A South Carolina school district has opted for Schlage COBRA electronic locks to safeguard its students, teachers and staff. The locks secure outside doors at elementary schools and lock down buildings when teachers and students are outside for recess. It also ensures that doors aren’t accidentally left open.
Electronic Access Control Solution Inexpensively Lets Teachers, Students In and Keeps Strangers Out
FORESTVILLE, CONN. – August 20, 2004 – IR Security & Safety today announced that South Carolina’s Rock Hill School District No. 3 is using Schlage COBRA and PRO Series electronic locks to protect students, teachers and staff on several of its 33 campuses. The district has plans to install Schlage locks, including its line of computer-managed (CM) locking systems, at all of its schools.
“The COBRA and PRO Series locks are good devices for us to ensure secure schools,” reports Mike Robbins, a locksmith for the Rock Hill School District for the past 18 years. “Our future growth is the CM locks, so that way we can control when our teachers come and go in the district. Plus they will tell us who is coming and going.”
Currently the school district has about 25 PRO Series locks installed at eight campuses. The locks are used to secure outside doors at elementary schools, to lock buildings when teachers and students go outside for recess, and to ensure that doors aren’t left propped open. A COBRA lock is installed on a lab to protect expensive equipment.
Schlage PRO Series programmable locks are stand-alone, microprocessor-based, battery-powered locks that let building managers quickly add new codes and delete old ones via the keypad within seconds. Up to 120 unique, individual access codes can be programmed into the lockset. Installation is easy for standard cylindrical, mortise latch and mortise dead-bolt locksets. No external wiring is required. The locksets require little maintenance, providing greater than 80,000 activations, equivalent to 2 to 3 years battery life.
Schlage COBRA locks are electronic cylindrical or mortise-style locks that can store up to 100 3- to 8-digit user codes and allow locksmiths to easily add or delete codes in seconds. Until it receives an authorized code, the clutching lever simply gives way, discouraging vandals and others from breaking it to gain entry. Schlage COBRA mortise locks have an architecturally appealing design and are available in five finishes and two lever styles that fit most mortise door preparations with minor modifications. Coverplates are available to cover door preparation left from prior installations.
One CM lock is currently installed on a fitness room for teachers and students. Teachers are given the code, so students can only access it when a teacher is present. Eventually teachers will be able to use their ID badges to access the lock. The district plans to install more CM locks that will work with proximity cards.
“The CM locks are a great standalone system for access control retrofits,” Robbins said. “We’re always looking for a better mousetrap. If there’s something out there, we try it.”
CM standalone locking products provide features found traditionally with online, networked systems. Whatever the credential used, a user-friendly software programs all, including the locks, access trim, and offline hard-wired controllers, which manage strikes and magnets, from a laptop or PDA. New users, access points and access privileges can be entered into the system in seconds. They also provide an audit trail capability.
“I’ve worked very hard to get IR locks in the district, and so far everyone is really liking them,” Robbins said. “The initial cost may be more, but you spend more money rekeying a facility if someone loses a key. Plus, you can change the code and your facility is secure again in a matter of minutes. When you use mechanical keys, you have to go around and rekey all the doors.”
For the past four years, Robbins has taught a one-hour class on access control for the annual meeting of the South Carolina School Plant Manager’s Association. He discusses several systems, but always mentions and shows photos of the district’s IR Security & Safety locking systems.
“The electronic locks are easy to program and use and require almost no maintenance,” Robbins added. “We’ve had PRO Series locks in the district for the past eight years and I would say that we are getting three to four years of use out of each battery. I change batteries in my pager a lot more often than I change batteries in these controllers. When needed, it’s so simple to change them.”
District administrators want more of the locks installed, but finding money in tight budgets can slow the process, the locksmith said. “We have principals going to the PTAs and they’re buying locks with money that the kids are raising. When you are talking about securing schools, the money finds itself.”
About IR Security & Safety’s Electronic Access Control Division
Since 1969, IR Security & Safety’s Electronic Access Control Division (EACD) has provided premium electronic access control solutions, including electromagnetic locks, monitoring consoles, electromechanical locks and strikes, electrical and electronic exit devices, power supplies and controllers to security professionals and their customers. Leading brands such as Recognition Systems, Schlage and Von Duprin comprise the Electronic Access Control Division of IR Security and Safety, which serves an international clientele from its headquarters in Forestville, Conn. Phone is 866-322-1237. The IR website is www.irco.com.