Ask the Expert: Security

What are best practices for securing a building?

Today’s best security practices call for hardening all campus building entries, leaving only one available to visitors. This goes a long way toward keeping criminals away from students, staff and valuable property.

Here are ideas to incorporate cost-effective layers that act synergistically to heighten security for virtually any campus building.

Locks: Place electronic locks on all doors and keep them locked except for passing times between classes.

Video intercoms: Install these “video doorbells” on all visitor entries. Visitors push a button to connect with a base station on the desk of a receptionist or security guard (not necessarily located in the same building). The base unit provides a view of the visitor and a two-way conversation. If the campus staff member determines the visitor is approved for entry, the push of a button remotely unlocks the door. The same intercoms also can be installed on interior doors to protect faculty and administrative offices, records and cash rooms and other areas with valuable property.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED): These inexpensive tools add to building security.

  • Fencing and gates channel visitors to their proper entry. By locking gates after hours, they serve as additional barriers to criminals.
  • Signage provides directions to visitor entry and information on the access procedure, including use of the video intercom.
  • Lighting discourages criminals at night and helps to identify front-entry visitors on dark winter afternoons.
  • Security screens, made of stainless steel mesh, protect glass entry doors and nearby windows.

There is no longer any excuse for not adequately protecting students and staff as these proven solutions are among the most affordable tools on the market.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.

About the Author

John Mosebar is V. P. of Marketing for Aiphone Corp. He can be reached at www.Aiphone.com/home.

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