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Optex’s infrared intruder detectors excel in hospital security at UK psychiatric hospital

Published on 13 October, 2010
Optex's intrusion detection system ensure patient safety at UK psychiatric hospital
The system comprises multiple Optex BoundaryGard Active AX beams and the new FIT Series FTN RAM detectors

A variety of innovative external detectors from Optex Europe have been installed at a psychiatric hospital to prevent patients from leaving the site, accessing out of bounds areas and escaping via the roof or causing themselves injury.

Following a change in Home Office guidelines, psychiatric hospitals have been obliged to upgrade their security.

Brighton-based installer Securitel, which has worked with the hospital for more than seven years, was asked to provide a suitable means of detecting patients attempting to enter the hospital's secure perimeter from the building and especially to prevent patients from accessing the roof.

As roof barriers were costly and aesthetically unsuitable Securitel's Managing Director Andy Parker trialled various electronic ‘barriers' in the form of PIR detectors but was plagued by false alarms, notably from wildlife such as squirrels. Then he turned to Optex. "The Optex range of detectors has been on-site for a number of weeks now and we have not had a single false alarm," he says.

The system Andy has designed comprises multiple Optex BoundaryGard Active AX beams around the wall of the hospital covering perimeter windows and the new FIT Series FTN RAM detectors covering individual windows where beams would have been impractical. He was particularly impressed with the accuracy of the beams that allow workmen to continue about their duties (such as cutting the grass) without the detectors continually entering alarm.

"The spread of the beams is very impressive," he says. "With the other PIRs, targeting the beams sufficiently to blank out other zones was problematic. With the AX and FIT series of detectors there is no such problem."

Optex detectors provide reliable detection in challenging weather conditions

The Optex detectors also provide reliable detection in challenging weather conditions. The TF AX beams, for example, include automatic gain control (AGC) to help compensate for loss of signal caused by fog or heavy rain. This circuitry ensures that, even with 99% of signal lost, the beams will continue to function.

To further ensure reliability, beams also feature an adjustable beam interruption timer that can be set to filter out alarms from small or fast moving objects. Add to this a frost resistant cover design and lighting protection and you have a beam suitable for installations in the harshest environments.

The battery powered FTN-R/RAM that cover the window exits includes SMDA (Super Multi Dimension Analysis) where every motion is analysed before signalling an alarm to reduce false or nuisance alarms.

The 190-degree built-in bracket enables horizontal radiation allowing areas or objects to be blanked out with ease, and the wire free capability saves on installation time and cost. The FTN-R/RAM also includes a pet immunity feature so dogs or cats that break the beam will not create a false alarm and Digital Anti-masking so it will alarm when covered or tampered with.

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