Securing a Preschool Facility

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.

The following products were recommended for this application.


KNOX-BOX® key boxes have been providing firefighters with safe and secure emergency access since 1975. Nationwide, more than 9,000 fire departments depend on the KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System to access commercial and residential properties when responding to fire alarms or medical emergencies.

The leading high security, heavy-duty key box is used for most commercial applications including businesses, schools, government and public buildings, and community associations. 3200 Series Knox-Box key boxes, with lift-off or hinged doors, hold keys, access cards and small entry items.

KNOX-BOX key boxes are mounted on service area buildings to secure entrance keys. Service personnel can quickly unlock the Knox-Box with their master key, remove the facility key and enter the building. Using the Knox System reduces the possibility of key loss and the resulting need to rekey – a costly and time consuming process.

The Knox-Box itself is a high security key vault that is UL listed against physical attack. All Knox-Boxes in your system can be keyed to the same unique master key that operates a high security Medeco lock. For those companies that have moved to electronic or IT-based security access control programs, the Knox System enhances the effectiveness. Benefits include:

  • Immediate building entry day or night
  • Access to all properties with one master key
  • Time-saving response to false alarms
  • Safe entry without force or injury to firefighters

Knox® rapid entry devices are purchased by property owners or locksmiths and resold to the end-user along with professional installation. There is no cost to the fire department.

All sites within a jurisdiction are set up with one Knox Master Key, and are therefore are immediately accessible.

For more information, call 800-552-5669 or visit the web site

AIPHONE AX Series Intercom System

The AIPHONE AX Series can be used to solve a variety of security integration issues. The AX series offers seamless integration into existing security components including: CCTV, electronic access control and PBX systems. The AX Series supports up to eight master stations and 120 door stations, all wired on CAT-5e cable. The AX system is PC programmable.

The master stations include a 3-1/2” color TFT LCD while the system utilizes open voice communication with both Push-to-Talk and VOX communication over two talk channels.

Features include:

  • Call Transfer,
  • Priority call-in
  • Private communication
  • Selective contacts for door release
  • Outside telephone line answering
  • Scan monitoring
  • Selective and all call
  • Components connected using CAT-5e wiring
  • Maximum 8 masters, 120 remotes stations
  • Up to 980 feet per wire run
  • Mullion mounted audio only door station
  • Video Door stations with HID embedded prox card readers
  • PTT or VOX operation at master, hands-free at doors
  • Two talk channels
  • Master-to-master calling
  • Masters available with 3-1/2” color TFT LCD
  • Composite video output from CEU and Master Station
  • Priority call-in
  • Communication privacy
  • Electronic access control integration via RS-232
  • CCTV system integration via RS-232
  • CO Line Interface using Viking K-1900-5
  • Selective door release
  • Access Control System Interface
  • PC based programming and event logging
  • Rack mount (19”, 2U) or wall mount CEU
  • Selective Call priority feature
  • Compatible with IE Series door stations
  • Scan Monitoring of door stations with programmed time
  • Footswitch operation of TALK switch
  • Computer style headset can be connected to master for communication

HID® ProxPoint® Plus embedded audio-video door stations are available for an all-in-one solution.

For more information on Aiphone products, call 800-6923-0200 or visit

TRINE 4800 & 4801 Electric Strikes For Rim Panic Devices

Trine #4800 & 4801 electric strikes are ideal for new and retrofit installations requiring the remote or automated unlocking of doors equipped with rim panic hardware. Totally surface mounted, and stainless steel, these units are simple to install, highly secure and built to last.

Two models are offered: 4800 for standard surface-mount applications and 4801 for square bolt surface mount applications.

They are non-handed, and interfacing is simplified with field selectable Failsafe or Failsafe operation and automatic internal voltage setting, which means you can connect the #4800/4801 to any voltage source between 12 and 24 Volts, AC or DC. Internal circuitry provides both surge protection to the #4800/4801 and ‘kickback’ protection to your control equipment and power supply.

The #4800/4801 is available in the six most popular architectural flavors.

Installation involves drilling three holes; two for physical mounting and one for passing the power cable. Steel pins are provided if you’re feeling frisky and are willing to drill additional holes for reinforcement.

The door upon which the #4800 is to be installed should be working properly, should have a door closer with a properly adjusted latch function. Of course the door also needs to have a rim panic device installed.

