School Emergency LockdownEffective & Immediate ‘One Button’ School Security Communications
School Security Alert System
If your facility should face an intruder threat or similar crisis situation you need to simplify and automate the emergency protocol as much as possible to take into account the pressure or panic that may affect human input.
One Button Alert will relay a pre-determined alarm tone or message over the school-wide public address system, informing staff and pupils to initiate the pre-rehearsed school emergency lockdown procedure. If preferred you can tigger an alert to the mobile phones or desktops of staff members and allow them to follow your pre-determined proceedure to reduce panic among pupils.
You can install as many panic buttons as deemed necessary, with software that will indicate from where the emergency alert has originated.
Mix PA and Mass Notification applications for the ultimate emergency lockdown solution.
Trigger notification via the web or a phone call using a landline phone, IP phone, computer or mobile device
Send voice, audio and text notification to a variety of personal and mass communication devices
Recipients acknowledge messages by replying via their channel and device of choice
Admin runs real-time reports on broadcast progress: confirmed, unconfirmed, failed
Multi-Purpose PA System
Although purpose built to satisfy the possibility of a crisis situation the system will double as a fully-functioning PA and Paging system, allowing you to use it for:-
- Basic PA & Paging purposes
- Automated Class Change Scheduling/Bell Timing
- Music Broadcast
In a crisis situation the Emergency Alert System takes priority of any other usage. The other applications within the system can be set to operate in across sites and/or selected areas only, for example, you have the ability to exclude a hall in use for exams, etc.
This system is fully cabled with optional battery back-up to ensure continuous uptime. In additional to permanently sited ‘Panic Buttons’ staff can also be issued with portable, wireless buttons to activate a lockdown.
School Safety – Your Questions Answered
Recent Education PA Installs
Channing School: PA & Emergency Lockdown System
Location: Highgate, London
As the final phase in its Capital Challenge Development Project (a programme which has seen the addition of several new and refurbished buildings at the school) the opening of the 300 seat arts building, also coincides with the final commissioning of a state-of-the-art lockdown security system installed at the school.
Designed to ensure the safety of pupils and staff at all times, the new system was installed by Midland Communications – from a system design developed in partnership with CIE AV Solutions – featuring a 2N Audio-over-IP networked Public Address System at its core.
When the school decided to improve its security arrangements, the school bursar, Roy Hill, called Midland Communications of Tewkesbury for advice.
Martyn Phillips of Midland visited the site to carry out a site survey and offer some recommendations based on the school’s requirements. Martyn’s advice was to install a school lockdown system backed up with a solid programme of staff training in security procedures that could come into play should the school have to ‘go into lockdown status’.
The primary challenge to designing and installing a school-wide system was the architectural make up and layout of the school estate. The main school building was originally a terrace of four Georgian town houses, and while the exterior fascia has been preserved complete with original details, the interior has seen the four houses ‘knocked into one’. There were also a number of other school buildings, including the new arts building, that also needed to be incorporated into the system.
Roy Hill explains: “It was very important to us to have a fully school-wide lockdown system that was scalable and could be added to or upgraded easily. We also wanted ease of use built-in, as well as feature-rich operation that could be customised to suit our unique requirements. Not only that, when carrying out refurbishment work, we have to work around the school calendar so any system needed to be installed with the minimum of fuss and up and running in time ready for the start of term.”
Midland Communications ruled out a complete newly hard-wired solution as it would be too difficult to run new cables to integrate the various buildings into a school-wide system. To achieve the client requirements in a practical way, the company worked in partnership with CIE’s team of in-house system architects to develop a proposal based around a 2N IP networked audio system.
This solution uses the existing school LAN where possible, new Cat 5 cabling and incorporating wireless elements where necessary. The installation features a communications ‘hub’ in the main reception area from where it is possible to communicate with any of the seven school ‘zones’ either separately or collectively via pre-recorded messages or live broadcasts.
The combination Public Address / School Lockdown system combines the simplicity and efficiency of conventional 100v line distributed audio from theInter-M range, with the latest audio-over-IP technology 2N’s range of NetSpeaker IP-connected loudspeakers and decoders.
Controlled from the 2N IP NetMic Zone Paging Microphone, the entire system is connected over a standard Ethernet network infrastructure, using 2N Net Decoders to connect to Inter-M DPA300Q 4-channel amplifiers in Zones 15~18; whereas Zones 19~21 are directly connected to a series of 2N IP loudspeakers. The system also features over 30 standard 100v line Inter-M WS30T-WK wall speakers.
