational sphere right now, and as an educational institution, you must push for secure architecture. So, how can you achieve school security through clever architectural design?

Keep reading as we discuss the top secure designs for school architecture and the best security tools to provide agile, responsive, and strategic security responses.

Interior Lockdown Rooms And Spaces

Schools need to address the potential need for lockdowns in their architectural designs. Architects have recently been developing schools with fewer open-plan areas, allowing for more lockdown rooms and spaces. Students and staff would be exposed in an open-plan space if a violent crime occurred on campus. 

By implementing lockdown rooms and spaces, you can ensure sufficient cover should a crime break out on campus.

Enclosed Entry Points

In an emergency, entry and exit points become exposed, and students on-site are vulnerable as they leave or enter spaces. To ensure these entrances and exits are covered from gunfire or physical threat, schools are implementing enclosed entry points that enable students to exit the building under cover. It also allows law enforcement to enter the building more safely if necessary. Incorporating these structures into your school design can greatly benefit your security strategy and response.

Basketball court on a school rooftop

School Security Systems

Security systems that integrate directly with school security cameras are an essential aspect of secure architecture. Below are some of the top technologies allowing for more safety in school environments.

Access Control With Lockdown Features

For daily safeguarding reasons, educational institutions must restrict site access for those not part of the staff or student body. Failing to provide this level of security could be disastrous to school safety and child safeguarding.

Lockpicking means that traditional key and lock systems are redundant – and you must apply access control in school facilities.

When it comes to access control, you have a few options on the type of access credentials you use to unlock doors – keycards, fobs, and mobile access credentials. Keycards and fobs can be costly to replace, and the high turnover of students can cause significant expenses.

Mobile access credentials are a modern and sophisticated security solution that allows students and staff members to enter the premises safely while reducing the cost of keycard replacement. For students without mobile devices, keycards and fobs can be used with digital keycards.

Investing in a cloud-based security solution provides the following benefits to a school’s security strategy:

  • Lockdown procedures – a cloud-based security system allows staff to operate door locks remotely. Security staff and system administrators can quickly initiate lockdown procedures on their mobile devices using an app or cloud-based control center. This provides a highly agile security response that could save lives and lessen the impact of a security incident.
  • Remote visibility – security staff can remotely view the status of door locks to ensure the school’s perimeter is secure. They can also view access logs on their mobile devices to investigate security incidents.
  • Convenient entry – with mobile-first technology, students and staff members can enter the building by waving their hands over the access reader. This will trigger remote communication with their mobile devices, allowing them to enter the installation quickly and conveniently, speeding up traffic flow in your building.

Interior of a school

 

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras are an essential part of a school’s security infrastructure. They provide evidence and intelligence when a security threat emerges on school grounds. However, a school must hire professional security camera installers when installing surveillance cameras in its security strategy. Hiring a professional installer will ensure no blind spots in the surveillance system that could lead to vulnerabilities.

A cloud-based surveillance system can provide more convenience and agility for your security strategy, much like cloud-based access control. It offers the following benefits to your security strategy:

  • Remote visibility – your security staff can view security data on their mobile devices, allowing them to investigate a potential security event instantly. They can evaluate the threat level and plan their response without returning to the security control room.
  • Integration potential – to ensure your security team does not miss critical security threats, you can take advantage of the open API integrations with a cloud-based surveillance system. You can apply video analytics that automates surveillance monitoring, providing your team with an instant alert for a potential security breach. Object identification will ensure that your security staff is immediately notified when a gun, knife, or dangerous object is spotted on site.

For these reasons, cloud-based surveillance supersedes an on-premise solution regarding agility, convenience, and utility.

Summary

School security is a top consideration for any educational institution in the current climate. You can prioritize security from your school’s architectural design to security installations. A robust security infrastructure will lead to improved security response and an increased likelihood of success when containing an incident on-site.