Access control controllers - Expert commentary

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 Hikvision news

Hikvision intelligent traffic management system to help vehicles to flow through Xi'an city
Hikvision intelligent traffic management system to help vehicles to flow through Xi'an city

Traffic continues to grow in every major city. But how do people beat congestion in these restricted urban spaces? In China’s ancient-walled city of Xi’an, they’re adopting an intelligent traffic management system based on Hikvision technology - and boosting traffic flow while reducing journey time. The Chinese city of Xi'an, known as Chang'an in ancient times, was the centre of ancient oriental civilisation. Thirteen dynasties spanning Chinese history have chosen Xi'an as their capital. Today, Xi'an is not simply a part of history: it’s a high-tech hub, renowned across China for its scientific research and education, manufacturing, technology, and transportation. In spite of being a modern hub, Xi’an still retains its ‘checkerboard’ layout from the Tang Dynasty, complete with its border of tall and ancient walls. Urban Traffic Administration Nevertheless, while economic growth has enabled the city to develop, the walls place great restrictions on the city’s daily movement - especially to its burgeoning traffic. Vehicles can only enter and exit through the city gates, but with some three million vehicles in the city, the limited number of entrances was beginning to cause serious congestion. What’s more, there are also many ancient ruins in the city, which were further limiting the development of the urban area. Managing a growing city while protecting its history presented a serious challenge to Xi’an Plus, as of 2018, the city was home to over 10 million people, while the number of construction projects was steadily increasing. Managing a growing city while protecting its history presented a serious challenge to Xi’an. So, to address this, Xi’an Urban Traffic Administration turned to Hikvision and its intelligent cameras. Traffic sensing system “Xi’an’s city walls make it impossible to increase the size of the urban area. So, it was only through technology that we could allow the modern city to grow and develop,” says Lihu Ma, the Project Manager from Hikvision. “A core part of the Hikvision solution involves our AI-powered video technology.” The Xi'an traffic police worked with experts from Hikvision, as well as urban planning experts, internet service providers and other technology companies, to design and implement an intelligent traffic management system. The construction of this system fully utilises Hikvision's core advantages in urban transportation intelligence, employing AI-powered video to create a powerful traffic sensing system. Physical urban transportation network The latest sonar monitoring equipment is being used to detect illegal use of car horns in banned areas “Effectively, we are building a bridge between an intelligent digital world and the physical urban transportation network in Xi’an,” explains Lihu. The intelligent traffic management system analyses comprehensive and detailed data about the movement of traffic through the urban Xi’an area, and uses the insight gathered to make the flow of traffic more smoothly in three key ways. Comprehensive road traffic violation monitoring Xi'an traffic police have installed Hikvision’s Checkpoint Capture Cameras and Intersection Violation Capture Units as part of a monitoring system that can detect illegal vehicle behaviour at intersections. These full view ultra-high zoom cameras record vehicles making illegal maneuvers - such as running red lights, making banned turns and illegal lane changes - in real time. What’s more, the latest sonar monitoring equipment is being used to detect illegal use of car horns in banned areas. Intelligent mobile applications  Visual integrated command and dispatching platform Using real-time video streams from Hikvision Traffic Flow Capture Cameras, a number of road condition perception technologies, plus intelligent mobile applications, Xi'an traffic police has created a visual command and control centre, coupled with an intelligent police dispatch system. All data is aggregated and dynamically displayed on a large screen in the command and control centre. In the event of a traffic incident, the system generates dispatch recommendations intelligently, according to the location and distribution of traffic police officers throughout the city. Those closest to an incident receive an automated message to their mobile terminals, enabling them to arrive at the scene quickly. Intelligent traffic management system The Xi’an traffic management team also employs congestion management practices More importantly, the intelligent traffic management system uses advanced machine learning capabilities to gain insight into typical congestion patterns, in order to actively identify potential traffic events before they happen. By analysing large volumes of road condition data and information from Hikvision’s intelligent video cameras, the system can predict which intersections are most prone to congestion and when, enabling traffic police to put evasive measures in place before serious issues arise. Improved vehicle flow capacity with intelligent signal control The Xi’an traffic management team also employs congestion management practices to ease the flow of traffic, largely through the optimisation of signal timing. Using Hikvision intelligent video cameras coupled with augmented reality (AR) technology, the intelligent traffic management system analyses traffic flow data and dynamically alters the timing of signal lights accordingly. Adjusting signal timing It will monitor traffic flow, queue length and average driving speed in all directions of intersections in real-time, automatically adjusting signal timing to optimise the flow of vehicles. The Xi'an traffic management system has now been trained with a wealth of traffic data, including Hikvision video, enabling it to build multiple intelligent algorithms for managing congestion in the city. Driver behaviour is improving, and drivers are becoming more compliant with the rules of the road First of all, map-based congestion reports suggest that Xi'an's congestion rankings have improved significantly. In fact, compared with the test results of pilot roads before the system went live, intelligent signal control alone has increased the throughput of traffic by 10%, while the average vehicle journey time is reduced by about 12%. What’s more, driver behaviour is improving, and drivers are becoming more compliant with the rules of the road. Traffic incident warning function Traffic law enforcement data reveals that traffic offences are generally decreasing, with traffic violations dropping by some 30% in one short-term observation. Additionally, thanks to the proactive traffic incident warning function, the incident detection rate has also increased by more than 30% compared to the traditional model. With the continuous optimisation of the system algorithm, plus ongoing installation of monitoring equipment, the accuracy of this identification will only improve. In the process of urbanisation, tackling congestion is not only about improving the flow of the transportation network: it’s also basic governance for building a smart city.

