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6 Communication Solutions to Improve School Safety and Security

Is your K-12 school or university prepared for the 2022-2023 school year? As Administrators, Teachers, and other staff gear up to welcome students back to classrooms and campuses, we’re here to discuss how efficient communication improves school safety and security.

 

Technology Eases Communication Efforts

While students are learning, a lot is happening behind the scenes. There are Administrators managing people, policies, and problems, Teachers working with students, and other staff ensuring the campus is operating as it should. The challenge with so many working parts in a large facility is effective communication. When school staff is spread throughout the building at any given time, it can often take more time and effort to get a hold of someone than the time it takes to deal with a situation.

Thanks to technology, efficient communication is more achievable now than ever before. Since K-12 schools, school districts, and universities have so many technology options to choose from, it’s hard to decide what communication tools would work best for their facilities and staff.

 

A Basic and Reliable Communication Tool

You heard it here first – radios are the tried and true, trusty communication tool. A technology that’s been around for over a century, radios are still relevant in the world of communication today.

Empowering the necessary staff with radios makes communication more efficient during school hours and at after-school events. It’s common for school staff such as School Resource Officers, Administrators, Secretaries, and other key staff to carry a radio. Radios are easy to use and operate without internet connection, cellular coverage, or electricity making them an obvious choice when choosing a reliable and effective communication tool.

The AWR Advantage by Advanced Wireless Communications is one of the most affordable and durable radios available. It’s feature-packed with an LED flashlight, channel aliases, programmable power up to two watts, and more. This two-way radio is a solid choice when someone needs to quickly communicate or call for help with the simple push of a button.

Still not convinced radios are an essential communication tool? Check out this article from MISBO that outlines the basic reasons why staff should have radios.

 

Technology Improves Emergency Operations Plans

If you work at a school or university, there is likely an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that exists. Institutions are always searching for new and improved ways to improve safety and security that are reasonable, effective, and will work with the Emergency Operations Plan or other security protocols.

 

Be Informed with Door Sensors

The first step to a safe and secure campus is knowing when a person is entering and exiting the building. Door sensors can answer the question: what doors are being used the most and during what times of the day? 

Basic capabilities of door sensors include:

  • Monitoring of all doors or specific doors 
  • Monitoring doors all day or only at specific times
  • Sending alerts when doors are opened when they shouldn’t be
  • Providing detailed reports about door usage
  • Can identify people hanging out in specific places for an extended period of time
  • Can be used to identify individuals being in places where they shouldn’t be
  • Can send notifications that specific places are being occupied

 

Monitor Low-Traffic Areas with Dwell Sensors

Some students like to hang out in places they shouldn’t be. Dwell sensors can be placed in areas such as low-traffic staircases or underneath gymnasium bleachers so that administrators and security know about it. They will be notified that a specific place has someone hanging out and they can scope it out.

 

Emergency Call Boxes Help Students and Staff

For staff members without radios, emergency call boxes can be very useful for emergency situations and they can be placed in various locations on school property. This communication tool is also helpful for college campuses, similar to a blue light phone system where individuals can quickly request help in a crisis. If an emergency occurs, a notification can be sent out over radio, text, email, or phone call with the push of a button.

 

Emergency Notifications Support Various Emergency Operations Plans

A large part of an institution’s Emergency Operations Plan is who will be notified and how. It’s likely different types of emergencies will have individual Emergency Operations Plans, so emergency notifications must be distinguished for each. Common emergencies that need notification are severe weather, medical, fire, and lockdown.

It’s beneficial to have emergency notifications be broadcasted across different mediums in case a plan fails due to a power outage or other complication. AWC’s emergency notifications can be initiated from and broadcasted to PA systems, radios, mobile phones, landlines, pagers, and emails to ensure no one is out of the loop.

 

Anti-Theft

Schools, unfortunately, experience theft, particularly related to electronics like TVs, computers, projectors, and tablets. It can sometimes be hard to track that stolen school property. If an item is removed from its proper location, a notification can be sent out informing Administrators or School Resource Officers that an item is no longer at its home base.

 

Efficient Communication Matters

It’s important to have practical and effective communication tools for school administrators and faculty to have access to. Emergency situations can progress slowly or rapidly so it’s critical to have Emergency Operations Plans and the proper technology ready when fast communication matters the most.

“Being a former teacher, I take it extremely seriously when designing a communications and safety system for a school. I understand the importance of keeping staff and students safe and it is something I take to heart.” – Chad Helmonds, Advanced Wireless Communications

Whether it’s for day-to-day communication or unexpected emergencies, having proper communication technology makes a huge difference in keeping students and staff safe.

Want to learn more? Email Chad Helmonds at chelmonds@advancedwireless.com.

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