With security a main concern for many parents and school administrators and staff, school security cameras have grown in popularity. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 80 percent of public schools and over 90 percent of high schools in the U.S. used security cameras to monitor their campus and students in 2016, almost double camera usage 10 years prior. Many schools across the country have revamped school security in an effort to make everyone feel more comfortable.
Security cameras are one precautionary safety measure. These cameras can be positioned outside schools to monitor entrances, exits, and parking lots. When paired with other technologies, such as access control systems, school security cameras aid in improving visitor control and campus safety.
While some argue that security cameras are an invasion of privacy, they are successful when placed strategically and monitored appropriately. These cameras systems should have a reliable network to function on, video storage capabilities, and cloud connectivity. Additionally, school districts should have security camera policies in place to ensure everything runs smoothly and everyone feels comfortable.
The 10 Best Security Cameras in 2020
After looking at security cameras in school statistics and observing and upwards trend of violence in schools, it’s increasingly important to the general population to establish more security measures in schools, starting with a school’s security camera policy. The following 10 brands are some of the best security cameras to choose for any educational facility.
Verkada offers security cameras with panoramic monitoring for both indoor and outdoor use. The cameras can be used with Verkada’s software or integrated into a larger security system. This is an attractive option for schools who likely have other security measures ranging from access control to security personnel to lockdown procedures. With a goal of simplicity, Verkada takes only moments to set up, requires no training before use, and offers a scalable model for schools. Verkada offers options for both instant searching and instant sharing, whether part of a video feed needs to be found according to time, clothing color, or other traits, or a feed needs to be quickly shared in the case of an emergency.
SchoolPass security cameras offer a new take on school and student security by implementing a vehicle screening system and identifying threats in real-time. The system uses license plate cameras and RFID/toll tag readers to monitor cars that enter and exit a school campus. Depending on the school, gates can be synced to the system and opened or closed based on access rules. The second aspect of SchoolPass is its alert and response feature. Security personnel will be alerted when an unwanted vehicle is detected, and parents or staff members can always be alerted of safety issues or updates. Finally, SchoolPass implements attendance data to keep track of students and allows teachers to streamline dismissal by sending students to the car pick-up only when an approved driver is at the school for pickup.
Although innovative, SchoolPass has a lot of technological working parts that must function well individually to make the system effective overall. The fairly complex security network does make the school more susceptible to issues with visitors or pickup if, for example, a parent’s car or pickup time wasn’t registered. However, increased security isn’t a bad thing- it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Eagle Eye Networks
The Eagle Eyes Networks Security Camera system aims to achieve the common priority of providing a safe and protective campus environment. Not only does Eagle Eye offer remote viewing through a cloud managed system, but the video is encrypted, allowing for a better protected security network and increased privacy. The system also allows administrators to pre-designate first responders to view the video feed during emergency situations.
The Eagle Eye Networks focus on the cloud provides 100% cloud recording and management as well as flexible storage. The security system can work with a school’s existing cameras, however the system is harder to integrate into more complex security measures compared to other cameras and security systems.
Reolink offers a variety of cameras that are suitable for any school environment. The Reolink RCL is known for its high definition that produces extremely clear images as well as its vandal-proof design. A different option includes a set of four cameras that can be strategically placed around a school, even working in areas without Internet access so that video surveillance is always available. These cameras are reasonably priced compared to some of the other options out there, with one vandal proof camera starting at $84.99. Reolink cameras continually remain one of the most popular options for schools on the market.
Camera Security Now
Camera Security Now takes a unique approach in their video surveillance system promotion by pointing out the prevention of bullying and other bad behavior. Studies show that CCTV cameras can help to reduce bullying incidents by over 70%, as they give administration insight into what is occurring among students and within the school. The surveillance equipment used by Camera Security Now is called GeoVision and offers high resolution cameras, centralized management systems, and access control solutions.
Enviro Cams offers packages for schools ranging from 4 to 16 cameras included. The cameras are known to operate well in any temperature, be water and weatherproof, and include lifetime tech support. The various packages include everything from dome infrared cameras to recorders with hard drives included to high resolution bullet cameras with audio. The system, however, is a bit more traditional, with all of its packages and contents and thus charges higher prices ranging from $1000 to $7000. Additionally, Enviro Cams offers video footage through monitors rather than a digitally accessible feed from any device, which may be inconvenient for school administration who prefers to have the option of checking video footage remotely.
SCW security cameras have received glowing reviews about their tech support and customer service, with one customer writing, “Best technical support of any company. You should train all the others.” SCW’s surveillance systems offer scalable solutions, multi-location and multi monitor software, and commercial grade features. The cameras are use infrared lights, anti-reflective glass, and indoor or outdoor options that can handle extreme weather in either direction.
OpenEye provides a range of camera options to work in any environment. These cameras are often used in mid-sized areas such as grocery stores and restaurants, but could be just as effective on a school campus. Their camera variety allows for a school to effectively monitor any part of the campus as many of OpenEye’s cameras are suitable for oddly shaped spaces or areas that need 360 degree surveillance.
One of Bosh’s many products include security cameras. These cameras are an attractive option for schools as the company is a major player in video surveillance, offering over 50 different camera types, and trusted for its quality. Bosh cameras seem to offer it all with features such as HD video, audio capabilities, and ranges in both size and camera type. Premium features include low light capabilities and the camera movement. Bosh customers are generally satisfied with the quality and performance of the cameras.
Meraki, its parent company Cisco, is another brand that has understood the importance of remote access. The company offers four different indoor cameras and two outdoor ones. The cameras have been reviewed as easy to use and able to be seamlessly integrated into existing security systems and softwares, such as Kisi technology. The cameras can be monitored from a centralized program available on any device, providing control and monitoring of facilities from anywhere. Prices range from $999 to $1400 depending on the size and functionality of the camera.