Intercoms Improve Security and Communication in College Lecture Halls

By Brad Kamcheff

Higher education campuses can be expansive in nature, requiring a variety of security solutions to ensure students remain safe—whether they are walking in a parking lot or entering a building late at night to study. Because of this, many campus-wide security efforts have focused on installing keycards to secure education buildings and dormitories, and surveillance cameras to monitor parking lots, building interiors, and outdoor common areas.

One overlooked area on campus is the classroom or lecture hall. For some universities, these spaces can seat hundreds of students, with larger lecture halls set up with an amphitheater-style design. On college campuses, it is important to ensure that teaching staff have access to security tools and can easily communicate with the appropriate people in the event of an emergency.

Intercoms Provide a Direct Communication Path in Emergency Situations

When an intercom system is installed in a lecture hall, it enables a professor to reliably call for help without having to worry about a poor cellular phone signal. The panic button on the intercom station in the room can be pre-programmed to contact on-campus security if a student or teacher experiences a medical issue, or if a person in class becomes disruptive.

Once the panic button notifies security personnel, using two-way audio, security staff can then clearly communicate with an individual in the room to gather the necessary information about the emergency. Intercoms equipped with an IP camera can also provide valuable visual information, such as the location of the classroom emergency.

Intercoms Transmit Important Messages to Students and Staff

Many intercoms also come equipped with paging capabilities. This means that an intercom station can be used to provide direct communication to lecture halls if an emergency unfolds on campus, such as a major weather event or an active shooter incident.

Pre-programmed messages can be recorded to give students and staff directions on what to do next, such as to shelter in place, move to a more secure location, or to evacuate the premises.  Intercoms help to ensure that everyone receives these critical messages when a mobile device might not be readably accessible.

Using an intercom’s paging feature, messages can also be set to repeat every few minutes to make sure the message is heard and everyone in the building receives consistent information.

Intercoms Can Connect Professors with IT Staff
Beyond emergency situations, an intercom system can also prove particularly helpful by providing a direct line of communication between the classroom and campus IT and technical support staff. This can make it easier for a professor who may need immediate assistance to address an in-classroom technical issue, such as a connectivity issue with the classroom Smartboard or poor WiFi reception

The ability to directly communicate with the IT department through an intercom can save valuable time getting a system back online. The IT staff can assess a technology issue immediately and remotely reboot a WiFi router, or send a technical support team member to the classroom to investigate the issue.

Intercom systems have become a proactive security solution on college campuses by enhancing security, managing building access, and providing a valuable means of communication. The reality is educational institutions are prone to unexpected events. The addition of intercoms in classrooms and lecture halls help to strengthen the efficacy of any comprehensive security system and can help protect students, faculty, and visitors during emergencies.

Brad Kamcheff has been in the security communication industry for more than 30 years. In his tenure, he has held many different roles, eventually finding his passion in marketing. Long-time experience has helped shape his overall view on both the industry and the way he guides his team in marketing. Kamcheff is passionate about emerging trends and using innovative methods to promote and inform industry peers about Aiphone’s vast intercom portfolio, award-winning quality processes, and unparalleled customer service teams. He can be reached by email at  brad.kamcheff@aiphone.com.

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