Trine designed the #4800 with simplicity in mind, using one solenoid and one locking mechanism. A spacer plate is provided for optimizing the latch capture between the #4800 and the panic bar latch.

Using the #4800 is a cost effective and labor saving solution for providing electric control of rim panic hardware.

For more information, contact Trine at telephone 718-829-2332 or on the web at

SPECO Keypads

Speco Technologies’ SG-100 Stainless Steel Indoor Keypad is designed to meet most residential, commercial and industrial single door access control requirements. The electronics reside in this self-contained unit which is flush mounted into a single gang box.

Additional features include:

  • Indoor use
  • Sounder
  • 130 users
  • Input trigger for request to exit
  • 2 independent relay outputs (5A/250V AC)
  • 1 TLT output (5A/250V AC)
  • Adjustable time relay of up to 99 seconds for each relay output, or latched
  • Rank/Code program administration
  • Each output is assignable by code
  • Codes can range from 3 to 6 digits
  • Unit shuts down for 20 seconds after entering 3 incorrect codes
  • Master code can shut down all others as a temporary lock-out
  • Visual/Audible function confirmation
  • Tamper switch
  • 12/24 Volt – AC/DC operation

Speco Technologies WR150 weatherproof ruggedized keypad is designed to meet single-door access control requirements in indoor or outdoor applications. .A tamper resistant box is included. It operates in temperatures ranging from 13 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Features include:

  • Weatherproof Ruggedized Keypad
  • Indoor/Outdoor surface mount application
  • Self contained electronics package
  • Includes metal weatherp roof tamper resistant box
  • 12 Braille keys
  • Sounder
  • 130 users
  • Input trigger for request to exit
  • 3 independent relay outputs (5A/250V AC)
  • Adjustable time relay for up to 99 seconds for each relay output, or latched
  • Rank/Code program administration
  • Each output is assignable by code
  • Codes can range from 3 to 6 digits
  • Unit shuts down for 20 seconds after entering three incorrect codes
  • Master code can shut down all others as a temporary lock-out
  • Visual/Audible function confirmation
  • Tamper switch
  • 12/24 Volt – AC/DC operation
  • 1 Year Warranty

SPECO’s HT-7815DNV is a color weatherproof day/night camera with external lens control of zoom and focus. It also features Split Glass Technology to eliminate IR reflections, a mechanical day/night IR cut filter and weatherproof sunshield.

Its Lux level dip switch controls when the camera switches into B/W mode, and built-in 25 IR LED’S & CDS sensor. The IR range is up to 100 feet.

High connectivity provides UTP function built-in for use with twisted pair wiring in addition to standard coax.

The camera employs 1/3” SONY ExView** CCD Day/night DC varifocal auto iris lens (4mm-9mm); operates on dual voltage; and has a video test connector for easy installation.

A built-in heater extends operating range and eliminates condensation. Rear panel controls include (BLC, ELC, F/L, L/L).

The SPECO RQS-5C color quad splitter offers built-in motion detection and “On-Screen Display” (OSD) programming along with video compression and alarm inputs. It features freeze frame on all cameras, a camera sequencing option, and a security lock out button.

A 117VAC/12V DC power supply is included.

The SPECO TECHNOLOGIES VM-1401C high performance 14” color monitor offers 420 lines of resolution. It features one camera input, 1 audio input, a hi/lo impedance switch, up front controls, and a composite video with loop through. The monitor provides crisp, clear images that allow you to observe details even in smaller video inset boxes common on quad and multiplexer displays. It is UL and CSA listed.

Key features of the SPECO VL-6WMTDV Vandal-Resistant Wall/Ceiling Mount Color Dome Camera with Auto Iris Varifocal Lens include:

  • Wall or ceiling mounting through the use of a unique internal 3-way camera bracket.
  • Look straight down a wall with no loss of coverage
  • Safe Mount System Keeps tools and hardware away from camera electronics
  • Auto Iris Varifocal Lens. Camera operates in a wide range of lighting conditions
  • Supplied with a clear “lined” dome. Conceals camera position without a loss of light
  • Conduit compatible Side and rear cable entry
  • Vandal Resistant. Withstands blows from a 10lb. sledge hammer
  • Tamper Resistant. The cover is secured by 6 tamper resistant screws.

For more information, contact Speco Technologies at telephone 800-645-5516 or online at