When it comes to safety in schools, a holistic approach supported by IoT smart sensors is best, says David Antar, President, IPVideo Corporation.
When it comes to the word safety, the context can mean different things to different people.
For example, it might mean eliminating vaping on campus or detecting bullying; but for others it could mean identifying harmful chemicals in the air that can make students and staff sick.
Depending on the situation, schools today have access to IoT smart sensors that provide a wide range of applications all within one device.
Schools throughout the US are currently plagued with a myriad of safety issues that are growing rapidly.
Originally, IoT smart sensors were deployed to help fight the vaping epidemic and monitor private areas such as bathrooms, where video cameras are not allowed.
However, the growing popularity of vaping among US high school students continues to create a major health crisis.
More than 2.5 million middle and high school students reportedly used e-cigarettes in 2022, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Unfortunately, the problem of e-cigarette use among students is not just limited to nicotine anymore.
Another significant issue is that students are using these devices to consume THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana. Schools have their hands full trying to keep up with these ongoing safety concerns and finding ways to combat it effectively.
In addition to these issues, school administrators are also working hard to prevent active shooter incidents.
This has become a serious situation over the years and continues to be a major concern. There have been at least 58 school shootings in the US so far this year, as of 3 October 2023.
Nineteen of those were on college campuses and the remaining 39 were on K-12 school grounds.
This is alarming and shows that our schools need to take a proactive approach to school safety.
Awareness is key when it comes to educating school districts and college campuses on the latest security technology available.
By understanding the technology and how it works, school administrators can make better decisions when investing in physical security technology.
If that’s not enough, another huge safety concern has recently emerged in our schools.
Poor air quality in classrooms can have a major impact on students’ learning outcomes.
This can include a change in productivity, poor decision making and not learning at the right level.
Another issue is that older schools typically don’t have a building automation system (BAS) in place to monitor air quality and other issues, making it difficult to detect a problem area.
BAS is the automatic centralized control of a building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, lighting, shading, access control, security systems and other interrelated systems.
A BAS helps to create efficient operation of building systems, reductions in energy consumption, reduced operating and maintenance costs, as well as increased security.
With a myriad of dangers facing schools, investing in a smart solution that can monitor numerous activities while maintaining privacy is the answer.
A breakthrough in vape detection technology includes multi-functional IoT smart sensors that offer additional health and safety uses in privacy areas.
These devices are important for the long-term investments of schools as once the vaping problem is stopped, schools around the country will benefit.
Eventually, we are hoping every school will implement these IoT smart sensors to better protect students.
It’s a simple solution that can be used for multiple applications including vape/smoke detection, air quality monitoring, gunshot detection, noise alerts, emergency keyword alerting, a panic button, emergency escape and alert lighting, motion detection, people counting and much more.
Since it does not use a camera or record audio, it’s a great way for schools to monitor privacy areas like bathrooms.
When it comes to vaping, the IoT smart sensors allow staff members to deal with the problem directly by speaking to the students who are breaking the rules and stop vaping at school.
Before these sensors were introduced, there was no way for administrators to pinpoint the culprits and stop the behavior.
The need for security while maintaining individual privacy is still in high demand.
Schools can implement these IoT smart sensors throughout their facilities and keep an eye on things 24/7.
As we move forward, we will see other applications emerge such as deploying IoT smart sensors on school buses to monitor drug use and air quality.
Today, creating a safe environment for schools is complex and requires a proactive approach.
Being aware and better prepared for all types of situations and emergencies is a critical component to improving school safety.
With air quality issues on the rise due to high particle counts resulting from recycled air and a lack of fresh air, students are being subjected to poor indoor air quality.
For children with asthma issues this can be life threatening, especially if carbon monoxide is present.
The IoT smart sensor can send an immediate alert to administrators if there is a problem with air quality and becomes your eyes, ears and nose to help schools create a safer and healthier environment for learning.
Schools can also set up designated personnel to receive real-time notifications to monitor vape, air quality and safety events giving administrators situational awareness during emergencies.
By arming schools and any type of campus-like setting with the resources they need to combat a long list of dangers, we are truly making a difference in our students’ future and helping to make the entire world a smarter, safer and healthier place to live.
If schools continue to take the proper steps to mitigate risk by making smart decisions in technology, we can make a significant difference in learning outcomes by making students not only “safer” but smarter.
David Antar is President of IPVideo Corporation and has over 33 years of experience in the security industry.
Over that time, he has started several successful high-tech companies based on a keen ability to understand the needs of his customers and the trends in the marketplace that drive business growth.
IPVideo Corporation is a global security and IoT solutions manufacturer and software developer that sells award winning products like the HALO IoT Smart Sensor exclusively through a worldwide dealer network.
Headquartered in Bay Shore, New York, IPVideo operates out of an 18,000 square foot showcase facility in addition to having a 7,000 square foot New England operation in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
David has founded seven additional technology companies that operate from the Bay Shore Headquarters and in 2012 all business units were combined under the umbrella of a single holding company, Advance Convergence Group (ACG).
This article on executive protection was originally published in the December edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.