K-12 Security Upgrade Opportunities You May Have Missed


The popular quick fix for a security upgrade is the electrified lock or access control FOB. However doors can also serve as a surveillance aid and lockdown option for intruder situations. Magnetic locks (d) are now available with integrated cameras inside the lock, allowing for discreet surveillance. When choosing a maglock for outdoor use, look for models that are fully sealed and conformal-coated for weatherproof operation, with all metal surfaces plated for durability and rust resistance, conduit fitting, and no exposed electronics (e). When choosing electric strikes, make sure to look for a UL outdoor rating.


It is vital to protect the power path, as your access control devices are only as secure as the power that supplies it. Children are incredibly tough on hardware, so consider extra durable options (f) that can either be placed at the top or in the edge of the opening to power hardware on the door instead of door cords that are exposed and easier to break. A concealed power transfer device installed in the edges of the door and frame prevents foreign objects from reaching the wires or jamming the device. Another option is an inductive coupling power transfer device (g), which ports power contactlessly across the door gap, eliminating all points of vulnerability and wear.


Every electrified device needs a power supply to operate, and all power supplies are not created equal. New products with improved efficiency and improved features are now available. Consider a highly efficient power supply with a dedicated battery charging circuit to protect against overcurrent and reverse battery faults and to prevent overvoltage on locking devices. Choosing a highly efficient power supply not only saves energy costs, but also prolongs the life of your access control devices. A power supply with a dedicated battery charging circuit ensures that the locking device is not over powered, which voids the warranty and wears out the device prematurely. Schools today need to save every penny they can and lowering their energy bill is a great place to start. Power supplies are often overlooked as a way to lower costs, and more advanced models have the potential to do this dramatically.


Doors aren’t the only opportunity for integrating access control. The need for audit trails for cabinets and drawers is a fast growing trend, as schools are being required to keep testing materials, medications, cleaning supplies, confiscated materials, and expensive electronics under lock and key. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) recommends access control methods to keep student records secure, may one day require this technology. New wireless cabinet locks used to secure these important materials can also be used with existing ID badges, so there are no keys to control or replace and no codes to secure or remember. Audit trails are more and more often becoming a requirement, but wiring cabinets and drawers to become access control ready can be cost prohibitive. However, with newer wireless options readily available, costs can be kept manageable and all codes and requirements can be met.

Keep On Top of Campus Security Trends

The needs of educational campuses are ever changing and innovative companies are developing solutions all the time to ensure that the K-12 environment is as safe and secure as possible. School administrators, security professionals and facilities personnel who stay aware of all available and upcoming solutions before approaching a security upgrade or new facility construction guarantee their students and faculty the optimal solution to meet their individual needs.

Wendy Bowman is the marketing communications director for ASSA ABLOY EMS and OEM Group.

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