School security systems are designed to detect, locate, respond to, and minimize potential harm when a threat or breach is present. Much of today’s discussions revolve around protecting from school violence issues, predominantly dangerous trespassers or active school shooters. However, we shouldn’t neglect to assess the fire alarm system and other life safety devices throughout the school building too. Both the security system and fire alarm system aim to detect, respond to, and minimize harm. One system gears toward human threats, and the other is for fire and smoke hazards. Integrating the systems allows for an overall better response to any school emergency.
Integrating the security system with the fire alarm system means the school is better prepared to identify and locate the threat. When the security systems, like access control and video surveillance tools, are working in conjunction with the fire alarm system, it prevents any gaps in safety monitoring as well as potential misuse. A combined system alerts a central station of a threat so that it contacts the appropriate authorities.
Consider a scenario where a student spots a stranger with a gun in the hallway. If there isn’t a specific non-fire emergency alarm to trigger, the student may likely pull on the fire alarm to alert the rest of the school building there is a threat. However, procedures typically call for students and faculty to follow a lockdown procedure for a shooter threat rather than evacuate for fires. An integrated system that monitors the whole situation can better provide instructions on what to do.
The integrated is better equipped to identify and notify the proper emergency responders for the specific situation. Therefore, there is a quicker response from the right authorities to handle the situation. An integrated security and fire alarm system is prone to fewer false alarms because the interconnected devices and tools can confirm circumstances with one another. The emergency, whether human or environmental, can be quickly communicated via automatic alerts to the local responders, the faculty, students, and even their parents.
Fire alarm inspections are required by law. Security system checks are less standardized and regulated, even if it is a critical safety measure for schools and campuses everywhere. Maintaining multiple, separate systems can get costly and confusing. Streamline the maintenance and testing process and costs of your security and fire alarm systems by integrating the services.
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