Paxton unveils new version v6.04 Net2 Occupancy Management & Thermal Scan integrations to facilitate COVID-secure Buildings
Paxton unveils new version v6.04 Net2 Occupancy Management & Thermal Scan integrations to facilitate COVID-secure Buildings

Paxton Access Ltd. (Paxton) has announced new additions to their renowned Net2 access control product line, helping installers make their customers’ buildings more COVID-secure. The latest version of Net2 – v6.04 has been in rapid development since May 2020 and is now ready for installers to download. Net2 – v6.04 The latest version features Net2 Occupancy Management, which allows enterprises to limit the number of people in any given area, either barring access or sending an email or text to the building manager when a space nears capacity. It works across multiple areas of a site and can be set to operate a one-in, one-out system to support social distancing measures. In addition to this update, installers who want to use thermal scanning to help limit the spread of the virus can do so with three new thermal scan integrations. Making buildings more COVID-secure We understand the important part that access control plays in managing the flow of people around a building" Adam Stroud, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Paxton Access Ltd. stated, "We understand the important part that access control plays in managing the flow of people around a building in order to support a hygienic environment. In addition, controlling the density of people in any given area is a valuable tool to help businesses of all types to become 'COVID-secure'." Adam adds, “Net2 is one of the best-selling access control systems and so we have developed the new Occupancy Management feature to meet this specific need. For new and existing Net2 customers we hope that this new functionality helps the efforts that we are all making to observe social distancing and keep people safe." Occupancy Management with Net2 v6.04: Ensure users maintain a safe social distance by setting and controlling the maximum number of people in any given area. Real-time visual reports - see live occupancy levels in a clear, web-based visual report from smartphone, tablet, PC or widescreen wall display. Dynamic control of entry permissions - set alerts and prevent user access when maximum capacity is neared or reached. Simplified area management - set and manage multiple areas simultaneously, with specific occupancy levels per area. Support continuous flow of people movement with one-in-one-out user access when people numbers are high. Thermal scan hardware Paxton has also tested a range of thermal scan hardware and the company’s free 45-minute webinars will take installers through what is available and how to apply it. Paxton references solutions from Hikvision - Face Recognition Terminal (Minmoe), Dahua Technology - Thermal Temperature Station and ZKTeco – SpeedFace to help ensure health and wellbeing in high security areas and identify people that could be at risk, quickly. Net2 integrations with Hikvision, Dahua, and ZKTeco solutions Paxton has validated Net2 integrations with Hikvision, Dahua, and ZKTeco Paxton has validated Net2 integrations with Hikvision, Dahua, and ZKTeco. However, Net2 can work with most thermal devices that utilise a Wiegand output. Paxton has been running their ‘Guide to COVID-secure Buildings’ webinars to help get the U.S. back to work safely. Installers receive a live 45-minute webinar that will take them through the CDC and OSHA guidelines, as well as a free end-user guide to help their customers understand the access control solutions available when updating their buildings. ‘Guide to COVID-secure Buildings’ webinars Gareth O’Hara, the Chief Sales Officer at Paxton Access Ltd. said, “We’ve had a great response from customers so far, with hundreds joining us in the first couple of weeks. The webinar provides installers with practical access control solutions that businesses need now.” He adds, “The new Occupancy Management feature in Net2 has been eagerly anticipated and we are looking forward to getting it out there to help with social distancing on sites around the world. We are continuing to develop Net2 in line with installer feedback to provide even more flexibility for COVID-secure buildings, so watch this space.” Paxton’s latest webinar, the Guide to COVID-secure Buildings with Net2 started on June 30 and runs twice weekly.

