Level 4 (Facility Integration) covers all the previous levels plus additional areas managed by software solutions, such as time-and-attendance systems, personnel scheduling systems, and data capture techniques. These can reduce the need for security staff or monitors, provide audit trails to resolve problems, speed response time if a problem occurs, minimize maintenance, and make it possible to create a central command and control area when appropriate.
Online access control systems have become common on college and university campuses, and school districts are now beginning to move in the same direction. Integrated access control systems that incorporate on-line access control, CCTV/DVR, alarm monitoring and badging are taking their place in schools at all levels.
Commonplace open key systems offer little real protection. Duplicates are readily available at hardware stores and mall key shops, and lax key control can lead to security problems. Restricted key systems offer somewhat greater security because key distribution is controlled. However, unless the keyway is patent-protected, a "Do Not Duplicate" stamp on the key provides little real protection. With a patented keyway, anyone other than the manufacturer who makes key blanks available is in violation of Federal patent laws. These are restricted further when the manufacturer agrees not to sell a specific patented key configuration to anyone else within a defined geographic area.
With these levels of security available, it is important to know what level is desired and select the proper keyway.
Moving into electronic locking, there are many variations available, each providing a different combination of security and convenience. Schools that desire more control options than are available with mechanical key systems may use magnetic stripe or proximity cards or i-Buttons. Electronic locks that are used with these credentials often have the ability to restrict access to certain individuals, during specific hours or days, or for limited periods of time. Some also incorporate audit trail recording that can be helpful in investigating incidents of theft or vandalism.
Although these locks may be hard-wired into a network, the same results can be obtained with standalone computer-managed (CM) locks, which are networked by using a Palm Pilot or other PDA to download data from a computer. This eliminates the cost and problems associated with hard-wiring, especially in existing buildings. The battery-powered CM locks typically operate for more than a year on standard commercial batteries.
At Schools At the new Clackamas High School in North Clackamas, Oregon, computerization and electronic credentials are used where needed, but simpler solutions also are applied whenever they will deliver the desired results. Every exterior exit is wired so it can be "dogged down" (retracted) electrically from one of two central office locations. If an emergency lockdown situation occurs, all doors can be locked at once to protect the perimeter, while the exit devices still allow safe egress for those inside. Interior classroom doors are equipped with a lock cylinder on the inside so the door can be locked down without the teacher having to go into the corridor, which could be unsafe. The combination of central unlocking control for perimeter doors with individual inside locking for interior doors provides the security needed without excess cost or complication.
All building entrances at Clackamas High School are equipped with proximity card readers that allow authorized individuals to enter. Cards can be issued to allow access only to the gym, auditorium or cafeteria for scheduled community activities. The cards activate exit devices with electric latch retraction or electric strikes to allow entry during specified times. Some keys are issued for access to the building, but only to those with an ongoing need. To prevent unauthorized duplication, the school uses the Schlage Primus high security key system, primarily on exterior doors and high-security interior doors such as computer labs.
To help the West Islip, New York K-12 district determine the exact type and condition of existing hardware on each door and establish a priority for its replacement, consultants conducted a security and safety needs assessment at the district's six elementary schools, two middle schools, and the West Islip high school. To regain key control, the district standardized on the Schlage Primus patented keyway system, a system which makes key blanks only available through the manufacturer.