Best Practices for Access Control at Schools and Colleges
Schools and colleges educate children and youth, and need to implement foolproof security practices to protect their safety. They can accomplish this by adopting access control best practices and strategies. Measures like identification badges, security guards, and video surveillance are must-have basic security measures at educational institutions. In this article, we reveal a few best practices for access control that each school or college must consider:
Install a Visitor Access System
A visitor sign-in system can help to keep out intruders and threats. The visitor management system can issue ID badges to all guests so that security staff can track their stay. Visitor management software is especially important for schools and colleges as these places experience a steady stream of vendors, guest speakers, and substitute teachers day in and day out.
You can use a visitor access system as your first defense line against undesirable elements. A visitor sign-in system can provide security functionalities and allows you to scan guests to check if their names are present in sex offender directories. Plus, you can store pupil custody details in the visitor management system.
The visitor management software can also provide expiring guest badges that utilize the advanced technology to indicate that a visitor’s stay has ended after their allotted time is up. The platform can provide school-themed badges to volunteers, visiting parents, and other guests.
Security Checklist for Educational Institutions
Schools and colleges should try to enforce the following access control strategies:
- Install gates and fences to protect the campus from intruders
- Staff, students, and visitors should wear visible ID cards
- The school should check the background of teachers and staff before employing them
- It should set rules for the behavior of guardians and parents on the premises
- The school should install fire alarms
- Educational institutions need to implement a security policy and educate staff and students to follow it
- Security staff should monitor the car parking area for undesirable activities
- Students’ bags and lockers should be checked regularly.
- Further, students should be advised to use smartphones with care.
- They should be trained to report illegal activities.
- At the same time, the freedom of students and staff should not be curbed and they should be allowed to move around and socialize safely without needless restrictions.
- To ensure this, school and college security systems and policies should be pleasant as well as safe.
Educational institutions need to deploy trained security guards who can monitor CCTVs placed in internal areas like hallways and classrooms as well nearby places to the school to identify and quickly evict loiterers. Access control and security measures should be continuous to protect the young students and appropriate ad hoc steps should also be taken with the presence of mind to swiftly avoid dangers.
Digital Door Access
Traditional lock and key systems for doors have drawbacks such as difficulty in tracking perpetrators if they break a lock or steal a key. The solution is to use doors with digital access control features that enable people to swipe a card to gain easy and smooth access. This system provides a real-time log of facility access which makes it easy to track who is authorized to access a staff office or classroom.
Staff, parents, and students should be educated about the utilization of security cameras on the campus and requested to adhere to safety and monitoring policies. At the same time, security guards should be trained to maintain a balance between stringent monitoring and restricting students who may feel disturbed if they are placed under continuous watch.
Anti-weaponry and Anti-drug Policies
A few schools utilize the unpopular measure of using sniffer dogs to detect drug use on the campus. This policy can produce mistrust and make students and staff feel unsafe. However, metal detectors should be placed at all entrances and exits to find guns and other weapons to prevent mass shooting incidents which have become commonplace on US campuses.
Access Control Cards
Students and staff should be provided access control cards with their photos to help security guards distinguish them from visitors and guests. This step can help to prevent unauthorized entry by intruders. At the same time, educational institutions should have backup policies in place to deal with situations like stolen or lost access control cards which can pose risks.
Students, parents, teachers, and other users should be provided with an access control app that they can use to communicate about their security needs. Schools and colleges can utilize cloud access control solutions to exercise improved control over internal and external security points. These software tools can help educational institutions to audit existing security steps and deploy new ones easily if an update or change is required for the system.
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