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Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

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.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

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.  

The intersection of education and fire and security
The intersection of education and fire and security

Protecting against fire and security risks is an essential aspect of life for people and across all sectors. However, there is an increasing expectation and demand on fire and security providers, in areas such as education. The securitisation of our world paired with the rapid speed of communication and news updates means that young people especially have the potential to be more aware of potential dangers and threats to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Education institutions are large and sometimes sprawling sites that present considerable fire and security challenges. From kindergarten to university Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties, as well as the need to maintain the capacity of students, teachers and lecturers to study, learn and teach at the high level expected.Each education site brings distinct challenges, with differing facilities and specialties While some schools and universities are based in urban areas with a mix of heritage and high rise buildings, others are sprawled across green open spaces. Some of these sites have specialised sporting facilities, while others may be focused on engineering or scientific study, with costly technical equipment. Kindergartens and primary schools have their own unique requirements. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management. The demographic of these institutions is predominantly young children, who are often unaware of or only just learning about fire safety and personal safety. This creates a huge vulnerability and an added onus on teachers to keep their students safe. Facial recognition at West Academy of Beijing In response to this need, Chubb China upgraded the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) focusing on elevating video content analytic features, including maximised CCTV monitoring, automatic police calling, and a smart search solution. Complementing this, a facial recognition system capable of finding the exact location of a student on campus within 30 seconds was added, aided by real-time remote gate operation. This integrated and advanced system resulted won the "High Quality Educational Technology Suppliers for School" award for the WAB project at the 2019 BEED Asia Future Oriented Construction of Universities and Schools Seminar. This award recognises outstanding solution design and project execution. Parents expect the highest safety standards, while schools require safety in addition to efficient facilities management Awareness remains important at university As students graduate from kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior school, they become more aware of fire safety, relevant dangers and how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, external dangers remain. There are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers The safety of students in a university environment is also critical. It is often the first time young people live away from their family home and have the independence of adulthood. For this reason, there are particularly high stakes for university campus facilities managers. In the eventuality of a fire, students could be at great risk and, beyond the immediacy of physical harm, this can have serious ramifications for the reputation of an educational institution. Integrated solutions Integrated solutions must be nimble and adapted to a range of site types including campus residences, recreational areas, open spaces and lecture theatres. Chubb Sicli recently identified and overcame these challenges through the installation of a full suite of fire safety and security equipment and services at Webster University Geneva. Established in Switzerland in 1978, Webster University Geneva is an accredited American university campus that offers programs in English to students interested in undergraduate or graduate-level education.  Located in the Commune of Bellevue, just a few kilometres from Geneva's central station, the campus of Webster University Geneva includes five buildings in a park-style atmosphere. Full fire and security audit Chubb Sicli provided Webster’s fire extinguisher maintenance for over 25 years. This business relationship led to a full fire and security audit that identified the need for updates to the university’s security installation. The initial audit showed several improvements to the university’s security profile were needed.The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution The challenge was to create and provide an effective and interconnected fire and security solution, enhancing the security of the student population and its ever-evolving needs. This included complete fire detection and intruder alarms for all five buildings, upgrades to existing CCTV systems, new video surveillance equipment and an automated fire extinguishing system in the kitchen areas. In addition to this integrated system solution, Webster University required access control for all main entrances, with the requirement that all documentation to be made available in English, because Webster is an American company. Customised solution Chubb Sicli’s quality, capability, and security expertise provided a customised solution for the unique educational establishment. Not only was the solution both tailored and integrated, the approach and planning were based on audit, fire extinguisher and emergency light maintenance, fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance and Fire Detection. Through dedicated and integrated fire safety support, Chubb provides students and families peace of mind and security. From the moment a young child enters the education system, Chubb’s diligent and effective surveillance and fire safety systems work to prevent and protect, offering a new kind of ‘end-to-end’ service for education systems around the world.

Latest Johnson Controls, Inc. news

Johnson Controls acquires Qolsys, Inc. to enhance its smart building solutions portfolio
Johnson Controls acquires Qolsys, Inc. to enhance its smart building solutions portfolio

