Discover New Opportunities in Educational Life Safety Systems

Michael Accetta

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On October 8th In Access, Fire, IP Solutions, Video Surveillance
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The safety of students and staff in all types of educational environments from pre-school to universities has become a primary issue for school boards and educational entities. Recent events across the country over the past couple of years have focused attention on the need to protect students not only with traditional fire alarm systems but also to provide mass notification, access control, video surveillance and other protective technologies.

Virtually all of the systems that low voltage dealers are currently installing for private non-educational clients can be readily adapted and are needed by public and private schools. Here are just a few of the many applications for the systems you can get from ADI:

  1. Intercoms – the latest intercom systems from manufacturers like Aiphone have the ability to not only provide live video of people attempting to access a building, but also to record the video and audio exchange between the visitor and the person who allows them access. This can provide important evidence in issues involving perpetrators trying to enter the building during school hours and can also give school officials some control over parental access, which might be related to a child custody issue. The advantage of IP intercoms is that in this time of shrinking school budgets a single person/guard can control visitor access to multiple buildings simultaneously.
  2. Mass Notification Systems – while a clanging bell or buzzing fire horn will notify students and teachers that there is a potential emergency, these sounders are historically related to fire alarm activations. There are many other situations such as tornadoes, floods, high winds, or possible school invasions that definitely require a different response that the typical “leave the building quickly” reaction to a fire alarm. So the ability to use a mass notification loudspeaker system to deliver either recorded or live instructions to those persons in the building might make the difference between safety and disaster. Vendors such as Honeywell and Cooper Notification can provide loudspeaker as well as mass phone, text/email transmissions of pre-recorded or up to the minute alarm information and reports. In some areas small children may only speak and understand limited English, so the ability to repeat instructions in other languages can be very important.
  3. Remote View Internet IP Cameras – these cameras are becoming extremely popular in pre-schools. With the proper address and login info, a parent can visually check on their child at the pre-school while they are at work. Many pre-schools are using this IP-based camera connection to generate increased review by selling the parents monthly video access to watch their children. High-resolution IP cameras from vendors such as Arecont and Axis Communications can provide crystal-clear images for the parents to view.
  4. Access Control Systems – Access control offerings have been on the radar of many education authorities, which is driving new business opportunities for low voltage dealers. One of the most important concerns that school officials and staff are trying to address is the safety of their buildings and classrooms. Now is the time to start “planting the seeds” for access control installations and upgrades that will be installed during the 2014 summer break. Since the demand is high for custom-tailored, trusted access control solutions, ADI has partnered with some of the top vendors in the industry to offer knowledge, support and products that meet every need and budget. Click here to learn more about ADI’s offering.
  5. Wi-Fi Network Installation and Expansion – although this falls outside the area of life safety, increasingly schools are issuing wireless laptops to their students to provide communication for school assignments, homework, and other scholastic functions. These computers can also be used to provide instant messaging in emergency situations. To allow potentially hundreds of laptops to have a usable amount of network bandwidth, the addition of updated 802.11N wireless access points such as those manufactured by Trendnet can provide up to 450 Mbps of usable Wi-Fi bandwidth. It is a simple cabling project to add additional Wi-Fi coverage for specific areas in educational buildings.

These are just a few ideas of how the systems you install can help protect students, teachers, and school personnel. The ADI team is ready and waiting to help you plan and sell these vital solutions for your communities’ schools. Click here to find the ADI branch near you.

Stay tuned for information on the growing amount of opportunities available in providing life safety systems for educational facilities.