In France, SMARTair access control plays a key role in school safety planning

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Regulations in France stipulate schools must verify the identity of everyone who enters. And the gate is where SMARTair now begins its work at Lycée Kreisker, in Brittany. This large, mixed-age school had high standards for a prospective new access control system. The security of the site and safety of students and staff who use it every day was a must.

The school also wanted to get rid of keys. Their previous, stressful solution involved managing two separate key systems. However, managers assumed any user-friendly electronic system would break the budget. They also assumed an electronic access system would be too complicated to manage and take too long to deliver and install.

The cost-effective answer was an access control system with battery-powered locks. The first phase of SMARTair system installation is now complete. SMARTair readers control access through the main school gate — a critical first line of defence against intrusion. Classrooms and the intern room are protected with SMARTair wireless escutcheons. Around 2,000 credentials have been issued to staff and students.

Basic administration is carried out in-house by non-technical staff, with the easy-to-use SMARTair software. System configuration and maintenance was easily and affordably outsourced. So, for example, selected doors can be pre-programmed to remain open between 9am and 5pm, but require a credential for out-of-hours access.

Affordability was another issue, and common to many public sector institutions. At Lycée Kreisker, there was insufficient budget for an elaborate, expensive access control system, as wired systems can be. With SMARTair there’s no wiring around the door, so installation is fast and unobtrusive. There are multiple SMARTair devices to protect different types of opening, so minimal alterations to existing doors are required. SMARTair plays a key role in the Lycée’s regulatory duty to protect staff and students during an emergency, including terrorism or natural disaster: the “plan for implementing security” (PPMS)*.

SMARTair ensures only authorised people enter the building. Under the PPMS, real-time control enabled by SMARTair also allows staff and children to be safely confined within locked classrooms, should they need to await emergency services. With the myth that powerful access control must be expensive now shattered, Lycée Kreisker plans to extend the SMARTair installation to all doors. The process of becoming keyless — and stress-free — is under way.