5 New Ways to improve security for k-12 education facilities
- By Stuart Rawling
- October 01, 2020
It has been 13 years since e-cigarettes first entered the market.
While the first generation resembled a cigarette, these devices now
come in a sleek and high-tech design that is often able to be hidden
in broad daylight. The rise of e-cigarettes, which is now known as
vaping, has increased in recent years among youth and young
adults. According to The Truth Initiative, in 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General
issued an advisory about the youth e-cigarette “epidemic,” and since
that time, rates have continued to increase in teens and young adults.
Vaping at School
However, the discreet nature of vaping makes it hard to detect
when it’s being used on school grounds. Now, you might be wondering
what vaping has to do with school security and video, but there’s
growing evidence of the addictive nature of the substance and an
increasing focus on ways to enforce rules around the use of these
kinds of substances on school property.
It is also a part of a growing list of ways that video is being used to
keep students safe from both outside threats and to enforce rules
across the board.
Here, we discuss five new ways that video contributes to the safety
and security of K-12 education facilities.
Sensor technology integration. Video surveillance has its limitations
when it comes to spotting vaping—in areas like bathrooms,
locker rooms, or closets. Yet, with intelligent sensor technology,
school administrators are able to promptly detect and respond to vaping
and THC usage.
This type of environmental monitoring technology, which is growing
in adoption across the education market, seamlessly integrates
with video management software to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive
view of alerts for enhance situational awareness.
Imagine a situation where instant detection from the sensor coupled
with a wide-ranging network of cameras to easily track individuals,
identify students responsible, and immediately address incidents.
Advanced analytics. In addition to monitoring with a network of
high-performing cameras, analyzing data from video, and an overall
situational awareness affords educators and administrators the
opportunity to make critical decisions. Ensuring the safety of students
and staffing an environment that is often chaotic and heavily
traveled can become easier and a more proactive process.
Advanced intelligent systems, such as Edge Analytics, are integrated
into the network of cameras and give school officials the ability to
locate overcrowding and track the number of individuals traveling
through — or even loitering within — a defined area using heat mapping
and deep learning analytics.
The same technology can help manage unsafe traffic conditions in
school parking lots and at on-premise intersections.
For example, to focus more on security and monitoring wary or
unwanted visitors, license plate recognition (LPR) systems provide
advanced detection and analytics for real-time video streams in parking
lots and surrounding areas. The LPR software allows for access control
and compares plates to any predetermined lists of suspicious vehicles.
Enhanced perimeter security. No matter how high or low the risk of
violence, theft, or vandalism at one institution, it’s critical to evaluate
the best practices on how to most effectively monitor for threats on
outdoor security. Especially for schools that have an open campus with
large spaces that are accessible to the public, areas such as sports fields,
playgrounds, parks, and common social spots are not only vulnerable,
but also likely to be places where crimes and dangerous incidents occur.
Fortunately, there are state-of-the-art surveillance systems that
offer strategic security solutions: multi-sensor 360-degree panoramic
views of a scene for total situational awareness, facial recognition and
motion detection, fixed IP cameras to cover blind spots, and an integrated
network of cameras designed specifically to deliver crisp video
streams in all lighting conditions.
Pieces of the puzzle. Having the tools and capabilities to work expediently
with emergency workers and first responders can make a world
of difference. Indeed, there are now video management systems that
have an open and integrated platform; school administrators own the
system and can freely share both information and control.
By providing login credentials to mobile applications, dispatchers,
local authorities, or other third parties, these groups can retroactively
access video or stream in real-time to effectively respond to an
incident. Officers will have a full picture — through imaging and the
video analytics made available to them — so that they can identify all
risks and assess the situation even before stepping on campus.
Reducing total cost of ownership. It may seem challenging for
many institutions, regardless of size and funds, to invest in a high quality
video surveillance system that falls within the strict budgetary
constraint schools face. However, today’s multi-sensor panoramic
cameras and video management systems have undoubtedly become
What’s more, these systems are scalable and can be easily integrated
with existing technology, additional features, and even third-party
hardware — all on a centralized platform. Investments in
streamlined video surveillance and campus security projects quickly
become worth it, and save money down the road. With these emerging
technologies and ease of service, school officials can say farewell
to constant updates or debating future video enhancements with high
costs and little compatibility.
Whether it’s time to increase perimeter security, adopt a security system
with a better overall value, better manage spacial arrangements for
maximum safety, streamline security operations with emergency
responders in mind, or simply improve video capabilities to enforce
school regulations around vaping, there are new and exciting surveillance
technologies that can achieve the long-term goals for any K-12
This article originally appeared in the September October 2020 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.