School security systems
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effec...
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilised in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education ma...
Security isn’t easy for schools and universities. As education institutions increasingly become vulnerable targets for threats and attacks, they face the security challenges of maintaining a welcoming and open environment while ensuring the comprehensive safety of the students, teachers and staff. The balance between providing high levels of security with a certain level of convenience becomes crucial, especially when considering the large audience schools work with – the staff, admi...
When it comes to emergency planning and response, there is an abundance of resources to help enterprises prepare to mitigate the impact of an incident. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has devised the National Incident Management System (NIMS), aimed at defining and standardising ways that resources can be used to manage and respond to an incident. An enterprise’s Emergency Operations Plan, or EOP, incorporates NIMS concepts and spells out what to do in an emergency. S...
Workplaces, schools, hotels, sporting events, entertainment venues and other large –and sometimes not so large – facilities have become headlines in the news for all the wrong reasons: violent attacks. The Safer Solution is an effective training method that addresses public/workplace violence and active shooter incidents – by both alleviating a situation before it ever occurs, and by preparing civilians with appropriate response skills in the case of a crisis developing. The S...
RS2 Technologies, globally renowned security and access control systems provider firm, has been named as a new Strategic Alliance Partner in the United States by Zenitel Group, the global provider of Intelligent Communication solutions. Integrated systems “Zenitel’s continued innovative approach to simple but powerful integrated systems provides a complete unified solution to customers of all sizes”, said Dave Barnard, Director of Dealer Development for RS2. “Zenitel ha...
IPVideo Corporation, a manufacturer of IP-based video surveillance and command centre solutions, announces that it will be showcasing two of its latest detection technologies at ISC West 2019 taking place on April 10th-12th at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. Developed to improve school safety, this new vape and aggression detection product – HALO IoT Smart Sensor will be unveiled at IPVideo’s booth #20001 along with a new concealed weapons detection system – ViewScan. IPVideo continues to carve the path when it comes to creating a safer environment for schools and recently launched these new products to help schools facilitate security measures that will keep students and staff safe. Alert security personnel IPVideo’s ViewScan is the safest and least invasive concealed weapons detection system out there IPVideo’s HALO IoT Smart Sensor alerts security personnel to environmental changes caused by vape and smoking in normally unsupervised areas such as bathrooms, classrooms, locker rooms and hallways. In addition, HALO can detect fluctuations in noise levels to help identify and alert security personnel about aggressive behaviour such as gun shots, glass breaking or yelling; making it the perfect tool for alerting students, staff and security to an active shooter incident taking place on school grounds. IPVideo’s ViewScan is the safest and least invasive concealed weapons detection system out there. The ViewScan does not emit any radiation and is perfectly safe for children, pregnant women and all medical devices including pacemakers. Its easy-to-use PC-based software displays and tracks those who are carrying threat objects such as knives, guns, and razor blades. Creating safer environment It can also detect and locate threat objects which have been covered or masked with materials such as aluminium foil, lead and plastic; creating a safer environment for schools by preventing an active shooter situation. The device is portable and can be moved and set up in under 15 minutes. The device works so fast it keeps delays to a minimum and parents and school boards really appreciate that the technology eliminates the need for pat-down searches. “The ISC West show is the perfect venue to showcase these two new detection products that were developed as part of our mission to be the thought leader in school safety,” states David Antar, President of IPVideo Corp. “We are using the latest in IoT technology coupled with sophisticated analytics to help alert school personnel in real-time of any possible threats affecting their school.” Detect room occupancy IPVideo’s ViewScan is the safest and least invasive concealed weapons detection system out there Automated situational awareness is the key to improving safety and security in schools and IPVideo is on the forefront of this new technology. HALO can detect room occupancy, sound frequency, gunshots, aggressive behaviour, smoking, motion & light detection, temperature and humidity changes as well as any dangerous compounds found at the school. ViewScan helps scan every person safely who enters a school building, without the need for body pat-down searches which increases the flexibility of schools to monitor anyone entering or exiting a building even after hours. ISC West attendees can stop by booth #20001 and see live demonstrations of both HALO IoT Smart Sensor and ViewScan and witness first-hand how IPVideo is delivering first class detection products to help schools increase safety measures. IPVideo is actively looking to enrol national resellers and integrators who support the school and campus markets.
Evolis announces the formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary in Tokyo, Evolis Japan K.K. The globally renowned French card issuance company designs, manufactures and commercialises a complete range of personalisation and issuance solutions for plastic cards in various markets such as retail, hospitality, banking or public administrations across the globe.Evolis has been present since 2008 in Japan through a distributor. The creation of a local subsidiary aims at strengthening relations with local partners in order to accelerate the group's business development and establish a long-term presence in Japan. Evolis Japan K.K. Operational since January 7, 2019, Evolis Japan will market the entire Evolis product range and offer technical support by Japanese speakers Operational since January 7, 2019, Evolis Japan will market the entire Evolis product range and offer technical support by Japanese speakers, expand the traditional distribution network, develop channels dedicated to new industry sectors, and strengthen response to the demands of government bodies and financial institutions."Japan is one of the world's leading economies with more than 125 million people. We therefore see strong potential for card personalisation in several markets. The creation of a Japanese company will help in our existing business relationships and facilitate the development of new partnerships" says Eirik Bakke, Managing Director, Evolis APAC. On-site encoding and securing key cards Evolis systems allow for the on-site personalisation, encoding and securing of cards that support various applications, such as access control badges, debit and credit cards, ID cards, resident permits, drivers' licenses, transport passes, student IDs, as well as product tags for the retail and hospitality market.Evolis' solutions support any requirement in card personalisation, from basic printing in small runs up to the personalisation of advanced and secured cards in large volumes. Numerous governments, financial institutions and large retail chains are using Evolis' card personalisation systems to issue their cards. Card personalisation systems Due to its flexible manufacturing capabilities and technical expertise, Evolis meets stringent customer demands in terms or technical features, quality and delivery lead times. A project team is dedicated to designing specific and tailored solutions, recognised at national and international levels.
NAPCO Security Technologies, Inc., a solutions provider and manufacturer of high tech electronic intrusion security, school safety lock down systems, Internet of Things (IoT) connected home, video and fire systems, as well as enterprise-class access control and door locking products, announces that its Board of Directors has authorised a new share repurchase program for the Company. The new stock repurchase program is for up to 500,000 shares of the approximately 18.6 million shares outstanding. The repurchase will be made from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions subject to market conditions and the market price of the common stock. Under the repurchase program authorised in 2014 to repurchase up to 1,000,000 shares the Company has the ability to repurchase approximately 52,000 shares. Recurring revenue Richard Soloway, President & CEO of NAPCO stated "We believe that the future for NAPCO looks bright, our sales and profits continue to grow with fiscal 2018 being another record year for us. Our new products that have launched recently such as the Starlink Connect, and Dual Path communicators have performed well for us as evidenced by the continued growth of our recurring revenue, which grew 46% in our first fiscal quarter 2019 and has an annual run rate of $15.6 million based on September 2018.” School security remains a vibrant area for growth and the Company continues to win new business in this vertical" “The Company also saw growth in its hardware products offering during the first fiscal quarter 2019. School security remains a vibrant area for growth and the Company continues to win new business in this vertical.” Raise awareness “We believe that the recent legislation passed by 26 different states in the US for funding school security, with the total sum being approximately $1 billion dollars, will be a positive for NAPCO's business. The Company has determined that repurchasing shares opportunistically will be an attractive use of our capital." In conclusion Soloway stated "We are always looking at ways to create shareholder value and with our senior management holding approximately 38% of the shares, our interests are aligned with our shareholders. NAPCO has been attending conferences and visiting with investors during the year and has plans to continue its outreach program to raise awareness of the bright future we believe is ahead."
