When a parent sends a child off to college, it’s often with worries about that child’s safety. While most college campuses are largely safe places, parents’ worries aren’t entirely unfounded. In 2016, statistics gathered by the National Center for Education Studies showed that 28,400 criminal incidents occurred against persons and property at postsecondary institutions. This represented a three percent increase since 2015. While such incidents can’t be completely eliminated, college security systems can greatly reduce them.
How College Security Systems Secure Common Areas
Choosing college security systems comes with special concerns because you need to secure specific areas while also allowing students and their visitors to come and go freely. This is particularly true in university common areas. Administrators want to allow students and staff access to areas like dormitories and other common areas, but they don’t want unauthorized persons entering these places.
In recent years, many colleges have begun installing keyless access systems on doors throughout their campuses. This allows administrators to set codes to allow specific individuals into certain areas (students into their respective dorms, for example) or allow all members of the student body and staff into campus common areas. In 2016, Inside Higher Ed profiled the move from physical keys to smart cards to eliminate the risks of using physical keys and increase safety on campuses.
Creating Safer Parking Garages
Parking garages can be prime targets for crime, and recent incidents that have taken place in parking garages have helped shine a light on just how dangerous these areas can be. This is why college security systems must include staff and student parking areas.
Having on-site security patrol parking garages is one important solution. This not only puts eyes on those areas; it also ensures that someone is available to respond to incidents immediately — whether a crime takes place or someone has a medical emergency. Because a security guard can only be in one place at a time, video surveillance in parking garages is another essential strategy, as it offers constant monitoring of all areas and acts as a deterrent for criminals to strike.
Security Monitoring for Dormitories and Campus Buildings
College security systems should also include 24-7 monitoring for all campus buildings. This includes the entrances/exits and common areas of dormitories. Security camera systems are an excellent tool for this, as they can put keep all common areas under surveillance at all times.
What are the benefits of video surveillance on college campuses? In addition to deterring crime and vandalism, they’re also useful in assisting investigations should an accident or criminal incident occur. Cameras are easy to install anywhere they’re needed and can help ensure that school policies are being followed. Some schools are even using video surveillance in smart libraries to help track reader preferences and which books are getting checked out.
Integrated Security Systems for Critical Incidents
When an emergency strikes, it’s helpful for emergency personnel to have insight into what’s happening live at the scene of the incident. Integrated security systems offer a live line of communication into the scene of an active shooting, a fire, or hostage situation. Police and first responders can not only view what’s happening via a live video feed; they can also communicate with people at the scene to deliver safety instructions or negotiate with a suspect.
Integrated systems also include gunshot detection technology that alerts police the moment a shot is fired, eliciting a much faster response than waiting for someone to call 911. Although an active shooting situation isn’t one that anyone wants to consider happening at their child’s college, implementing an integrated system into all college security systems can save lives.
Comprehensive college security systems require a multi-tiered approach. When live monitoring integrated systems are combined with overall video surveillance, security monitoring of places like parking garages, and smart access into dorms and common areas, colleges become safer places for every student, member of the staff, and campus guests.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.