Tag Archives: Safer Schools

Physical Security: An Important Tool for School Safety

Over the past decade, installers and integrators have experienced a steady increase in inquiries for security products, including video surveillance, alarm systems, access control, and integrated security management systems, in schools and campuses across the country.

School SafetyIt’s no surprise that administrators, faculty, and parents are questioning andaddressing the level of security in their schools as shootings and campus violence continue to make headlines. In 1999, the year of the Columbine shootings, electronic security was not much of a discussion topic for schools, or even college campuses for that matter.

In the past, schools with physical security were usually equipped with a few access control points and emergency notification systems. One year after the Virginia Tech shootings in April 2007, the Campus Safety and Security Project conducted a national survey of colleges and universities, which revealed that approximately 50% of higher education respondents had perimeter access cards for their residence hall facilities. Far fewer facilities had monitored cameras or surveillance systems.

Today, an increasing number of campuses, high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools are implementing integrated video surveillance, analytics, and security management systems.A recent study from IHS, expects the market for school security system integration to rise by more than 80% from 2012 to 2017. The report called “Vertical Insights: Video Surveillance & Security in Education,” projects the market for security systems integration in educational institutions to grow from under $3 billion in 2012 to $4.9 billion by 2017.

For many schools, physical security is an ongoing process of redefining needs and staying vigilant. It was 15 years ago when the superintendent of the Cherokee County School District (CCSD) in Georgia, Dr. Frank Petruzielo, created the district’s public safety department. Back then, the district, which now comprises 47 schools and centers, had no intrusion detection, unmonitored fire alarms, and a handful of unmonitored, individual cameras purchased by individual schools.

Today, Cherokee County School District has entered the world of IP physical security with a hybrid IP surveillance solution and a unified security management system that features victor unified management system, VideoEdge hybrid recorders and American Dynamics’ Illustra IP cameras,allowing security staff and administrators access to live video and events throughout the school system. What started as a project for the district’s high schools and building perimeters, has grown to include surveillance in target areas at middle schools and other facilities.

CCSD is just one of countless campuses, schools, and districts that has found value in installing or upgrading its existing security to offer a safe environment for employees and students. Emergency notification systems, fire alarms, alarm systems, access control, video surveillance, and integrated security management systems are working together to allow schools to keep the pulse on their facilities and the people inside of them.

Read more about the Cherokee County School District and its journey to a hybrid IP surveillance solution.


What do you think are a school system’s biggest challenges to upgrading school safety?Please leave me a comment below.

The Value of Digital Video Recording Products in the Market Today

Many times, we take our security for granted, breaches in security occur every day, 24/7, spanning everywhere around the world. The majority of recorded surveillance video is rarely viewed until an event occurs. Video recorders are generally a second thought, as they record captured images that provide forensic analysis. It is only when an event, incident, or catastrophe occurs that the power and value of video recording equipment is displayed.

Video surveillance market research firms are predicting a spike in the demand for video surveillance equipment over the next several years as swift apprehension of suspects is attributed to video images capturing suspicious behaviors.

digital video recording dvrAnd even as the security industry is undergoing a transition in technology from analog to IP, digital video recording (DVR) systems continue to see a future for two very simple reasons:Familiarity and Reliability. DVRs have been the prevalent recording platform in the industry for more than a decade. There is a very large base of DVR customers, with end users and integrators alike, well trained on these systems. While the majority of Greenfield applications are installing NVRs, DVRs continue to see growth in several market segments such as education, banking, and hospitality. In some circumstances, end users who want or need to add cameras or replace a failed DVR will continue to invest in the platforms they know and trust, especially if there is no need to move to an IP environment.

DVR systems offer great reliability with some of the same strong features seen in the newer NVRs, including mobile apps that can be used with both new and older versions of DVRs. Having the ability to view video anytime from anywhere is a driving factor for users today.

Ease of installation and universal plug-and-play interoperability with any analog camera is another reason that DVRs continue to maintain their popularity. There are several thousand DVR systems that are in use in almost every market segment. DVRs can interoperate with any vendor’s analog cameras, making the installation and equipment choice relatively straightforward for many users. The experience that the installation force has developed with the DVR platform continues to be a major factor in their continued use.

Over time we will undoubtedly see a transition from DVRs to NVRs. As in many other industries, technological advancements will be a driving factor. But for now, we continue to see applications where DVRs are still the platform of choice for many. How long DVRs will remain viable in the security industry is anybody’s guess. But as long as they continue to provide value to their users, they will continue to have a place in the industry.


Do you have a DVR system installed in your organization or company? Please leave me a comment below to discuss its pros and cons over an NVR system.

Technology for Safer Schools

safer schoolsViolence in American schools over the past two decades has resulted in the real need for an increase in security technology in the school setting. Federal government initiatives like Safe Schools, Healthy Students have been created to bring together school officials, law enforcement, and surrounding community leaders.

Along with federal grants, these initiatives have helped generate a national awareness for the increase of school security technologies to help keep our schools safe. Be sure to read Cheryl Shea’s blog post, “Technology for Safer Schools”, on the Tyco Security Products Blog to see what types of technologies are being deployed in the school setting and how manufacturers like Tyco Security Products are working to meet the specific requirements and limited budgets of this industry.

What are your areas of concern regarding school safety, let us know by leaving a comment.