Integrated Security for Schools Means Controlling Access

As you consider a bulletproof upgrade for your facility, keep the big picture in mind: An integrated security solution, at its heart, is about controlling access to the interior of the building–and controlling access is different from limiting access. Most of the time, schools need to allow people to come and go as freely as possible. But in emergency situations, it’s vital to contain threats and funnel students to safety. Secure locks are just as much a part of this equation as secure doors. The combination of electric strike door locks and access control software give schools much more control of their building, both in an emergency and during day-to-day operation.

Bulletproof Doors Can Be All But Invisible

As Jim Richards, CEO of Total Security Solutions often explains, true integrated security blends good design, good policy, and a good sense of the mindset of students, staff, and community members. “It’s limiting the number of keys that are out there. It’s controlling the access, knowing what doors are locked and when. It’s putting up barriers that people might not know are barriers.”

These “invisible” barriers might include forced-entry rated glass at street level, ballistic fiberglass panels reinforcing key walls, and bullet-resistant doors. To students and visitors these windows, walls, and doors don’t look extraordinary. But staff enjoy significant peace-of-mind, because they know that these physical barriers increase the depth of the school’s security.

secure school door and entryway

Total Security Solutions offers bullet-resistant doors in many configurations that can seamlessly mesh with any existing design:

  • Aluminum frame doors are indistinguishable from the doors used in many schools and most retail settings. These doors are reinforced with bullet resistant materials to stop multiple rounds from most common pistols. They are also outfitted with beefy hardware–to foil vandals and break-ins–and are precision pre-drilled for fast, hassle-free installation.
  • Laminated wood doors blend into your office while offering ballistic security.
  • Steel doors hung on a UL-rated steel frame offer the highest degree of protection without driving up costs.  Steel doors come standard with a heavy duty continuous hinge, deadbolt lock sets with thumb turns and cylinders, and LCN closers.  Custom paint is available.
  • Transactional doors are a high-function option for many schools, greatly improving school security without calling for a major renovation. These doors integrate a transaction window into a ballistic fiberglass-reinforced wood door. These can be extensively customized to meet your office needs and match your existing decor.

These doors are the starting point for a school’s security design. They can be fabricated to any ballistic security level. Total Security Solutions can also source and install any additional hardware that a school needs to make the door meet their security profile, from high-security mortised locks to automated closers and electric strike systems. All doors can also be fitted with options such as peepholes and vision windows. Vision windows are especially popular in schools as they provide clear lines of sight with anything outside the door, in hallways, in office, and in classrooms.

Access Control Systems Make an Integrated Security Plan Work Well

Electric strike plate mechanisms–the “buzz through” doors often seen in banks and doctor’s offices–are nothing new in urban construction. They’re becoming increasingly popular at elementary, middle, and high schools as a way to easily screen those entering the building.  Centralized access control systems give support staff the ability to control the doors remotely and instantaneously. A door leading from the lobby to an internal corridor can be unlocked all day as students come and go, but as soon as an emergency begins it can immediately locked against intruders. Being able to respond quickly can make all the difference during a security situation.

Call Total Security Solutions today to talk to a security design specialist about your school’s integrated security plan.  Don’t have a plan in the works yet?  We’re eager to help you get started with a free consultation.

Next Steps:

Begin reading the Ultimate Guide to Non-Profit Security Grants

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