It is an unfortunate truth that any business, organization, or school may be faced with a situation where they must do everything possible to keep on location staff, members, or students safe against an imminent threat. On such occasions where immediate action is required, it is beneficial to have all of the best systems available for you to keep everyone under your direction safe.

How do Lockdowns, Surveillance and Access Control Work?

It is an unfortunate truth that any business, organization, or school may be faced with a situation where they must do everything possible to keep on location staff, members, or students safe against an imminent threat. On such occasions where immediate action is required, it is beneficial to have all of the best systems available for you to keep everyone under your direction safe. In this post, A1 Security Cameras presents why surveillance and access control systems benefit security lockdowns when used correctly. Furthermore, we outline the best types of systems of each and go into detail about how they can help your business, school, institution, or organization most effectively use them for the safety of everyone. For more information, please read on!

What is a security lockdown?

Put frankly; a security lockdown is the temporary “shelter in place” of all students, personnel, customers, and staff due to an imminent threat. The measure is straightforward, with occupants of a given location locking themselves within a room, taking cover, and doing whatever possible to thwart contact with the threat, whether it be a person or animal. Featured actions in a security lockdown generally include:

  • Calling law enforcement
  • Covering windows
  • Deploying security
  • Instruction for noise and cellular use
  • Locking and securing doors
  • Shelter in place

As might be expected, most educational institutions and some businesses practice what to do in such situations. For example, paying particular attention to instructions like keeping quiet, limiting phone usage unless necessary, and staying as secure as possible. As will be shown, administrators and managing entities can effectively use their security camera system advantageously in this regard.

Benefits of surveillance in a lockdown?

Security cameras can be one of the most effective tools an administrator or managing entity can use when a security lockdown goes into effect. When there is a perceived threat to any institution or business, outdoor security cameras can create the avenue to help spot it early. Moreover, these cameras allow for such benefits like:

  • Allow for early warning
  • Assurance that security is working
  • Detect license plates
  • Deter crime
  • Help monitor perimeter

Usually, security cameras are one of the most effective avenues to enforcing policies, providing instruction, and spotting problem areas. The same holds true for surveillance during a crisis or, at the very least, preparing for one. For example, whereas the others mentioned are general, here we will focus on two distinctly, detecting license plates and deterring crime.

Detecting license plates is a specific function by security camera systems that can be made possible by license plate recognition cameras. These cameras focus on each license plate passing through its field of vision, doing exceptionally well when the stream of cars is one after the other. Such a capability allows an on-duty security guard to view license plates early. At the same time, it can be equally effective after a security lockdown is lifted to provide police with more detailed information related to local traffic that had passed through and may be associated with the initial threat.

Deterrence of crime is a constant advantage of security cameras, especially with property crime and with criminals that may not be committed. According to several studies, most criminals will avoid a building with visible surveillance measures and opt for another target with less security. Access control measures heavily complement each perk that comes with security cameras during a lockdown.

However, one of the most critical aspects of surveillance that can easily be mentioned is the capability an administrator has in providing instruction. Through such a system, top representatives can direct teachers and students alike through security cameras and a given intercom system to reduce a threat if needed.

What are the levels of lockdowns?

What are the levels of lockdowns?

Typically, any given school or business may have its own unique levels that lead to or are explicitly classified as a security lockdown. In a given situation, these levels represent the type of danger that is being faced and provide teachers or employees with the appropriate method of acting based on prior training. Normally, schools separate threats based on three levels:

Level 1: A threat has been identified in the surrounding area or increased law enforcement activity gives cause for high alert. All doors leading into and out of the school will be locked. While classes may still go on at this point, students and teachers should be prepared to or be in the process of sheltering in place and locking down their own classrooms. An all-clear signal would be broadcasted to staff upon the threat having passed.

Level 2: A threat has been identified on campus grounds, and lockdown measures should thereby be immediately activated. All students and staff should be in a classroom, making as little noise as possible and staying well away from windows and doors. All doors should be locked, and those inside should be sheltered in place. Teachers should also commit to a roll call of everyone present and turn off the lights to avoid detection Students and staff outside should make every effort to move inside quickly. If doing so is not possible, then they should make every effort to avoid detection, using cars, the building, and more as cover until the danger has passed.