Hikvision’s PanoVu products are essential components of solutions in retail, hospitality, transportation and education Hikvision USA Inc., global supplier of security equipment and solutions, will provide training and demos of its multi-sensor camera technology at ISC East 2018, slated to take place at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on Nov. 14 and 15. Product showcase and training session Hikvision will exhibit from Booth 324 on the show floor on both the days. In addition to multi-sensor cameras, Hikvision will also showcase access control and intercom solutions. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room 1A23, Hikvision will offer a free training session: ‘PanoVu Overview: Innovative Systems for Retail, Education, Hospitality and more’. "Ideal for retail, hospitality, transportation and education applications, Hikvision's PanoVu products offer multi-camera technology in one easy-to-install device," said Eric Chen, general manager, Hikvision North America. "We're excited to discuss and demo this key technology for integrators and end users at ISC East this year." Hikvision PanoVu cameras product line Hikvision provides a wide variety of PanoVu products to meet every installer's needs: Everything from 180- and 360-degree view in a stitched image from multiple cameras, to cameras with adjustable gimbals for optimal views. A wide selection of cameras is available for both indoor applications or outdoor, longer-range viewing. Common applications include warehouses, large open spaces, lobbies, city centers, park entertainment venues, and harbors.
Schools are continuing to upgrade security measures for pupil safety. However, on top of all the fundamental challenges schools face, implementing well-rounded and effective security solutions can seem a great difficulty. Andrew Shaw, architectural consultant for Allegion UK, discusses the advantages of electro-mechanical solutions. Schools can equate to some of the most complex security challenges for architects, specifiers and school officials alike. This is because choosing the right solution requires a comprehensive analysis of a building’s design and layout and the different requirements of each perimeter, alongside specific uses, user groups and opening hours. Different areas and spaces, such as reception areas, entry points or classrooms, each need to be approached differently in terms of safety and security measures. Precautionary lockdown strategy Adequate training also means all staff know how to support an effective lockdown and facilitate a safe escape in the event of an emergency What’s more, if the building is used for out-of-hours purposes, or if contractors are on-site, these issues will also need to be addressed. Simply put, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for schools. Security hardware and a precautionary lockdown strategy are necessities, as they are integral to the safety of teachers, students and visitors. Adequate measures need to be implemented so that schools are prepared for, and safeguarded against, external threats or unauthorised access. Whilst a lot of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of facility managers, it’s also important for teachers and administrators to be aware of, and educated on, solutions and training. This means knowing how certain hardware works and how to spot a faulty product. Adequate training also means all staff know how to support an effective lockdown and facilitate a safe escape in the event of an emergency. Unique building requirements This is becoming increasingly important with newer systems too, especially as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more commonplace within the industry. Integrating electro-mechanical solutions into existing school security systems is now more commonly viewed as an achievable and viable option. Because an off-the-shelf security solution to fit all doesn’t exist, the benefits of integrating both electronic and mechanical solutions into systems are quickly becoming realised. As such, schools are growing more accustomed to tailored solutions based on their own unique building requirements and budgets. Each school layout is unique and, therefore, must address a range of security factors specific to different areas. Many areas within a school’s building design must accommodate for high capacity, especially in places that may be part of a fire escape route. Mechanical door hardware Schools need to consider the amount of exit and entry points, which will be dependent on the size and layout of the school grounds All schools need to address three different levels of security. The first level is the least vulnerable of the three and concerns the perimeter entry and exit points. The second level is more vulnerable than the first and relates to the point at which people are screened before entering the interior of the school. Finally, the third level - and the most vulnerable - refers to the core of the school that both pupils and staff occupy. The first level of security is the perimeter, and these areas become more important depending on the time of day. Schools need to consider the amount of exit and entry points, which will be dependent on the size and layout of the school grounds. Incorporating some level of electronic access control should be a consideration, whether that is a combination of electronic and mechanical door hardware, or a complete electronic solution. Greater visitor management An electromechanical solution, such as electric strikes, can be beneficial in the effectiveness of perimeter security as they provide greater visitor management and traffic control. Electric strikes are able to control access via keypads, cards and proximity readers. When combined with mechanical locks, they provide the benefits of unrestricted egress. This option also allows integration with central security systems, which can be automatically activated and pre-programmed for regular scheduled control. These solutions help lower the risk of potential unauthorised entry, which can lead to theft of equipment, and compromising people’s safety. They also aid facility and site managers in knowing where potential weak points are in the school perimeter. Because schools will most likely have multiple access points, the combination of mechanical hardware and access control systems allows for both security and convenience, providing greater control and monitoring. Efficient access control A well-designed school with a single-entry point allows for such monitoring, but should also cater to the efficient movement in and out of the building The second level of security is the administration or reception area. As this area will be designed primarily to facilitate visitor entry, it will require adequate monitoring of access control. This area should be able to restrict visitors from freely accessing the rest of the school. A well-designed school with a single-entry point allows for such monitoring, but should also cater to the efficient movement in and out of the building. To do this, the latches used on access-controlled egress doors can be electronically controlled from the reception area or school office. Exit or entry doors can be opened by a push from the inside and, if the entry area is also an emergency exit, electronically-powered panic bars can also provide an effective solution. When using access control solutions, schools are provided with information on who entered a part of the premises and when, are able to restrict or limit access to specific times of the day, and easily add and delete users, allowing them to manage access to the building more efficiently. Integrated centralised systems The areas most susceptible to vulnerability are the internal hallways, corridors, stairwells, entry points and restricted areas (such as staff lounges and science laboratories). These are the areas where a school must foster the safest environments for pupils, whilst also providing protection as they often contain confidential information, expensive equipment or chemicals. For these areas, there are a number of different solutions that will be beneficial, whether electronic, mechanical or a combination of the two. For electronic solutions, there are two options available: remote or centralised systems. With remote lockdown systems, individual locks are activated by remote control within proximity to the door. With integrated centralised systems, the access control system is linked to all doors within the school building and locked at the touch of a button. Mechanical solutions, which include a cylinder lock and key, are also ideal for places such as classrooms, as doors can be locked externally with a key or internally with a thumbturn, to prevent unauthorised persons from entering. When paired with electronic access control systems, mechanical hardware can provide simplified yet improved security levels. Electromagnetic door closers Electromechanically exit devices allow for monitored and safe access, whilst also allowing for an immediate exit In schools, it is often the case that entrance doors will also be fire exits. Electromechanically exit devices allow for monitored and safe access, whilst also allowing for an immediate exit. When integrated with electronic access control systems, emergency exit points become safer and more secure as access control measures can be added, whether for teachers, pupils or visitors. In the interest of fire safety, and to eliminate the illegal practice of propping fire doors open as well as aid free passage in busy areas, electromagnetic door closers can be linked with the building’s fire alarm system. When the fire alarm sounds (or in the event of a power outage), the electromagnet deactivates, bringing the door to a close in a normal manner, preventing the spread of fire and smoke. Building design requirements By design, electronic access control systems are also easy to use and maintain. The reliability and durability of such systems also means that there will be less need for excess time and money spent on maintenance, and there’s peace of mind in knowing the systems are code-compliant. Their flexibility additionally allows for the implementation of a highly-effective bespoke solution. Electronic access control and electronic devices are able to be integrated with or into a variety of other electronic and mechanical systems. This means schools are able to successfully tailor solutions to their own budgets and building design requirements. Fully integrated security solutions and biometrics are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, giving school officials and managing teams greater control over their buildings. These solutions also give them scalability for the future, meaning systems are both future-proof and easily upgradable.
