South Africa’s Athlone Campus is home to the Western Cape College of Nursing, a sprawling complex of lecture halls, administration blocks and four hostels that house around 2000 nursing students. Gallagher Command Centre was chosen as the most effective system to manage access to the hostels and keep the students safe.

The nursing college had no method of limiting access to its hostels. People came and went as they liked, there was no record of who was on site and it was difficult to enforce visitor hours.

Theft was a problem and reported cases of sexual assault had become a major concern. Access needed to be more secure.

Access control system for authorised entry

Biometric fingerprint readers were mounted on turnstiles at each of the hostel entrances and exits to manage general accessSafety and security are essential to providing a healthy living and learning environment for students. Athlone Campus partnered with local security solutions provider, FS Systems, to install access control and video surveillance in its hostels.

Gallagher Command Centre was chosen to manage the access control system, monitoring access points and allowing only authorised students, staff and visitors to enter the hostel buildings.

Biometric fingerprint readers were mounted on full-height turnstiles at each of the hostel entrances and exits to manage general access. Fingerprint readers prevent unauthorised entry from people using lost or loaned cards, and the anti-passback measures built into Command Centre means students can’t ‘pass in’ a visitor or bypass the system, as it recognises and records that someone has tried to enter twice.

Integrated visitor management system

Gallagher’s integrated visitor management system now monitors visitors and allows the college to control visiting hours. Visitors to the college hostels must register at reception and have their fingerprint captured by the visitor management system. They are then granted access to only the hostel they are visiting. In the evening, the system generates an alarm and reports on visitors still on site – allowing security to ask people to leave and prevent further visitors from entering.

The general feeling from students and staff is that they are more secure"

Jason Adams, Cost and Estimating Manager for FS Systems says, “The general feeling from students and staff is that they are more secure knowing that everyone entering the facility has gone through some sort of screening or registration process at the security office. The presence of physical security barriers (full-height turnstiles) is reassuring, in that not just any person can gain entry without the necessary authorisation.

Installation of video surveillance solution

Alongside access control, the college installed a comprehensive video surveillance solution to reduce incidents of violence, vandalism and crime. The entire video management system is seamlessly integrated with Command Centre, creating one easily managed security solution to track student, staff and visitor movements and ensure that when an incident does occur, security staff are quickly informed and able to respond effectively.

It’s essential for the system to be user-friendly and easy to operate and manage,” says Jason. “The detailed maps that appear onscreen with Gallagher Command Centre clearly indicate the location of alarms and give security staff the ability to respond more quickly to emergencies.

Using Gallagher Command Centre, the nursing college now has a powerful and versatile security system that meets the unique needs of its site.

Reduction in criminal activity

The college has achieved significant cost savings through the prevention of vandalismThe system provides a reliable way to clearly capture data to monitor students, staff and visitors, lower criminal activity and improve onsite safety. In particular, security personnel can easily find the right information for quick incident resolution, which has led to improved processes, procedures and convictions when necessary.

The college has also achieved significant cost savings through the prevention of vandalism and a significant reduction in reported cases of theft. The combination of the new access control system and an increase in physical security barriers means they have also been able to decrease the number of security guards patrolling the facility, reducing overhead costs. Customising and generating reports for college management is also a straightforward task, saving time and money.

Most importantly, Gallagher’s security solution has given Western Cape College of Nursing control of who is on site and when – allowing its students to be safe, secure and focussed on learning.

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