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How to secure secondary doors in schools to ensure safety

How to secure secondary doors in schools to ensure safety
Needless to say, the link between school safety and access control has become stronger than ever. With school shootings and other types of incidents posing danger to students, teachers and staff, having an advanced access control system is critical.
In this regard, Allegion recently announced that its K-12 security solutions, Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM), now integrate with IDenticard’s PremiSys software to ensure that all doors in a school are protected and managed effectively.
The announcement came as school safety issues in the United States, especially school shootings, have become serious. According to CNN, the United States has had 288 school shootings since 2009. This compares with 2 in Canada, 2 in France and 1 in Germany during the same period. A string of incidents, including the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting leaving 27 dead, as well as this year’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida leaving 17 dead, all serves as painful reminders that limiting school access to suspicious or undesired individuals is critical ensuring school safety. “There are 98,000-plus public schools in the United States and security is top of mind. They are exploring ways to harden their perimeter to better protect building occupants,” said Daniel Cannon, Product Manager at Allegion.

Securing secondary doors

However, in most schools today, only the primary entrance is secured by the access control system due to budget constraints, leaving secondary doors/entrances vulnerable. “In the past access control was typically limited to just primary entrances. Research found that the remaining 61 percent of perimeter doors were not connected. As a result, human error is prevalent, since 6 out of 10 schools rely on janitorial tours as the primary means of ensuring doors are secure. In addition, lockdown processes are manual and require staff to put themselves into harm’s way to undog doors,” Cannon said.
This is where Allegion’s Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM) options come in, allowing schools to retrofit secondary doors with these options to enable remote locking, unlocking and monitoring. “The RU option is a simple battery-operated kit that can be added to existing Von Duprin 33A/35A and 98/99 series exit devices for a cost-effective upgrade that does not require costly wire runs. The wireless sensing capabilities provide confirmation of the security status of the door,” Cannon said. “Included is a latchbolt monitor to provide a more comprehensive view. Fully burdened, installed cost is about half that of a traditional hardwired solution, making it possible for the first time to deploy solutions to secondary entrances.”
According to Cannon, when integrated with IDenticard’s PremiSys, end users can remotely lock and monitor every connected opening — from classrooms to common areas to perimeter doors — through a single database, and lockdown of an entire facility can occur with the push of a button. “Our broad portfolio of access control hardware, complemented by our alliances with leading technology providers, enables security integrators to offer innovative, cost effective solutions to address a variety of security needs,” he said.
Beyond education, this integration has applications in other vertical markets as well, Cannon said. “You might be surprised to find how often doors are dogged and undogged to provide free push-pull operation. This can happen when many people need to be moved in and out of a space quickly or when there is a desire not to issue a key or credential to each building occupant, but still grant them access at certain times. Stadiums on game days, convention centers during tradeshows, auditoriums during performances and religious facilities during services are among the many examples of where the RU option can provide tremendous value,” he said.

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