Substance Abuse In Public Bathrooms Has Risen – Smart Sensors Help Keep Bathrooms Safe

Public restrooms pose a unique security and health challenge in that there is an expectation of privacy within the restrooms, therefore security cameras and recording are not permitted. This often leads to public restrooms being used for substance abuse and unpermitted vaping. In one example affecting library restrooms, meth contamination forced three Denver, Colorado area libraries to close in a span of two months. In another example, bathrooms in Montgomery County, Maryland schools have been deemed some of the most dangerous places in the schools due to drug usage, vaping, violence, and vandalism. Library restrooms and schools are not the only public spaces experiencing the kind of substance abuse that poses a health hazard to unsuspecting patrons worldwide. This kind of safety hazard is affecting restrooms in convenience stores and hotel rooms worldwide.

technical paper produced by the government of West Australia, which looked into the health risks posed by residual meth, noted that smoking the drug often means heating to vaporize it, which can “deposit on surfaces, leaving residues in a similar manner to those resulting from tobacco or cannabis smoking indoors.”

Devices like the HALO Smart Sensor are designed to help all facilities keep their buildings and bathrooms safe through Health, Safety, and Vaping detection.

Protects Privacy

Concerns are always present about putting any type of security device in an area of expected privacy. Bathrooms are an example of a public-use area where security devices are not implemented due to this apprehension. However, due to this expectation of privacy, these secluded areas are where unauthorized activities such as vaping, drug usage, loitering, and assault happen, since perpetrators cannot be easily detected.

Smart sensor devices do not use video or audio recording to monitor an area. The device simply monitors the surroundings to assure that occupants are not vaping, along with other forms of improper activity. Therefore, with the use of vaping detection devices, there is no infringement on privacy since they are not being watched by a video camera. This alleviates the concern of being visually monitored in an area of expected privacy. Stationing a smart sensor device in these areas would help establishments be able to monitor if any unauthorized activity such as vaping or drug usage is being done in the bathrooms.

Vape and THC Detection

Vapers and drug users are looking for a discreet space and turn to public restrooms in a wide variety of facilities. This makes for an uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous situation for both patrons and visitors of an establishment, as well as staff. Smart sensors such as the HALO Smart Sensor are a cost-effective and optimal solution for facilities to detect when vape or THC is being consumed in restrooms. By quickly identifying marijuana and other drugs being used in the restroom, alongside data tracking and analysis, facilities can plan on how to safely and quickly address the problem. The HALO Smart Sensor is so advanced that it can detect when someone is trying to hide their vaping activity, such as spraying cologne or perfume or trying to cover the device. Building personnel can get masking notifications and act accordingly.

Aggression Detection

A main challenge with public restrooms is the potential for aggression or violence. Places like restrooms are secluded and there is the expectation of privacy, which makes the perfect area for a violent aggressor to act. Smart sensor devices have been used in school restrooms for example, not only to monitor and curb vaping in restrooms, but also to curb violence and bullying. With the HALO Smart Sensor, you can now detect loud sounds like yelling and cries for help with spoken keyword detection. This enhanced security makes it easier to eliminate disturbances and make the restroom a safe place.

Motion and Occupancy Detection

Motion and occupancy detection can be used in bathrooms in order to identify if suspicious activity is being conducted. The HALO Smart Sensor has a variety of safety readings, including occupancy and people counting, as well as motion, or lack of motion. These sensor readings could be used to monitor loitering, unauthorized activity, or health emergencies in the restrooms and allow building personnel to act swiftly and efficiently.

Facilities of all types need and deserve to have safe public restrooms. Implementing security devices like the HALO Smart Sensor bridges the gap of having security monitoring in a public restroom, without the need to record or take video. Contact us today to learn more about the HALO Smart Sensor.

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