Johnson Controls has announced it has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys Inc., a globally renowned residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, after owning a majority stake in the company since 2014. Smart building solutions expert Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. The Qolsys founders and leadership team will remain in Silicon Valley (San Jose, California), assuming key roles in Johnson Controls’ global intrusion business. Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform, delivering next-gen smart building solutions Johnson Controls continues in its mission to deliver smarter, safer, more intelligent and connected buildings, by deploying emerging technologies, such as embedded IP, artificial intelligence and machine learning through state-of-the-art solutions and partnerships. Johnson Controls is at the forefront of fundamental transformation of how spaces and places are perceived and enjoyed by balancing and responding to the flow of information, services and people that occupy buildings. OpenBlue digital platforms By applying data from both inside and outside buildings, Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue digital platforms empower customers to manage operations, while delivering safety and security in dynamic and agile environments.       "Qolsys has grown from a startup to a renowned security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses," said Jeff Williams, President of Global Products, Johnson Controls. "The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets, while further enhancing the suite of products and services offered on our digital platform, OpenBlue." IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals The award-winning IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals have driven explosive growth in North America and across the globe with future-proof features, supported by over-the-air software updates, built-in panel camera, Bluetooth disarming and innovative installation, and diagnostic tools to reduce costs and increase user engagement and satisfaction. Qolsys continues to show consistent growth of services and dealers, which led to US$ 150 million in revenues during fiscal year 2019.    "As the world becomes more connected and the innovation curve continues to ramp at unprecedented speed, we are excited to join Johnson Controls," said Dave Pulling, Qolsys Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dave will be occupying the post of Vice President and General Manager of the global intrusion products business for Johnson Controls, which had US$ 500 million in revenue in fiscal year 2019. Advanced cloud-enabled solutions firm This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry" Dave adds, "We are committed to our customers in the security channel while continuing to invest in our roadmap and emerging verticals around the globe. This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry with advanced cloud-enabled solutions that transcend traditional intrusion offerings including advanced automation, energy management, apartment management, building management and wellness for aging in place." The combined volume of Qolsys, DSC, Bentel, Visonic - PowerG and Tyco products positions Johnson Controls as the market share major in advanced security solutions worldwide. IQ Hub, Panel, Water and Router products Qolsys recently announced roadmap products, including the IQ Hub, a lower-priced, third-generation IQ Panel; the IQ Router, a next-generation mesh networking solution to elegantly address the rapidly complex connected home; IQ Water, a connected water shut-off valve designed for mass market retrofit and a fourth generation IQ Panel due in 2021 with Qualcomm chipset supporting AI, M2M and next generation connectivity. Johnson Controls will offer Qolsys products throughout global markets. The IQ Panel 2 Plus and a full line of security and home automation devices are available from authorised Qolsys distributors.

Johnson Controls announces the launch of OpenBlue digital platform to support smart and sustainable buildings
Johnson Controls announces the launch of OpenBlue digital platform to support smart and sustainable buildings

Johnson Controls, a global provider of smart and sustainable buildings, is launching OpenBlue - a complete suite of connected solutions and services that combine the Company’s 135 years of building expertise with cutting-edge technology. This open digital platform, when integrated with Johnson Controls core building systems and enhanced by Fortune 100 technology partners, will make shared spaces safer, more agile and more sustainable. Johnson Controls OpenBlue is the culmination of years of research and development by the Company’s industry renowned engineers and data scientists around the globe, to create the “blueprint for the future” to guide smart, sustainable buildings. The new suite of connected solutions enables previously unimaginable occupant experiences, respectful safety and security, and impactful sustainability, driven by cutting-edge connected technology. Artificial intelligence Connectivity is critical to achieve this goal: building systems must work together and communicate to be effective. OpenBlue was designed with agility, flexibility and scalability in mind, to enable buildings to become dynamic spaces. In leveraging the OpenBlue platform, customers will be able to manage operations more systemically, delivering buildings that have memory, intelligence and unique identity. The platform infuses the OpenBlue suite of solutions and services with award-winning artificial intelligence (AI), combining data from both inside and outside of buildings. Safety and sustainability The launch of OpenBlue reflects how we think buildings are evolving from inflexible assets to dynamic resources" “How we interact with our environments and how buildings and shared spaces are managed for safety and sustainability is top of mind everywhere, and now more than ever we recognise how complex these systems are. Johnson Controls has been making buildings efficient and safe for 135 years, and this year, our obligation to deliver comprehensive, best in class solutions to our customers has never been more important,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. “The launch of OpenBlue reflects how we think buildings are evolving from inflexible assets to dynamic resources. As a result, this is a critical element of our business strategy, enabling us to lead customers around the world to the solutions and services required to transform their spaces for the future.” Indoor air quality By combining traditionally separate systems, OpenBlue will enable the connection of every part of a building to create new possibilities for smarter, more efficient and sustainable spaces. OpenBlue customers will be able to: Respond with dynamic flexibility: OpenBlue will enable buildings to switch into different modes to address various critical situations. Modes can include management of building access, air flow, elevator movement, door locks, lighting, and open collaboration, as well as other environmental and safety settings. Deploy COVID-19 solutions: OpenBlue connects Johnson Controls products, technology and services to help customers get back to work as safely and efficiently as possible. These solutions and services include contact tracing, social distance monitoring, thermal cameras, clean air, touchless environments, compliance and reporting management, energy optimisation, advanced safety monitoring and more. Select from tiered services for their needs: OpenBlue will contain a suite of tiered, AI-infused service solutions delivering advanced capabilities such as remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, advanced risk assessments, compliance monitoring and more. Security at the center of the solutions: OpenBlue was designed with safety at its core and will enable customers to access secure by design solutions. Each of the OpenBlue offerings are developed with robust design protocols for security and privacy process. Increase energy savings and improve indoor air quality (IAQ): By connecting HVAC equipment with new data and AI, users of the platform can expect 20-60 percent cost savings by optimising the performance of the full HVAC system across energy costs and IAQ parameters. Traditional operational technology Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform brings together traditional operational technology, existing IT systems and cloud applications infused with AI and cutting-edge technology such as digital twins, enabling insight, integration and collaboration. OpenBlue will enable operating technologies to seamlessly communicate and integrate across a broad range of systems. “Connectivity is the key to making buildings work harder for us,” said Mike Ellis, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Digital Officer, Johnson Controls. Unique software capabilities Open refers to an optimistic future and the platform’s open architecture to enable products to work with various solutions" “This new suite of solutions will enable previously unimaginable outcomes for our customers by connecting buildings to unique software capabilities, providing insight to deliver high customer value. We are partnering with a number of leading technology companies and thought leaders in various sectors to roll-out tailored solutions in the coming months.” “The launch of OpenBlue is a radical approach to dynamic spaces,” said Phil Clement, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson Controls. “The brand identity was created with a number of factors in mind: Open refers to an optimistic future and the platform’s open architecture to enable products to work with various solutions. The colour blue is core to Johnson Controls branding for the past 135 years and gives a nod to our strong heritage in the buildings space.” Open data platforms OpenBlue technology experts will lead proprietary ‘OpenBlue - Blueprint of the Future’ customer workshops, thought leadership webinars and insight sessions to help customers reimagine the possibilities of built environments and map out capabilities for spaces and places to power a unique customer mission. Johnson Controls partners with global Fortune 100 companies to bring together leading expertise with open data platforms, leading software applications and AI, core building systems and smart edge devices. The new technology ecosystem delivers new vision, while reimagining the future of workplaces, including hospitals, schools, stadiums, cities and more.

