Simplifying the Management of University Campus Security Systems

Video Security Camera Housing Mounted High on College Campus

New technology upgrades are making university campuses more secure worldwide

Just as a young child seems to never stop asking questions, technology never stops changing, leaving the adults asking the questions. How do we keep up with the ever-changing technology of our times?

In recent years, universities have increasingly asked how to best protect their campuses. One common campus safety strategy is turning to technology and electronic security systems (ESS) to improve the safety of their college campuses. However, managing and maintaining thousands of devices is a daunting task.

Universities Undergoing ESS Campus Upgrades

Campuses in the U.S. and abroad are looking closely at their security systems and investing in technology to help keep students, professors and administrators safe.  One example is Boston College which addressed the institution’s plan to update their security systems. The Provost stated: “The purpose of these security enhancements is to create the safest possible environment for our faculty, staff and students.”

In addressing the public safety issues, many campus security officers have noted that managing their ESS technology over large campuses can be overwhelming. Keeping all notes and floor plans organized, with proper oversight of the maintenance and installation of these systems on university property, seems nearly impossible for vast residential campuses.

While some universities are much larger than others, even a modest size school of eight thousand students such as Saint Louis University boasts over 1,000 security cameras. That is 1 camera per 8 students! Gaining an understanding and accurate plan of the security assets throughout the campus community is a challenge – and a priority.

Key Elements Overlooked

Without a unified system for tracking physical security devices such as video surveillance cameras, access control systems, intrusion detection and alarm systems and even fire alarms, managing a campus security system can be difficult.

Here are a few of the most prevalent challenges:

1) Keeping Information Manually In Spreadsheets and On Paper

When a large campus manages its security systems by keeping notes on static floor plans or in spreadsheets, it is easy for information to get out of date. Because of outdated information, it takes time to find missing video camera numbers or locations – time that doesn’t exist in most university security departments. Without an organized, digital, and collaborative system to manage all of these components, there is no easy way for security personnel to retrieve and update important system information. Keeping notes and records that are shared among team members while staying up to date, is one of the best ways to ensure a successful campus security system.

2) Multiple Records to Update

An inefficient system is a costly system. Updating elements within a security system is an important task necessary to ensure a safe campus. As technology improves, the system of tracking and updating should improve as well. It is important for any on-site tech to have the information they need in an organized place, and sharing it among their team members should be easy and secure. This is especially vital for campus security teams to be able to manage their ESS on large campuses with many residence halls, campus buildings and vast school grounds.

3) Upkeep Not Tracked

Electronic security systems require constant updates and maintenance. Even the system design is compromised if small problems aren’t fixed. A camera in a video surveillance system that is out of focus, for example, does nothing for the safety of the campus. If everyone responsible for addressing these problems had the same notes, the same floorplans and a way to collaborate, upkeep would become much simpler, more efficient and less costly.  And, the idea of campus security systems would become less daunting.

Campus Security Just Became Easier

Without a unified system for tracking security devices and maintenance, managing a campus security system is difficult.

What if there was a better way? A solution that moves beyond static floor plans or spreadsheets buried on a server somewhere. A digital tool that is up to date for everyone providing a “living” plan so that it can be maintained throughout the life cycle.

This is where System Surveyor can help your campus create a safe environment. An intuitive digital tool that simplifies the site survey, design, installation and maintenance of electronic security systems by making records securely available to everyone on the team who needs them.

Find out how System Surveyor can be procured on the DIR contract.

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Survey Findings: 200 Pros Weigh-In

Download the 2022 Physical Security Benchmark Study to find out industry challenges and suggestions of how to solve them.