ASSA ABLOY UK Specification has issued a whitepaper to provide a guide to the specification of doorsets and associated hardware in nurseries, schools and universities. Entitled, ‘Specification considerations for education buildings: doors and ironmongery’ the whitepaper outlines the various relevant standards when specifying doors and ironmongery for education projects, including those relating to accessibility and usability. The paper also covers whole life costing implications and why these considerations are imperative for a successful specification, as well as discusses how architects and contractors within the education sector can contribute to a better built environment by factoring in health and wellbeing influencers. Flexible and future-proofed David Shields, National Specification Manager for ASSA ABLOY UK Specification and the author of the paper said: “In a procurement environment with multiple stakeholders where funding is tightly controlled, education buildings have to be flexible and future-proofed. They need to deliver cost certainty and the highest standards of specification.” “This is why contractors, architects, local education authorities, facilities managers and head teachers are often pulled in very different directions when it comes to product specification for education buildings.” Ironmongery specification “This whitepaper aims to provide clarification, along with practical advice and unique considerations, specifically for doorset and ironmongery specification within education settings.” With a wealth of experience supporting specifications within the education industry, ASSA ABLOY UK Specification work with architects, contractors and end users to ensure the right solution is provided for each individual project, which is then performance guaranteed for up to 20 years. This provides complete peace of mind and can save a school thousands of pounds in replacement and maintenance costs.
As we approach National Safe Schools Week (October 21-27), it is appropriate for a conversation to begin regarding establishing standards for K12 school security. Currently no standards exist for assisting schools navigate the complexity of understanding what they need, how much it will cost and how they will secure their learning environments. Security industry experts The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is one of the organisations at the forefront of establishing security standards for schools. In 2014, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) formed PASS, which brought together a cross functional group of members including school officials, safe schools’ consultants, law enforcement and security industry experts to collaborate and develop a coordinated approach to protecting K-12 students and staff. School administrators are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products PASS has provided valuable insights regarding an ‘All Hazards’ approach to school safety and security. In fact, PASS suggests that school administrators are challenged with two decisions: Determining what they need to do How to prioritise Safe school environment School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education. However, most are not security experts and do not understand the complexity of implementing a comprehensive physical security and safety program across their districts. Still, they are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products. School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education, but most are not security experts Some of these organisations recognise their products are just pieces of a safe school environment puzzle and how they fit in, whereas others focus on specific applications and do not understand how their specific solutions may affect life safety codes and Americans with Disabilities Act law. (Note: Many ‘barricade devices’ fall into this latter category and actually introduce liability concerns with the unintended consequences of their use.)Schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis Even for experts, the plethora of options and disparate systems required to integrate a safety and security approach at schools is daunting. The ongoing challenge is integrating access control, video, mass notification, and/or visitor management products into a single, effective, and appropriate system the owner can understand, utilise, and afford and that meet local codes and ADA laws. In the absence of standards, schools are likely to amass a collection of devices that do not constitute a comprehensive solution. Lack of consensus In years past, the our industry and commercial buildings adhered to legacy codes – like Building Officials and Code Administrators International Inc. (BOCA), Uniform Building Code (UBC), Southern Building Code Congress International Inc. (SBBCI), and International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) – which have traditionally been revised every three years, while local jurisdictions decided what versions to adopt and enforce. Currently, however, there is a move toward the International Building Code (IBC), which is published by the International Code Council (ICC) and includes standards and guidance for commercial buildings on doors, windows, and other openings.A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan, and begins with developing a trend analysis Still, despite this migration of codes from a patchwork of local decisions to global guidelines, there remains a lack of consensus around school security. The current fragmented approach causes confusion regarding how new schools are designed and how to retrofit existing school buildings, whose average age is 45+ years. Right protection equipment One can point to the fact that there hasn’t been one student lost in a school fire in over 50 years as testament to standards like NFPA 80 and NFPA 101 being referenced in model building codes. Additionally, schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis. It’s not just having the right protection equipment in the building, it’s also having a procedural layer in place to make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of fire. The stress of the actual event can limit ones’ ability to think clearly. Practice makes perfect. Why would we approach school security any differently? School security is a team effort, and it is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves School security is a team effort. It is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves. PASS suggests starting with a basic team consisting of: Security Director Local Law Enforcement School Administrator Integrator Door and Hardware Consultant IT Director Comprehensive security plan Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan. This often begins with conducting a trend analysis requiring the collection of data from a variety of public and private sources. The challenge is to pull these pieces into a usable and easily understood format that provides a guide for current and future risk concerns. Risk assessment and mitigation can never eliminate risk. Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators. Data from the following sources can help measure risk: Campus: Review incident report trends for at least the past 36 months. Area and city: Review crime data from local law enforcement for the surrounding neighborhood and city. Screening procedures: How is hiring conducted? Anonymous tip reporting systems: Enabling students, staff members, parents and the community to anonymously alert administrators to perceived and actual threats. Social media monitoring: such monitoring can provide important information that can be used to identify risks. Monitoring social media could help measure risk for school safety Delay adversarial behaviors These assessments can then be incorporated into the best practice approach of Layered Security. Layered security combines best practice components within each layer that effectively deter, detect and delay adversarial behaviors. Layered security works from the outside in. As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection. The asset being protected is at the center of the layers – students, staff and authorised visitors. PASS defines five layers of Security:As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection District Wide Property Perimeter Parking Lot Perimeter Building Perimeter Classroom/Interior Perimeter Appropriate Tier target Each layer can be broken down into Tier levels with Tier 1 being basic and Tier 4 being the highest level of security (Figure 1) . It is important to understand that the demographics of individual school buildings varies, even within the same district. Security experts will quickly point out that ‘if you’ve seen one school, you’ve seen one school’. The assessments will determine the appropriate Tier target. Figure 1 Each layer includes essential protective elements, or components, of security. Every layer does not necessarily include all seven of these common components, and a layer may include additional components unique to that particular layer. Safety and security components Policies & Procedures People (roles & training) Architectural Communication Access Control Video Surveillance Detection and Alarms While components are not listed in a priority order, three components included in all layers are policies and procedures, the roles and training of people, and communication. These components often perform a function in every layer and every tier in each layer. Three tools come together in the PASS approach as outlined in the new 4th Edition of the PASS Guidelines (Figure 2) - the Layers are established and defined, a Checklist/Assessment breaks down each layer into tiered best practices which then tie into the guidelines where a narrative explains each best practice in more detail. Figure 2 Schools need not reinvent the wheel when it comes to school security planning. Following the best practices of Risk Assessments and Layered Security will ensure that every school building in a district will have a unique and comprehensive plan that is tailored to their individual needs.
