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How schools can make outdoor learning safe and secure
How schools can make outdoor learning safe and secure

Schools were never designed and built with social distancing in mind. So it’s perhaps not surprising that as children returned to schools for the autumn term this year, the prospect of outdoor classes and assemblies was mooted in the media and by the Government. Many in the education sector are making the case that, should there be further COVID-19 outbreaks, in the coming months, it would be better to utilise outside space, rather than resort to closing schools. In the COVID-19 era, head teachers are considering taking learning and large gatherings, such as assemblies outdoors, when possible. Managing ‘class bubbles’, hygiene and ventilation While Dr. Yvonne Doyle, the Medical Director of Public Health England (PHE) has publicly reassured parents that schools are not the ‘drivers’ or ‘hubs’ of COVID-19-19 infection in communities, there is a lot of pressure on school leaders to manage ‘class bubbles’, extra cleaning and hygiene, ventilation, and COVID-19 testing, to protect families and staff. It’s a logical step to switch, in certain circumstances, to outdoor activities where fresh air is on tap, and social distancing is far easier to manage. Specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms Across the school and nursery sector, there’s ongoing investment in specially built outdoor classrooms, which had been growing in popularity, even before the pandemic. These facilities offer numerous benefits as an extension of existing learning spaces and provide children the opportunity for hands-on learning, beyond a stuffy classroom. However, if outdoor spaces are routinely called upon as part of COVID-19 contingency planning, how can schools ensure that their outdoor classrooms and wider areas are secure, robust, and fit for purpose? When specifying outdoor classrooms and learning spaces, it’s essential to take into account the well-being of the students and staff, who will use them, noise pollution and acoustics. Most importantly, education managers need to ensure the surrounding area is secured and adequately protected from threats, including terrorism. Perimeter security measures for schools How can schools and nurseries secure their perimeters, so that outdoor learning is totally safe for all? A starting point is to seek out architects and suppliers, who have a good understanding of security standards. Worryingly, Jacksons Fencing’s research recently found that only one-third of architects are seeing both LPS 1175 and the UK police initiative, Secured by Design (SBD) physical security standards, specified for schools. This highlights a lost opportunity for architects to propose solutions that are appropriate to the level of risk and needs of the school, without turning the site into an unwelcoming fortress. Helping schools identify specific security needs Head teachers would be wise to work with architects, who not only know the latest security standards inside and out, but are also are willing to play a more advisory role, helping the school identify exactly what is needed. Head teachers should prioritise solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks It’s also vital that architects don’t simply replace existing fencing and gates, with the same security systems that have been in place for years. Instead, they will need to meet changing needs and risks. Our research finds that teachers often report issues, with the school perimeter and gates, from being climbed over (28%) and causing injury, to gates not locking properly (10%). Head teachers should prioritise solutions appropriate to their site’s specific risks, which sometimes require altering of existing measures. School fencing is an important aspect of any education site. As well as defining its boundary and making a visual distinction between public and private property, the fencing and gates that surround and secure a school, will typically meet a wide variety of other important criteria, including preventing unauthorised entry to the grounds, protecting pupils, staff, and visitors from accidents and injury, deterring theft and anti-social behaviour, and reducing the risk of malicious damage, and acts of terrorism. Welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing Popular options for schools include welded mesh panels for perimeter fencing or sports areas, and railing systems to act as demarcation, in order to control foot and car traffic. Within the outlying boundary, barriers, bollards and parking posts will keep pedestrians, and vehicles safe from each other, while timber fencing and gates can be designed to control the flow of people, around the grounds and reduce the areas, where students can be hidden from view. Automated gates and access control Perimeter fencing must be complemented with safe entrances and exits for vehicles and pedestrians. Every school has unique entry-control requirements, determined by factors, such as size, location and the local environment. These needs influence the decisions you make, when preparing technical specifications for school security gates. Do you require gates to be steel or timber, manual or automated, single or double leaf? Specialist suppliers will be in the best position to offer inputs on school gates, which typically need to offer solid security and durability, with a welcoming aesthetic. Specifying access control system When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school When specifying a school access system, it’s important to consider the areas of the school, such as sports fields, car parks, and children’s play and learning areas, and whether it requires playground segregation. Selected gates should meet the design of the fencing, to create a secure perimeter with no weak points, with automated gates conforming to all current safety regulations. . Noise pollution can be a problem as well, including noise coming in or leaving the school in residential areas. If more teaching is to be carried out outside, it’s worth considering acoustic barriers to reduce noise in and around the school. Timber acoustic barriers for security and privacy Timber acoustic barriers offer security and privacy, and can reduce noise levels, by as much as 32 decibels (in laboratory conditions), so are ideal for city centre schools or those located close to busy highways. There are many ways to build an outdoor classroom. Timber products can help to create a welcoming environment, such as wooden shelters, pergolas, fencing, and decking. Always check that high quality timber, ideally guaranteed for 25 years against rot and insect attack, is being used to provide an attractive, cost-effective, safe and sustainable solution, for all weather conditions. DBS approved installers And of course, installers must be DBS approved, so that they can install outdoor classrooms, during school holidays, or within term time, with minimal disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on schools and learning. While nobody wants to think of fresh outbreaks of the infection, or any other virus, installing an outdoor classroom made from high-quality, long-lasting materials is a great way to future-proof school learning and ensure safety, and preparedness. Putting extra thought and care into the security angle will provide schools with decades of protection against a host of unforeseen events.