Johnson Controls releases Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST, highly accurate, contactless skin temperature scanning solution
Johnson Controls releases Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST, highly accurate, contactless skin temperature scanning solution

Johnson Controls, a globally renowned company in creating smart buildings solutions and helping reopen buildings, as part of the ‘new normal’ in COVID-19 pandemic period, announced the launch of its smart elevated skin temperature scanning solution, the Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST. A healthy and safe environment starts with a holistic approach that encompasses not only a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) infrastructure, but adds temperature screening among protocols including contact tracing, frictionless entry and exits, and the practice of social distancing. Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST The Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST is a contactless and highly accurate solution that will be another tool in the first line of defence for building owners and operators as part of their pandemic safety measures. At the heart of the Johnson Controls’ smart elevated skin temperature scanning solution is the Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST camera, which provides rapid scanning at accuracy levels that exceed standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), as tested and confirmed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). In addition, the solution has been designed to meet the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (USFDA) April 2020 Enforcement Policy for Telethermographic Systems. Skin temperature scanning Advanced facial detection technology and rapid scanning quickly alert operators to elevated skin temperature reading Skin temperature scanning is done while people continue to walk. Embedded, advanced facial detection technology and rapid scanning times quickly alert operators to an elevated skin temperature reading. People don’t need to stop or be approached by operators. This helps to reduce crowding and contributes to a contactless building entry experience for visitors and employees at businesses, schools, sporting and transportation venues, and other buildings. Smart, sustainable building solutions “How we interact with our environments, buildings and shared spaces has become top-of-mind as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a 135-year history of creating smarter, safer, more sustainable buildings, Johnson Controls has unmatched expertise, technology and the solutions to rethink our physical spaces at this critical time,” said Mike Ellis, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer & Digital Officer, Johnson Controls. Mike adds, “This camera provides added measures in a rapid and contactless fashion. Johnson Controls is very proud to be providing a solution that not only meets, but exceeds IEC standards.” The solution is equipped with the technical features for accuracy and rapid response: 5-megapixel color/thermal camera with built-in, AI-enabled face detection technology that isolates the forehead and performs a multi-point temperature measurement, accurate to within ±0.2ºC/0.4ºF, when deployed in compliance with proper installation and condition requirements. Blackbody temperature calibration device, with a 24-month calibration certificate, for sustained accuracy. Customisable, real-time alerts for local or remote monitoring via a browser or through compatible video management systems. Integration with other security systems, such as an access control solution that can automatically prevent the person from further access. Using secondary evaluation methods Elevated skin temperatures identified by the solution should be confirmed with secondary evaluation methods, such as clinical thermometers. Temperature measurements should not be solely or primarily relied upon to diagnose or exclude a diagnosis of COVID-19, or any other disease. Pro Thermal EST should be used to measure only one individual’s temperature at a time, in accordance with FDA guidelines. The Tyco Illustra Pro Thermal EST is now available for sale in the United States and will be released globally in phases.

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