• What Could Your School Intercom System be Doing?

  • By: Jim Tchinski, EET, CTS, NET+, NICET, Solutions Engineer

    What do you know about the old intercom/paging system in your school? Besides the fact that it has been there since before most of your high school students were even born, it usually hides itself in a closet and sits there running, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your only interaction with it is through a telephone handset when you pick it up, press a couple of buttons, talk to it, hang up and another year goes by. But what are you missing from it? Could it do more, or should it do more? Your answer should be, “Yes! It should.” Let’s walk through some real-world examples, and learn how ESCO Communications can help keep your school’s systems up-to-date.

    The world we live in today requires more precaution for the safety of our students and children. What if there is an emergency situation in your school? Wouldn’t you want to provide the most up-to-date means of notifications for everyone in the building? Please note that I say notifications, and not just an All Page in the building. An “All Page” in the building would alert the people you want to notify, but could also alert the people you don’t want to notify. Imagine being able to trigger pop-up text notification windows on all computers in the building, allowing silent notifications to all teachers and/or students of the situation. This could also be expanded to text messages to cell phones.

    Let’s take a look at another example. Let’s say your school plays the National Anthem each morning throughout the building to get the day started. Currently, you may play it on your phone or tablet while you set it in front of the telephone handset or microphone. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have the Intercom system automatically play it for you each morning as a prerecorded bell at 8:00 AM? If we take recording one step further in the security realm, imagine if you could record a room (or zoned area) in an emergency event with existing ceiling speakers. We can help here as well.

    Does your building have card access on its exterior and/or interior doors? If the answer is yes, then the intercom could also lock down your building, play a prerecorded message announcing the lock down situation, or even just play a designated tone that everyone knows (as to not give away the event to strangers). Again, ESCO can help you with this.

    All this can be done from a computer or multiple computers, an existing analog or IP phone system and even a cell phone. With a cell phone, you could have the capability of dialing into the Intercom system to make a live page in your building, or even across your school campus from anywhere.  Integration of existing two-way radio systems can be tied-in to allow voice and/or tone announcements of emergency messages.

    These are just a few features that are available on today’s intercoms. Some features can even be added onto an existing intercom system should there not be a budget for a brand new system. Then, when it comes time for a new Intercom, they can be incorporated together with the features you have. ESCO Communications represents several Intercom manufacturers, so we can can provide the best system(s) for your school district.

    Interested in learning more? Contact ESCO today by filling out the form below or giving us a call!