Level 3: The identified threat poses an immediate danger to those in the vicinity, and is within range on the premises. Students and teachers should remain in classrooms, making as little noise as possible, and keeping their individual rooms secure from the outside threat. At this point, there will likely be a law enforcement presence that will instruct students and teachers. It is essential to follow those instructions. If there is any communication outside the door and it is not a police officer or administrator, do not communicate with it. Phones should be on vibrate or silent, teachers being the only ones permitted to use their devices if necessary to communicate with law enforcement. A school administration should have instructions for this protocol.

Each school and business should heavily consider planning out instructions for each level, providing teachers and students with specific instructions for each scenario. Security lockdowns should also be practiced when possible, providing a location with the necessary actions needed to keep everyone safe.

Benefits of access control in a lockdown?

Access control is essentially, as it sounds, devices implemented to restrict access to entrances, exits, or specific parts of a building to those that are expressly granted access to enter. Such measures are used in all sorts of facilities, from schools to universities to massive facilities and businesses; such measures are widely common worldwide. It can then be immediately apparent to some of how they might be helpful, especially when cards & card readers are thrown into the discussion. When used in tandem with effective locks, cards and card readers make unguided movement through any facility far more complex, forcing an intruder to waste time and energy at each possible entrance where the security is implemented.

Further yet, another access control measure that can be implemented to benefit lockdowns are door stations at each entrance. These devices make effectively gaining entry into any location more difficult by providing a barrier managed by a keypad or video doorbell type device that the managing party must approve before potential visitors or intruders can enter.

Within the same avenue of security, access control also includes centralized panels that allow for an alarm or specific command to be sent throughout the system. Often, these devices can feature a remote phone application that can order the system to accept specific commands like locking all doors, activating alarms, or more.

Why wired systems are best for security lockdowns

Why wired systems are best for security lockdowns

As detailed in our Wired vs Wireless article and throughout our blog, a wired security camera system is far more secure than the wireless alternative. You will need all of your measures running at peak conditions in a security lockdown scenario. While it is rare, wireless systems can fall victim to jamming and are typically easier to neutralize. Furthermore, whereas a network might waver depending on the amount of traffic on it, wired surveillance is far more capable, especially for managing parties using them on location. While a wireless system might be convenient and easier to implement, the simple truth is that a wired system, especially those with protected wiring, is far more effective.

What would cause a lockdown?

Lockdowns are typically caused by an imminent threat to the personnel, staff, customers, or students. These do not necessarily have to be one singular event or strictly external, but some examples have included:

  • Approaching violent criminal
  • Civil or violent unrest
  • External gas leaks
  • Law enforcement activity
  • Natural disasters
  • Nearby assault or murder

A security lockdown is a practical yet straightforward measure against a threat. Generally, it boils down to using the structure used for work, education, or research as the primary cover against a given threat.

Importance of lockdown procedures

Importance of lockdown procedures

A security lockdown is no joking matter as it can mean the difference between life at death. At best, nothing happens and the threat is a false alarm. At worst, a threat enters a given location and the loss of life is an unfortunate result. These measures should therefore be taken with as much seriousness as possible, being practiced every so often for maximum effectiveness. Such is especially true for students, who should have a basic idea from their teachers of what to do in the event of a lockdown. Such measures might seem simple and monotonous, but they have been proven to effectively keep people safe.

Are security lockdowns just for schools?

While not as prominent in businesses, professional environments should still include measures for security lockdowns to keep staff and customers safe. Such measures allow for enhanced security through a minor amount of training and effectively have a companywide reaction where everyone moves in lockstep to deal with an impending threat. While it could be external or internal, having such a plan in place allows for a plan when nobody expects such an event to occur.

A1 Security Cameras works to offer our customers the best equipment on the market while keeping each product at the most affordable price. When you have any questions on how our security cameras, recorders, and more might benefit your security measures, our team is more than happy to answer them. Contact us today for more information!

Feb 9th 2022 Wayne Hahne

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