Most technology companies have one goal in mind: to provide customers with high-quality, affordable products that can efficiently help streamline operations. Whether it's surveillance cameras, video management software, access control technology or any other type of security device, today's leading organisations invest in expertise in these product segments and strive to produce the highest quality solutions. To effectively fulfill this task, technology providers are always searching for emerging components to make their products and services even stronger. Oftentimes, a key aspect necessary to build a comprehensively robust solution involves finding like-minded partners that share a common goal and are willing to work together to create an integration that increases insight and intelligence.The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast Key factors for security integrations A basic factor in a partnership is openness. For an integration to perform seamlessly for the end user, the platform through which the technologies converge must follow standard protocols, easily operate with other platforms, allow freedom and customisation, and provide adaptability. The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast, enabling more time to be spent on analysing critical data and responding to security events. The puzzle of a complete security solution contains many pieces, and it's often necessary to fuse together aspects from various providers to create a best-in-breed technology offering. When organisations collaborate, the end result is a simplified solution with an increased level of value. As threats become more severe and complex, customers demand solutions that combine different security and business elements into a single interface that can address a wide variety of risks. A unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions Interconnected security devices Users used to only look at specific security devices - such as cameras or door alarms - as each having a strong, autonomous purpose, but now, every device plays an important interconnected role. And the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made this transition even easier, as maintaining a consistent and uniform communication and interconnectivity between devices has now become the norm. The IoT has also made it so that partnerships must not only exist between manufacturers, but also within the customer's organisational structure. Although exceptionally beneficial, the IoT brings with it an increased amount of cyber vulnerabilities. As security systems are networked to increase flexibility, the door is opened to a number of potential threats that could compromise the entire enterprise. This risk highlights the need for an internal partnership and knowledge sharing between a company's physical security professionals and its IT team. IT experts should be pulled into security decisions and positioned as collaborative partners to assist with software updates, data safety protocols and solving complex network challenges, ultimately leading to a more cyber secure solution.Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers Knowledge sharing and learning Aside from cybersecurity, the latest prominent security attacks and events have focused primarily on soft targets, such as schools, concerts or shopping malls. This has caused many technology providers to venture into different vertical markets, and strong partnerships streamline this crossover. Innovators can extend their geographic reach and purpose through integrations with other like-minded manufacturers or integrators to add new levels of functionalities. Of course, a partnership cannot operate properly and to the best of its ability without a core component: learning. In today's evolving business and risk environment, knowledge is critical. A shared knowledge base can open up new opportunities and lead to the strengthening of security across many levels. A truly powerful, unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions. Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers, and the results created through these alliances can reach far beyond a user's expectations, offering enhanced flexibility and extensive safety options.
In the physical security space, video analytics have historically over-promised and under-delivered, often leaving end users sceptical about their capabilities. However, increased integration with security solutions and other business systems, as well as developments in deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI), have given video analytics a significant boost in recent years. Here, we take a look at the key trends putting video analytics in the spotlight, and how this opens up new opportunities for increased security and business intelligence. Deep learning and AI will enhance video analytics capabilities At the start of 2018, our security industry experts commented on how deep learning technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) would extend to the video surveillance industry, allowing security professionals to gain very specific insights into human behaviour. Our experts predicted that this would permit organisations to reduce risk, enable efficiencies, reduce costs, ensure compliance and provide faster access to stored video. With AI-enables video systems, video analytics are set to perform more complex applications at a higher level of accuracy. Image processing developments allow intelligent analytics According to Ambarella’s Chris Day, advancing chip technology combined with the neural network approach to computer vision is game changing for video analytics. Since the problem of higher resolution has already been solved, the key differentior for video surveillance systems will be the ability to add computer vision in parallel with image processing and high-resolution encoding – ideally in a chip that is low-power. Integration with security systems increases video analytics value Video systems produce an immense amount of data that is often wasted, says Bosch Security Systems’ Sean Murphy. When video analytics alerts are integrated with other security systems, video events can trigger responses from other parts of the security solution. For example, cameras with video analytics can initiate intrusion detection system events initiate intrusion detection system events, prompting the panel to take action by alerting the central station or sending video to security personnel. Video analytics add value with actionable business intelligence Adding network video to the current generation of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provides actional value beyond situational intelligence for security purposes. With increasingly intelligent sensors, interactions between business systems are becoming more sophisticated, providing a value greater than the sum of the parts. Organisations can use smart applications to reduce energy consumption, allocate workspace, and reduce operating costs. In a retail environment, analytics are now capable of assessing a scene for occupancy and crowd control, even generating reports of trends over time. Video analytics detect abnormalities to predict incidents Camera-based video analytics can go beyond assessing a current scene to predicting potential risks before they occur, explains Pelco’s Jonathan Lewitt. Based on predetermined factors or analysis of prior events, systems can collect all available information to determine the level of severity of a situation and whether an action needs to be taken. At the same time, systems can correlate data from video and other sources to help analyse similar occurrences in the future. Video analytics increasingly supplemented with audio analytics Audio analytics are often overlooked, notes Hanwha Techwin’s Paul Kong, perhaps due to differing privacy laws from video surveillance. However, audio analytics processed in a camera can help provide a secondary layer of verification for events, as well as identifying gunshots, screams, or other sounds indicating an incident is taking place. This makes audio analytics ideal for dealing with active shooter events at schools and campuses. As Louroe Electronics’ Richard Brent explains, audio analytics software can detect rising levels of human aggression, as well as recognising firearm discharge. This can trigger alerts to ensure incidents are dealt with swiftly.
