The passing of state legislation and grant programs are also driving school safety technology implementation. Your School PA system can help to quickly alert authorities and staff in the event of an emergency, and can also be used to make daily announcements. Here are the top 5 considerations for school safety technology.
School security and safety is a top priority for administrators, teachers, students, and parents. An important aspect of school security is the use of technology, such as Public Address (PA) systems with integrated panic buttons. These tools can help to quickly alert authorities and staff in the event of an emergency, and can also be used for other purposes such as making announcements and providing information to the school community.
Alyssa’s Law & Legislation
One of the most legislation for school safety is Alyssa’s Law, a mandate that requires silent panic alarms to alert law enforcement. As of the writing of this article, Alyssa’s Law has been passed in New Jersey, Florida, and New York. Alyssa’s Law is in progress in many more states including Texas, Oregon, and Virginia. MakeOurSchoolsSafe.org maintains an updated status by state here.
State Grant Programs
In order for schools to implement the requirements of Alyssa’s Law, states are also offering safety grant funding to schools. For example, Texas is offering the Silent Panic Alert Technology (SPAT) grant.
Top 5 Key Considerations for School Safety Technology
When considering the implementation of school PA systems, there are several key considerations to keep in mind:
1. Clear Sound Quality & Visual Messaging: The sound quality of the PA system should be both clearly audible and visible. Visual messaging in addition to crystal clear audio can make all the difference for students with special needs and school staff. This is important in ensuring that everyone can hear and see the announcements during an emergency. Wahsega offers 5 different models of IP Displays for classrooms, school libraries, hallways, and gymnasiums.
2. Multiple Zones: A school PA system with multiple zones allows for targeted announcements to specific areas of the school. This is important in the event of a lockdown or evacuation, as different parts of the school may require different instructions. Carina, made by Wahsega supports up to 20 zones to ensure maximum flexibility for your campus.
3. Backup Power: A school PA system should have backup power capabilities, in case of power outages. This ensures that the PA system can still be used during an emergency, even if the power is out. With Carina, your entire school PA system will continue to work when connected to a UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply. All IP speakers and IP Displays do not require auxiliary power and are low-power PoE (Power over Ethernet)
4. Placement of Panic Buttons: Panic buttons should be strategically placed throughout the school so that they can be easily accessed in the event of an emergency. This might include placement in classrooms, hallways, offices, and other areas where staff and students spend time. Carina IP Call/Panic buttons can be easily connected to any Carina speaker.
5. Training for Staff and Students: It is essential that staff and students know how to properly use the PA system. This includes training on the proper procedures for activating the panic buttons, using the PA system to make announcements, and how to respond in an emergency. It’s also important to periodically test the system. We’ve put together a quick 3-step guide to testing your PA system without causing student trauma here.
In conclusion, PA systems with integrated panic buttons and intercoms can be valuable tools for increasing school safety and security. Still, it’s important to consider the audio and visual messaging, backup power, zones, panic button placement, and training needs when implementing these systems. By carefully planning and implementing these technologies, schools can provide a safer environment for students and staff.
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