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 Avigilon Corporation news

ADI signs pan European distribution agreement with Avigilon for the ease of EMEA customers to gain access to ADI solutions
ADI signs pan European distribution agreement with Avigilon for the ease of EMEA customers to gain access to ADI solutions

ADI Global Distribution, a renowned distributor of security and low voltage products, announced a new distribution agreement with pioneering video security and analytics provider Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company. ADI customers across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will have access to the full range of the innovative Avigilon video solutions eco-system which includes more than 100 new products being added to the ADI portfolio. “ADI continues to drive an industry leading product selection to ensure our customers can successfully design and build complete, integrated security solutions,” said Hemant Trivedi, General Manager for ADI EMEA. “By adding Avigilon to the ADI portfolio, we are further enhancing our customer choice of leading solutions. We are excited by this new partnership and the benefits it will deliver to our customers.” Video security system Avigilon’s mission is to deliver innovative products that help keep people and communities safe" Avigilon designs, develops and manufactures video solutions, analytics, cloud, security cameras, video management software and hardware, and access control. Powered by advanced artificial intelligence (AI), Avigilon technology is simple and easy to use, and offers a seamless integration across an entire video security system. Beginning this month, Avigilon products will available for purchase online and in ADI branch locations across the EMEA region. “As a global leader, Avigilon’s mission is to deliver innovative products that help keep people and communities safe. We are excited to work with ADI to offer our comprehensive ecosystem to their customers,” said Paul Such, Vice President of EMEA Sales Avigilon at Motorola Solutions. “With ADI’s vast geographic footprint and strong distribution channels, we will be able to expand our reach further across the security market.” Active supplier partners ADI Global Distribution operates in 14 countries across EMEA with 67 stocking locations and 11 distribution hubs. Additionally, ADI exports to more than 80 countries in the region. ADI serves more than 24,000 customers across EMEA, and offers over 250,000 SKUs from more than 750 active supplier partners.

Ecl-ips monitoring firm introduces a range of COVID-19 back to work solutions to currently re-opening businesses
Ecl-ips monitoring firm introduces a range of COVID-19 back to work solutions to currently re-opening businesses

Midlands-based firm, Ecl-ips, is using its expertise in providing monitoring, CCTV and access control, to offer organisations a range of back to work solutions to keep customers, visitors and staff safe as the company continue to mitigate the risks from COVID-19. Occupancy Management Solutions With more businesses opening up Ecl-ips can help occupancy counting to ensure social distancing is maintained. Ecl-ips can offer Avigilon’s occupancy counting feature, as part of its video management software and Avigilon Cloud Services (ACS). Through the use of advanced technology, the occupancy counting feature provides an easy and streamlined way to count and identify the number of people in a building. Ecl-ips can also offer Paxton’s access control system Net2. Paxton has added an occupancy management feature to the software. This allows employers or facilities managers to limit the number of people in any given area of their building; either barring access or sending an email/text to the manager when a space nears capacity. It will work across multiple areas of a site and can be set to operate a one in, one out system to support social distancing measures. Remote Access Control Ecl-ips is now able to offer an upgrade of the Net2 software which Paxton unveiled in May. This expanded the ability of facility managers to manage access to buildings remotely reducing the physical contact required for people to enter and leave those buildings but still maintaining their security. This followed the launch of web-based version of Net2 and its Paxton Connect app which meant this software is available wherever the users are. Face Mask and Face Covering Detection The wearing of face coverings is now compulsory in the UK for users of public transports and face masks are either mandatory or strongly advised for staff in a number of workplaces. Additionally, the wearing of face coverings is advised in shops and other indoor places. Avigilon has developed technology to detect if there are breaches in rules associated with the wearing of face masks or coverings. This can provide an alert so security staff or managers and Ecl-ips can customise this solution to provide an audible warning to those committing any breaches of rules. Social Distancing Guidelines Support In its latest software release scheduled for this month Avigilon’s most advanced cameras will identify breaches of social distancing guidance and again this can provide an audible warning. The technology can also demonstrate to those managing commercial spaces or other buildings like schools or healthcare settings where there are potential bottlenecks and so social distancing will be difficult. This will allow managers to make changes within the buildings, for example, by only allowing people to walk in one direction through a corridor to reduce the numbers having to be in close proximity to each other. Contact Tracing Capability Meanwhile, Ecl-ips is also a specialist in Avigilon’s access control system. This can be used with Avigilon’s CCTV system to assist with contact tracing if employees are found to need to isolate after showing symptoms of COVID-19. This is because of the advanced technology providing a record of staff accessing buildings and being able to correlate to video footage of staff on CCTV. Thermal scanning Some organisations are using thermal scanning as part of their solution for opening up businesses by detecting staff or visitors that may have raised temperatures and require health screening. Paxton has made improvements to Net2 to allow installers to integrate the system with thermal scanners more easily. Ecl-ips can also offer thermographic cameras and advise if they are the right solution for the customer. Aaron Kernaghan, Managing Director of Ecl-ips, said, “Ecl-ips is a well-established CCTV, access control and monitoring firm. We are ensuring that we are operating in a COVID-19 secure manner and are keen to assist organisations get back to work safely.”

Motorola Solutions improves video security and analytics portfolio to enhance staff safety in COVID-19 times
Motorola Solutions improves video security and analytics portfolio to enhance staff safety in COVID-19 times

Motorola Solutions, announces a number of additions to its video security and analytics portfolio. These security solutions are designed to support organisations as they explore options for moving staff safely back into their offices or facilities. The offerings focus on the key elements of safety and security around COVID-19, including prevention, protection and response. “Enterprise organisations are exploring the best way to return back to the workplace, where ensuring the safety and security of their employees and customers is paramount,” said John Kedzierski, Senior Vice President, Video Security & Analytics at Motorola Solutions. Intelligence of AI-powered analytics “Our customers have asked how our solutions can help mitigate the potential impacts of COVID-19 as they re-open their facilities, so we've developed a suite of applications that leverage the unique capabilities of video with the intelligence of AI-powered analytics.” Motorola Solutions’ video security and analytics portfolio will offer Avigilon security cameras with analytics to help organisations keep employees safe through the adherence of health guidelines around protective face masks and physical social distancing. These solutions combine the power of video and the intelligence of AI-powered analytics to collect visual footage and statistical patterns on where social-distancing protocols have been breached and where individuals are not wearing a face mask. Through Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) video management software, organisations can be notified if guidelines are not observed and can quickly make informed decisions to address the situation. Physical access security The combination of physical access security and video footage can provide important insights The analysis increases employee safety by equipping organisations with the insights they need to implement measures that facilitate better compliance with health guidelines. The safety and security of front-line workers is a top priority for employers. Essential workers who face the risk of aggression and contamination may be equipped with Motorola Solutions’ body-worn cameras, so they can experience peace of mind, knowing that they have a direct link to security personnel at all times. Wearing these devices allows employees to verbally notify others that their actions are being captured on camera, which can often de-escalate a heated situation. As employees look to safely move back into the workplace, Motorola Solutions’ contact tracing capability can help deter the spread of COVID-19 in an organisation’s offices or facilities. The combination of physical access security and video footage can provide important insights. Responsible use of analytics The new Identity Correlation Report helps employers better understand where an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been, and which doors that person may have accessed within the workplace. By using this capability with Motorola Solutions’ Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology and Identity Search, security operators are able to add an extra measure of safety by generating timelines and video clips of the individual’s pathway throughout the premises, also showing who they may have been in contact with. These prevent, protect and response capabilities embrace Motorola Solutions’ commitment to the responsible use of analytics, as well as individual privacy rights.

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