What about electronic door locks with remote control?
What about electronic door locks with remote control?

Most consumers are enjoying the convenience brought by electronic locks. With the existence of electronic locks, people no longer need to be restricted by keys. There are a variety of unlocking methods and more convenient remote control unlocking options. Suppose, you are going on vacation, and with the presence of an electronic lock, you can easily enter your house with your babysitter, without a spare key. Of course, not only smart homes, but also some infrastructure and commercial buildings are enjoying the convenience, brought by electronic locks. Passive electronic lock access control system This article will introduce a smart electronic lock used in the infrastructure industry, named passive electronic lock access control system. In traditional manufacturing, mechanical locks are commonly used in all walks of life, to protect the safety of property and facilities. However, the mechanical lock has caused many practical problems in the long-term application. For example, the keys are duplicated randomly, the unlocking authority cannot be controlled, the user's operation records cannot be known, and the remote control is not possible. Imagine that if you are in a remote telecom base station, it happens that you have the wrong key in your hand and cannot open the front door. In such a situation, this lock, maybe the worst scenario. In some industries, with a wide scope and large working area, more attention must be paid to access control systems Therefore, in some industries, with a wide scope and large working area, more attention must be paid to access control systems. In some outdoor scenarios, such as base stations and electric power cabinets, the requirements for access control systems are quite strict. Due to the particularity of its environment, ordinary power-based access control systems will no longer be applicable. Therefore, the emergence of passive access control systems has solved these problems. Electronic locks offer intelligent management function Based on years of in-depth field research, Vanma has developed the Vanma passive electronic lock access control system, based on the current situation of the industry. This system is different from other electronic lock systems, as it integrates the advantages of both mechanical locks and electronic locks. It not only has the simplicity of mechanical locks, but also has the intelligent management function of electronic locks. The term ‘passive’ of passive electronic locks means that no power is needed. Passive electronic locks have the same appearance as ordinary mechanical locks, so they can be installed anywhere, just like common mechanical locks. They also have a variety of practical functions of electronic locks. Authorised remote access control The Vanma management software allows security managers to assign access rights to specific areas, for different technical personnel. In order to facilitate real-time access control, the electronic key can be used in conjunction with the mobile phone app, in order to send information about its access rights to the technicians, in real time. Vanma management software can provide access to all operations performed by technicians Vanma management software can provide access to all operations performed by technicians, including complete audit reports. Access attempts outside the specified time range or outside the specified area can be obtained through the report, so as to analyse any abnormal situations. Access control in extreme weather conditions In the access control system, the lock (lock cylinder) maintains an extremely high standard and its protection level is IP67, to ensure the greatest degree of protection. Infrared induction technology is used in the electronic key, even if the surface of the lock is wet, the electronic key can also transfer the access authority to the lock cylinder. Ensure stable exchange of information between the key and the lock cylinder. In other words, a poor connection cannot prevent the transmission of information between the key and the lock. At present, this kind of passive electronic lock is widely used in many fields, such as telecom, electric power, water utilities, public utilities, medical emergency and so on in Europe.

