How to Manage Visitors on Campus

Here are some helpful tips from Aiphone on managing guest access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: September 1, 2020

Schools, universities and hospitals must be able to screen visitors to their facilities, but how can they accomplish this important task?

In his interview with Campus Safety, Aiphone’s Brad Kamcheff gives some helpful tips on visitor management.

CS: How can campuses manage visitors who don’t have credentials? What about employees who aren’t wearing their credentials because they’ve lost them or their credentials have been stolen?

Kamcheff: Visitor management begins at the door. Doors are locked for a reason, and controlling who is allowed onto your campus or into your building is critical. When a visitor arrives without credentials, it is essential that building security is not breached by staff opening a door to talk with them.

A video intercom provides campus staff an identifying view of anyone requesting access. Simultaneously, staff can speak with the individual to determine their intent and if they should be allowed entry.

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Most video intercoms provide a clear enough picture to be able to read ID cards, which can be used to verify the identity of someone who has lost or forgotten their credentials, and since the video is being streamed to a NVR or recording device, you will always have a backup recording for law enforcement, if needed.

CS: How can campuses manage visitors who refuse to wear masks or other PPE? What about visitors who are being disruptive or non-compliant in other ways?

Kamcheff: The best cure for this is prevention. Using a network camera along with an intercom, or better yet, just a video intercom, gives campus staff an eye level view to verify masks are in place before allowing entry. An intercom will also allow staff to communicate instructions clearly on any new visitor policies to stay compliant with local COVID regulations.

Whether that is “Come in, and wait for staff to take your temperature,” or “proceed directly to room 104,” a communication device on the door helps maintain a safe environment. And should visitors become unruly or abusive, staff can easily transfer calls to security, and most importantly the visitor remains on the locked side of the door.

CS: What technologies are being deployed on campuses to address COVID-19 issues?

Kamcheff: We are seeing campuses doing similar things to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include many touchless options to active security devices. Hand wave technology to trigger a call-in from an intercom or open an interior door is becoming more and more commonplace.

Having staff behind glass is another method to prevent germs from spreading. There have been many improvements in window intercoms including devices that do not require a hole to be cut in the glass. These intercoms actually use the glass to project the speaker’s voice. This simple change maintains the integrity of the glass as a barrier while still allowing staff to clearly communicate.

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