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When you walk into a department store, you are blissfully unaware of all the emergency monitoring systems that are being used to safeguard both the customers, the store and the general public. However, in schools today - many are being used behind the scenes. Obviously, fire alarms and smoke detectors are legally required in every school across the United States. These alarms and detectors must be in working order and should be checked monthly as part of the emergency monitoring system.
But what other types of emergency monitoring systems are used in schools? Most schools continuously monitor many things. Not only do the have electrical system monitors, but weather and the velocity of approaching storms or natural disasters is also prevalent. An employee of the school should be continuously watching weather stations if the locale is under a probable emergency. Additionally, schools should monitor national news so that they are aware of any terrorist threats on the nation. Combined with local scanner radios which monitor police and fire activity is also important. This way schools can prepare if a prisoner located close to the school has escaped etc.
In many schools where violence is prevalent there are additional types of emergency monitoring systems being used in the school. Many have metal detectors used at all the entry and exit doors. In order for this to be effective, schools must keep exterior doors locked during the school day so that intruders cannot gain access to the school. Camera monitoring for all hallways, inconspicuous areas, parking lots, playgrounds and large areas should also be kept on. If an incident does occur, these camera-monitoring systems can prove helpful at determining fault and during prosecution.
Emergency monitoring systems in school systems should be individually designed to meet the needs of the community and student body. Emergency lighting and back up generators are also important and the status of these units should be checked regularly and maintained by the school system. If the school system has an elevator system - then this too needs to be checked and hooked to a monitoring system to ensure it is safe for students and staff.
Emergency monitoring in schools is essential to provide a safe environment. When schools are able to vigilantly protect the student body and staff members and when both feel that adequate measures are being provided, the school environment will become more secure. Any vulnerability to emergency preparedness can put the lives of students and staff at risk. Along with monitoring, it is essential that action plans be in place and that practice and training is provided top teachers and students so that problematic situations run smoothly.