A group of students and a teacher in a classroom

7 Ways To Make School Campuses Safer For All

This year, there have been 46 school shootings so far. This is the highest number of these incidents that have ever been recorded in a single year, over the past 4 years. Of course, it’s important to note here that gun violence isn’t the only cause of concern on school campuses; students face bullying, harassment, and other kinds of violence in schools. These incidents not only affect their educational experience overall but also have a profound effect on their mental health.

This is primarily why schools across states are taking active measures like security system installation on school premises. Here’s a complete guide on how to make school campuses safer for everyone.  

1. Put Strict Anti-Bullying Policies in Place

When we talk about making schools safer for students, we’re not talking about specific groups but the entire student body as a whole, including the students who most often face bullying or discrimination.

According to statistics, about 60% of school shooters were students that had been bullied on school premises or online. It takes very little effort to put two and two together to recognize the fact that these bad social experiences at school can have a massive impact on a child’s mental health—enough of an impact to drive some toward violence in an act of frustration and revenge.

So, the first step to curbing such violence is to address the issue at the root level by having zero-tolerance anti-bullying policies in place.

A group of students in the school gym

2. Conduct Regular Workshops and Drills Outlining Safety Protocol

Another important thing for teachers, students, and other staff members is regular workshops discussing the possibility of violence on the school campus and how the situation should be addressed. This should include everything from acting quickly to detailing good hiding spots, the first few safety measures one can take, and also ways of protecting those around you once you’re secure.

The workshops should also be followed by evacuation or lockdown drills so that students know what they’re supposed to do based in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to give first aid training to students and teachers in case there are any injuries and no first responders to the victims in time.

3. Start Putting Safety Measures in Place Inside and Outside of the School (Cover the Entire Perimeter)

A security camera mounted on a pillar

School campuses are often vast spaces, and they need to be secured inside and out. Whether it’s electronic security you’re using or security personnel, make sure all areas are covered—don’t leave any blind spots.

So, for instance, when you’re securing the exterior, you’ll want to cover everything from drop-off zones to parking lots, sports grounds, and other exterior spaces within the school’s perimeter. But at the same time, it’s important to secure the interiors as well, including the classrooms, hallways, gyms, and other interior spaces.

Also, when you’re securing the exteriors, make sure every space is well-lit. You can install automated lighting controls and programmable lights that ensure all dark corners are lit, even during morning school hours and after school hours. It’s also helpful to have motion sensors that light up. This can help deter any trespassers and ensure that the surveillance footage is clear.

4. Monitor All Access Points at All Times

A student walking on a school campus

Ideally, to make the school safer, it’s a good idea not to have too many access points in the building. The fewer these entry points, the easier it’ll be to monitor them. There needs to be only one main entrance for all students, staff members, and visitors. The rest of the points should be locked, and any new visitors should be directed toward the main entrance via signs.

That being said, it’s absolutely essential to have multiple exits, including emergency exits. The student should also be aware of these exit points, but it’s important to ensure they aren’t used as entry points by trespassers.

5. Keep Unoccupied Areas Locked

School campuses are typically huge, and keeping an eye on every corner can be very challenging. This is why it’s better to closely monitor the heavily used spaces, including classrooms and gym locker rooms, but keep unoccupied areas locked.

Many schools now have an electronic key access controls systems that limits the number of people with access to certain parts of the building. This could really help you keep the school secure from within.

6. Make the Classrooms More Secure

In the absolute worst-case scenario of a school shooting, students may have to hide in classrooms. This is why we emphasize the importance of making classrooms secure as well.

For starters, the classroom doors should lock on the inside as well as the outside. There should also be a system to cover the glass windows and doors (with blinds, for instance) to give students visual cover.

Of course, it’s also very important to have two-way communication that allows classrooms to contact the main office or emergency service in case there is an emergency.

A group of students and a teacher in a classroom

7. Install a Modern Surveillance System

This goes without saying, but one of the most effective ways for schools to secure their campus is to install a modern surveillance system with AI-powered cameras, cloud storage, and other advanced features that allow maximum monitoring of the school premises.

