As the nation gets ready to mark the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting this week, IHS announced on Wednesday that it is forecasting strong growth in demand for security equipment in U.S. schools over the next several years.
According to the research firm, the market size for security equipment in schools will reach $634 million this year and is expected to surpass $720 million by 2014. IHS said that high-profile shootings like Sandy Hook have a “partial impact” on school security spending as there is typically a spike in spending and budgets following these tragedies.
“These events force schools to review their existing policies and create threat assessments as well as new policies and procedures. There is no set standard for what schools need to do to prevent these tragedies,” Blake Kozak, senior analyst for access control, fire and security at IHS said in a statement. “Perhaps the key here is to have ongoing discussions and security reviews long after such events fade from media coverage. For example, continued knowledge sharing between school districts and universities to find best practices.”
Funding remains one of the biggest barriers of growth when it comes to expanded use of security equipment in schools. IHS said that the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $45 million in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants this year to schools that planned security enhancements.
Video surveillance is expected to be the focal point of school security spending in the years to come as IHS is predicting that that growth of video surveillance will be twice as fast as that of access control through 2017.
“School officials are likely to spend money on a case by case basis. However, there is a growing trend to have interactive solutions between staff and first responders,” Kozak said. “In addition, video is looking to be used in real-time not just for forensics. Having video cameras on the perimeter of the school building can also act as a deterrent in some cases.”
The research firm says that security spending will also likely differ between universities and K-12 environments.
“Schools need to continue to develop independent security plans and develop automated approaches when able. But schools also shouldn’t forget other means of security such as stronger windows and doors,” added Kozak. “At Sandy Hook, there was access control in place but the shooter was able to break through the glass to gain entry to the building. So while video and access provide a good starting point for a high level of security, having several layers of security help schools take a step in the right direction to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”