Tag Archives: Electronic Safety and Security

Is it the right time for a Security Assessment?

SecurityAssessent-overview

Since our Technology Conditions Survey (TCS) includes assessing your Security Systems and your future Smart Schools projects can include high-tech security improvements, now is a good time for a Security Assessment.

Fully eligible for state-aid reimbursement as a BCS Additional Service, a Security Assessment goes beyond Security Systems to provide a more comprehensive review of all your physical security components. In other words, do you have everything you need in place to keep your buildings, staff and, most importantly, your students safe?

Security is only as reliable as the weakest link and systems can’t do the job on their own. Many other items related to physical security such as doors, windows, lighting or even landscaping could be the weak link.

Problems with people, policies and procedures also may be the reason an incident goes undetected or isn’t handled properly. A Security Assessment from Archi-Technology provides an objective look at these “softer” components of school security.

One approach that I’ve been considering is that many of the items needed to reduce the risk of vandalism, violence and theft—while improving communications on a daily basis—can have the added benefit of being used in a crisis situation to save lives.

It makes sense to me to take advantage of available state aid to see how your school district is prepared to handle everyday events or the rare crisis situation.

DonBrownI’d like to hear your thoughts on School Security or the value of a Security Assessment.

— Don Brown, P.E., Building Technology Systems specialist

What items should be included in a Technology Condition Survey?

If you agree that a Technology Condition Survey (TCS) is a good idea and that the existing NYS Building Condition Survey (BCS) format is not inclusive enough, then what items should be included in a TCS?

TCS-checklistAt Archi-Technology, we have put together a TCS Checklist form to help our consultants assess Technology infrastructure and systems. Our checklist was developed by experienced vendor-independent technology consultants and is designed to look at the most important aspects of your facility’s Information-based Infrastructure and systems.

We like to use checklists because they help keep the results organized and prevent any important items from slipping through the cracks.

The draft checklist we are currently working with is six-pages long and includes a minimum of 75 items related to technology infrastructure and systems (versus the one paragraph provided in the BCS). A passing mark in all of these categories is an indicator that your facilities are in good shape to keep your information flowing. Information flow ensures that critical business functions can take place, students can receive technology-based instruction, and that their safety can be ensured by the operation of networked security and communications systems.

The following is an outline of categories we selected to include in our TCS survey:

  1. Telecommunication Infrastructure
    • Horizontal Cabling
    • Backbone Cabling
    • Communications Pathways
    • Rooms/Spaces
  2. Data Network
    • Network Hardware
    • Wireless Network
    • Network Security
    • Telecommunications Services
  3. Instructional Technology
    • Integrated AV Systems
    • PCs, Laptops, Tablets
    • Servers
  4. Communication Systems
    • PA System
    • Telephone System
    • Local Pa/Sound reinforcement systems
    • Master Clock System
  5. Safety and Security Systems
    • Access Control System
    • Intrusion Alarm System
    • Visitor Entry System
    • Video Surveillance System

Do you agree passing TCS grades in these categories will ensure information flow? Do you think this format is better than the single category as per the NYS BCS form?

DonBrownThanks for reading and let me know what you think.

— Don Brown, P.E., CLA Consultant

Archi-Technology Blog: 2014 in Review

AT-Blog-14ReportIt’s been an interesting first six months for me as the new Marketing Manager for Archi-Technology (and its affiliated software company, MasterLibrary™).

Crafting the brand messaging for an independent technology consulting company that doesn’t easily fit into an existing market niche has been challenging, but rewarding, especially as our website has grown in scope and depth.

When friends asked what my new employer does, I used to answer “we make buildings smarter” followed by a  short torrent of techno-babble about core infrastructure and Communications, Life Safety and Automation (CLA) systems.

Now I take a different tact.

We help students learn and enable teachers to become better educators.
We help health-care facilities improve patient outcomes while operating more productively.
We save, inform, educate, entertain, and secure people, places and ideas.

And in between points A and Z, we take care of myriad details about the technology that makes these things possible.

As part of brand development, another responsibility has been to start the company’s blogging efforts to share knowledge and start conversations with clients and colleagues. We’re definitely new to the world of blogging but, hey, you gotta start somewhere.

View Archi-Technnology’s 2014 Blog Report.

Thanks for reading and, as always, we’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

—Mark Winterstein, Marketing Director