The Emerging Technology Zone (ETZ) at ISC West welcomes new startups to the security industry; a requirement for exhibitors is that they have been in business for five years or less. This year, the ETZ will be in the Venetian Ballroom, a new section at ISC West 2019, incorporating companies that were previously featured in the “Global Expo” area along with mid-sized domestic companies and the return of the successful Emerging Technology Zone section. Now located in the Venetian Ballroom adjacent to the Sands Convention Center, this group of exhibitors will also have three large entrances of their own. Latest technology companies The ETZ will be a draw in and of itself and will do better for us than being on the main show floor" “The Emerging Technology Zone is a place for attendees to see the latest technology companies all in one place, rather than searching out individual companies all over the main show floor,” says Tom Buckley, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, for Qumulex, a 2019 exhibitor in the Emerging Technology Zone (ETZ). “The ETZ was an easy choice for us and is, in fact, the deciding factor in our taking a booth,” says Buckley. “As a technology startup, we wanted to be located with the other new companies. The ETZ will be a draw in and of itself and will do better for us than being on the main show floor.” Consistent customer lifetime Qumulex (Booth 40932) was formed in late 2018 by the founders of Exacq and Infinias. The new mobile-first, unified video surveillance and access control platform enables security integrators to increase recurring revenue and achieve consistent customer lifetime value, says Buckley. ”We are launching in the fall of 2019 but are exhibiting at ISC West due to early interest from security integrators wanting an early preview of what is coming.” Also among the 40 or so exhibitors in the Emerging Technology Zone will be a range of new technologies, from artificial intelligence (AI) to cloud solutions to wearables to lighting solutions and more. Video analytics platform Simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage Another ETZ exhibitor is ZeroEyes (Booth 40821), an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by AI, to detect weapons and recognise faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. The company was founded by five former Navy SEALS with a combined 50 years of combat experience. “Our platform is being developed right now and has hit an inflection point where artificial intelligence and graphics processors are both capable enough and cost effective,” says Mike Lahiff, ZeroEyes CEO. “This technology is just at the point where it is ready for a wider release and not just for early adopters.” The company will be doing live demonstrations of the product in real time. “It is one thing to tell everyone our capabilities, but it is much more powerful to show our capabilities,” says Rob Huberty, ZeroEyes COO. “We will have cameras set up that are typical of school security systems. These cameras will be linked to the best available hardware on the market. We will showcase our software as it will actually be used in practice.” Companies at ETZ Last year’s Emerging Technology Zone, located downstairs on the lower level of the Sands Convention Center, had a lot of foot traffic and created positive feedback. Some of last year’s Emerging Technology Zone companies are exhibiting in the main exhibit hall this year, emphasising its role as a ‘stepping stone’ as new companies enter the market and then achieve critical mass. This year’s ETZ exhibitors will be looking for a similar level of results from the show. Our expectation is to demonstrate the huge value proposition in proactive security solutions in schools" “We will quantify our success at ISC West in the number of partners and integrators that decide they cannot live without our product,” says Lahiff. “Our expectation is to demonstrate the huge value proposition in proactive security solutions in schools. We want to have partners after the show ready to install our product.” Pre-show preparation will help ensure success. “We are inviting prospects and arranging demos ahead of time,” says Buckley of Qumulex. “Success at any trade show starts before the show. We’re fairly certain about the turnout we will get and the level of interest that integrators will have. We are sending out invites to several thousand security integrators to gain early interest. We also have a suite off the show floor for more in-depth demos.” Affordable solutions The Emerging Technology Zone, along with the other exhibitors in the Venetian Ballroom, will be among the must-see highlights of ISC West. “Attendees will get to see the future in security,” says Huberty. “They will see actual solutions that are affordable and make sense. These solutions will have a clear value proposition.”
School shootings continue, as does a search for answers. What solutions are there to prevent school shootings and/or to improve the response (and thus minimise the death toll)? In the physical security industry, we like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem, but realistically speaking, how effective are they at the end of the day? We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. Scarce resources on preventative measures The dearth of knowledge on the subject leaves schools at risk of spending scarce resources on measures that don’t have any real impact, or worse, that have a negative effect on education environments. The natural impulse following a school shooting is to do something – anything – to prevent the tragedy from happening again at any school, but especially at my school. But how is money best spent?Successful businesses are a good thing, but not at the expense of misspending education resources on solutions that don’t solve anything Congress has passed the Stop School Violence Act of 2018 to provide $50 million per year to develop programs to train students, teachers and law enforcement to prevent violence, and to create anonymous reporting systems, such as hot lines, for school violence threats. The bill authorises another $25 million for improvements to school’s physical security infrastructures. Congress also provides $1.1 billion in Title IV block grants, which districts can use to pay for diverse needs such as security systems. Several states are providing additional funding for physical safety measures and campus police, and local districts are also stretching their budgets to address security concerns. But is that money being targeted to measures that will help the situation? What is the role of technology in preventing school violence, and are we as an industry at risk of over-selling our preventative capabilities and diverting money from other measures that might have more impact? Successful businesses are a good thing, but not at the expense of misspending education resources on solutions that don’t solve anything. More metal detectors, armed guards and police officers could cause anxiety in some students and even interfere with the learning process Studies on school safety and protection Researchers, advocates and educators gathered this fall at American University to consider the need for better research to inform decision-making on safety, reported Education Week.The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them" A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand. “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Jeremy Finn, a professor of education at the University of Buffalo, has pointed out the difficulty of assessing the effectiveness of measures designed to deter events that likely won’t occur anyway. “How do you know when you have deterred a school shooting?” he asks. “It didn’t happen.” The effects on our students Might technologies aimed at making schools more secure have an adverse effect on the learning environment? More metal detectors, armed guards and police officers could cause anxiety in some students and even interfere with the learning process. The physical security industry should freely acknowledge that the technologies we offer are only part of the solution to school violence Do security measures aimed at preventing active shooting incidents absorb resources that might better be used to address a more general and/or likely security threat such as vandalism or student discipline? Theoretically, security measures in general should help to prevent the probability of an active shooter at the same time they are addressing a wider range of concerns and threats. But do they? At the very least, we in the physical security market should be aware, and should freely acknowledge, that the technologies we offer are only part of the solution to school violence. Schools should take the broadest possible approach to the range of security challenges, and technology should be one tool among many. Furthermore, better data to measure what works is sorely needed to illuminate the best path forward.
GSX 2018 is both a new event for the security industry and the continuation of a 63-year tradition. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual seminar and exhibits, which have been held since 1955. In recent years, the ASIS event has joined forces with other organisations to expand its scope and to appeal to a broader audience. Partners include ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and Infragard, a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The expansion is continuing this year with the addition of 30 supporting organisations representing industry verticals and reflecting ASIS’s intent to unite the full spectrum of security. Improving the state of cyber security Held September 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most Other elements will further expand the 2018 event’s scope. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most. Top government, industry and academic thought leaders will engage in a dialogue to improve the state of cyber security. The 2018 Security Cares Program will address school violence prevention and response in a free education program. Topics will include pre-violence indicators, target hardening, and best practices to involve the entire community of school administrators, law enforcement, security professionals and mental health providers. Experts to deliver keynote speeches Keynote speakers including CNN host Fareed Zakaria will bestow celebrity appeal. Air Force Major General Bradley D. Spacy will share details about the new AFWERX innovation and tech hub in Las Vegas and how the U.S. Air Force is collaborating with the private sector to bring new security product ideas to market. Spacy’s keynote on Sept. 26 will kick off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Also, K.T. McFarland, former Trump Administration Deputy National Security Advisor, will share an insider’s perspective on critical foreign policy and defence industries. Attendees to ASIS International’s annual gathering typically list networking and education as big benefits of the event. Historically, the trade show aspect has existed separately from the educational program, and foot traffic to the exhibits has sometimes suffered from the competition. Beginning last year, and continuing in 2018, ASIS International has pursued innovative approaches to integrate the trade show more closely into the overall attendee experience. “The integration of programming and exhibits is truly seamless,” says one observer of the new approach. Held Sept. 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors X Learning Theatres GSX has sought to transform the exhibit hall into a ‘learning lab environment’ that features thousands of security products, technologies and service solutions (provided by the exhibitors), in addition to ‘immersive learning opportunities to connect the current and emerging threat landscape with solutions available in the marketplace’. There are several ‘X Learning Theatres’, including one (‘X-Stage’) focussed on leading-edge technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, drones, and robotics. There is also an ‘Xcelerated Exchange Stage’ to facilitate discussions among security practitioners and solution providers. The ‘Xperience Stage’ showcases case studies and best practices. Also attracting more attendees to the Exhibit Hall will be ‘Career HQ’, a free career fair and enhanced career centre. ‘D3 Xperience’ (Drones, Droids Defence) will focus on unmanned systems with education and demos. The ‘Innovative Product Awards (IPAs) Showcase’ will highlight winners of an awards program. Focussing on security practices GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets ASIS International (now GSX 2018) is often compared to ISC West, the U.S. industry’s largest show held in Las Vegas in the spring. GSX 2018 this year may face even more scrutiny based on the changes, rebranding, and location (also in Las Vegas). However, GSX is a completely different show than ISC West, which focuses on the business of security. In contrast, GSX is much more about the practice of security than business. The international network of ASIS International members attend the yearly conference to make new connections, to learn and to benefit from the experiences of other security professionals around the world. The successful trade show exhibitors are the ones that approach the show with that understanding. GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets. ASIS International deserves credit for their efforts to integrate the trade show element into the larger goal of the event. Hopefully their new approach will enhance the overall experience for both attendees and exhibitors – and help to make the world a safer place as a consequence.