This fully integrated system allows for complete zone control and broadcasting for public address, class change and emergency messages & tones should the school lockdown procedure be triggered.
As Martyn Phillips comments, the 2N system has proved to be the ideal solution for the project:
“We’re delighted with how the installation panned out. We had some valuable help from CIE from a system design front which also meant that when we came to installation, everything went smoothly. The last zone we added was the new arts building and that was a seamless process due to the easy scalability of the 2N solution. Furthermore, should the school decide to make any additional changes or small tweaks to the system, it will be no problem to incorporate them in the future without going to the expense of a new system.”
From my point of view,” says Roy Hill “ensuring the security of almost 700 pupils while on Channing premises is a huge responsibility. I’m delighted that we now have a lockdown system in place that allows me to discharge that obligation efficiently and safely.”
Bishops Wilson School
Opening its doors for the first time in September 2013, The Bishop Wilson CofE Primary School is a £10 million new school development which forms the heart of a new village in Chelmsley Wood, Solihull.
This brand new two-form entry school and nursery has been developed not only to provide an education for the area’s 3 to 11 year olds, but also incorporates the village’s relocated church, adult learning centre, community area and health facility. The result is an outstanding educational and community development which provides a safe, secure and inspiring environment which encourages both pupils and the wider community to use and interact with the school.
Accommodating this diverse, multi-use concept requires significant flexibility of services and utilities – including the integrated audio system installed throughout the building. UK communications integrators – Midland Communications – were brought in to ensure a high quality, reliable, flexible and user-friendly system was put in place…
Midland Communications Company Ltd provided a full turn-key design-to-delivery service for all audio systems throughout the school, church and community areas. Project managing the system from the ‘ground-up’; consulting and specifying from plan drawings prior to the one-year project build, through to installation by Midland Communications’own engineers.
The main audio rack – which provides bell-timing, public address and background music distribution throughout the entire complex – features at the heart of it the InterM PX8000 Audio Matrix which provides 8 In – 8 Out signal distribution and control flexibility to each of the building’s individual zones. Additional remote control per zone is also provided using the PX8000’s RM-8000 and LM-8000 wall plate and desk mic. input/control devices.
Midland Communications Company Ltd specified Soundfield Voice Reinforcement Systems for permanent installation in Bishop Wilson School’s classrooms. Soundfield classroom voice reinforcement systems are low-level audio systems featuring an infrared wireless microphone worn by the teacher to discreetly raise their voice for clear, consistent voice coverage throughout the entire classroom space.
The increased use of Soundfield as a teaching aid in the classroom has huge benefits to pupils with hearing difficulties, but is also proven to benefit mainstream students (whose concentration and understanding is significantly improved) and teachers who no longer have to raise their voices in noisy / lively teaching environments, therefore reducing problems of voice strain and stress.
Kemball Special School
Kemball Special School is an entire new-build project to provide an inspiring learning environment for pupils with profound, multiple learning difficulties within the Stoke city area.
Built under the Building Schools for the Future programme (BSF) and opened in September 2013, Kemball Special School currently supports 69 pupils but has future capacity for 140 pupils aged 2-19 years old with a diverse range of learning and physical disabilities.
Pupils have a wide range of needs; from moderate learning difficulties to profound special needs and visual & hearing impairments.
Among the many special additions and technologies featured throughout the school, each of the 25 classrooms has been fitted with a Soundfield Classroom Voice Reinforcement System specified and installed by Midland Communications Company Ltd.
Soundfield classroom audio systems are an infrared, wireless microphone system worn by the teacher to lift the level of their voice to a volume suitable for each individual environment or activity.
Special Needs classrooms can be inherently more noisy environments and, with high pupil numbers at Kemball School having hearing impairments, ensuring that the teacher is heard clearly throughout the room is essential.
To ensure teachers are not having to raise their voices and to reduce problems of voice strain, each of the school’s classrooms features a permanently installed Soundfield voice reinforcement system with wireless microphone.
Using the Soundfield System, the teacher’s voice level is discretely raised (without being ‘loud’) to a level of clarity which benefits every child in the classroom, no matter where they sit.
As the systems utilise infrared wireless microphone technology, they are not limited by licence, channel or interference issues and a teacher can move from classroom to classroom with the same microphone which will automatically become active within that specific space.
The Soundfield systems can also be linked to Audio Frequency Induction Loop Systems (AFILS) to allow the teacher’s voice to be transmitted via Induction Loop to be received via hearing aids (switched to the ‘T’ position) worn by a number of the school’s pupils.
Video case study highlighting the addition of PA and Paging to Grade II listed Notre Dame University in London
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