How to Improve Safety and Security in Schools

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Safety and security in schools are an important issue and a growing concern in both K-12 classrooms and college campuses around the country.

In addition to traditional alarms and mechanical locks, there are a number of more-advanced security solutions available to help schools protect students and faculty. These solutions include camera systems for real-time threat detection and electronic mechanisms capable of locking down a building in moments. 

Take a closer look at some of these powerful security solutions below.


One of the most popular systems to help with safety and security in schools is video surveillance. Cameras can be custom-installed in locations that make sense for a specific school’s needs, giving security and school administration the ability to keep an eye on entrances, building perimeters, and any other areas where security is a concern.  

Having a video surveillance system installed allows school administration to quickly detect and identify any dangerous or concerning activity, such as unknown visitors on school grounds. 

Camera footage can also be reviewed if a student needs to be accounted for by giving administration a view of their last location. 

Technologies such as Avigilon Appearance Search™ use AI to make locating individuals even easier. By entering descriptions or even uploading photos, staff is able to use Appearance Search to automatically sort through hours of video to find specific people or vehicles of interest.

Law enforcement agencies can even be given remote access to school video surveillance systems, allowing first responders to better assist schools should a security incident arise.

New technologies and concepts make video monitoring easier than ever before. Focus of Attention (FoA) is a cutting-edge solution that creates a topography of all the cameras on campus and uses AI to detect and flag events that might need attention.

Reviewing recorded camera footage is helpful in many situations, but someone needs to closely monitor a school’s video surveillance system or be able to respond to AI notifications to get the most out of it. Unfortunately, depending on a school’s budget and security personnel, consistent video monitoring may not be possible in every situation. Having other security systems in place is particularly important in those cases.


Access control is a way of electronically regulating who can open certain doors or gain access to particular areas of a building with passcodes, keycards, etc. These systems allow administration to log in and manage devices and permissions from software on a computer or other device, rather than at each access point.

Think about swiping your key card when you stay in a hotel. Your unique card might work on the door to get into the hotel pool and your room but does not work on other doors in the building. When you check out, the card becomes useless as your permissions have been changed at the front desk. That system is a type of access control and can be applied to help with safety and security in schools, as well.

One of the biggest perks of access control is the simplicity of managing things like doors and users rather than having to go around to each entry point on campus. This feature also means that a building can be locked down in a few seconds in a security situation. Replacing traditional locks and keys is also not a concern since old keycards or fobs can be “deactivated” if lost. 

An important consideration when choosing an access control system is the user. For example, keycards are generally easier to deactivate and replace than traditional metal keys. This saves schools time and resources over having to rekey a facility.


An alarm system helps notify law enforcement that an incident has occurred. Alarm systems can be placed on doors, windows, and other areas where access is restricted to protect students and property both day and night.  

Alarm systems can also be paired with access control systems and video surveillance systems to immediately pinpoint where a security issue is happening. If someone were to break through a locked door, the alarm system could let school security and local law enforcement know precisely which door was breached. And access control and video surveillance records can be used to identify the intruder. This information can allow responders to act more quickly and track an intruder’s location through the building.

Alarm systems can be programmed to auto-arm and auto-disarm making them much more usable in an educational environment. 


Master key systems are fairly common in schools and other buildings. They are a simple system where a master key unlocks all the locks in a facility and other keys only work on one or a specific set of locks. For example, the school custodian’s key might work on any classroom door but a teacher’s key will only work on their classroom.

An advantage of master key systems is that you can restrict access to certain doors or locks to different individuals. Traditional master key systems are also easier to implement when time and cost are concerns. 

On the other hand, if a key is lost or stolen then replacing keys and locks can be more expensive and time-consuming in the long term. Master key systems are a good solution for securing property but are limited in how they can protect students and faculty.


Medeco eCylinders combine the safety of traditional metal cylinder locks with the benefits of electronic access control systems. These systems install into existing doors and hardware but allow administration to control and audit who accesses doors, cabinets, and any other locks in a building. 

Medeco eCylinders are a budget-friendly solution for schools looking to upgrade existing doors and locks to the advanced protection given in an access control system.


With so many options to improve safety and security in schools on the market, it may seem overwhelming to know where to begin. There are a few key factors to consider as you get started.


Budget is a major consideration for any school and it is important to know how much you have to spend as you start researching security solutions. Remember that the size of the campus and the number of doors and windows will be major factors in cost, particularly for access control systems where each door might need to be wired. 

Video surveillance systems will also vary in cost depending on the number and quality of cameras installed. Also be mindful that some services, such as remote video surveillance, may come with a monthly fee outside of initial installation costs.


A security assessment is a crucial step in upgrading or installing a new school security system. 

An assessment will allow you to sit down with a security professional to explain your concerns and needs while asking important questions about features and prices. They will also be able to share the best ways to achieve your security goals and help figure out which system or combination of systems is best. 


Whether you need to install a completely new security system or simply update an existing system with more advanced features, there is no shortage of options for improving safety and security in schools. 

Once you’ve figured out how much budget you have to spend on security, reach out to the team at Richmond Security for next steps. Our team will conduct a security assessment that addresses all of your concerns. Then, we will provide you with your options for solutions and figure out what systems work best for your budget and unique needs.   


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