These security camera systemcameras should be installed inside and outside the school and integrated with automated access controls and other security measures being taken.

A security camera mounted on a wall

If you’d like to learn more about security camera installations for schools, reach out to our security experts at Max Video & Security. We’re security system suppliers and can help you with a wide range of audio and security solutions.

Get in touch with us to learn more.

camera

The Dos And Don’ts To Keep In Mind When Installing Surveillance Systems

Surveillance systems are incredibly essential for all kinds of establishments these days. There are countless studies and surveys that show their effectiveness in curbing crimes. However, just installing security cameras isn’t nearly enough.

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surveillance

6 Common Myths About Commercial Security Systems That Aren’t Helping Your Business

Business facilities and commercial outlets are some of the most vulnerable to security threats and issues, dealing with dozens of gaps and weaknesses in their systems and measures. It’s important for business owners to realize that compromising on commercial security systems is not only hurting their business it’s also putting real people and their safety at risk each day.

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Security For Your Retail Business

How To Maximize Security For Your Retail Business

Retail businesses are some of the most vulnerable in terms of physical and digital security threats, prone to data breaches and hacking, theft and robbery, and thus financial loss and operational roadblocks.

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A surveillance camera on a wall outside a commercial facility

Security Systems For The Hospitality Industry—Everything You Need To Know

Hospitality businesses such as restaurants, inns, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and different travel and recreation-related services are intended to serve customers from all walks of life. These businesses see dozens, if not hundreds, of people pass through their facilities, using their services, and interacting with their staff, each week. They need stringent security systems to protect different stakeholders.

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AI-Enabled Cameras For Enhanced Digital Evidence

With 15.8 surveillance cameras for every 100 individuals, the US is considered a highly monitored country—the second-most surveilled, in fact, standing right behind China. But despite the controversy that typically surrounds cctv ip camera and their use in public spaces, their security benefits can’t be ignored.

However, in recent years, technology and law experts have claimed that the majority of cameras installed for security purposes right now are too outdated. These experts have been pushing for AI-enabled cameras for enhanced digital evidence.

Here’s everything you need to know about these.

What Are AI-Enabled Cameras

AI refers to artificial intelligence, a fascinating branch of computer science. It uses machine learning and focuses on teaching a computer or machine to think and act as a human would through a clever simulation of intelligence and reasoning processes.  

Appliances, including AI cameras, are built differently than other machines. They aren’t coded to perform specific tasks but are instead built with AI features that help them learn and adapt to different patterns and behaviors. So, AI cameras are best described as cameras that utilize AI power to handle digital images and videos.

How Do AI-Enabled Cameras Work

AI-enabled cameras have a very comprehensive framework. They constantly send raw data to a recorder, where it’s then processed through an AI layer to produce a meaningful image or video.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that there are two different types of AI cameras; rule-based and self-learning. Rule-based cameras are fed with specific rules and images that the camera can use as references. These can be specific angles, movements, or postures. If the camera detects anything similar in its range, it will act in a specific way. For instance, if there is a specific entry point for a public space that is not supposed to be accessed after hours, the AI-enabled camera installed in the space will send alerts if it detects any activity in its range.

Self-learning AI cameras are distinctly different from rule-based ones. They rely on behavioral analytics software to gradually learn the normal behavior in an area. Through this self-learning mechanism, they’re eventually able to create their own understanding of expected behavior, including the color, speed, and size of specific objects. It tags normal objects and patterns and sends alerts when it observes anything outside its self-learned definition of normal.  

Specific AI Features That Help Produce Enhanced Digital Evidence

AI-powered cameras support computational photography. This type of photography comprises various technologies and processes that mimic human characteristics, such as face recognition, voice recognition, machine learning, and voice-to-text features.

Here are some features of AI-enabled cameras that help with enhanced digital evidence.

Red Eye

Auto red-eye features are very common, and many people may not even realize that they count as an AI feature. In fact, they are one of the most basic AI programs and are part of most modern cameras. An AI camera can observe an image to see if a subject has red eyes and take the necessary steps to rectify the issue in-camera.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition has been hailed as one of the most critical AI features in cameras. It was a ground-breaking innovation initially used to figure out the focal point in a given picture. But now, it can do more than just focus on a specific face. It can separate the subject from the background by creating shallow depth in an image. This is an incredibly helpful feature in AI cameras for enhanced digital evidence.

