Security at schoolhouses

Safety first – following this motto, many schools are currently revising their safety and security concept. The related requirements are high. Schools are public buildings, so they must be freely accessible during the day. At the same time, they must provide a secure learning atmosphere. Moreover, unobstructed escape and rescue routes must be ensured. The specific building situation on site should therefore be taken into account already during the planning and design phase. Increasingly important considerations in this respect are the protection against amok incidents and an electronic access management. The combination of mechanical and electronic systems not only calls for technological expertise but also for a close cooperation of manufacturers, dealers, installation companies and users.

The school bell rings. Within minutes, pupils rush in droves from the schoolyard into the classrooms. The last one closes the door and the class commences. Under normal circumstances this can be a safe routine. But recent amok incidents have dramatically highlighted the risk that schools are exposed to. As a result, more and more parents, pupils and teachers demand efficient solutions that offer protection in dangerous situations – with minimum impact on the normal teaching. One of such solutions is provided by the “Anti-Barricade” cylinders from CES which can be installed in classroom doors without major alteration work.

Classrooms as a safe refuge

From the outside, the cylinders operate at the known high standards of a security profile cylinder. Only when the correct mechanical key is inserted can the door be opened with the handle. During classes, the door remains unlocked – at least under normal circumstances. But in case of an alarm indicating a dangerous situation on the school premises, the classroom can quickly be turned into a safe refuge. With a simple rotation of the cylinder knob, the door can be locked from the inside without using a key. From the outside, the door can then only be opened by someone who has the correct key.

The risk that pupils abuse the knob function for pranks and keep the door locked from the inside even if there is no emergency can be minimized by a proper induction of all users. But if necessary, teachers or the caretaker can always override the knob function with the key thanks to a slip clutch inside the cylinder so that they can easily open the door from the outside. Robust precision engineering components in CES quality ensure a long service life of the locking device. In addition to their reliable design, CES “Anti-Barricade” cylinders have the advantage that they can be installed in virtually all customary doors simply by replacing the existing cylinder. Moreover, their styling allows the implementation of a variety of interior design concepts – depending on the individual requirements, different shapes of knobs can be supplied

Electronic access control

An increasing number of schools that are currently revising their safety and security concept not only install mechanical “Anti-Barricade” cylinders but also implement an efficient access management with electronic locking media. The ability to combine mechanical components and electronic systems is a special advantage of such flexible modular solutions and frequently a decisive factor in the purchasing decision. For instance, the wireless electronic cylinders and fittings of the CES OMEGA FLEX series can be integrated in all interior and external doors just as easily as the mechanical cylinders. Transponders based on widely used standards such as Mifare of LEGIC serve as the “keys” to operate these electronic devices. These locking media can be incorporated in chip cards or key fobs, or in the key head of mechanical keys to provide a combined solution. The use of these cost-efficient, electronic transponder media allows a user-friendly management of even highly complex access control systems while at the same time ensuring comprehensive security of the building.

Reliable solutions for specific requirements

Electronic solutions also are a convenient way to allow third-party users – such as sports clubs using the school gym for their evening training sessions – access to the relevant parts of the building. If desired, the integrated time function can accurately limit the access authorization based on the occupancy schedule.
The electronic locking system can be extended into an online system where access authorizations can be granted and modified from a central point. Also in this respect, the CES system scores high on flexibility: even with a subsequent conversion to an online solution, no alteration work at the doors is required. The already installed OMEGA FLEX cylinders are integrated into the data network by wireless Access Points operating with radio frequency. Extending or deleting access authorizations at the doors is just a matter of a mouse click.
A technological alternative with a wide range of functions is offered by the V-NET version – a virtual network without an online link. Locking authorizations are centrally programmed on to the locking medium using a read/write device. This way, e.g. the period of validity of a transponder can be easily limited. So if a trainee teacher or a craftsman is about to work in the school for a defined period, the related access authorization can be programmed so that it automatically ends on the last day of his or her assignment.

Simple elimination of the security risk of lost keys

Apart from routine access control, many schools put great store by minimizing the negative consequences of lost keys, e.g. by taking out special key insurance policies. A reasonable precaution, given the enormous costs to be incurred if an entire mechanical locking system has to be replaced for security reasons simply because a key has been lost. With the electronic solutions from CES, on the other hand, costs are much less an issue. Whether the installed solution is based on only one of the three systems available – offline, online or virtual –  or on a combination thereof, the costs and security risk resulting from a lost key are significantly lower than with conventional mechanical solutions. If a transponder is lost, it can simply be deleted and replaced by a new one with a mouse click.

Trustful cooperation – the key to success

Efficient access management is best achieved if all parties involved in the project diligently coordinate with each another. With their reliable functionality, their ease of installation and operation and the flexibility afforded by the modular design concept, CES products make this process a whole lot easier. Installation companies relying on CES solutions can choose from a wide range of system components that can be easily combined. CES also emphasizes qualified consulting to ensure that the customer’s requirements are met. For example, if specific adaptations of the software are needed, security professionals will always find a competent contact among the experts from Velbert.

Press release

Security 101
PDF | 0.17 MB

High resolution image files

With a simple rotation of the cylinder knob, the door can be locked from the inside even without a key
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In case of danger, the “Anti-Barricade” cylinders enable pupils and teachers to quickly turn their classroom into a safe refuge without using a key
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With an intelligent mix of mechanical and electronic locking engineering, CESGruppe offers made-to-measure access solutions for schools and other educational institutions
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Kids in a schoolyard
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A recommended solution for persons operating both mechanical and electronic locking cylinders is the combination key, a mechanical key with the electronics module on the key head
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Product information

PDF | 1.41 MB