SSN News Poll readers weigh in on emergency solutions

Readers recommend stronger doors, access control measures to better protect schools and businesses
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News recently asked its readers about emergency management solutions and which systems or measures would most help to keep a school or business safe. Readers say the industry can be more involved and provide stronger doors.

Sixty-two percent of respondents indicated that their company does not offer emergency management solutions. Twelve percent said they have a range of solutions for emergencies, and 25 percent offers some related systems, but not many. 

When asked if the industry could be more involved with emergency management, 62 percent said it could be, by offering more tailored solutions. An additional 12 percent said the industry might be able to help, but in more of an advisory role. Twenty-five percent said the industry should not be more involved, as end users should decide their own processes.

“I see companies will do what they want to do or what their insurance company tells them,” one respondent wrote in.

Sixty-two percent pointed to stronger doors and access control measures as a key way to better protect buildings, while 38 percent recommended more guards or trained personnel. Zero respondents chose better video or analytics solutions as the best option.

Jim Crumbley, president of Risk Response Team Inc. and member of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools Steering Committee, talked with SSN on the topic of emergency management solutions in schools.

Crumbley highlighted a few technologies that have promise, either current or in the future, for emergency management. Cameras—such as with analytics and facial recognition, access control, and notification systems.

PASS is a working group—co-founded by the Security Industry Association and the National Systems Contractors Association—that discusses security in schools, both higher education and K-12, and develops guidelines. The organization has described tiers of security that present different layers of security, outlining key priorities based on a school’s budget. Members include industry experts from manufacturers, SIA, and school professionals.

“Our primary focus is the school administrator. It’s not the integrators; it’s not anyone else. We don’t want people using our guidelines to sell product, we want them using our guidelines to help enhance security and take a holistic approach to the problem,” Crumbley said.

The association is currently developing an online assessment tool based on its tiers of security so that an end user could determine where they are and the next steps for advancing security, as well as help in developing budgets.