Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, have been increasingly used among youth and adolescents over the last decade. As a result, using e-cigarettes is unsafe for anyone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, data from 2020 has shown that about one-in-five high schoolers and one-in-twenty middle school students use them.
Vaping tobacco and THC, the chemical component found in marijuana, on school campuses is at epidemic levels, according to the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS). It is not uncommon for these incidents to go undetected. Vaping activities typically occur in private areas such as bathrooms and locker rooms, making it difficult to discover with routine surveillance. Many students will also attempt to cover up the smells associated with their vaping by spraying cologne or body spray.
IoT devices are deployable with or without associated camera support to protect personal privacy when necessary. For example, bathrooms and locker rooms are not appropriate locations for cameras, but technicians can install air quality sensors in these rooms.
Maintaining the safety of students and staff is a high priority for any school administrator. People generally expect and trust education administrators to provide a safe environment for learning. While scientists and researchers are still trying to understand the long-term health effects the e-cigarettes have on users and bystanders, they do know that the aerosol emitted is not harmless and includes volatile and cancer-causing chemicals.
In a whitepaper on the e-cigarette problems in schools, PASS reports, “While no one technology can solve the problem of vaping in schools, there are a number of technologies that when used in combination and supported by policies and practices, have proven to be highly effective.”
Milestone Technology partner, IP Video Corp., manufactures the HALO Smart Sensor. This is a new security sensor that monitors and detects vape, smoke, THC, and other air particulates in areas inappropriate for cameras. In addition, the sensor can detect and identify specific sounds. For example, the Halo Smart Sensor includes progressive technology that hears and identifies gunshot sounds, calls for help, and other aggressive noises, such as shouting or fighting. Furthermore, it’s the only vape detector that can distinguish THC oil given off by vaping devices and monitor air quality for temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and other hazardous chemicals to help alert operators of health risk issues in real time.
Steve Rice is the Global Director of Business Development at IP Video. Rice tells us, “HALO is used by campuses worldwide to aid in youth vaping prevention efforts. With our new HALO 3C features we are now bringing safety and improved air quality to the classroom while protecting both privacy areas and the privacy of individual staff and students. IP Video is very excited to be partnering with Milestone and their seamless integration with HALO, allowing us to address the safety and air quality concerns throughout the campus with comprehensive and timely situational awareness.”
The HALO sensor fully integrates with Milestone XProtect® and Milestone Kite™ video technology platforms. As a result, logging and visibility in Milestone’s video management software (VMS) is easy to accomplish. HALO uses a dynamic vape detection algorithm to learn about the environment and alert operators when vaping , and when people attempt to mask the odor. XProtect’s event manager integration with HALO transmits alerts to the VMS when the baseline exceeds acceptable levels. Therefore, administrators can resolve emerging situations proactively.
Here are a few ways XProtect automates notifications for school administrators:
- Operators: Real-time notifications display on-screen along with an audible alert.
- Hall Monitors: The platform sends an email or text messages directly to team members.
- Investigators: The VMS triggers automatic video recording from a nearby camera for review by security personnel.
With HALO sensors, Milestone’s platform functions are extensible, helping schools to provide a safer school campus.
While students using e-cigarettes continues to be a health and safety concern, school administrators looking to equip their campuses with the right technology can take their safety and security measures to the next level. Pairing the HALO Smart Sensor with Milestone XProtect or Kite platforms will detect abnormalities and safety risks in areas technicians cannot place cameras.
If you’re interested in learning more about campus security and safety solutions, visit our website or get in touch with us to schedule a demo. Our security professionals can show you how this technology can help keep students and staff safe on your campus.