Imagine a school or learning institution without an effective communication system. In the event of an emergency or other unfortunate event, how would you connect with teachers, students, and parents? Most importantly, how would you ensure everyone’s safety?
Whether you need to share evacuation information, manage access control, or facilitate daily operations, a reliable and modernized intercom system is essential. That’s because as technology advances, antiquated or obsolete systems can cause more harm than good.
Newer intercom systems can be integrated with most school access control systems to enhance safety. With the reality of active shooters, trespassers, and other threats, it’s paramount to monitor those entering and leaving school buildings at specific times.
If you think your school’s intercom system requires an upgrade or a complete replacement, learn how CCi Voice can provide necessary features and benefits with competitive pricing.
How Do School Intercoms Work?
Also known as an intercommunication device, intercoms are a two-way audio and video communication system built on wired, wireless, or VoIP technology. This includes voice paging, bell schedules, emergency notifications, announcements, and more. Should a visitor require access at a specific time, a school official can speak into a two-way microphone. Some systems also feature video surveillance.
This system can also alert school personnel if a visitor is present, such as for a parent meeting, deliveries, or other authorized purposes. Additional technologies include public address systems, speakers, message boards, and digital clocks doubling as alert bulletins.
Here are the most common intercom systems:
- Wired: Similar to traditional landline or hard-wired telephone systems, this format is higher-priced than VoIP or wireless.
- Wireless: Costing less and easier to install, these intercoms might experience unstable connections. Signals can also be affected by concrete walls and steel beams, or during power outages.
- VoIP: The most cost-effective solution, this can easily scale up or down and facilitates easy integration with current infrastructures.
School Intercom Features & Benefits
When placed within schools and throughout surrounding areas, intercoms are an effective communication tool. Not only do they contribute to quality of life and safety, they also boast operational efficiencies. Functioning among indoor and outdoor areas, wireless school intercom systems are also easy to install, especially when working with a reputable provider!
Comprising a main base desktop station, wall-mounted response units are also placed throughout classrooms and cafeterias, libraries, gymnasiums, and other common areas.
Here’s a quick rundown of this technology’s main features:
- Quicker Communications for More Rapid Responses
- Audio & Video Conferencing Access
- Internal Broadcasting & Messaging
- Additional Safety & Security Measures
Now, let’s examine some of the problems you might be experiencing with your current intercom system. If any of these issues sound familiar, it might be time to consider replacing or upgrading current systems.
1. Less-Than-Stellar-Audio/Video Quality
Clear audio and video feeds are a primary intercom system function. Similar to a garbled or distorted phone conversation, it can be difficult to hear the other party. This can also be frustrating when a building principal or other school personnel is conveying an important announcement, such as a critical emergency situation.
If you’re currently experiencing any of these situations, let us know how we can help.
2. Limited Coverage
Older legacy systems might be unable to reach every school building, including classrooms, hallways, and outdoor spaces. If your school has multiple buildings throughout the campus, it might lack the expanded coverage you require. This can cause important announcements, emergencies, and other sensitive situations to be miscommunicated.
To help alleviate any of these challenges, it might be wise to upgrade to an IP-based intercom system with expanded capabilities.
3. Siloed Communications
With school officials accountable for a safe learning environment for students, teachers, and staff at all times—consistent communication is critical. An older intercom system might not be able to integrate with access control, fire and life safety systems, and emergency notifications. This can lead to siloed communication channels and misinformation. Especially when dealing with concerned parents, you want all areas of communication to be coordinated at all times.
An updated intercom system can streamline communications and reduce confusion during emergencies or regular announcements.
4. Outdated Features & Functionality
As previously mentioned, some older intercom systems might have poor audio quality. This also applies to digital images and video feeds. If your system has pixelated, low-resolution imagery without video capabilities, this can prove challenging for visual verification.
Upgrading to a newer system can provide these features and more, as well as ensuring the latest technologies.
5. Expensive Maintenance & Repairs
While you might think it’s a costly endeavor to upgrade or replace your current intercom system, you’ll actually save money over time! Older systems could break from general usage and wear and tear. Oftentimes, this could lead to challenges finding replacement if manufacturers suspend service on discontinued systems. These inconveniences can also cost additional money from your school budget, as well as significant repair downtime and other delays.
If you think it’s time to transition to a new intercom system, we can work with you to identify which features are best for your school and ensure it fits within your budget.
Choosing the Best Intercom System for Your School
If it’s helpful, use this as a guide as you review your current school intercom system. Whether you already have equipment, or want to upgrade outdated technologies, such changes can improve efficiencies, help with emergency coordination, improve school security, and more.
However you decide to move forward, CCi Voice can assist with best practices and deciding which features you want and need for your school.