One French town just north of Paris faced familiar key management challenges. Each person in their Municipal Technical Centre had to carry approximately forty physical keys. If a single key was lost or stolen, for even one door, all compromised cylinders had to be changed. To prevent unauthorised access, all the keys had to be replaced, too — at great expense. Key duplication costs were mounting. “One lost key cost from €3,000 to €4,000 for changing cylinders and replacing the keys,” explains Fabrice Girard, Territorial Technician at the Villiers-le-Bel Municipal Technical Centre. Administrators can program access rights for every CLIQ key, padlock or cylinder using the Web ManagerTo fix their expensive lost key problem, Villiers-le-Bel city administrators chose to combine ABLOY’s mechanical PROTEC2 and CLIQ electromechanical locking within the same flexible, key-based access control system. Almost 500 CLIQ wireless cylinders, 850 programmable, battery-powered CLIQ keys, plus programming devices and wireless CLIQ padlocks, have been deployed in a multi-year, rolling upgrade programme. CLIQ Web Manager software Now, with CLIQ, lost or stolen keys are cancelled instantly using the CLIQ Web Manager software. The Web Manager works securely inside a standard browser, with no software installation needed. Administrators can program access rights for every CLIQ key, padlock or cylinder using the Web Manager. They filter access to specific sites and doors according to the precise needs of every city employee. “CLIQ Web Manager is a very easy and pleasant system to use every day,” says Fabrice Girard. CLIQ also saves time for the city’s security team, because staff no longer must return to the Technical Centre to collect the keys for multiple sites. Authorised users carry a single, programmable, battery-powered CLIQ key, where all their individually tailored access rights are stored. Wireless system to enhance safety Using the CLIQ Web Manager, security staff can track exactly who has been granted access to every school site“We wanted a wireless system with reduced maintenance costs and increased safety,” adds Fabrice Girard. “CLIQ met all these requirements.” The city has already rolled out CLIQ beyond their Municipal Technical Centre to 10 local schools. Using the CLIQ Web Manager, security staff can track exactly who has been granted access to every school site — critical for these sensitive premises and to improving overall school safety. Plans are in place to equip Villiers-le-Bel’s 12 remaining schools with CLIQ within 2 to 3 years, including canteens and boiler rooms. Because CLIQ can be deployed and scaled flexibly, the city’s dedicated security budget funds this gradual extension of their CLIQ system.
St Peter’s School, Cambridge, is an independent, co-educational secondary school in New Zealand. With over 1,000 students, 450 students living on site, and approximately 350 staff, St Peter’s is one of the largest boarding schools in the country. Around the clock site security and facilities management is imperative to ensure safety and deliver optimum operational efficiency. St Peter’s originally contacted Gallagher more than ten years ago for main gate security and access control for their gymnasium to assist with facility hire. “We needed a system that was modular, discreet, scalable, SQL based, and that allowed us to add and retrieve information via OPC,” said Gareth Pryce, ICT Manager at St Peter’s School. Since installation, the scale of the Gallagher system has grown considerably. St Peter’s has now integrated the Gallagher Security solution as their building management system on an impressive scale and the return on this investment has been significant. Central management software solution In buildings where we have purely installed the Gallagher system and nothing else, we are achieving a 30% energy saving"Gallagher’s central management software solution Command Centre is utilised to control all aspects of facilities management at St Peter’s School. The Gallagher solution monitors and controls heating, lighting, air conditioning, PIR’s, windows, read status and doors open/closed within all St Peter’s rooms. The installation of smart electricity meters, which can identify and quantify savings, is being utilised to measure and report energy savings across the site. “In buildings where we have purely installed the Gallagher system and nothing else, we are achieving a 30% energy saving,” said Gareth. “Return on investment is being seen within 6 to 24 months of a complete solution being installed, dependent upon the type of heating system and the staff within the building.” As a direct result of the Gallagher installation, an additional saving for the school on plant investment has been identified. Specifically, this can be seen in an increase in the life span of air conditioning units due to their reduced usage and the removal of time clocks on site due to the system’s ability to control all individual systems. Monitoring swimming pool temperature Command Centre helps to automatically facilitate health and safety protocols within the swimming pool complexSt Peter’s School’s continued commitment to fully utilising the capabilities of the Gallagher system is evident in their most recent additions of an indoor swimming pool facility and Junior School building. The Gallagher system for the indoor pool has been configured to monitor the pool temperature, humidity, chlorine and wind direction. Business rules have been added to deliver appropriate responses, including the determination of whether to engage extractor fans, increase water filtration, or open the windows for passive ventilation. With complete control over all systems, Command Centre helps to automatically facilitate health and safety protocols within the swimming pool complex. An example of this can be seen in the way in which chlorination is monitored. Should the system detect a high level of chlorine in the water or atmosphere, windows are automatically opened for ventilation, the pump speed is increased to help restore chlorine levels in the water, and the access control system denies entry to the pool area until the monitors identify that the chlorine level has reduced. Integrating database with Command Centre St Peter’s has integrated their student database with Gallagher’s Command Centre software management platformSt Peter’s has integrated their student database – Synergetic – with Gallagher’s Command Centre software management platform, providing a single source of data and one central point of reference. This interface allows St Peter’s to create, update and remove individuals and their access groups within Synergetic and this information automatically updates the access control system. This ensures that any updates made in Synergetic are reflected in real-time in the Gallagher system, proving invaluable in terms of time efficiency, administration and reducing the margin for error. St Peter’s has an impeccable reputation for safety and security. Through the Command Centre platform, the school has managed to implement a highly efficient one-touch system to deliver enhanced site security for Assistance, Critical Incidents, and Full Site Lockdown. Contacting campus security team Utilising any computer on site, both staff and students are able to quickly and easily contact the campus security team for assistance including an escort to their car after hours. Controlled by Command Centre, an Assistance request sends an SMS and email to security personnel identifying through the access control system the name and exact location of the staff member or student. Selected personnel on site have system permissions to initiate a full site lockdown across the campus Again, utilising any computer on the campus, a Critical Incident can be registered in a single, simple, action. The system then alerts the Critical Incident team (including registered nurses, and staff trained in Critical Incident Stress Management) via SMS and email, providing information on the location where the incident has occurred. Initiating full site lockdown Selected personnel on site have system permissions to initiate a full site lockdown across the campus. This action can be achieved via any computer on site. Command Centre also sends an immediate notification to local police that the school is in lockdown. Simultaneously, all buildings across the site automatically respond to the lockdown by closing windows, locking doors, and initiating air conditioning to maintain the temperature. St Peter’s is committed to further reducing their carbon footprint through reducing energy use. During 2015, the school will invest even further control in their Gallagher system by installing heat recovery units which will eliminate the need for air conditioning at certain times of the year. “It’s about seamless system management,” said Gareth, “because of that control, we’ve experienced very real energy and cost savings.”