Access the right areas - Making a smart home genius with biometrics
Access the right areas - Making a smart home genius with biometrics

Household adoption of smart home systems currently sits at 12.1% and is set to grow to 21.4% by 2025, expanding the market from US$ 78.3 billion to US$ 135 billion, in the same period. Although closely linked to the growth of connectivity technologies, including 5G, tech-savvy consumers are also recognising the benefits of next-generation security systems, to protect and secure their domestic lives. Biometric technologies are already commonplace in our smartphones, PCs and payment cards, enhancing security without compromising convenience. Consequently, manufacturers and developers are taking note of biometric solutions, as a way of levelling-up their smart home solutions. Biometrics offer enhanced security As with any home, security starts at the front door and the first opportunity for biometrics to make a smart home genius lies within the smart lock. Why? Relying on inconvenient unsecure PINs and codes takes the ‘smart’ out of smart locks. As the number of connected systems in our homes increase, we cannot expect consumers to create, remember and use an ever-expanding list of unique passwords and PINs. Indeed, 60% of consumers feel they have too many to remember and the number can be as high as 85 for all personal and private accounts. Biometric solutions strengthen home access control Biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control Doing this risks consumers becoming apathetic with security, as 41% of consumers admit to re-using the same password or introducing simple minor variations, increasing the risk of hacks and breaches from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, continually updating and refreshing passwords, and PINs is unappealing and inconvenient. Consequently, biometric solutions have a real opportunity to strengthen the security and convenience of home access control. Positives of on-device biometric storage Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint recognition uses personally identifiable information, which is stored securely on-device. By using on-device biometric storage, manufacturers are supporting the 38% of consumers, who are worried about privacy and biometrics, and potentially winning over the 17% of people, who don’t use smart home devices for this very reason. Compared to conventional security, such as passwords, PINs or even keys, which can be spoofed, stolen, forgotten or lost, biometrics is difficult to hack and near impossible to spoof. Consequently, homes secured with biometric smart locks are made safer in a significantly more seamless and convenient way for the user. Biometric smart locks Physical access in our domestic lives doesn’t end at the front door with smart locks. Biometrics has endless opportunities to ease our daily lives, replacing passwords and PINs in all devices. Biometric smart locks provide personalised access control to sensitive and hazardous areas, such as medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, safes, kitchen appliances and bike locks. They offer effective security with a touch or glance. Multi-tenanted sites, such as apartment blocks and student halls, can also become smarter and more secure. With hundreds of people occupying the same building, maintaining high levels of security is the responsibility for every individual occupant. Biometric smart locks limit entry to authorised tenants and eliminate the impact of lost or stolen keys, and passcodes. Furthermore, there’s no need for costly lock replacements and when people leave the building permanently, their data is easily removed from the device. Authorised building access Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door Like biometric smart locks in general, the benefits extend beyond the front door, but also throughout the entire building, such as washing rooms, mail rooms, bike rooms and community spaces, such as gyms. Different people might have different levels of access to these areas, depending on their contracts, creating an access control headache. But, by having biometric smart locks, security teams can ensure that only authorised people have access to the right combination of rooms and areas. Convenience of biometric access cards Additionally, if building owners have options. The biometric sensors can be integrated into the doors themselves, thereby allowing users to touch the sensor, to unlock the door and enter. Furthermore, the latest technology allows biometric access cards to be used. This embeds the sensor into a contactless keycard, allowing the user to place their thumb on the sensor and tap the card to unlock the door. This may be preferable in circumstances where contactless keycards are already in use and can be upgraded. Smarter and seamless security In tandem with the growth of the smart home ecosystem, biometrics has real potential to enhance our daily lives, by delivering smarter, seamless and more convenient security. Significant innovation has made biometrics access control faster, more accurate and secure. Furthermore, today’s sensors are durable and energy efficient. With the capacity for over 10 million touches and ultra-low power consumption, smart home system developers no longer have to worry about added power demands. As consumers continue to invest in their homes and explore new ways to secure and access them, biometrics offers a golden opportunity for market players, to differentiate and make smart homes even smarter.

