You can't put a price on peace of mind, which means security solutions are a vital part of the design and building process.

When considering the specific safety and security needs for education and care facilities a whole new set of challenges arise. Luckily there are ample ways to address these through clever, cutting edge solutions out on the market. From combined hardware and software solutions that stop trespassers in their tracks, through to designs that ensure exiting in emergency situations is as swift as possible.

Allegion, a company with several brands providing a range of security solutions for homes, businesses and schools is finding that when it comes to security, more and more people are transitioning from traditional keys to smart technology.

Marketing manager for Allegion in Australia, Craig Patterson, explained that the demand for electronic access control continues to grow “because it gives end users greater control over every connected opening, which means more command of their facilities as a whole”.

A power that those tasked with managing security at education and care facilities would certainly value. Users can configure locks, manage access rights and assign schedules from virtually anywhere. And greater control allows facilities to respond quickly in emergency situations.

Electronic credentials also provide an extra level of control by mitigating the risks associated with lost or stolen keys. This is because access rights can be deactivated immediately, and new credentials can be issued in seconds.

Allegion's Schlage AD Series wireless locks, for example, are able to integrate into electronic access control systems. The locks feature built-in credential readers and access control sensors for simplified installation. The AD-400 enables a wide range of credential options including PIN and magnetic strip.

CASE STUDY: SL500 automatic door at A.B Paterson College, Gold Coast Queensland.

A.B Paterson College, a private school based on the Gold Coast in Queensland recently engaged Burling Brown Architects to design a modern three-storey learning centre filled with natural light, featuring new technology, complete with energy efficient glazing.

When it came to securing the main entrance to the learning centre, the architect, together with the client opted for Assa Abloy's SL500 automatic door.

“We sat down with the client and discussed what needed to be achieved. One of the major factors was that they needed to allow for the fluid movement of people in and out of the building,” architect Andrew Brewer says.

But naturally, with this fluid flow of occupants, the college also wanted to have the ability to control the security of the door from afar.

Assa Abloy's SL500 automatic door had the flexibility to be retrofitted with the college's existing SALTO security system. This system allows the college to have electronically programmed times that people can access the door and have an electronic locking system.

“The college is able to choose when to open and unlock the doors and in a security breach they can lock the door down,” Brewer explained.

The automatic doors are also the main path of escape in case of an emergency such as a fire.

“The door is linked to the college's alarm system. If the fire alarm goes off, the door opens and stays open (rather than opening and shutting automatically) to allow the occupants to evacuate quickly.”

In an emergency if the power goes out, the door has its very own battery system that will allow it to still operate as needed.

There are so many factors to consider when securing a care or education facility, and these options are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of solutions around.

What's clear though is that traditional locks and keys aren't cutting it anymore – the future of security will largely be digital.

Case Study: Integrating Schlage AD Series wireless locks with BadgePass at The University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi has more than 20,000 students, including 40 percent who live in campus housing.

Originally, students were using physical keys to access their residential hall and room. This posed a security threat as there was no way to deactivate a lost or stolen key. There were also significant costs associated with replacing or rekeying mechanical locks.

To increase security and efficiency on campus they added Schlage AD Series wireless locks using BadgePass TotalCard to secure all of the resident’s doors.

TotalCard is a powerful campus card system that allows colleges and universities to easily identify, validate and track students and faculty members.

Students can use their ID cards for a variety of things both on and off campus including purchases, attending events, accessing dorm rooms, tracking attendance in class and more.

By migrating to wireless locks and credentials for access, cards can be immediately deactivated in the system as soon as they are reported lost or stolen, minimising the risk of unapproved access.

Today the campus has installed nearly 3,500 AD Series wireless locks—adding security and convenience to every residence hall.

When it comes to security in aged care facilities, there are a whole new set of challenges that can differ substantially from those in the education realm.

In aged care facilities resident elopement can be a serious concern – particularly among those suffering memory loss.

Allegion also offers a security solution here in the form of the Von Duprin CX Chexit concept. This controlled exit device, which is installed on exit doors, is designed to delay egress for 15 seconds.

The Chexit exit device can be integrated into a buildings emergency system and will release immediately in case of emergency.

Auxiliary locking, local alarm and a remote alarm output, along with an external inhibit input are contained in the Chexit assembly.

CASE STUDY: CHEXIT at the Royal Oaks Friendship House in Arizona

Royal Oaks Friendship House is a 56-room two-level building for those suffering from memory loss, that forms part of a retirement community.

Designing this building meant finding the right balance between the desire for an open, welcoming home-like environment with the need to ensure that the residents suffering from memory loss were safe and secure in the building.

“Safety of the cognitive impaired while allowing them to make choices freely and move from one place to another in their living environment can sometimes be a challenge,” Dina Capek, Royal Oaks director of Health Services says.

“We wanted to have a way to alert the companions when any resident walked from indoor to outdoor spaces.”

Royal Oaks needed a delayed egress solution for all of the facility’s stairwell, exterior and back-of-house doors as well as all patio and garden gates.

The Von Duprin CHEXIT delayed egress device was able to provide the facility manager with a security and safety solution tailored for a memory care environment.

The CHEXIT reduces patient elopement by keeping the door secure for up to 15 seconds while alerting staff of the unauthorised exit attempt. The device can also easily be integrated with access control systems, working in conjunction with a fire detection system to immediately allow residents to exit in the case of an emergency.

Another company specialising in security solutions through their range of locks, doors, gates and entrance automation is Assa Abloy.

Assa Abloy’s national marketing & communications manager for Australia Craig Armstrong says “unwanted guests” were not an issue for care and education facilities using their SL500 automatic door.

This is thanks to the intrusion protection systems the Assa Abloy can package in or retrofit to the door.

“Automatic sliding doors have been appreciated by our customers for years, and we are now taking security to the next level by equipping our sliding doors with a multilevel intrusion protection system.”

“We can also supply our intrusion protection systems as a retrofit to other automatic sliding doors as well but they are much more effective when supplied as a package”.

When ordering sliding doors with an intrusion protection system, customers have the option of securing multiple points on the door system whether it be top, middle or bottom.

At the top of the door a strengthened electro-mechanical locking system can be contained within the unislide sliding door mechanism.

The middle of the door can be fitted with interlocking profiles on leading door edges, bandit proof glass and door locating pins to prevent the door from being pushed in.

A bottom track system can also be fitted with door frame inserts to prevent / deter forced entry of a lateral force.

He noted that major retail chains and supermarkets are now using the system to stop break-ins and the ADS intrusion protection package is becoming more and more popular with aged care and education facilities.