By Minta Christopherson, Verification Center Shift Supervisor
Ah May, the beginning of the end of the school year. Are you ready for summer? Have you updated your security company with any changes in hours, staffing, and call lists? No? Well now is the time to do it. As past summers have shown, there will be an upswing in vandalism, trespassing, and other various crimes at school campuses.
Help us to keep your buildings safe this summer by providing the following:
• Updated hours for when you would like us to notify you if your systems have not been armed.
• Any changes or updated numbers on your call lists.
• Any special events that may take place over the summer.
Also, be sure that anyone on your call list is aware of those special events so that they can be prepared for any calls we may have to make due to staff or students accidentally setting off alarms. Those updated hours will also be appreciated by the call out staff. After all, who wants to be awakened at 2am for a school that hasn’t been armed when the schools get closed by 9pm during the summer? Your friendly Verification Center operators also appreciate the updated hours because we don’t like waking up your staff unless absolutely necessary.
Be sure to go over the summer security protocol with your staff. They should be aware just how important it is to check every door and window before they turn on the security system for the night. I know this can be difficult with a large building, but it still needs to be done.
Even though summer is supposed to be a break from school, some kids just can’t wait to get back in when there is no one there. Rocks will be put in the door jams, latches will be taped over, all in an effort to gain easier entry once everyone is gone. There will be times that the system shows a door open and a hurried individual will swear it is closed and just leave, sometimes without calling the Verification Center for assistance. I know staff can run late, be rushed, and have appointments they have to keep, but a thorough check is still important. Sometimes a contact will have been pried out of a door or gets worn out. In any case, a call to the Verification Center is in order. We can have a service technician respond in 1-2 hours in order to guarantee your full security for the night. If absolutely necessary we can bypass the faulty door (with authorization of course) to allow the rest of the system to be armed. Also be on the lookout for windows being left open in the summer heat. This is just begging for a mischievous individual or group to invite themselves in for a little fun.
Since our systems are audio based you can help your operators by letting us know of any causes of extra audio that might come in. An example is fans that may be left on after the carpets get cleaned. Also please turn off the school bells during the summer, and weekends during the school year, if possible. Any reduction of unnecessary activations makes it that much easier to hear a break-in in progress. Other causes of audio to take into consideration; radios, alarm clocks, cell phones that get left behind, or two way radios. Please keep intercom systems in mind. Does your school have multiple areas that can be turned on individually? The intercom system generally doesn’t. If someone uses the intercom before all areas are disarmed, we’ll receive audio activations from it in the areas that are still armed.
Help us to help keep your buildings safe and secure this summer season.