Ditek Blog

Protecting the Systems that Protect Our Schools

2019 07 Protecting Schools sm

One of the largest K-12 school districts in the Southeast USA recently spent more than two million dollars repairing and replacing fire alarm systems that were damaged or destroyed by transient power surges. A very tiny fraction of that cost, properly invested in surge protection devices, would likely have prevented this situation.

There is no doubt that the recent focus on improving safety and security in schools is a good thing – our children need, and deserve, a safe place to focus on their learning and personal development. School districts are investing significant resources in security, access control, and fire protection systems with that goal in mind. However, neglecting to include proper surge protection, either by a lack of understanding, or by cutting a small corner, can lead to costly system damage and downtime. Make sure that all electronic system installations are complete by protecting the systems that protect our schools!

Investing in School Safety

Public and private schools alike have a new awareness that secure entrances, visitor management, and video surveillance systems have an important role to play in providing safe places for children to learn. In a recent survey on this topic, two-thirds of the surveyed school administrators reported that they plan on making additions or improvements to their security systems within the coming year.*

Implementing such security improvements involves a significant investment in both money and resources. Evaluating safety and security needs is only the first step to implementation; there are also budgeting and funding approvals, system planning and design work, selecting the contractor(s), finalizing the agreement, and supervising the installation process. After installation the investment continues as the new systems will require ongoing maintenance, and often require new or revised operational procedures, monitoring, testing, and other effort and resources.

Protecting Safety and Security Systems

It makes good financial and practical sense to protect all safety and security systems to ensure they will work when needed, and to protect the financial investment which might be difficult for a school to replace if systems are damaged.

For example, some organizations with installed surveillance systems report that maintenance issues are a recurring problem, and increase multiple risks. Not only do troublesome systems become a drain on maintenance resources, they also may not be functional when they are needed most!**

One simple and cost-effective approach to help ensure that all safety and security systems remain functional and reliable is to protect them from the common, and usually invisible, problem of damaging power surges. These surges are the silent killer of all kinds of sensitive electronic systems. Video surveillance and access control systems are particularly vulnerable to damage not only because they are made up of sensitive electronics, but also because the interconnectivity of these systems provides many possible entry points for damaging power surges. Including the appropriate surge protectors on all power and signaling cable connections when systems are installed will help prevent this damage. Adding surge protection to existing systems is also a small, and highly effective investment.

Conclusion

Don’t stop just before the finish line on safety and security system installations. Be sure to include the appropriate surge protection to protect your investment, and to ensure your systems will be operational when you need them most.

Contact us to learn more about protecting the systems that protect your schools!

* See the survey results from Security Sales & Integration here: https://www.securitysales.com/research/2019-campus-video-surveillance-survey/

** See the article in Security Sales & Integration here:  https://www.securitysales.com/surveillance/campuses-integration-maintenance-issues-cameras/

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