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The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.
The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.
Returning to work after the global pandemic will not be business as usual, and security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices – like ventilation and temperature controls – and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. “While the ‘new normal’ is still being defined, we believe there will be a greater focus on creating healthier environments while also complying with new regulations,” says Marcus Logan, Global Offering Leader, Honeywell Commercial Security. “Temperature, humidity, energy efficiency, security, safety, comfort, productivity, and demonstrating compliance with regulations are all a part of a healthy building.” For example, social distancing is a new concept for the workplace. How do you make that happen in an open work setting, in breakrooms, elevator lobbies and meeting spaces? Optimised systems create healthier environments Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace Building owners will need to look at how they can optimise their systems – or deploy new ones – to create a healthier environment. Building technologies, like those provided by Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions, provide building owners with more control over critical factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations, and a company's risk management policies. These solutions also provide transparency for occupants into a building's status, says Logan. Hygiene will be a critical issue: People will want to know that the spaces are ready for their return. Increased cleaning procedures and schedules will evolve, and a way will be needed to demonstrate the procedures are effective and that they have been strictly adhered to. Identifying ways to measure effectiveness of sanitisation and track compliance to the procedures will be a key challenge to solve. This is a space that will evolve significantly in the coming months and years, says Logan. Access control and video analytics Contact tracing is a new requirement in some businesses, and security technology – like access control and video analytics with advanced reporting – can help. Access control technology integrated with video analytics can be used to trace occupant movements within a facility. These technologies capture data that can be used with advanced reporting to provide a digital footprint of where a person has been within a facility and if they may have been exposed to someone identified as being infected with a contagious virus. Building owners can then proactively notify exposed individuals evolve to self-quarantine and minimise further spread of an infection. Video analytics can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace. They will not only seek confidence that the building is optimised for a healthier environment but also that processes are in place to quickly identify and respond to potential issues. Transparency and visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace. “One way to do this is to share building analytics with occupants – to help them understand factors about the indoor air quality or occupancy density,” says Logan. Controlled health, safety and security Honeywell’s solutions provide building owners with more control over critical health, safety and security factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations and a company’s risk management policies, Logan adds. Visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace Every day there is new information coming from the medical and scientific community about COVID-19, and the building industry is just starting to learn what it all means. Logan warns that there is no single solution that will keep every environment healthy and safe. A good strategy features deploying a combination of solutions, optimising systems and being vigilant to make sure that companies are sustaining compliance to new and changing regulations, says Logan. “Today more than ever we must be mindful of the changing culture of how buildings are managed by making apparent the need to be mindful of health and well-being in all aspects of our lives,” says Logan. Honeywell has developed outcome-based solutions that allow building owners to transparently address building quality factors while supporting their business continuity needs in the uncertain environment. “We’re giving them the data they need to confidently reassure their employees to accelerate their business operations,” he adds.
Traditionally, dealer-installers and/or integrators provide the front line of support to end user customers after a sale. Because integrators assemble and provide the “solution” – often using products from multiple manufacturers – they are most familiar with the total system and can troubleshoot any problems. However, manufacturers may be better equipped to deal with specific problems after a sale and also to provide a variety of resources to end-users. It’s a delicate balance, and the best approach may be dependent on the product or even the market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of manufacturers in providing support to end user customers after the sale?
Vanderbilt, a provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announces the induction of Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection by ZKTeco into their access control portfolio. These products are touchless technology that enables skin temperature measurement and masked individual identification during facial and palm verification at access points. They interface with Vanderbilt’s ACTpro on-premise and ACT365 cloud-based access control solutions, and communicate with the systems via a Wiegand output. Introducing mandatory requirements “Through this touchless technology, skin temperature acts as the credential, thus making this a crucial addition to the Vanderbilt portfolio during the current pandemic,” cites Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications at Vanderbilt. “Additionally, as countries begin to introduce mandatory requirements for citizens to wear masks, this touchless technology can detect if someone is or isn’t wearing one.” Paul McCarthy, Product Manager at Vanderbilt, outlines the technical strengths of the products. “They have a read range of 0.6 F / 0.3 C accuracy at 18 inches,” says McCarthy. Facial recognition capability Ultimately the goal of adding these terminals to the Vanderbilt portfolio is to help tackle hygiene concerns “The terminals have a straightforward, intuitive interface to set temperature thresholds and collaborate with the environment around it. Protocols can be set to prevent access if a mask isn’t being worn, or if the temperature of the visitor is above the threshold.” McCarthy further explains that facial recognition capability has reached a new height in the biometrics technology industry. For example, the Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection contains a maximum of 30,000 facial templates and up to 5000 palm templates, depending on the model selected, and a recognition speed of less than 0.3 seconds per face. Ultimately the goal of adding these terminals to the Vanderbilt portfolio is to help tackle hygiene concerns. Facial recognition terminals “For instance,” cites Andrew Fulton, Director of Business Development for Access Control at Vanderbilt. “A hospital can check when a staff member has their mask fitted and is not above the normal skin temperature limit before granting them access. This feature makes it not only an ideal product for hospitals, but also factories, schools, commercial buildings, airports, stations, and other public areas.” The addition of the Facial Recognition Terminals with Temperature Detection into the Vanderbilt portfolio allows the company to continue providing its customers with smart and reliable strategies to help create a safer environment for staff and visitors during this unprecedented time.
A landmark building located on the north side of the River Thames, has seen its security upgraded with Smart R Distribution and systems integrator, Isecurity Systems Limited, working in partnership to ensure tenants are protected by the latest advances in Access Control technology. The Northern & Shell Building at 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3 which offers dramatic panoramic river views, has an on-site restaurant, a 10 storey glazed atrium and glass wall climber lifts. Among its tenants, Northern & Shell Group occupies approximately 110,000 sq. ft. spread over the ground, 4th, 9th and 10th floors. Single software platform As part of a phased office refurbishment programme, the owners of the building reviewed the tools available to the security personnel to enable them to maintain a safe and secure environment for approximately 5,000 people who work in the building, as well as contractors and visitors. “The existing Geoffrey Access Control system had been in use for over 20 years and although it was still operating effectively, its functionality was limited compared to more modern solutions,” said Russell Morgan, Project Manager for Elsenham, Essex based Isecurity Systems, who have had a long term association with Northern & Shell Group. “A decision was made to invest in the latest generation Vanderbilt Security Management System (SMS) which enables users to efficiently manage alarms, lifts, visitors and the photo ID badging process, from a single software platform.” Magnetic stripe readers The Comelit video entry system integrates seamlessly with the SMS control system Russell and his colleagues at Isecurity Systems worked with the Smart R Distribution team to supply a Vanderbilt SMS access control system and they also in the process of replacing the 140 aging magnetic stripe readers with new CIDRON access control readers which support securely encrypted DESfire EV2 contactless Smart Cards from Cambridge UK based Authenticard. Smart R Distribution also supplied a new Comelit ViP video entry system, comprising 8 door stations and 2 control desk positions, which has been installed by Isecurity Systems to allow operators within the building’s 24/7 control room, to communicate and remotely open doors for contractors and couriers who need to gain entry via, for example, to a basement entrance. The Comelit video entry system integrates seamlessly with the SMS control system. Efficient access control solution “We now have a highly efficient Access Control solution which helps us to manage the smooth movement of large numbers of people through turnstile controlled speed lanes located in our reception area and it also enables us to control who can gain access to other restricted areas within the building,” said Dave Wratten, Facilities Manager for Northern & Shell Group. “Isecurity Systems and Smart R should be applauded for working in partnership to ensure that all the equipment was delivered to site exactly when it was needed and then installed to our complete satisfaction.”
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