CCTV camera mounts - Expert commentary

Making school safety a priority with smart technology
Making school safety a priority with smart technology

With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities.  The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a second time, anyone behind the curve with the benefits of smart technology should get on board now before children return to the school environment. And with the ever-changing variants of the COVID-19 virus, schools can’t afford to be “late to class” when it comes to health and safety. Preventing the spread of disease Some schools in the US have been using smart technologies for a while to measure utility consumption and efficiency, streamline maintenance and enhance general school safety. These technologies are playing a significant role in keeping school buildings healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Let’s take a look at how smart technology can help schools to become safer, as well as more energy-efficient and cost-effective.   Thermal detection cameras  Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing. These cameras provide medically-accurate, real-time temperatures of individuals in real-time. If a high temperature is detected, the software sends an instant alert to the relevant party. It can also be set to deny access to those with high temperatures or to people not wearing masks.  Safer water  As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the world’s population, healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms. Legionella is a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school's duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating.  Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place. Automated flushing and temperature testing Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters The Health and Safety Executive advises, “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.” Typically, managing the risk of Legionella includes running all outlets for two minutes, taking and recording the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s not conducive to Legionella growth. This is a time-consuming process, which is why schools are looking for automated water temperature monitoring systems. This smart system with automated flushing and temperature testing reports and records water temperature data in real-time. Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters.  Cleaner air  Advisers say that improving air filtration and ventilation in schools can help mitigate the potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. Strategies include: Increasing outdoor air ventilation Filtering indoor air Using portable air cleaners with HEPA filters  Smart building technologies such as advanced HVAC controls can help facilities managers promote cleaner air with less hassle. For example, smart HVAC systems use sensors to remotely monitor and control variables such as:  Humidity Temperature Indoor air quality The level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants The technology is also energy-efficient and cost-effective.  While these solutions may be key to the reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19, they also bring long-term benefits. Although COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of smart technology, many of these solutions are focused on health, wellness, and security in general; which have been needed in school systems for a long time.

Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity
Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organisational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased productivity in the workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centres. Health benefits of ergonomic workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency operations centre “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realisation is guiding emergency operations centre (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorised M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centres. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing
Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing

Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from a company’s headquarters. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 per cent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labelled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

Latest Axis Communications news

LENSEC launches perspective VMS Version 4.4.1 that will provide users access to integrations with intrusion
LENSEC launches perspective VMS Version 4.4.1 that will provide users access to integrations with intrusion

LENSEC, the provider of IP-based video surveillance management, announces the release of its perspective VMS Version 4.4.1 that will provide users access to integrations with intrusion, access control, and video surveillance companies and the ability to pair critical video data with input sensors from access control and intrusion detection platforms. In consecutive months, LENSEC has released Version 4.4.0 and 4.4.1 to allow customers access to a broad array of new features and integrations within its Unified Security Management Platform. Security management platform Perspective VMS® (PVMS) is the central component of a security management platform, allowing users to access critical security and business operations data via a video-centric interface, pairing live or archived video data feeds with various integrated security or building automation components. The releases of PVMS 4.4 allows users access to new and/or improved integrations with DMP The releases of PVMS 4.4 allows users access to new and/or improved integrations with DMP (Intrusion and Access Control), Open Options’ DNA Fusion Access Control, CredoID Access Control, RS2 Access It! Access Control, and Axis Body Worn Camera Systems. The PVMS 4.4 release also introduces new methods of archive video playback leveraging WebAssembly (Wasm) for large megapixel cameras with higher frame rates, allowing for faster archive playback and review. Several user interface modifications were made as well to improve the overall user experience for novice and advanced users. A complete list of features can be found on LENSEC’s website. Additional body cameras “PVMS 4.4.x allows users an improved opportunity to take advantage of integrated sub-systems, pairing critical video data with input sensors from various access control platforms and intrusion detection,” says LENSEC’s Chief Product Officer, Jeff Kellick. “Of note, the integration with the Axis Body Worn Camera system is a huge benefit to districts or municipalities leveraging video evidence on behalf of their officers and staff with the ability for retrieval and review directly within Perspective VMS.” “This integration also allows for a combination of evidence data points within a single interface. Along with the body camera video, users or operators have side-by-side (synchronised) access to additional body cameras, fixed cameras, PTZ cameras, audio, as well as integrated sensor data, all of which allows for a more complete investigation of events.” Perspective VMS® Version 4.4 is available for download now. Existing users can contact their systems integrators for support or upgrades of their current version.

Electronic Security Association successfully wraps up their virtual ESX 2021 by delivering educational content and networking opportunities
Electronic Security Association successfully wraps up their virtual ESX 2021 by delivering educational content and networking opportunities

