Substance Abuse in Library Bathrooms – HALO Smart Sensor Takes the Bathrooms Back

Libraries across the United States are known to be a place where you can find any type of book or research one may look for. Surprisingly, it has also become a place of drug usage, loitering, and unauthorized vaping – specifically in their bathrooms. A five-state study conducted and published in the Journal of Community Health found that 45% of libraries reported on-site drug or alcohol use in the past month, and 12% of public libraries reported an on-site drug overdose in the prior year. A man in White Plains, New York was even arrested for selling drugs out of a public library bathroom. States like New York have also proposed legislation to allow librarians access to drug overdose training and revival resources.


With this rise, public libraries across the country are looking to take their bathrooms back, just as schools look to take their bathrooms back through vape detectors. Devices like the HALO Smart Sensor are designed to help libraries, among all other 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 one of the main areas of public buildings, such as libraries, 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 libraries be able to monitor if any unauthorized activity such as vaping or drug usage is being done in the bathrooms.


Vape and THC Detection


Similar to retail and convenience stores restrooms, vapers and drug users are looking for a discreet space and turn to the restrooms of libraries. This makes for an uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous situation for both library patrons as well as library staff. Smart sensors such as the HALO Smart Sensor are a cost-effective and optimal solution for libraries and other 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, libraries 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 library restrooms, along with all types of public bathrooms, is the potential for aggression or violence. Places like restrooms are secluded and there is the expectation of privacy, which makes it 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 makes the library’s restroom a safe place.


Motion and Occupancy Detection


Motion and occupancy detection can be used in library 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 library personnel to act swiftly and efficiently.


Libraries are supposed to be a safe haven for people to learn, work, research, and read. It is time for public libraries to take their restrooms back, along with schools, stores, hotels, and all other facilities across the country. Contact us today to learn more about the HALO Smart Sensor.