10 Security Technology Articles from 2023 That Deserve a Second Look
These articles provide tips and lessons learned that will help you make better security technology decisions in the upcoming year.
As we usher in 2024, if you are a hospital, school, or university public safety, security, or emergency management executive, you have probably already started planning your campus security technology system upgrades for the new year.
Your plans most likely run the gamut. They may include upgrading those seven-year-old security cameras that stopped working six months ago. Perhaps you’re looking to install new locks on classroom and office doors. Maybe your emergency notification equipment isn’t performing as it should. Another possibility is the security technologies you have work great, but they don’t work together and your organization needs to develop an integration/interoperability roadmap. Or, heaven forbid, perhaps your campus needs to start its safety and security technology journey from scratch.
Regardless of your campus security technology’s status, it’s critical to understand the promising practices that are recommended by experts and practitioners in the field.
To that end, the following content featured on CampusSafetyMagazine.com in 2023 offers a wide range of tips and lessons learned about technology that will help you make better security, public safety, and emergency management decisions in the upcoming year.
Campus Security Technology Maintenance and Lifecycle Management
Considering most colleges, K-12 campuses, and healthcare facilities have at least basic security cameras, access control, and emergency communication equipment installed, it’s critical for campus officials to test whether the equipment they have works as intended and if and/or when an upgrade is appropriate.
That’s why 4 Strategies for Managing the Lifecycle of Your Security Devices is an article worthy of your review… or a second look if you read it when it originally posted at the start of 2023. It offers system lifecycle management tips that will ensure your cameras and other security devices will work when you need them.
The article also recommends the development of a detailed history of every device on your network, standardizing your installation and decommissioning procedures, and more.
Artificial Intelligence and Gun Detection
Over the past several years, there has been a lot of discussion in the campus security community about artificial intelligence (AI), but how does it actually work in the real world? Furthermore, how does it work in a campus setting? That’s what Implementing AI-Supported Gun Detection in Schools: What We Learned covered. This article discussed Charles County (Maryland) Public Schools’ experience with this security technology.
According to the author, AI-supported gun detection works as advertised, is accurate, cost-effective, and provides quick notifications. However, there are several limitations and considerations that should be addressed, such as camera placement, maintenance, ethics, and system testing.
Addressing Hospital Staffing Shortages and Improving Patient Experience
With nearly a third of U.S. nurses saying they will likely leave their profession for another career, it’s critical for healthcare facilities to find ways to continue delivering excellent patient care in a tight labor market.
Fortunately, technology and specifically data-driven video can help address this issue. How Data-Driven Video Can Ease Nurse Workloads, Deliver Patient-Centric Experience describes the ways highly integrated smart video can make hospital staff more efficient and improve patient care.
One study found that healthcare facilities using video technology to perform virtual rounding — as well as tele-intensive care unit nursing — minimized the risks to bedside nurses while maintaining a high level of care for patients. Another study found that video technology can positively impact a facility’s HCAHPS score.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Compliance
College campuses, hospitals, and K-12 school districts that already benefit from or are looking to seek federal funding, grants, and loans need to ensure their video solutions are compliant with the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization (NDAA) Act. If not and they have received any federal funding, they could face legal action, including fines and penalties.
According to NDAA Compliance Is No Longer an Elective, the NDAA now bans U.S. government agencies – including universities, hospitals, and schools – from purchasing any surveillance products manufactured by Dahua and Hikvision. The ban not only includes the “name brand” products from these companies but also all of their OEM brands… in essence, companies that outsource their manufacturing to Dahua and Hikvision.
Additionally, security integrators can’t sell surveillance equipment to government agencies or their contractors under these brands. The regulation also prohibits federal agencies or federal loan recipients like educational and healthcare campuses from working with integrators and their subcontractors that market, sell, or install unlawful surveillance equipment.
March’s active shooter attack that killed three students and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, highlighted the vulnerability of unreinforced windows during these tragic events. Much like the gunman responsible for the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, this year’s Nashville shooter shot through the school’s glass doors and entered the building within seconds.
The article The Nashville School Shooting Revealed Glass Door and Window Vulnerabilities. Here’s How to Fix Them describes how security window film can delay forced entry through glass openings and has other features that can mitigate or even prevent mass shootings. The article also explains how this type of reinforced glass can reduce the shooter’s ability to see inside a building, as well as contain spall, not only from gunfire, but from a bomb blast, windstorm, or human impact.
Another article, 6 Reasons Why Your Campus Should Install Window Safety Film, explains some additional benefits of this solution, such as solar control and energy reduction, protection against storms and accidents, and more.
College Stadium Security
Many universities and even some K-12 school districts have large stadiums that host football games, basketball tournaments, concerts, controversial speakers, and the like. These venues, which often host thousands of fans, require top-notch security technology. Running College Stadium Security Like the Pros describes how schools and institutions of higher education can learn from professional venues that maintain heightened situational awareness. Doing so will bolster safety and security in the parking lots, at the front gates, in the spectator seating area, on the field, on the concourse, and in the command center.
Indoor Air Quality
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ). How Indoor Air Quality Impacts Learning in Schools explains how poor IAQ negatively impacts our lives, but particularly those with asthma and allergies. For tens of millions of educators and students, an average school day can be frustrating and potentially even dangerously unhealthy due to poor IAQ.
Fortunately, one solution is smart building technologies that not only monitor IAQ but can potentially improve it.
Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act Compliance
Kari’s Law requires campuses to have phone systems that anyone can use to directly reach a 911 call center without an access code and also requires a notification be sent to someone on the property alerting them of a potential incident. Ray Baum’s Act requires all enterprises with multi-line telephone services (MLTS) to fashion their phone systems so that every 911 call includes a dispatchable location and a call-back number to help dispatchers direct first responders to the scene as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, many organizations, including educational institutions are not in compliance with either of these laws.
The podcast Is Your Campus Compliant with Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act? describes the fines schools could face for non-compliance and who at a school is usually involved in ensuring phone systems are compliant.
Both of these laws also apply to hospitals where employees are about four times more likely to experience workplace violence at some point in their careers than employees in other professions. Improving Hospital Staff and Patient Safety by Investing in Public Safety describes how location discovery services and detailed multimodal notifications can help hospitals comply with Kari’s Law and the Ray Baum Act by providing public safety professionals with the necessary data about a 911 caller’s physical location.
Classroom Security and Lockdown
When developing protection strategies for a school or institution of higher education, it’s important to consider all aspects of classroom security. Classroom Safety: More Than Just the Door describes the importance of selecting the right lock for your classrooms. However, the article also describes the importance of protocols, window security, training, visitor management, emergency plans, and protecting other overlooked areas that may be vulnerable.
For example, classrooms connected by passage doors between two rooms should also be secured. Classrooms 111 and 112 in the Uvalde school shooting were connected and unlocked, which allowed the attacker to enter both rooms without going into the hallway.
Managing Hospital Safety and Security During Construction
One common risk that’s often overlooked in healthcare is the process of properly managing construction contractors on campus. And that vulnerability promises to become more pronounced with the current uptick in campus construction projects being driven by America’s increased demand for healthcare.
Boosting Patient and Staff Safety During Hospital Construction Projects covers how a healthcare facility can successfully address these vulnerabilities. The author advises hospitals to develop efficient processes and close collaboration between the construction manager and medical staff.
Want to read more helpful technology articles from Campus Safety? Click here. Happy New Year!
If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!
Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century
This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!