School security in focus

Dealers and integrators share their thoughts, discuss getting back to basics


“If you think of the most secure facilities in our country, you will find that there is a tiered, or layered approach to security.  Electronic security is a huge part of that design, but it extends beyond that to create the layered security effect.  Bullet-proof/shatter-proof glass, specialty lockout systems, armed security officers, emergency readiness (drills), and of course, community awareness are all parts of the layering effect.” 

“Law enforcement agencies across the country are experiencing budget cuts at significant levels, which often results in fewer law enforcement officers.  It is becoming more important than ever for people to be more proactive with regard to safety and security.” 

Hank Monaco, vice President of Commercial Marketing, Tyco Integrated Security, Boca Raton, Fla.

“The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook has brought questions about what schools can do to keep their students and staff safe to the center of a national conversation, and we expect schools across the country to reassess their security measures and emergency management plans. In recent years, we’ve seen a significant increase in school security awareness and preparedness,” Monanco said.

“Strong perimeter security is critical to keeping potential threats out of school buildings. A layered security approach that includes surveillance cameras, a visitor management system, remote monitoring, effective lighting, and landscaping can help school administrators adequately monitor their campus environment.”

Monaco said TycoIS provides complimentary security reviews to help administrators evaluate areas of risk and the smartest places to invest to provide the most protection for teachers, administrators, students and valuable assets. “Also, as schools review their emergency management plans, we’d advise administrators to work closely with first responders and ensure that plans include different scenarios including fire, active shooter scenarios, and natural disasters. Effective security procedures are critical to mitigating risk, and regular review of emergency management plans and drills are critical to ensure that teachers, administrators and first responders are prepared in the event of a crisis.” 

“Effective security is intended to mitigate risk, though it is not foolproof. Additional security measures for schools to consider include a mass notification system and internal partitions within the building, which would allow specific areas of the school to be isolated. It is the combination of layered security, on – site drills, and community involvement that will provide the most effective approach. First responders should be actively involved in emergency management plans, and ideally will have remote access to surveillance footage so that in the event of an emergency, they can effectively assess the situation and plan a response before every entering the building.”