Subject Recognition

Subject recognition is simply an advancement of the facial recognition feature. It helps you focus and search for specific subjects and not just faces.

Zoomed and Enhanced Image

Zoom and enhance features that have always had you on the edge of your seats in crime movies and thrillers have now made their way into AI cameras. This feature allows AI cameras installed for surveillance to turn pixelated images into clear, recognizable pictures.

Why Are These Important for Public Spaces?

Regular CCTV cameras have been used as crime deterrents in private and public spaces for a long time. They help keep criminals at bay while reducing fear in the masses. But that being said, very often, CCTV cameras fail to prevent crimes and help little in the investigation later on.

AI cameras used for surveillance are different, though. They store the data to be reviewed later (like regular CCTV cameras), but they can also send real-time alerts when needed. This helps curb the crime rate significantly by enabling quicker response times, especially where public spaces are involved.

Some of these AI cameras may also offer object tracking, automatically tracking an already detected risk while sending out the alert. Some other ways in which AI-enabled cameras help in public spaces are through:

  • Two-way audio features—allow security personnel to communicate with on-ground teams and also speak directly to intruders.
  • They may allow pre-recorded audio statements to be played at intervals for the public.
  • The facial recognition features can help to identify and track criminals or even victims.
  • Subject recognition features can help in public spaces to ensure people follow government rules like wearing masks, for instance!

Do AI Enabled Cameras Offer More Accurate Surveillance?

AI cameras aren’t manually operated, which essentially means there is no room for human error with these cameras. This results in better, more accurate surveillance.

Additionally, it’s worth considering that a traditional CCTV camera’s view may be compromised due to many things, including bad weather. AI cameras, on the other hand, have an impartial view and can detect through hazards more efficiently.

The cameras powered by artificial intelligence also have features that work together to produce enhanced digital evidence in case of a security breach. Needless to say, AI-enabled cameras are must-haves for residential and commercial properties and public spaces like public schools, hospitals, and parks.

If you’d like to learn more about AI security surveillance systems, reach out to us at Max Video & Security. We offer security systems for companies and security and surveillance solutions for public spaces.

Give us a call to learn more.

A security camera mounted on an exterior wall

Security Cameras For Schools

Schools are sanctuaries, and communities expect them to be safe for students, teachers, and other staff members. But sadly, in recent years, most conversations about schools in the US have been heavily tainted by school shootings, bullying, and other unpleasant occurrences.

Given that there have been 29 gun violence incidents in schools this year alone, these discussions don’t surprise us.

However, merely having these discussions isn’t enough—schools need to become more proactive with their precautions and security measures. This is not only important to deter any violence on school sites, but these measures will also help restore everyone’s confidence in the school’s security systems and protocol.

While more extreme security systems are available, commercial security cameras are an essential starting point.

Why Do Schools Need Security Cameras

They Act as Deterrents for Potential Criminals

According to experts, security and surveillance cameras can play a significant role in deterring crime. Placing them where they are significantly visible but out of reach can help curb criminal activity.

When placed on school campuses, security cameras may help reduce instances of vandalism, break-ins, and other dangerous activities. They also encourage better behavior amongst the student body.

An empty school hallway

They Make It Easier to Monitor the Campus

The faculty can only monitor the students and the premises to a limited degree, which is where security cameras can help. They let the school authorities monitor the entire campus in real-time, including entry and exit points, corridors, grounds, and other areas.

This helps the school monitor more efficiently while saving time and resources.  

 

They Help Keep Everyone Safe

The core purpose of any security measures taken around the school campus is to ensure the safety of everyone on campus, including students, teachers, and other faculty and staff members.

Security cameras are a school’s best bet for ensuring everyone’s safety since they offer constant surveillance, which in turn helps them handle any problematic situations before they get out of hand—including things like bullying and unauthorized visitors on campus.