One of the fastest growing districts in the upper Midwest of the United States, Harrisburg in South Dakota educates almost 4000 students across eight schools. Gallagher Command Centre was selected as the only solution that could meet the district’s security requirements, and in October 2015, these security measures were put to the test when the local high school was the target of a shooting. The incident resulted in one staff member being injured but was prevented from escalating further due to Gallagher’s central management platform, Command Centre, being activated by staff. Logs from the incident confirm that from the time the emergency button was pressed, it took just four seconds for Command Centre to lock all outside doors, notify district authorities, and limit building access to emergency responders only. Physical barriers for students’ security Gallagher Command Centre was involved with placing physical barriers between an active gunman and high school students"James Straatmeyer, Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Technology & Security, partnered with Gallagher for the installation of Harrisburg districts security solution. James says, “Gallagher Command Centre was directly involved with placing physical barriers between an active gunman and hundreds of high school students filling 37 classrooms. As far as I’m aware, there’s no other product on the market that has the capabilities and integration solutions for protecting students and staff to the extent of Gallagher Command Centre.” This type of security alert is of increasing concern for many educational institutions, prompting renewed focus on daily security protocols. Integrated and scalable security system Essential to providing an optimum learning environment for students is ensuring their safety and security – a responsibility the district of Harrisburg takes extremely seriously. Key to this was partnering with a security solutions provider that understood the specific needs of educational institutions, with the flexibility to employ customised features that could be tailored to Harrisburg’s particular requirements. The system needed to be fully integrated, scalable and expandable, digitally based, user-friendly The system needed to be fully integrated, scalable and expandable, digitally based, user-friendly and crucially, to assist and not replace, existing manual security procedures. Gallagher and South Dakota based Integrated Technology & Security completed the initial installation within three weeks. Since its introduction, the system has been under continual expansion. Features of updated security solution The access control system originally installed in 2013, fulfilled the region’s initial security requirements; however, a period of growth prompted the need for an enhanced system that could protect the increasing number of students. Some of the features of Harrisburg’s upgraded security solution included: Outlook calendar integration, to enable scheduling of access for special events Intercom / phone integration, to control doors from a desktop icon or smartphone Strobe light control to provide lockdown notifications in hearing impaired areas such as deaf education, shops and the gym Intercom integration for lockdown announcements Command Centre provides enterprise level lockdown controls which limit access to buildings, control fire doors, and send notifications, while providing an audit trail and video alerts. Lockdown access to all staff members An understanding of the benefits of an advanced, interactive security network is essential, and in some cases, lifesavingUsability is a highlight of Command Centre, offering access for all levels of personnel. Initially, only office and administrative staff were trained in the use of lockdown systems, but as the Command Centre’s lockdown features have developed, all staff members can now control access in individual school buildings. Once a lockdown has been activated, a notification is automatically issued to district authorities, immediately alerting emergency services if required. The security incident in 2015 strongly supported Harrisburg district’s decision to install a sophisticated access control system to protect its faculty, staff and students. At a time when concern over campus security is rising, an understanding of the benefits of an advanced, interactive security network is essential, and in some cases, lifesaving. Gallagher’s security solution offers educational institutions around the world a combination of enhanced operational efficiency and cost savings. Command Centre’s software provides a powerful and versatile feature set, enabling system operators to configure, monitor and control their unique security system.
ProdataKey (PDK), an innovator of cloud-based networked and wireless access control products and services, announced that Corning High School, in Corning, Arkansas, has increased its security and greatly enhanced its lockdown capabilities by installing the pdk io wireless access control system. Pdk io is a wireless, cloud-based solution that provides advantages such as around-the-clock accessibility, remote management, superior backup and redundancy, automated updates, and strong cyber security. The installation was undertaken by Blue Sky Technologies (Blue Sky) of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Wireless PDK solution The system is proving to be a useful tool for monitoring student traffic patterns and identifying problem behaviours Corning High School comprises seven buildings connected by breezeways, designed in an open style common to campuses constructed in the 1960s. Integrator Blue Sky chose the wireless PDK solution because it was perfectly suited to the multi-building layout, with no need to run copper or fibre cable to all connected door locations. As a result, material and labour costs were greatly reduced – a major plus for the small and budget-conscious school district. The installation includes exterior doors for each of the classroom buildings and a few other key locations. As budgets permit, additional doors will be added throughout the high school as well as in other district buildings. The wireless connectivity makes the solution exceptionally scalable; new doors can be immediately brought online through connection with the system’s wireless mesh network without additional infrastructure. Enhancing campus security In addition to enhancing the security of the campus by automating the unlocking and locking of exterior doors to align with the high school’s bell schedule, the system is also proving to be a useful tool for monitoring student traffic patterns and identifying problem behaviours. Faculty and support staff find the pdk io system to be much more convenient than the traditional locks and keysClassrooms are each allocated with ‘student fobs’ for use by students who need to travel between buildings during class periods when doors are otherwise locked. Their use of the fobs enables administrators to track where the students go, making sure they head to the intended destination (i.e. the library or nurse’s office) rather than elsewhere. Suitable access control solution for schools Faculty and support staff find the pdk io system to be much more convenient than the traditional locks and keys that previously secured most doors. Permission groups, managed through the pdk io software, control different access levels for teachers, administrators and custodians. Programming of special door schedules, as well initiating lockdown conditions, can all be handled by the IT staff using the mobile interface. Brian Duckworth, sales consultant with Blue Sky, says, “Pdk io has become our go-to access control solution for K-12 installations because the wireless aspect leads to such major cost savings for the schools, which are always budget-challenged. In addition, the installation process causes very little disruption for the students and teachers.” Keeping students safe and secure Pdk io is ideal for K-12 applications, providing educators with a tool that’s powerful and easy to manage"School Superintendent Kellee Smith adds, “We strive to make our campus a place where our students enjoy the freedom to focus fully on learning because they’re not worrying about safety and security. This solution is making our goal so much easier to meet. It’s also making the teachers’ daily routines less stressful and they really like it.” “PDK is passionate about creating technology that delivers security and peace-of-mind, and what could be more important than keeping our children safe?” says ProdataKey’s President, Jeffery Perri. “Pdk io is ideal for K-12 applications, providing educators with a tool that’s powerful and easy to manage, affordable, scalable over time, and is sure to provide value for the long term.”