Latest UNION, part of ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions news

ASSA ABLOY shares important updates regarding UKNI product marking system for security professionals
ASSA ABLOY shares important updates regarding UKNI product marking system for security professionals

With the new UKNI mark fast approaching, security professionals in Northern Ireland must be up-to-date on the latest changes and deadline for the new product marking system, says UNION, part of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. This covers door opening solutions such as fire-resistant and emergency locks, panic exit devices and door closers. Coming into force from 1 January 2021, the Northern Ireland Protocol ensures that Northern Ireland will continue to follow the EU’s rules on product standards. The Protocol prevents a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, yet ensures that the UK leaves the European Union while also benefitting from Free Trade Agreements. Third-party assessment For manufactured goods, the UKNI mark is the new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland, which have undergone mandatory third-party assessment by an approved body based in the UK. The UKNI mark is the new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland Richard Bromley, Business Development Director at the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, explains: “In essence, CE marking will continue to be used in Northern Ireland after 1 January 2021, to demonstrate products still meet EU standards. However, if a manufacturer uses a UK approved body – rather than an EU notified body – to carry out mandatory third-party assessments, then products must also carry the new UKNI mark.” Properly certified products “These changes can be quite complicated to understand, but it’s crucial that security professionals understand the implications of door hardware products not having the correct product marking in place. Not only will the product marking be invalidated, but the potential implications for all those involved throughout the supply chain could be very serious. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure properly certified products are specified.” “To play our part, UNION and the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group is taking vital steps to ensure security professionals can have complete peace of mind that our door hardware products have undergone the correct third-party assessments for goods being sold into Northern Ireland.” Door hardware solutions For existing door hardware solutions from UNION that are CE marked by a UK-based notified body, the company is transferring or re-certifying products with an EU-based notified body. All new products sold into Northern Ireland will either be CE marked by an EU-based notified body, or a UK-based approved body will be used to gain UKNI marking. It’s important to add that the UKNI mark will not be recognised in the EU market" In the case of the second option, the product will carry both the UKNI and CE marks. All relevant documents, such as labels, product packaging, marketing materials and instruction manuals, will be updated accordingly too. Richard adds: “It’s important to add that the UKNI mark will not be recognised in the EU market. In this case, CE marking on its own will suffice.” Ensuring business continuity “Ultimately, we are committed to making sure our customers have the knowledge and support they need to ensure business continues as normal during the next chapter in the UK’s history. In order to make the most of any opportunities, we want to give our customers every assurance that our products are properly certified.” “If you’re under any doubt as to which door hardware products comply with the latest regulations for Northern Ireland, please know you can have every confidence that our solutions will. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to discuss these with you.”

UNION announces the launch of CE26V, SC-CE3F and CE4F-E door closers to offer complete closure solution
UNION announces the launch of CE26V, SC-CE3F and CE4F-E door closers to offer complete closure solution