Two kids in a library

They Provide Evidence When Needed

In instances where violent activities have occurred at schools, security camera footage from the premises has helped authorities in their investigation. So, at the very least, having security cameras will help you gather sufficient evidence of everything that transpired.

The video evidence helps in two main ways.

Firstly, it helps you bring the perpetrators to justice. Secondly, it helps you identify the loopholes in your security protocols and gives you the chance to rectify them to avoid future incidents.

 

They Are Cost-Effective Security Measures

A lot of public schools have tight budgets, which essentially makes some other advanced security measures, like hiring a highly trained security team, a very expensive option.

In contrast, installing security cameras requires a lot fewer funds, and it’s also more affordable to maintain and update them.

They Bring Peace of Mind to Faculty, Students, and Parents

Teenagers in a school hallway

One of the main reasons schools should consider security cameras on campus is to reduce stress for all parties involved. Just like cameras on school premises deters crime, they may also help students, staff members, and parents feel more relaxed.

The security cameras serve as a visual reminder for students, teachers, and parents that the school authorities have taken significant measures to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises.

What Features to Look for When Choosing Security Cameras for Schools

A security camera mounted on an exterior wall

Security cameras have been around for a long time, and they’ve undergone many changes, technological development, and updates. But needless to say, not all security cameras are designed equally, and some are definitely much better than others. You can differentiate between them by comparing their features. For instance, these are some of the features you should be looking at:

PTZ Cameras with 4K Resolution

The security cameras you install should be designed to provide 180-degree exposure. Make sure to choose robotic cameras that can be panned, tilted, and zoomed remotely by your security team. Moreover, the cameras should offer a 4K resolution and allow you to enhance an image without any pixelation. This will help tremendously in case of a security breach.

 

Facial Database Searches

Facial database searches are part of biometric security and help to identify and confirm someone’s identity by their face. These can be incorporated into security camera systems, and ideally, you should choose a system with this feature as it can help maintain stricter security in the school.

Non-Stop Surveillance

Schools are typically only occupied for a few hours a day. However, their security needs to be top-notch 24/7 to prevent any break-ins or incidents of vandalism. This is why it’s crucial to choose security cameras that you can access remotely and that can monitor the school non-stop.

 

Cloud-Based Storage

You can have security cameras with DVRs that store your footage on local devices; however, choosing a security camera system with cloud-based storage is a much better option. Not only does that give you more storage space, but it also means that the security footage stays safer; no unauthorized person will be able to access it, much less delete it.

 

24/7 Support and Other Services

Of course, besides the security cameras themselves, you also need to consider the company installing them. You might want to ask them the following questions before you bring them on board:

  1. Do they offer 24/7 support for any issues that may come up?
  2. Are they flexible with their security plans and payment plans?
  3. Do they take care of the installation process from start to finish?
  4. Is there any PAT testing to ensure the safety of the security cameras when they’re being installed?
  5. Do they offer system updates for the future?

The answers to all these questions are a loud and clear “yes” if you choose Max Video Security’s security camera installers from your school premises.

We offer the best commercial security systems for all establishments, including schools. Our audio and security solutions are reliable, affordable, and highly secure.

Contact us to learn more and discuss these options in detail.

a modern office building

Office Of The Future

Workspaces are fast evolving. Gone are the days when going to work simply meant showing up at the office, completing the designated work hours at your desk, and returning home. Today, there’s a greater emphasis on creating welcoming, interactive, and tech-friendly spaces that support employee wellness and productivity.

Organizations are rapidly moving away from “traditional” office designs and environments, taking active measures to transform the workspace. This has led to the inception of the office of the future—a workspace that defies current workspace norms by implementing new and innovative practices for improved employee collaboration, engagement, and satisfaction.

The “office of the future” doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make changes to your building’s architecture. While newly developed buildings opt for a futuristic design to accommodate an employee-friendly workplace, employers can also transform their existing workplaces to emulate the “office of the future”. Here’s how.

