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Alarm & Electronic Security Systems

“The Peaceable Kingdom” 1833) Edward Hicks


“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,

and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

— Issiah 11:16



The security of educational communities have had far too many drivers for innovation in security apparatus and systems in recent years.  In addition to tragic headline events, the growth of sporting events as revenue drivers and brand identity support run in the same tributary.  Accordingly, we follow action in international electrotechnology standards because, as the Internet of Things rolls out, we find synaptic connection growth happening at warp speed.   Products are changing; systems are changing and — of course — software/middleware/firmware is changing.

Templates for safety and sustainability goals are already in consensus products of the Genève sister organizations that support the voluntary consensus-based International Standards system.

Most of the innovation in alarm and electronic security systems is undertaken by multi-national industrial conglomerates with a synergistic relationship with consensus product development administered by the International Electrotechnical Commission. We are routinely on the receiving end of public commenting opportunity presented by IEC Technical Committee 79; its landing page linked below:

IEC TC 79 Alarm and electronic security systems / Strategic Business Plan

Contingent upon setting up a (free) account, the IEC standards development platform is open to the public — i.e. anyone may comment upon an exposure draft.

Since the beginning of 2020 we have reviewed redlines of standards listed below:

– Access control systems;
– Alarm transmission systems;
– Video surveillance systems;
– Combined and/or integrated systems even including fire alarm systems;
– Fire detection and fire alarm systems;
– Intruder and hold-up alarm systems;
– Remote receiving and/or surveillance centres;
– Social alarm systems.

We refer IEC calls for public consultation to the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee but keep track of them on the provisional workspace linked below:

USNC/IEC Workspace*

We maintain the work products of this committee on the standing agenda of our Security, Prometheus, Global and Risk colloquia.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

Issue: [15-162]

Category: Electrical, Telecommunication, Risk Management, Fire Protection, International

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Kane Howard, Richard Robben

*This workspace was converted (June 10th) to the new Google Sites; recently required by the University of Michigan.   We hope for zero, or few bugs in the conversion.


Guide to Premises Security

School of Aristotle | Gustav Spangenberg

Managing capital‐intensive campus infrastructure embedded within a politically sensitive community presents challenges not present in private industry real assets. Differences in everything from department culture to annual facility use patterns mean that facility managers cannot implement the same safety approaches in all buildings.  Approaches must be scaled and tailored to the occupancy type and informed by the interconnectedness and the specifics of a given facility.  Accordingly, the original University of Michigan standards advocacy enterprise (see ABOUT) began following the development of safety concepts in both NFPA 730 and NFPA 731 with the release of the 2008 Edition.   Thereafter, it collaborated with trade associations and subject matter experts from other universities (notably Georgetown University and Evergreen State University) to advocate user-interest concepts in the 2011 revisions.

Since 2008, campus security issues have only become more complex technically; across an expanding minefield of sensitivities.   Since 2008 we have observed the emergence of about one-hundred new consensus products being developed by the same number of new trade associations and producers presenting campus security solutions.

NFPA 730 Guide to Premise Security is a consensus document that describes construction, protection, occupancy features, and practices intended to reduce security vulnerabilities to life and property.  Related document — NFPA 731 Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems covers the application, location, installation, performance, testing, and maintenance of electronic premises security systems and their components.   The first is a performance document; the second a prescriptive document for the construction, operation and maintenance of electrotechnologies that support premise security.

Public consultation on the First Draft closes January 5, 2022.

As always, we encourage direct participation by user-interests supporting the education facility industry.   You may do so by CLICKING HERE.

It is never a bad idea to key in comments on your own but if you would like some insight into our advocacy vectors since 2008 you are welcomed to click in our periodic Risk and Public Safety colloquia during which time we pick through technical, policy and enforcement specifics.   We have been hammering on Chapters 11 and 12, Education and Healthcare Facilities, respectively; for five cycles.   See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.


Issue: [10-3], [11-58], [14-44] and [16-127]

Category: Electrical, Telecommunications, Information & Communications Technology, Public Safety, Risk Management, #SmartCampus

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Richard Robben


Department of Homeland Security: K-12 School Security

National Campus Safety and Security Project

NFPA 730 730_F2019_PMM_AAA_FD_PIresponses

NFPA 730_F2019_PMM_AAA_SD_PCresponses

ARCHIVE / NFPA 730 Guide to Premises Security


Workplace Violence Prevention & Intervention

“Fine Art, War and Peace” 2014 / U.S. Air Force art by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

Last year ASIS International announced a new revision cycle for its standard — Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention.   It is a revision and re-designation of an 2011 standard developed jointly with the Society of Human Resource Management.

From the project prospectus:

Scope: Standard provides an overview of policies, processes, and protocols that organizations can adopt to help prevent threatening behavior and violence affecting the workplace and better respond to and resolve security incidents. Standard describes the implementation of a Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Program, and protocols for effective incident management and resolution. Standard also includes an annex on Active Assailants which provides actionable information and guidance relative to prevention, intervention, and response to incidents involving an active assailant/active shooter. It describes security design considerations, security protocols and response strategies as well as the procedures for detecting, assessing, managing, and neutralizing immediately life-threatening behavior intended or perpetrated by an active assailant/active shooter, either acting alone or in a group.

Project Need: Workplace violence, in its many forms, presents one of the most challenging security and personnel safety problems that an organization can face. This standard provides information and practical methods that will enable an organization to develop an effective and informed approach to prevention, intervention and response, including incidents involving active assailants.

Stakeholders: Organizations of all sizes and types: Human resources, legal counsel, business owners, and executive level managers;  occupational safety and health personnel; union leaders; employee assistance programs; law enforcement; clinicians and service providers in the mental health field; insurers and practitioners who specialize in threat management and violence prevention; public relations/corporate communications and risk management and crisis management professionals; professional security practitioners and consultants; risk and resilience management practitioners; the global business community; not-for-profit organizations and foundations; educational institutions; government agencies and organizations.

Revisions were completed and the 2020 edition is listed on the ASIS standards bibliography:

Standards and Guidelines

For the 2020 revision, the work is done.  We have added this document to our tracking algorithm and maintain it on the standing agenda of our periodic Security and Risk teleconferences.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

We encourage our colleagues responsible for workspace safety in education communities to participate in the ASIS standards development process by communicating directly with Alexandria Virginia, Aivelis Opicka, standards@asisonline.org, (703) 518-1517.

Issue: [18-151]

Category: Security, Risk

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben


S. 2530 / School Safety Clearinghouse Act

Photo by Architect of the Capitol | Left: The teacher and children in a “little red schoolhouse” represent an important part of American education in the 1800s.
Right: Students attend a land grant college, symbolic of the national commitment to higher learning.

S. 2530: School Safety Clearinghouse Act

To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a School Safety Clearinghouse, and for other purposes.


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