Today’s schools are no longer safe havens where children go to learn. Vandalism, theft, drugs, bullying, sexual assault and increasingly brutal acts of violence are on the rise in schools across the US. Private and public schools are searching for ways to increase security and provide a much needed sense of safety to their students, parents, faculty and staff.
In response to mounting security concerns many schools, daycare centers and universities are choosing to expand their current video surveillance systems or to upgrade to more technologically advanced security systems. There are many integrated solutions that allow schools to utilize their functioning analog cameras, along with more sophisticated IP cameras. These technologically advanced security systems are capable of meeting many complex safety, infrastructure, budget and privacy challenges that modern educational institutions face.
Security surveillance systems offer protection that meets the following security needs:
By installing security cameras at each entrance to your building, in the parking lot and on campus grounds, designated staff can monitor everyone who comes in and out of the building. This is an effective way to prevent suspicious individuals from entering the school’s premises.
Deterring criminal behaviors
Placing cameras in key areas in and around the building can serve as a major deterrent to anyone who would otherwise be likely to engage in criminal activity. They not only help protect valuable school property, but also greatly increase the overall safety of students and school personnel.
Providing hard evidence in critical situations
Students’ criminal acts and inappropriate behaviors often go unnoticed, making it difficult to seek accountability and to administer proper disciplinary measures. Surveillance cameras capture everything that would otherwise escape the eyes of teachers and administrators, eliminating the need to rely on testimonies and hearsay. This solid documentation is invaluable in cases where police get involved, as well as in liability claims against the school.
Preventing escalation of incidents
What often starts out as innocuous interactions between students can quickly escalate if no one is there to stop it. Network-based video security systems allow school staff to constantly monitor all activity going on in and around the school. This enables adults to rush to the scene of an incident and diffuse it in time.
For many educational institutions on tight budgets, upgrading to an advanced security system may seem too expensive. This investment, however, will actually save money in the long run. By installing surveillance cameras, a school can hire fewer security personnel to patrol the area. Additionally, the system will help prevent acts of vandalism and theft, which cost thousands of dollars in damages.
Essential components of effective security surveillance systems
The best security cameras for an educational facility will feature superior video quality in day and night conditions, easy installation and durability. For example, Spectra PTZ IP dome camera by Pelco is specifically designed to be used in installations where safety and prevention of vandalism are a top priority. It is great for both indoor and outdoor applications. As well, Spectra IV IP is an ideal choice when looking for the same features in an IP dome camera.
Video management devices
To fully protect your buildings and campus grounds, you need a comprehensive video management solution with such features as: multi-site monitoring, large internal storage, ease of searching, archiving and managing video files, and quick access to recorded video in emergency situations. One option highly popular with educational institutions across the US is HVRs (Hybrid Video Recorders). For example, the Digital Sentry NVR from Pelco supports up to 128 cameras, thus allowing you the flexibility to deploy both analog and IP cameras, offers internal and external storage, and can be customized to meet your specific needs.
Matrix systems and controls
For maximum efficiency, it is important to pick the right matrix system that will switch and control your surveillance equipment. The number of security cameras you have on site will determine the size and functional complexity of the matrix system you will require. Most high schools and colleges go for large matrix systems, such as CM9765 Matrix from Pelco that provides control for as many as 2,048 cameras and 512 monitors on a single node.