Fluid Business Model

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught business owners, it’s that they need to adapt to changing circumstances and make things more flexible for their employees. Even before the pandemic compelled non-essential workers to work from home (at least initially), many companies had given hybrid workplaces a shot. Post-lockdown, encouraging hybrid workplaces has become common practice. The hybrid model allows employees greater flexibility, granting them the convenience of working remotely on certain days. It’s also a more sustainable approach to conducting business, saving commute time and costs as well as office energy resources.

The “office of the future” is all about fluidity and sustainability. Employers can use a hybrid model for their business, saving overhead costs in the process. This flexibility is also something that attracts prospective employees and can be used as a recruiting strategy.

a collaborative space

Collaborative Spaces

Companies have also started reimagining their existing workspaces. More and more businesses opt for modern office designs that include collaborative spaces. In fact, collaborative workstations have replaced the traditional cubicles that were once a sign of a professional environment. Instead of assigning specific desks or spots to their employees, employers encourage their staff to work at collaborative workstations alongside their colleagues. Collaborative workstations also work with assigned seating, allowing specific employees to share desks and workspaces. This allows for easy and more frequent interaction.

Another way business owners encourage collaboration is by using coworking spaces. This trend allows staff members to work at a shared coworking office that also has employees from other businesses or companies working there. It’s another great way to offer a collaborative environment for employees and encourage public interaction.

Many companies have also introduced “soft spaces” for their staff. These are areas where employees can meet and interact with each other while working. For instance, breakout rooms, employee lounges, entertainment rooms, and on-site coffee shops are areas that employees may visit to have conversations with their peers. These spaces can be used for relaxation and de-stressing, providing employees with an interactive environment. Additionally, employees may also choose to work in these spaces because of the casual and welcoming environment they offer. Collaborative spaces have become an integral part of offices and can be expected to be included in future office designs.

video conferencing

Evolved Conference Rooms

Futuristic office designs also include modern conference rooms. With the evolution of technology, video conferencing has become an integral part of business communications. The pandemic has made video conferencing a norm, allowing virtual meetings and discussions to be a normal part of business operations.

The growing need to conduct and streamline virtual meetings and conferences requires media room upgrades. It doesn’t matter if only a few employees are physically present in your conference room. You still need to have the latest tools and equipment to facilitate smooth collaboration between all participants.

A tech-friendly media room with the latest upgrades can help you achieve this. It provides members physically present with a comfortable environment, ensuring video conferencing can be conducted easily. Using upgraded cameras, screens, monitors, and other video conferencing tools can streamline the experience for everyone involved. Features like intelligent speakers and immersive audio also make communication easier for participants attending the meeting virtually, ensuring everybody is on the same page even if they’re not in the same room.

Integrated Access Control Systems

Finally, the “office of the future” pays close attention to staff security. It implements advanced security solutions by integrating access control systems with video surveillance tools. This lets business owners view multiple sites and incidents simultaneously, watching things unfold in real-time. In doing so, they can centralize operations and gather visual data more effectively.

Access control systems have long been used by businesses to monitor on-site activity. High-tech access control systems allow employers to control and record who enters or exits their premises. This helps them ensure no unauthorized individuals are trespassing.

video security camera

Integrating access control systems with video surveillance technology provides an added layer of security to the company premises. It allows business owners to monitor things remotely and implement improved safety measures at the workplace to mitigate threats and risks. Moreover, video surveillance cameras also are extremely useful in analyzing critical situations and responding to emergencies.

Security and Surveillance Solutions for Your Office

If you’re planning to revamp your office space and give it a futuristic look, make sure you get in touch with our team at Max Video & Security. We provide a range of commercial video surveillance tools, helping businesses with their access control system, business alarm systems, and security camera installation needs. In addition to this, we also assist with media room setups and provide them with office stereo systems to help create a pleasant working environment.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our business IT services.

a shared housing unit

Smart Locks for Multi-Dwelling Units or MDUs

The multifamily market has significantly expanded in the past decade. According to reports, the market for multifamily real estate was larger than the market for commercial real estate in 2021.

As more and more American renters and investors display interest in shared housing units, multiple dwelling units (MDUs) have become a common sight. MDUs are residential structures comprising two or more residential units. They’re usually used to provide separate residential units to different families living on the same property.

