The latest Survey on Access Control to Campus Security and Lockdown finds that adoption rates remain strong, but new challenges are emerging.
Framingham, Massachusetts. Sales and security integration sister publication Campus security has launched its 2019 Access Control and Blocking Survey, with the participation of more than 400 K-12, universities and health care Protection professionals
Nearly nine out of 10 respondents said they have adopted new or improved block / shelter policies and procedures in the past two years and / or are considering doing so in the next two years.
With so much focus on blocking, it is not surprising that locks and / or door hardware are popular purchases of equipment. Overall, 85% of respondents said they have bought and / or are considering buying this type of solution.
Card and / or biometric Access control systems are also popular, with more than three out of four respondents who say they have bought and / or are considering buying this type of equipment in the next two years. In fact, compared to 2017 when CS conducted his latest survey on access control and blocking, there has been a slight increase (4%).
Visitor management systems and secure hallways of the main entrance are still popular on K-12 campuses (more than eight out of 10) and health care facilities (more than six out of ten). However, about 60% of higher education institutions are not considering these solutions, probably due to the fact that most university campuses are much more open than schools or hospitals. Overall, there has been a 7% increase in the demand for visitor management solutions and a 14% increase in the demand for secure entry portals.
In addition, 8% more respondents this year have bought and / or are considering the purchase of security solutions and / or window security compared to 2017, while there has been an increase of 13% with fences.
Challenges: integration, lack of experience and maintenance
Despite the strong interest in access control and the blockade, or perhaps because of it, some interesting challenges have arisen in the last two years. The problems with the integration of access control with other security and public security systems have increased significantly. Now, 56% of respondents say that this problem is extremely difficult for them. That's 10 percentage points more than in 2017.
In addition, more campuses are struggling to find a good integrator to install their access control solutions. Now 24% say that this problem is extremely difficult for them, compared to two years ago, when that percentage was only 19%.
The lack of experience in access control also poses a major problem. Now 26% say they want to install more access control, "but I don't know where to start" is a problem that is extremely difficult. That's seven percentage points more than in 2017. Hospitals are the only respondents who don't have so many challenges with this problem.
Many campuses are also struggling to maintain their locks and door hardware. This year's survey found that 42% of respondents said their door locks and hardware have not been properly maintained, representing an increase of 9% compared to the 2017 findings. In addition, training and Policy compliance is now an even greater struggle: 61% of respondents said "Students, staff, administrators and teachers are not trained in our access control policies or do not follow our policies," which represents a 7% increase from CS’Last survey.
Issue: policies, training and personnel issues
The level of problems with access control, blocking and blocking policies and personnel problems has remained constant since 2017. "The policies that support our access control systems do not exist or those we need to update" remain the Most important problem in this category of subjects with 56% of respondents qualifying it as extremely challenging, although almost 70% of higher education participants rated this issue as extremely challenging. K-12 and medical care campuses do not have as many challenges with this problem as colleges and universities.
Not far from the policy problems are: "We do not have enough personnel to operate our systems and / or access control locks" and "The support / acceptance of students, teachers and / or staff is lagging behind." in two respondents they said that these problems are somewhat difficult for them. Once again, higher education has more problems with these two problems: 61% and 59% (respectively) qualify these problems as extremely challenging.
The level of challenges associated with physical access control problems has remained constant over the past two years. An open campus design is the most problematic of all these problems, particularly for institutions of higher education and medical care … around 80% rate this problem as extremely challenging.
The design and / or placement of windows also remains an annoying problem, since almost two-thirds of respondents say it is extremely challenging. The problem is particularly pronounced for respondents in higher education and K-12.
Universities are struggling with visitor management: more than 70% said it is an extremely difficult challenge for them. In addition, "The lack of metal detection, or our detectors need to be updated" is an extremely difficult problem for 27% of respondents in higher education.
Lock capacity mostly unchanged
Despite the large amount of interest in access control, locks, closing and door hardware, the percentage of campuses that can be closed has not changed much since 2017. A little more campus (4%) can now close its campus, in addition, now only 4% of respondents say they do not know how much of their campus can close, which is progress compared to two years ago.
Not surprisingly, K-12 schools / school districts have the highest capacity to close. Nine out of ten K-12 respondents said they can close 75% -100% of their campuses. That is an increase of 5% compared to 2017.
Only 27% of respondents in higher education said they can close 75% -100% of their campuses, which is understandable given the open nature of colleges and universities. Still, that is an 8% drop from two years ago.
Just under 60% of health care respondents said they can block 75% -100% of their campuses, which is the same rate as in 2017.
On the positive side, in the last two years, campuses that can close have seen a 12% increase in the number of facilities that can close in 5 minutes or less. Now 71% can block in that period of time, compared to 59% in 2017.
The most common form of campus blocking is through a mechanical lock on a door, while the second most common form is through access control (electronic PIN / ID credential). However, there is a lot of variation in blocking approaches.
Door locks are most often used on K-12 campuses (83%) for closure, while only 65% of colleges and universities and 53% of hospitals use locks.
Only 23% of K-12 schools that can close can do so through an access control system. About 30% of colleges and universities use access control, while more than 40% of health care respondents said they use access control to block.
More than 1 in 2 satisfied with the technology
The satisfaction of the respondents with the coverage and quality of their access control technology, locks and hardware for doors is mixed, with more than half qualifying as good or excellent.
Compared to the results of CSIn the 2017 access control survey, 5% more respondents this year said their access control / locks / door hardware coverage is excellent. That said, 8% less this year said its coverage is good.
The quality has decreased slightly from 63% of the participants in the CS survey who rated it as good or excellent two years ago to 56% who rated it as good or excellent. However, the percentage of respondents who rate the quality of their access control / locks / door hardware as less than even or poor remains virtually unchanged since 2017.
To download the full survey results, go here. Registration is required.
(This article first appeared in campussafetymagazine.com.)