In 2017, the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) sought to upgrade existing mechanical locks to electronic locks. With more than 5,000 doors across 28 campuses districtwide, the transition was sure to be a significant undertaking. HUSD Director of Security Christopher Wynn said the District elected to upgrade to electronic access control due to many benefits including the capability to quickly lockdown doors remotely in an emergency. Additionally, the elimination of associated costs and time-consuming tasks commonly found with tracking and replacing traditional mechanical keys will benefit the District.
Wynn was previously a system integrator and has a great deal of knowledge about access control products, particularly those that are best suited for the unique needs of education. He and his team, consisting of Locksmiths Mark Sanchez and Steve Richardson, recommended installing SALTO Systems electronic locks, accessories and supporting ProAccess SPACE management software to manage the system. The system will be utilized by more than 4,000 regular users once it is rolled out to all sites.
Wynn and his team have begun installing a combination of SALTO’s Wireless Real-Time Access Control System and SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) solutions. Wynn said they appreciated the capability of initially mixing both online and offline solutions as they begin the installation with the option of expanding the system to be fully online in the future.
SALTO’s innovative SVN allows stand-alone locks to read, receive and write information via an encrypted and secure data-on-card system that utilizes the capabilities of RFID read/write technology. With SVN, all access data is stored on and distributed by its operating smartcard (or other RFID device). When presenting a smartcard to an offline stand-alone door, not only does this control access rights to that door but, thanks to two-way communication, the door also writes data like blacklist information or battery status back to the smartcard. The smartcard then transmits this information back to the server via online wall readers that are able to update and receive information from the cards anytime and anywhere in the building.
SALTO Wireless has been developed to meet the highest demands related to security and comfort. This access control system is networked through radio frequency and especially designed for doors where real-time control is required.
The SALTO locks installed in HUSD include the original XS4 escutcheon and the XS4 Mini escutcheon. The SALTO XS4 Mini’s compact, easy-to-install design makes it simple for security professionals to replace mechanical-key-operated door locks with the latest electronic access control solution, often in just five minutes or less.
HUSD is also integrating the use of SALTO Padlocks and GEO Cylinders into the overall access control system. Within schools, there are a variety of special areas that benefit from the use of versatile electronic locking solutions where previously it was only possible to use a mechanical solution. Wynn said in a school environment like HUSD, this could include securing classroom cabinets or carts that carry computer notebooks from classroom to classroom.
Wynn, Sanchez and Richardson will manage the system via SALTO ProAccess SPACE management software. District site administrators will be authorized to issue replacement credentials and conduct cardholder programming.
One of the most important features of the new SALTO system, “is the ability to immediately lock all doors with the lockdown feature in ProAccess SPACE,” said Wynn.
“We will use the lockdown procedures in all of our lockdown drills,” he said. “The lockdown feature will be integrated into our crisis management plan and will enhance our ability to secure our school sites faster and more efficiently than using mechanical keys.”
Wynn said they are also working to integrate SALTO locks with Telecenter U, a software program that controls HUSD’s public address, phones and bell systems.
“Teachers or staff members will be able to enter a code into a phone and the system will trigger a relay to the SALTO controller which will initiate a lockdown of the online locks,” said Wynn. He said the district is currently in the process of installing Telecenter U software at all school sites.
Wynn said HUSD’s transition to SALTO’s electronic access control system has gone smoothly and the end result will be a technologically-advanced solution that offers students and staff enhanced security.
“SALTO is a very desirable electronic access control solution for school districts as it can be hardwired, wireless or standalone – and the cost to deploy the system is far less than other access control systems,” he said. “The ability to lockdown doors remotely makes the system ideal for school districts, the locks are visually appealing and do not draw negative attention to themselves and there are a variety of credentials to choose from.”