The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) 2021 Virtual Experience, presented by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), wrapped up on June 17, delivering a wide breadth of educational content, product innovations and networking opportunities. Security professionals from all corners of the industry attended ESX to hear from thought leaders and industry experts on business strategies and best practices. The Main Stage delivered thoughtful strategies for security dealers, integrators, and monitoring companies to implement into their businesses. During the opening keynote, sponsored by NAPCO StarLink, Ryan Estis delivered a powerful message on how to take the company to the next level with his ‘Adapt and Thrive’ presentation. Industry-specific sessions At the OpenXchange, sponsored by Security Central, the CEOs of Brilliant, RapidSOS and RSPNDR gave their perspectives on how security professionals should consider navigating the changing competitive landscape. And for the General Session, sponsored by NMC, John Mack from Imperial Capital provided a session about the challenges, trends and opportunities in the business of security.   Over 24 educational sessions, presented by industry peers and business experts, revealed best practices and ideas on how to achieve exceptional operational and financial performance and gain valuable business strategies. Industry-specific sessions and case studies delivered actionable content for a wide range of solutions for security professionals to consider and adapt. Attendees also benefited from a host of opportunities to review the latest technologies and product innovations in the industry. Smart home systems The Innovation Award program recognised breakthrough technologies that were recently introduced Through the Virtual Expo and TechTalks, solutions providers, such as ADI, Alarm.com, Axis, DMP, NAPCO and Resideo, showcased products and services that help security professionals provide more value to end-users, and increase revenues and profits. As part of the overall ESX 2021 Virtual Experience program, the Innovation Award program recognised breakthrough technologies that were recently introduced to the market. More than a dozen products were recognised as category winners across a portfolio that included access control, intrusion systems, monitoring systems, video surveillance and smart home systems. "Once again, ESX brought together the best and most innovative business leaders along with a full suite of highly relevant and valuable content, to learn, share, and explore new ways to leverage technology and business strategies that drive the security industry forward,” said George De Marco, ESX Chairman. Mark the calendar and stay tuned for more information about ESX 2022, taking place live and in-person June 14-17, 2022, Fort Worth, Texas.

Security Industry Association announces the 2021 agenda and speaker lineup for AcceleRISE event
Security Industry Association announces the 2021 agenda and speaker lineup for AcceleRISE event

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the 2021 agenda and speaker lineup for AcceleRISE: The Challenge, an essential experience hosted by SIA’s RISE community for young professionals in the security industry. The 2021 AcceleRISE event – taking place virtually August 23-25 – will challenge tomorrow’s security leaders to test their limits, escape their comfort zones and grow their industry expertise. “AcceleRISE is a unique learning experience for up-and-coming security professionals to learn and network together,” said Dr. Elli Voorhees, Director of learning and development at SIA. Key security technologies “The conference program covers key security technologies and business topics along with essential soft skills that support professional growth for high performers looking to stay at the forefront of the security industry and advance their careers.” AcceleRISE was created for rising stars in the security industry and is different from a standard conference AcceleRISE was created for rising stars in the security industry and is different from a standard conference. The 2021 event will put young professionals’ preconceptions, boundaries and industry know-how to the test and teach them how to maximize their leadership potential. Session topics for AcceleRISE 2021 will include: Are We Living in the Future? A Conversation Around IoT. A Year Later, a Pandemic and Much, Much More – An Update to ‘I Owe It to Her: How My Partner Helped (and Continues to Help) Me Achieve My Career Success’. Generational Work Styles: Building Trust & Effective Communication. Privacy Regulations: What Does the Rising Security Professional Need to Know? Securing Values: Choosing Your Path to Profession & Partnerships. Smooth Operator: How End Users Feel About Typical Sales Tactics and How to Innovate Your Sales Approach. The Art of Hiring & Firing. The Value of Coopetition Within an Ecosystem. Making valuable connections Attendees will have the chance to make valuable connections with other young industry professionals and enjoy fun virtual happy hours, trivia and more. As part of 2021’s ‘The Challenge’ theme, attendees will also be able to compete for points and prizes and track their progress on the AcceleRISE leaderboard throughout the experience. AcceleRISE will give each participant the opportunity to interact with one another" “AcceleRISE is all about building a community of industry young professionals and allowing relationships to be created in an exciting platform,” said Katie Greatti, SIA staff liaison for SIA RISE and Conference Manager for AcceleRISE. “Utilizing the virtual environment, AcceleRISE will give each participant the opportunity to interact with one another while adding gamification and competition to the mix. It is an experience you and your team will not want to miss.” Virtual event speakers Speakers for the virtual event include: Diana Brucha, Enterprise Account Executive, Allied Universal. Kelsey Carnell, Regional Sales Manager, Axis Communications. Danny Chung, Global Director of consulting and design, Northland Controls. Colin DePree, Sales Strategy, Salto Systems. Kami Dukes, Director of business development, North America, AMAG Technology. Scott Dunn, Senior Director, business development solutions and services, Axis Communications. Marc Facca, Distribution Sales Consultant, Allegion. Robert Gaulden, Director of multifamily strategy, Allegion. Adam Groom, Vice President of sales, Northland Controls. Kim Hooper, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Amazon. Antoinette King, Founder, Credo Cyber Consulting LLC. Brendan McFall, Technical Engineering Manager, Northland Controls. Zack Morris, Director, commercial career programs, ADT Commercial. Jennifer Odess, Vice President, global partner enablement, ServiceNow. Lee Odess, Founder and CEO, Group337. AcceleRISE 2021 is supported by Premier Sponsor Group337; Full Conference Sponsors ADT, Allegion, Axis Communications, BCD International, Northland Controls and Salto; and Event Sponsors AMAG Technology, Brivo, Cam-Dex Security Corporation, ISC Security Events and WeSuite. Virtual networking events SIA RISE is a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry. In addition to hosting AcceleRISE, the SIA RISE community offers fun in-person and virtual networking events, mentorship opportunities through the Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) program, career growth webinars and e-learning, scholarships for use toward education and professional development and career tracks at top trade shows. RISE membership is available to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years. Pricing for AcceleRISE 2021 starts at just $199 for SIA members and only $49 for student members. Group packages are also available, which allow companies to purchase three tickets for their employees to use and get a fourth free.