Are you considering installing an intruder alarm in your school? Or do you already have a system which needs upgrading, or maintaining?
The installation of intruder alarms in schools is on the rise. It’s certainly the smart way to protect children in your school by creating a safer learning environment, as well as preventing theft of expensive property and damage to buildings. Schools are a prime target for criminals and, with many completely deserted at weekends, being able to protect your assets is a key concern.
At Silver Group, we have a strong reputation as one of the UK’s leading security services suppliers. We can provide intruder alarms, CCTV, access control, intercom systems and more. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality products, excellent technical expertise and only the best in customer service.
So, if arranging an intruder alarm is on your to-do list, you couldn’t have landed on this blog at a better time.
Why a school intruder alarm makes sense
Schools are vulnerable environments. During the day, they experience a heavy footfall with unknown people coming and going. Secondary schools tend to be built upon large plots, with buildings unconnected to each other. Out-of-hours, this makes them attractive to gangs and opportunistic criminals. Theft, vandalism and arson are common problems for school caretakers and building managers. Any incidence of crime is disconcerting for staff and pupils and inconvenient to the ongoing education of the children.
During the day, your CCTV system is on hand to support crime prevention efforts. Access control systems are another excellent method for monitoring who comes and who goes and if you need to close off specific areas during the day, you can do this using access control.
But during twilight hours, risk invariably rises and without an intruder alarm, your school building is extremely vulnerable. Remember, you can integrate your alarm with other security systems, including CCTV and access control (see below) and your fire alarm system.
Consider the financial implications of not having an intruder alarm
Schools are increasingly financially pressured with funding cuts rife throughout the sector. Couple that with a need to provide pupils with the latest technology and the consequences of crime are clear.
Take stock of the expensive equipment you have in your school. From the ICT department to the library to the science labs. Laptops, digital screens, projectors and TVs. The list goes on. The value of these items is significant and it’s incumbent upon those managing school property to protect the school against financial loss.
Which intruder alarm system is the right choice for your school?
As with fire safety systems, the best place to start is with a risk assessment. A security risk assessor is trained to spot and assess risks, and can provide advice on the best systems to mitigate those risks.
While it’s tempting to do it yourself and save money, in the long run this approach is often more expensive. Risk assessors work closely with security suppliers (or indeed, work for them) and have in-depth knowledge of intruder alarm systems. They can put forward a range of options for you to consider, all within your price bracket.
If you’d like us to carry out a risk assessment for you, please get in touch.
Integration with CCTV and access control
We offer full integration across all security systems. Wireless technology means this can often be done without damage to your building or unsightly wires hanging off walls.
It makes total sense to integrate. Take the example of someone breaking and entering. With your intruder alarm integrated, you can:
a) sound the alarm, thereby alerting the intruder and preventing further damage
b) activate your access control e.g. door locks which stops an intruder in their tracks
c) watch and record the crime in action on your CCTV (this can be handed over to the police to aid with their enquiries and be particularly handy for insurance claims)
We can also integrate with non-security systems such as lighting. Criminals embrace the darkness to avoid detection so the automatic triggering of lights would certainly be unwelcome to them.
Remote monitoring technology
For empty sites, this technology makes all the difference. An intruder alarm sounding in the middle of the night should alert people nearby but there are no guarantees.
With a remote monitoring service, when something triggers your alarm, an alert is sent to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). An operator at the ARC can assess the situation via video monitoring using your CCTV, confirm a crime is in progress and then take whatever action has already been agreed. This could be contacting a named key holder only, or alerting both the key holder and the emergency services.
Be aware that the police will only attend these emergencies if certain standards and agreements are in place. This guide has some useful information on securing a police response.
Keeping your school’s intruder alarm in good condition
Once you’ve invested in a security system, it’s wise to set up a regular, proactive maintenance schedule. Specialist technicians will arrange to visit you at inspection intervals, run system checks and identify any faults. We can also offer call outs should something malfunction outside of your regular service schedule.
Prevention is far better than cure and your intruder alarm can have a long and happy life if it’s well taken care of. We can also upgrade systems or individual parts as and when necessary as part of our maintenance contracts.
Our intruder alarms in action
Real-life examples of how other schools have dealt with security risks can be particularly helpful. This primary school in Harrow sought our advice in 2015 when the run-down school buildings were demolished and reconstructed. With 700 children in the school, it’s a larger than average primary and required a comprehensive security solution.
Silver Group was commissioned to design and install a complete intruder and fire alarm system with access control, CCTV and refuge systems. This included audio intercoms at the gate, an exit only pedestrian gate (with in-built exit control to prevent children leaving unless authorised), high definition IP cameras linked via Ethernet and a large colour LCD screen for live-monitoring. The school were thrilled with the new security measures we’d put in place.
We hope this blog has been useful in highlighting areas to consider when installing an intruder alarm in your school. If you’re in charge of a school and have concerns about your current security, we’re happy to have an informal chat to get the ball rolling.
Our systems can be tailored to your specific environment and even if your budget is tight, we’re confident we can find a solution that’s right for you.