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20/04/2021

Back to School – Safely and Securely!

Author: Zara Taylor

Back to School – Safely and Securely!

With many schools across the UK currently returning to physical lessons following the strict lockdown imposed at the beginning of 2021, there is much focus on how this will work safely. However, beyond the obvious infection control considerations, it is also a perfect time for schools to re-evaluate their safety and security systems and to look at how these solutions can offer much broader benefits as part of their investment.

TDSi provides a broad range of integrated physical security and access control systems which are perfectly placed to help schools as students return.

With many schools across the UK currently returning to physical lessons following the strict lockdown imposed at the beginning of 2021, there is much focus on how this will work safely. However, beyond the obvious infection control considerations, it is also a perfect time for schools to re-evaluate their safety and security systems and to look at how these solutions can offer much broader benefits as part of their investment.

TDSi provides a broad range of integrated physical security and access control systems which are perfectly placed to help schools as students return.

An overseeing electronic eye

With all the disruption and the probable economic fallout from the pandemic, schools are likely to continue facing budgetary restrictions – which often equates to limited human security resources. However, maintaining secure access control and surveillance is a key strength of powerful, integrated, and intelligent security systems such as TDSi’s EXgarde PRO  Security Management Software and GARDiS Cloud-based Access Management Software.

Once a school, college, or university has a strong passive physical security perimeter and gate entry in place the key to protecting people and property is a fully integrated system – in effect, an automated surveillance team. People (students, teaching staff, and visitors) are funneled towards mandatory secure access/door entry points which use authentication (be that reading access cards/fobs/biometric such as facial recognition, etc) to grant access, whilst keeping detailed records of movement in and out of the secured areas.

Powerful AI oversees the whole facility, from tracking access to monitoring associated CCTV surveillance feeds (and identifying potential issues – such as people in unexpected locations, or tailgating of authorised individuals), along with alerts from intruder detection. This also helps to ensure students, staff, and visitors remain safe from assaults or altercations (from intruders or even each other!) by alerting response teams. Deep learning can take these systems a step further by understanding patterns of people traffic flow and flagging up any abnormalities (such as people wandering around during lesson times or outside normal teaching hours).

Naturally, human intervention and assistance are still vital, but these automated systems provide a highly intelligent and reliable way of monitoring teaching facilities more efficiently, and considerably more cost-effectively than taking up a security team’s time manually patrolling large and complex sites. Importantly, TDSi’s systems can also be closely integrated with SIMS (School Information Management Systems – including the highly popular Capita SIMS) which means a direct link to student and staff records for instant cross-reference and detailed auditing data to accompany any potential situation.

Protecting property

As well as protecting people, the other half of the equation is protecting the school, college, or university property and buildings. The dangers of theft, vandalism or accidents (such as fire, electrical, or weather damage, etc) are always a concern but are particularly problematic when facilities are unattended – such as in the evenings/night-time, weekends, school holidays, and during the recent extended periods of school closures due to pandemic restrictions.

In much the same way as daytime monitoring, intelligent automation monitors the integrated security network for signs of potential issues – be that at the perimeter of the campus, around the grounds, or especially within the secured buildings themselves. For example, any movement onsite overnight is probably unusual, so the system will trigger alerts and investigate further, notifying security teams as required.

Flexibility and choice for any school/college/university

Highly integrated security and safety systems mean that there are options to suit any size or type of educational establishment and budget. TDSi provides a comprehensive range of integrated security systems including our highly scalable EXgarde PRO Security Management Software, which is compatible with a broad range of networked access control solutions from TDSi and third-party expert suppliers. These include wireless door locks from ASSA ABLOY and SimonsVoss, CCTV and surveillance systems from Milestone, and intruder systems from Texecom.

For educational establishments looking for greater flexibility in the way they deploy and pay for their security systems, TDSi’s GARDiS range provides an excellent alternative that lends itself well to modern online and cloud-based operations.

TDSi also offers a comprehensive range of systems that are not only perfectly geared to tackling the current COVID requirements but are also perfect for future-proofing your school. This includes people counters/occupancy management solutions, and contactless access control such as Bluetooth Low Energy Readers which enable the use of mobile phones as a secure credential, proximity readers, and contactless Request to Exit buttons, to name a few!

The systems are also designed to provide a wide range of compatibility with many other security systems (both new and legacy components), enabling you to ‘mix and match’ systems (or to re-use some existing components) to find the perfect solution in terms of performance and budget.

Now is the perfect time to review your school’s, college’s, or university’s security and safety systems, to ensure students and staff feel safe and to protect property! TDSi has a wide network of professional and accredited expert installation partners who are on hand to offer honest and helpful advice on how to make the most of our powerful and cost-effective solutions.

To learn more, please call us on +44 (0)1202 723535 or email sales@tdsi.co.uk

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