I was asked to perform a site survey for a friend who is a security dealer in an adjoining town. He was a little nervous about the project because the system was for a preschool situated in a church basement, and the project would involve specifying panic bars, system integration, locking hardware...
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I was asked to perform a site survey for a friend who is a security dealer in an adjoining town. He was a little nervous about the project because the system was for a preschool situated in a church basement, and the project would involve specifying panic bars, system integration, locking hardware and dealing with the local authority having jurisdiction (LAHJ).
Although part of this project would be clearly mandated by the existing building code violations, in my opinion, the situation at this preschool constituted substantial foreseeable liability to the church. Safety and security enhancements would add to the value of the property, perhaps reduce their insurance, and also attract more parents to bring their children to the preschool, knowing the safety measures were in place.
Video Surveillance is one of the most effective security management tools. I suggested that a four-camera surveillance system, with one outside camera, three interior cameras, a monitor and a quad processor.
The monitor would be in the director’s office. Additional cameras and the ability for parents to view their kids from offsite over the Internet could be a future upgrade option.
For now, it is important to see who was outside the building, and be able to monitor activity near all the perimeter doors with respect to who wanted to be admitted, and if children were wandering around.
I proposed door intercom stations at the exterior door and the primary entry door into the preschool area. The intercom base station would be located in the director’s office. This would allow the director to converse with a visitor prior to remotely releasing either door. The base station would have remote door release buttons. By placing additional intercom stations in each classroom, the intercom base station would also provide the ability for the director to perform an emergency All Call to immediately notify all classrooms of whatever information might be of significance.
The three stairwell doors had EXIT signs above them. One of the doors was inswinging. For some reason, these doors had been modified. The latches were removed and the knobs left on, so the doors could be opened by simply pulling or pushing them open. They all were in violation of current building codes by not being equipped with panic bars, or positive latching hardware.
These doors also created a security issue because they could not be locked to prevent unauthorized access. Therefore panic bars with keyed outside trim were indicated for these doors. The building already has a KNOX Box (a metal specially keyed key storage box required by many fire departments to enable them to gain emergency access into structures), so the new panic bars would be keyed to the building’s master key system.
The exterior door would be retrofitted with a rim strike and entry keypad capable of managing 100 user codes. Our interview indicated that access control credentials or the ability to create an audit trail activity report would not be required. The main entry door into the preschool would get the same setup, only in this case it would not be a retrofit of the rim strike, since it was a new panic bar installation as well.
The swing on that one inswinging stairwell door would be reversed.
We also recommended the installation of motion sensors, one on the exterior of the main door, and three more adjacent to the other doors. The exterior door motion sensor would trigger a full screen view on the CCTV quad, and alert the director that someone was out there. The motion sensors on the other three doors would alert the director if a child (or somebody) was near an exit door. The three motion sensors could also be connected to audible devices or be used as a basis for an intrusion system.
Battery operated door alarms could also be used to provide annunciation if a door were opened.
Because no cut is required in the jamb, surface-mounted electric strikes have become a viable choice.
A roundup of many of the products that will be on display July 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.