College life can be invigorating – a diverse culture, new experiences and new freedoms – but it can be a challenging environment as well, with unique safety risks and concerns. Feeling safe on campus is a high priority for students, faculty, administrators and parents. And when campus safety breaches and tragedies hit the news, it can raise the level of concern and trigger a review of a college or university’s security technologies and protocols.
The positive thing for colleges, universities, students, parents, faculty members and administrators is that security technology has made huge strides in recent years. Many integrated security solutions exist. It’s all about identifying the best security options for your campus and being smart about the technology that you choose to implement. A certain software may have tons of bells and whistles, but is all of that truly needed to do the job of keeping your students, staff and visitors safe? Or does it just complicate things?
A good rule of thumb is to start your campus security needs evaluation with a look at your safety risks and concerns. What are your basic issues on campus? Your pain points? Biggest safety risks? By first focusing on the big issues that matter the most, you can keep the system options simple and adapt the security technology as needed to your specific campus demands.
Be proactive instead of reactive
Campus security today is all about being proactive instead of reactive, and addressing potential safety concerns before they become an issue. Integrated security solutions with the right combination of access control, video surveillance, and other security technologies can help you do that.
Access control is an important proactive measure, but through surveillance, unusual or suspicious behavior can be pinpointed and safety risks dealt with before a situation would have the opportunity to occur. Analytic Technology within the cameras can provide proactive alerts when abnormal situations arise.
Don’t overcomplicate it
Simple can be a good thing. Most times addressing key areas provides optimal coverage and reduces risks considerably. Think about student housing. What is the most important area? Likely, it’s the access points, stairwells, exterior walkways and parking areas. A simple safety control measure would be to implement access control with an identity access card on all entry doors.
Additionally, adding cameras at the main doors to confirm identity, staffing a front desk within the student housing entry area and requiring sign-in or a check-in/check-out protocol for guests is another security measure that could add to a safe environment. Exterior cameras covering the walkways, and parking lots with signage that it is being covered is a great way to create a safe zone around each dormitory. Stairwells can also be a security risk area, but adding a couple cameras with the Loitering Analytic will alert you to potential issues before they can occur.
With so many individuals counting on a safe environment on campus, having the right integrated security technology in place is smart. It can make all the difference in proactively pinpointing safety risks and abnormal situations before they occur. However, each campus is its own unique environment, with its own unique security concerns. A proactive review with a focus on individual campus needs and simple solutions is a perfect place for colleges and universities to start.