Already established as a renowned provider of high-quality door closers, UNION has further strengthened its range with the launch of three dynamic new solutions. Innovative and properly certified, the three new door closers all bring incredible value to the market, by solving a number of critical challenges faced by installers to meet the needs of their customers. With the launch of the CE26V, SC-CE3F and CE4F-E, UNION now meets almost every door closer requirement - whether for light or heavy closing, concealed closing, or the ability to choose between hold-open and free-swing settings. With the new SC-CE3F door closer, style comes to the fore. A concealed solution, it helps maintain the aesthetics of an environment by being hidden from view. Residential and commercial applications This allows buildings to benefit from the advantages of a fixed power size 3 door closer without compromising on aesthetics, making the SC-CE3F the perfect choice for high-end residential and commercial applications. Its concealed nature also protects it from vandalism, particularly in spaces such as university halls of residence, where this can be a problem. The new CE26V rack and pinion door closer is an easy-to-fit solution that can be set to any power size between 2 and 6 Compliant with the demands of BS 8300 for creating an inclusive environment, the SC-CE3F is also more compact than comparable products, reducing the amount of material needed to be removed from the door leaf. The new CE26V rack and pinion door closer is an easy-to-fit solution that can be set to any power size between 2 and 6, in line with the EN 1154 standard governing the requirements of controlled door closing devices. Providing assured protection As a result, the CE26V offers outstanding flexibility, making it suitable for anything from lighter doors of 20kg to heavier doors up to 120kg. The CE26V ensures it is possible to meet almost any EN power size demands from a single product. Due to this flexibility, it’s ideally suited for new projects or retrofit applications. The CE26V is also CE and Certifire tested for 120 minutes on timber doors in all three fixing positions, providing assured protection in the event of a fire. The new CE4F-E electromagnetic door closer is a dual-function solution that can be set to one of two modes: hold-open or free swing. When in hold-open mode, the CE4F-E allows people to walk through the doorway without opening the door, offering the ultimate barrier-free solution. This makes it ideal for hospitals, hotels, theatres and other high-traffic public areas. Smoke alarm system The CE4F-E complies with the demands of BS EN 1155 by connecting to a building’s fire or smoke alarm system By removing the need for physical contact, it also reduces the spread of germs - a consideration that is increasingly in demand following the outbreak of COVID-19. Alternatively, in free-swing mode, the door operates as though no closer is fitted. This allows the door to swing freely with little force required to open it; suitable for the needs of residential bedroom doors in care homes, for example. Both modes provide assured fire safety, should an incident arise. The CE4F-E complies with the demands of BS EN 1155 by connecting to a building’s fire or smoke alarm system. In the event of a fire, power is cut to the unit, allowing it to automatically close and stop the spread of fire and smoke. Fire alarm sounds “We’re extremely excited to have launched the CE26V, SC-CE3F and CE4F-E door closers, which strengthen our range and allow us to offer a comprehensive offering that meets all door closer needs,” comments Richard Wilson, Product Category Manager at UNION. “Whether you’re after versatility in terms of door weight, concealment for aesthetic reasons, or the choice between hold-open and free-swing, UNION has got you covered." "The new solutions join other tried and trusted UNION products, to ensure you can turn to us whatever your door closer needs might be. This includes Door Sense, a safe, simple and legal retrofit device that holds fire doors open but automatically closes if a fire alarm sounds, and Retro V, an easy way of replacing old door closers without risking a fire door’s certification.”

ASSA ABLOY launches customer support app to enhance user experience and support
ASSA ABLOY launches customer support app to enhance user experience and support

With the ever-changing post coronavirus (COVID-19) world, the ability to communicate virtually has never been more important. This is why ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is improving its customer experience with the launch of the ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app. ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app Free to download on Apple and Android mobile devices, the app enables customers to quickly and conveniently contact the right customer service team within ASSA ABLOY in the UK. The app provides customers with remote technical product support via live streaming, alongside instant access to useful product resources. Its Door Hardware Group division will be the first to go live on the new app, enabling customers to contact all its renowned brands from one place. This includes UNION, ASSA, Dale Hardware, Excel Architectural Hardware, Exidor, Trimec, Adams Rite, and Securitron. Remote diagnosis and issue resolution Once downloaded, customers can use the app to directly contact the right department via phone, email or the new live chat and video call features. Additionally, they can find a direct link to the technical support team, who can offer remote diagnosis and issue resolution using the new live stream contact option. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, getting out to site and supporting has been a challenge. However, the app helps overcome this with its live video stream option, which allows issues to be resolved fast and effectively. Navigating ASSA ABLOY products To help customers navigate ASSA ABLOY’s broad range of products, the company has created a resource center that provides customers with direct access to technical product information and certifications, all in one place, at the touch of button. Support hours are shown within the app, depending on device location, and email options are offered if out-of-hours support is required. Customers can also take a photo using their phone and attach it to emails for easier troubleshooting. Remote contact and support Enabling remote contact is vital in providing our customers with quick and effective information" Jesse James, Financial and Commercial Director of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, said “Improving our customers’ experience is paramount to our business, especially in these challenging times. Enabling remote contact is vital in providing our customers with quick and effective information, and has improved our customer experience through the launch of our app.” Jesse adds, “We continue to be committed to providing easier and more flexible ways to contact our business, receive technical product support, and for our customers to locate resources.” Easy-to-use and intuitive app Jesse further stated, "The new app is easy-to-use and intuitive, ensuring our customers have access to fast responses in real-time. Having the flexibility to choose how to contact our customer service teams, and for us to be able to quickly support customers on site with technical support is vitally important. The ASSA ABLOY Customer Support app allows customers to have everything they need in one place, and wherever they go.”

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