Multiple dwelling units take various forms. From apartment buildings, condominiums, and multiplexes to mobile home parks and trailer courts, there are various options for homeowners, renters, and investors to choose from. However, most MDUs strive to have one thing in common: offering enhanced security to the occupants via smart locks.

Smart Locks for Multiple Dwelling Units

Thanks to the technological innovations made in the last few years, smart locks have become highly prevalent in residential and commercial structures. Previously, smart locks were almost exclusively used for office buildings and commercial properties. However, smart technology has now made its way into residential buildings as well, particularly shared housing units.

A smart lock uses an electronic mechanism, allowing users to access their doors through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It replaces the traditional locks that operate via keys. Instead of using conventional methods to lock and unlock doors, users can utilize smart technology that connects their doors to smart devices such as smartphones. The locks are usually operated through an app that can be set up on a range of smart devices. This makes accessing an MDU much easier and resolves the issue of misplaced keys and being locked out of a housing unit.

Here’s why smart locks are suitable for multiple dwelling units.

an apartment building

They Help Property Managers Streamline Operations

Keeping track of physical keysets is taxing and time-consuming, especially for multiple dwelling units accommodating several families. There’s a greater chance of keys getting lost, stolen, or duplicated. Moreover, tracking keys also takes up valuable time.

Smart locks eliminate the need to re-key the locks if the keys are copied or misplaced or when a tenant moves out. Instead, property managers can simply restrict their access using the online application. Thus, there’s a lower chance of a security breach at the residential unit.

Moreover, smart locks provide property managers with remote access to properties. They don’t need to be physically present at a particular house to generate credentials or set up the smart lock system. Instead, they can streamline operations by granting access to authorized individuals remotely. In case a tenant is locked out, or the property manager needs to access a property, they can use the online app to get remote access. This is especially useful if you live in a different part of town, frequently travel, own multiple properties, or need access at an unusual hour.

Modern smart locks and access control systems grant property managers greater control. They can easily monitor and access their property whenever and from wherever they want. The smart technology also provides prompt alerts to immediately inform them if there’s been an unauthorized attempt to access their multiple dwelling unit, allowing them to take the required action ASAP. Similarly, it allows property managers to respond to emergencies as swiftly as possible, irrespective of whether or not they’re physically present at the site.

a multifamily home

They Make Property Viewings Easier

If you have vacancies at your property and want a tenant to occupy the space at the earliest, you need to actively conduct property viewings. Smart lock technology can make this task easier for property managers. Since the technology allows remote access, they don’t have to show up at every viewing, which would take up a lot of time. Instead, they can schedule property viewings at the prospective tenant’s convenience, allowing them access to the vacant property during a specified period.

Smart technology enables self-service viewings that are mutually beneficial to property owners and prospective clients. Visitors can drop by to inspect an MDU at their preferred time and use their smart device to access the house at the scheduled time. Property managers can ensure they accommodate maximum potential clients without being physically present by using smart technology to their advantage. They can track movement during the specified timings to ensure security, allowing visitors to view the property comfortably.

They Attract More Tenants

If you’re looking to attract new residents to your multiple dwelling unit, implementing smart technology can help. Research shows that tenants actively seek properties that provide greater security. According to one survey, residents are willing to pay more for housing units with smart locks than those with traditional locks. This means that incorporating smart technology in your multiple dwelling unit can help your property stand out and become more appealing to potential buyers. It can also help you get better offers and make greater profits.

Smart locks add significant value to renters’ and homeowners’ lives. Adding modern electronic locks and access control systems at your MDU is a great way to get tenants and fill vacancies.

balconies at an apartment building

Advanced Security Solutions for Property Owners

Max Video & Security provides comprehensive residential video surveillance tools, access control systems, and security solutions to help property owners secure their multiple dwelling units. From installing smart locks and security cameras at your premises to integrating them with smart video and home automation systems, we do it all. Our smart security solutions are a great way to provide a safer environment to your tenants while streamlining property management.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our smart locks and access control systems for multifamily housing units.