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Helsinki schools to be equipped with emergency lock-down systems

The city plans to spend a total of 2.7 million euros to update security systems at schools and day care centres.

Koulu kuvitus kello
File photo. Image: Yle / Patrik Skön

Helsinki is planning to install new gear like burglar alarms and video surveillance systems, as well as update door-locking systems at 77 schools and day care centres across the city.

Schools will be equipped with new lock systems, which - in emergency situations - will enable staff to centrally lock all of a building's equipped doors with a push of a button.

According to city education officials installation of the centralised locking systems will cost some 350,000 euros. The 2.7 million euro funding for security infrastructure expenditure was approved by city education officials last month.

A head administrator from the Swedish-language side of the city's education department, Niclas Rönnholm said the hardware installations are part of routine security updates.

"It's a question of checking security equipment and systems in place, replacing outdated ones and fixing those in need of repair," Rönnholm said, saying that the planned security installations are commonly included in the construction of new buildings in general.

He said the security systems to be used are not exceptional just because they are being installed in schools.

"In public buildings there is no expectation that people should be able to freely move about, rather they should have access to areas of the building in which they are supposed to be," Rönnholm said.

Day care centres are also scheduled to update security arrangements and procedures for outdoor play areas.

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