How On-Campus Housing Security Is Transforming Thanks to Technology
For many, living on campus during college is an integral part of the university experience. Social engagement and academic sharing by living on campus enable students to enrich this period of higher education. Thanks to on-campus residence, students can access multiple educational extras including seminars, conferences and lectures, libraries, sporting activities, and university clubs. Communal living permits students to form lifelong friendships with peers and form closer relationships with faculty members.
Fortunately, residential technological advancements are not just limited to private residences, apartment complexes, or hotels. Now universities are integrating technological solutions into on-campus dorms to improve comfort, efficiency, and security.
Security is one of the principal concerns for parents when children leave for university. Violent crimes and mass shootings experienced across the nation at schools and on college campuses have shocked and worried families sending sons and daughters off to college.
Access Control for Increased Student Safety
Technological advances now permit the use of fobs, keypads, keycards, and mobile entry credentials. Keyless door locks now eliminate the need for students to carry keys or keycards. Doors can be opened using biometric scans or credentials in a smartphone app. This increases property protection, impedes unauthorized access, and significantly reduces the need to change locks because of lost, stolen, or misplaced keys.
Access to common areas such as fitness centers, student lounges, study rooms, or pools can be equipped with secure entrance technology facilitating controlled entrance to all areas within on-campus housing facilities.
Technological security access systems also provide several other benefits such as logging who enters and exits a building and facilitating rapid entrance thanks to automation.
Anomalies such as repeated use of entry credentials can be quickly identified and verified alerting university officials if access credentials have been stolen, cloned, or shared.
Cloud-based access control systems permit remote management from anywhere so that doors can be locked and unlocked at any time from anywhere eliminating the risk of students being locked out and vulnerable.
Stolen credentials can immediately be disabled so that they cannot be used by bad actors. Credentials granted to service providers and maintenance professionals can be deactivated once tasks have been completed.
Security Video Monitoring
Campus security has always been a priority at educational institutions, but today’s generation of students has grown up in a world where video recording is the norm everywhere. This facilitates the use of video security monitoring within and around dormitory buildings. While privacy does remain a concern, pathways, parking lots, entrances, and exits that are a part of university housing facilities should all benefit from video security surveillance cameras with these areas benefiting from proper lighting.
Now school video security monitoring systems integrate AI. This permits universities to use automation to monitor potentially suspicious behavior in real-time. Causes for worry can be identified rapidly with alerts sent to security personnel facilitating immediate intervention. Emergency responses become proactive instead of reactive. This greater level of monitoring helps to create a safer environment for students.
University dormitory administrators are also able to identify occupancy rates and times as well as usage patterns. This information can lead to better use of housing resources such as water and electricity increasing efficiency, reducing waste, and saving money.
Security video monitoring systems can integrate biometric facial recognition to improve access control efficiency and increase housing security. These systems can also be programmed to send security alerts informing residential managers and security personnel of a need for immediate intervention should unauthorized entrances be attempted, or suspicious behavior be detected.
Cloud-based video systems can permit security personnel or residential managers to view video feeds from school security camera systems remotely using mobile devices and video analytics can send notifications to security staff and local authorities.
Dorms Are Smarter
Thanks to greater connectivity, the IoT – Internet of Things together with machine learning algorithms and AI are able to collect massive amounts of data and analyze it in real time. Residential managers and building administrators can improve property management and services offered. For example, heating and cooling systems can be better managed thanks to data collection and analysis of energy consumption and occupancy patterns. Smart lighting for increased security can be tailored to meet traffic flow. Automated rapid access controls reduce building entrance time and security procedures are improved thanks to data collection and analysis.
Data collection and analysis through IoT also allows for quicker maintenance and upkeep. Smoke, carbon monoxide, and fire detection sensors can alert authorities and first responders immediately. Heating and cooling systems can signal malfunctions in real time so that repairs can be addressed promptly.
Students require better, faster, and more reliable Wi-Fi connections along with cellular signals. Apart from completing coursework, greater reliability in connectivity also permits students to remain in contact with friends and family members, alleviating parent worries.
Campus dorms are now boosting connectivity with better networks and routers. Students benefit from stronger signals for personal needs but so do security processes and personnel. Better connectivity permits those responsible for security and safety to benefit from monitoring without interruption and to use remote security solutions such as lockdowns should the need arise.
While alarm systems are regularly used for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection, student security does not end with these three threats. Alarm systems can notify students and administrators of unauthorized accesses or break-ins, intrusions, broken glass, gunshots, and dangers in general.
Cloud-based alarm systems send out mobile alerts in real-time and offer the possibility to program automatic lockdowns or evacuations when called for. Internal and external locks can be managed to contain specific threats to a limited area within the dormitory.
All Things Considered
Security technology now aids administrators and college security personnel in providing a safer environment for university students. Parents can feel better about their children being away at college. Thanks to technological advancements being adopted within university housing, students enjoy a better-quality residential experience. Safety and security are increased allowing students to enjoy their university experience while focusing on their studies.
Featured image by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash