5 Investments That Will Keep Your Campus Safe

Look at which safety equipment colleges should look into bringing onto campus.
Published: September 29, 2014

As kids, we’ve all heard grownups say “play it safe.”

That line never disappears, even once we’ve hit the early ages of adulthood and take our first steps onto campus.

More importantly, the only way students will establish stomping grounds on a campus is if the college is safe, and has strategies to protect its students in case of an emergency.

Colleges have a colossal responsibility to keep its students, faculty and staff safe. Both students and parents expect colleges to be ready for any and all situations, especially with past incidents like the Sandy Hook school shooting and Virginia Tech massacre serving as major precedents for school safety. Emergencies, from school shootings to severe weather are often unexpected and can be crippling to institutions that are not prepared for the worse.

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The first step to equipping your campus with safety strategies is to invest in safety equipment, which ranges from mobile hardware to mobile apps.

College campuses can boost their safety strategies by installing digital signage on campus to display emergency warnings and cancellations due inclement weather, shoot a mass text out to students’ mobile devices to raise awareness of a suspicious person on campus, or institute a calling system so students can drop an anonymous verbal note if a friend is in need of psychological counseling. 

Other colleges may prefer an army of dome cameras watching campus grounds, a digital lock system to keep dorm doors secure, or even a rechargeable megaphone to blast verbal directions to swarms of students during an evacuation.

Chris Britton, General Manager of the In Case of Crisis App, says colleges that are equipped with appropriate safety strategies are prepared for emergency situations.

“It’s the duty of care of an institution to do everything reasonable to create a safe campus environment,” he says.

5 Investments That Can Keep Your Campus Safe:

1) Apps are a good way to go when it comes to protecting your campus. With smart phones attached to students’ hands, safety apps are mobile and provide students with safety information with a brush of a fingertip. Apps like the In Case of Crisis App provide students with a college’s security plans in case of an on-campus attack, and enable students to drop a line to a safety committee if another student is in need of urgent assistance from a counseling center.

2) Dome cameras can be mounted both inside and outside campus buildings to scope out an area for suspicious activity.  Some dome cameras, like the ones by Marshall Electronic, provide live streaming features and smooth pan-tilt-zoom movements for a wide range of vision. The dome can also protect the camera from inclement weather if mounted outside. 

3) Colleges can take advantage of the growing digital signage trend by flashing emergency messages to passersby. Digital signage setups enable easy connectivity to a campus’ system and frequent, quick changes to the lettering of the message that is being displayed. Colleges can also use them to display class cancellations due to inclement weather.

4) During an evacuation, faculty and staff can direct crowds of students through a megaphone, like the ones made by Amplivox‘s. Some of today’s megaphones come with long-life rechargeable battery packs, which prevent corrosion to the megaphone’s interior. Some also come with an alarm system, featuring sirens that are activated with a switch of a button, and won’t turn off again until the switch is shut down. 

5) Some campus dorms feature a digital lock system that allows a student to enter without ever using a metal key. These locks replace key-based locks, and can open with a setup student ID card or app. Digital locks can also be controlled through the campus’ Internet connection, and are able to control and update locks remotely if needed. An examples of a digital lock app includes CBORD’s Smart Residence Hall Security Technology products.

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