Hikvision unveils new Dedicated Subseries addition to its DeepinView camera line
Hikvision unveils new Dedicated Subseries addition to its DeepinView camera line

Hikvision, an IoT solution provider with video as its core competency, has announced a brand-new addition to its DeepinView camera line: the Dedicated Subseries. This unprecedented new addition loads a batch of AI-powered deep learning algorithms into each unit, boasting stunning performance and cost-effective pricing. Dedicated DeepinView Cameras Over the last few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been applied in many ways in security markets. As technology advances, AI chipset performance has improved to enable massive computing power using various algorithms and contributing to multi-intelligence functionality and higher accuracy. The new Dedicated DeepinView Cameras are an example of these advances, incorporating several AI-powered deep learning algorithms in one unit. What’s more is that these algorithms can be switched, thereby essentially putting 5 or 6 unique cameras in one housing. Integrated with enhanced AI technology Embedding switchable algorithms is a significant step for Hikvision to take in its AI product development" “Embedding switchable algorithms is a significant step for Hikvision to take in its AI product development. In a world of ever-changing technologies and functionalities, this approach creates great value for end users to try new technologies to ensure security, as well as to implement business intelligence and other applications,” said Frank Zhang, President of the International Product and Solution Center at Hikvision. He adds, “The benefits of our new offerings are numerous including reduced costs, improved efficiency, and speedy and effective incident response.” Vehicle analysis capability The Dedicated DeepinView cameras combine two product categories – the first is vehicle analysis where cameras combine automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) with vehicle attribute recognition. Attributes include the vehicle’s make, colour, and direction of movement. Typical uses include installation at checkpoints of city streets and at entrances & exits of buildings or industrial parks. Switchable deep learning algorithms Models in the second category boast six switchable deep learning algorithms in one camera housing, including facial recognition, face counting, hard hat detection, perimeter protection, queue management, and multiple-target-type detection (detecting multiple targets and multiple types of targets at once). Accordingly, users can simply enable an algorithm manually for dedicated use, and then later switch the algorithm as needed. One example of a switchable algorithm is hard hat detection. This algorithm can be used on construction sites to ensure safety and compliance. Face-counting function Specially-equipped DeepinView cameras can precisely distinguish a worker on the site wearing a hard hat from those without one, and automatically deliver alerts when the hard hat violation is detected. Another example is in a retail setting, a face-counting function can be enabled to precisely count customers entering and leaving the store. Repeat customers and store staff can be automatically excluded in the process, helping store managers count new customers with precision. Flexibility among algorithms enables users to also switch among: Perimeter protection – To monitor outdoor areas needing security and deliver accurate alarms upon intrusions. Facial recognition – To grant authorised access to restricted areas in various organisations, such as school laboratories, archive rooms, and hospital pharmacies. Queue management – To better understand customer wait times, optimise staff levels, and enhance customer experience. DarkFighter and LightFighter technologies The Dedicated DeepinView Cameras are available in 2, 4, 8, and 12 MP resolutions Equipped with Hikvision’s DarkFighter and LightFighter technologies, these cameras capture vivid and color images in extremely low-light environments or in scenes with strong backlighting where color and brightness balance is extremely difficult. Smooth Streaming mode further ensures a high-quality live feed. The Dedicated DeepinView Cameras are available in 2, 4, 8, and 12 MP resolutions for customers to choose from. Vibration detection Furthermore, metadata is supported to allow third-party platforms to receive data from Hikvision cameras for real-time video analysis or recorded into footage archives to enable rapid searching forensic evidence. Finally, these camera models also offer Vibration Detection for outdoor use, which detects and notifies users of vandalism.

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