ACCESS CONTROL FOR SCHOOLS

School principals are in the middle of a balancing act when it comes to security. They need to create a welcoming, supportive open environment for students, parents, and credible community visitors who have legitimate purposes in their buildings, while they also have to keep out individuals who potentially have ill intentions.  Access control for schools is a careful balancing act.

As society reacts to the tragic acts of violence that take place in our schools, we must remain committed to keeping our children safe. Several recent incidents of mass shooting or threat of gun violence in schools show that no school is safe without the proper upgrades to security.

Existing Key Lock Systems

Most schools today use simple keys to lock classrooms, gates, and  supply closets.  And of course, this raises 3 primary issues:

  1. How to control and track who has keys to what.  Common key control issues include keys being issued with inaccurate records, and keys being lost, stolen, or not returned when required.
  2. The bigger question is how to control access to the school, particularly during school hours when children are present, by outside people who may not belong on the campus. And even if they are on campus for a reason, how to track when they entered, where they went, and when they exited.
  3. And finally, in case of a threat, how to lock down the campus protecting it from outside threat and also keeping the students safe inside the classrooms, or away from a particular building or area of the school, if necessary.

In all 3 cases it lays the groundwork for a passionate argument for needed upgrades to school campuses to increase safety and security.  An Electronic Access Control System, sometimes referred to as a keyless entry system,  is our recommended solution.

WHAT IS A KEYLESS ENTRY SYSTEM?

In simple terms, a Keyless Entry System provides access control security by admitting entrance with a card reader, keypad, fingerprint scan, or other biometric access control.  Most schools use either keypads or card readers, and these systems can be used in conjunction with master key systems, as well.

Easy to use software, as part of the system, can be used to track who enters the building or gate, and when.  Permissions can be granted or removed at any time, from anywhere—no need to change commercial locks when keys are lost, or an employee departs.  This can be a large cost saving advantage over the course of a year.

Further, with a keyless entry system, electronic door lock systems can be set to allow for automatic open and close times, shift access (employee access during specific times and days), and holiday schedules. They can also be used on multiple doors, providing the ability to track individual employees or throughout the entire building in order to increase both security and accountability.

“Over the past decade electronic security technology has evolved from an exotic possibility into an essential safety consideration,” says School Security Technologies, a report from the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

Keyless entry systems combine the best of modern technology with durability and ease of use that make them perfect for school campuses.

WHY KEYLESS ENTRY SYSTEMS WORK WELL

MULTIPLE EMPLOYEES OR HIGH TURNOVER

In a school with a large number of employees, keyless entry systems are an excellent option. Rekeying an entire building takes a considerable amount of time and budget (especially if a disgruntled ex-employee should happen to leave with one of your keys). With keyless entry, you can simply add new access codes for new employees, and/or delete old access codes for former employees.

SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS, CLASSROOM AIDES, CONTRACTORS OR VENDORS NEEDING TEMPORARY ACCESS TO YOUR PROPERTY

Over time, contractors and vendors will probably need access to your facility, whether it is during the actual construction of your building or because of after-hours work and/or deliveries. How much easier would it be to simply create single-use codes which are only functional for a short period of time? Once the time has passed, the codes are no longer valid.

TO CONTROL WHEN PEOPLE COME INTO YOUR PROPERTY

Keys allow people access 24 hours a day. If you’d rather your teachers, employees, and others,  not be able to enter the building after certain hours, a keyless entry system could be your solution. Simple programming can deny certain employees access after a certain hour of the day, and then re-activate once the permitted time rolls back around.

TO CONTROL WHEN PERSONNEL ENTER

Keyless entry systems allow you to keep track of what employees enter your building and at what time. This can be beneficial for payroll purposes and time clock check-ins (as well as the unfortunate situation of needing to know where certain employees are, because you suspect something isn’t just quite right). A keyless entry system can run an audit at any time to give you that information. Much easier than trying to keep track manually!

Keyless Entry Systems can track who came in, where and when they came in, and when they left.

NEED TO LOCK EXTERIOR ENTRANCES FROM INGRESS IN EMERGENCIES

As much as we don’t like to think about the worst possible situations, it’s always better to be prepared. Locked exterior doors can prevent dangerous people from gaining access, and that can literally be a life or death situation.

Keyless entry systems give you the ability to lock all exterior doors with a couple clicks of a button, not allowing any entry whatsoever. Hopefully (and most likely) you won’t ever have to use a keyless entry system in such a way, but if it should happen, it’s nice knowing that your school campus has that capability.

The primary assets of the school are the students and the employees working on the campus.  Current events around the world indicate that schools in the United States are vulnerable to terrorist acts.  Many schools are vulnerable to violent intruders entering the building with weapons which may cause harm.  Based on the current security posture, the risk of a violent act against students, faculty, and staff must be considered real. However, with the implementation of the suggested recommendations, the likelihood of such events can be diminished, overall security will be enhanced, and responses to emergency situations affecting the schools(s) and the surrounding communities will be improved.

Give Action 1st a call today at 800-675-3015 and we will be happy to come onsite for a review and analysis of electronic security options for your campus.  We are the premier commercial locksmith in Orange County and the surrounding areas and have been providing security solutions here since 1982.

Tags: access control for schools, campus security, school security, elementary school security, high school security, access control, keyless entry