After a period of decline, the number of pupils being expelled from mainstream schools is increasing, placing more pressure on the need for Pupil Referral Units and the security at these premises, which is vital for managing student and staff safety. ASSA ABLOY High Security & Safety Group offers a range of locks and doors suited to the sensitive needs of Pupil Referral Units and pupils in care. Fire resistance integrity All doorsets in the Secure Education range are independently tested and certified The breadth of doorset solutions means the High Security & Safety Group can specify products for every area and need of a secure education environment. From classroom doors and personnel doors to circulation doors and high-performance doors. All doorsets in the Secure Education range are independently tested and certified to achieve 60minute fire resistance integrity and insulation to BS EN 1634 from both sides of the door. In addition, all doors within the offering are tested in line with the Department of Health’s environmental design guide attack test for secure services, as well as meeting with DD171 & BS EN 1192 severe duty performance and strength, and are tested to PAS 24 enhanced security performance requirements. Secure educational facilities This guaranteed and certified level of performance gives building owners and users the peace of mind that all doorsets are fit for purpose, as well as providing the added level of security and safety often needed in secure educational facilities. Mike Dunn, Commercial Director for ASSA ABLOY High Security & Safety Group, said: “A recent report by the think tank IPPR, found the total number of children being taught in ‘alternative provision’ for excluded children is far higher than the total number of reported exclusions. This will inevitably mean increasing pressure on facilities, such as Pupil Referral Units, and the safety of staff and pupils within those buildings.” Added level of security Pupil Referral Units are first and foremost a place of education" “Pupil Referral Units are first and foremost a place of education and therefore doors and locks must allow for this, grant access, as well as restricting permissions. However, an added level of security and safety must be considered and handled sensitively within these premises.” “Our experience and wide product range means we can advise on and supply doors and locks for every aspect of a secure education environment, mitigating any risk and ensuring a smooth specification process.” Doors within the Secure Education range come in a variety of materials and finishes, giving specifiers improved design flexibility.
Maintaining an educational environment that is conducive to learning requires, at a minimum, that we keep our school children safe and secure. It’s easier said than done, given the wide range of sizes and types of educational institutions. Campus Security High-profile violence in educational environments highlight the urgency of the need for security and safety systems High-profile violence in educational environments highlight the urgency of the need for security and safety systems, and the challenges extend beyond preventing the active shooter incidents that grab headlines. In the United States, 79% of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of violence, theft, or other crimes had taken place, amounting to 1.4 million crimes. That translates to a rate of 29 crimes per 1,000 students. Security is a 24-hour challenge. Protecting schools involves deployment of a range of security and physical hardening tools. Reducing risk requires that access to school buildings be controlled, while also preserving an ‘open’ campus atmosphere that promotes a learning environment. Schools should be an inviting place for students and families, so technology solutions aimed at restricting access should be low-profile and unobtrusive. School security must also be designed in layers, or concentric circles of protection, starting at the school’s perimeter and working inward to secure individual classrooms and other internal areas. Enhancing video security at schools Video surveillance is a technology that is unobtrusive and can promote security beginning at the outermost boundaries of the school environment – at the perimeter and as automobiles drive onto school grounds. Surveillance can keep a silent and constant watch on people comes and goes. Furthermore, incorporating new artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies are increasing the real-time capabilities of video surveillance to provide early warning of a possible security threat as it enters a campus. AI and deep learning analyse the content of video feeds and provide usable information to security personnel, including analysis of trends and real-time alarms when an event takes place. Incorporating AI into video security Video feeds are analysed in real-time and alarms can be raised only if there is a problem In addition to controlling perimeter access, video surveillance incorporating AI can also provide other benefits, such as keeping watch on a school campus after hours – before and after school, or even on weekends when extra-curricular activities may be taking place. The systems can monitor traffic flow and ensure that only authorised vehicles enter an area. The benefits of AI-driven video systems also enable greater effectiveness of systems that are not being actively monitored. Video feeds are analysed in real-time and alarms can be raised only if there is a problem. Whenever a vehicle passes into a restricted area on a school’s campus, the video system captures a vehicle image and automatically provides significant data. ANPR systems Automated number plate recognition (ANPR) systems identify the license numbers of cars that enter a school’s parking entrance or gate and can match the numbers to a watch list and provide an alarm. The technology could also be used to monitor compliance with restricted areas; for example, to only allow vehicles that registered for a parking pass to park in a certain lot. A more advanced approach could involve dual identification technologies – vehicle plate and facial recognition of a driver – to add another layer of security. Video systems with illegal parking detection can define a zone for no parking at a school. If any vehicle enters the area, the camera will be triggered to collect evidence. Images are captured of illegally parked vehicles, and the system provides data about when and where it occurred, the vehicle plate number and the parking violation. Traffic cameras with DL technology Traffic cameras with deep learning technology can also identify and classify vehicles Traffic cameras with deep learning technology can also identify and classify vehicles; in effect, to distinguish between small and large vehicles and even detect a vehicle’s make, model and colour. For instance, it is possible to differentiate between cars and buses in ‘buses only’ areas. Currently such cameras are more commonly deployed on public streets and highways, but the capability is there. The system can also capture images and produce alarm data if a vehicle is driven in the wrong direction, such as into an exit-only lane or the wrong way on a roadway. Facial recognition systems Facial recognition can be used at school entrances and gates to promote security of students and staff and to identify known suspects who attempt to enter the building. ‘Blacklist alarm’ technology generates a notification if a known suspect enters. Clarity is paramount when identifying faces, and cameras that provide wide dynamic range (WDR) can offset challenges such as backlighting on a bright day when the light behind a person coming in is brighter than the ambient light inside. People counting cameras Facial recognition systems can also be used inside school buildings. A facial recognition terminal installed at the entrance of a campus building or library can be configured to ensure that only registered students and staff have access to the buildings. People counting cameras can be used in cafeterias and libraries to provide daily or monthly traffic reports and to better understand peak times and arrange workflow accordingly. Unified security solution Tedious and error-prone manual monitoring can now be replaced by more intelligent systems Feeds from all the cameras can be managed, monitored and stored in an authorised security centre, either located on a campus or in a central location that combines camera feeds from multiple campuses in a school district, for example. In general, security staff can access surveillance data in a variety of ways, via a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Such flexibility makes the job of security personnel easier. A campus police or resource officer can view video on a mobile device while patrolling the campus. Often video surveillance systems at schools are not monitored. School security personnel have more pressing duties than sitting in front of a video monitor, and it is difficult for operators to stay alert for detailed incidents that may be shown on the screen. Tedious and error-prone manual monitoring can now be replaced by more intelligent systems that provide alarms only when there is something to see. Maximising school surveillance capabilities Systems to maximise school surveillance and security include dedicated, high-performance cameras for event capture, embedded network video recorder for event recording and storage, and a centralised video management platform to unify the system. AI and deep learning technologies automate security processes and provide useful real-time information that extends beyond video images. Deploying these technologies at the perimeter can promote better security campus-wide by preventing danger from entering the learning environment.
Round table discussion
Physical security technologies operate successfully in many different markets, but in which markets do they fall short? Physical security is a difficult challenge that can sometime defy the best efforts of manufacturers, integrators and end users. This is especially the case in some of the more problematic markets and applications where even the best technology has to offer may not be good enough, or could it be that the best technology has not been adequately applied? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on instances when the industry may fall short: Which segments of the physical security industry are most under-served and why?
The beginning of the school year and upcoming seasonal changes remind us that demand for security systems, like almost everything else, is seasonal to some extent. Making improvements to educational facilities during the summer months – including installation of security systems – is the most obvious example of seasonal demand, but there are others. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which vertical markets for security are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?
We in the physical security market tend to watch closely how the buying decision is made. If anything, the buying process has become more complex in recent years. We have seen the impact of security systems extending beyond the core security department, and with greater impact come more stakeholders. “Buying by committee” is more the rule than the exception, and the committee is getting rather large in some situations. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Who should be “in the room” when decisions are being made about physical security systems?