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.

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SIA recognises Gabrielle Shea as the 2021 recipient of the Industry Advocate Award
SIA recognises Gabrielle Shea as the 2021 recipient of the Industry Advocate Award

The Security Industry Association (SIA) names Gabrielle Shea – Public Policy Manager, government relations and public policy at NEC Corporation of America – as the 2021 recipient of the SIA Industry Advocate Award, which recognises leadership in public policy. Shea will be presented with the award on September 21 at Part 3 of the 2021 SIA GovSummit, SIA’s annual public policy and government security technology conference. The SIA Industry Advocate Award – formerly the SIA Statesman Award – recognises SIA member volunteers for their extraordinary contributions of professional time, leadership and resources to position SIA and its members to address the public policy challenges impacting the security industry. Biometrics technology policy Throughout 2020 and 2021, Shea has supported SIA’s government relations efforts to advocate for responsible biometrics technology policy, including assisting with legislative analysis and drafting, contributing to SIA’s state government affairs initiatives and helping to represent SIA in meetings with legislators in state capitals across the United States. In her role at NEC Corporation of America, Shea helps develop internal initiatives “I am honoured to receive the Industry Advocate Award,” said Shea. “Working with SIA and member companies to help develop and support policy initiatives that aim to simultaneously promote security, privacy, other civil rights and civil liberties and racial and broader social justice has truly been and continues to be, a privilege.” In her role at NEC Corporation of America, Shea helps develop internal initiatives to promote data privacy, artificial intelligence ethics and broader digital trust and helps manage related external engagements with federal, state and local governments. Addressing critical issues Shea holds a J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary and a B.A. in ethics and public policy with a minor in chemistry from Wake Forest University. “SIA is proud to honour Gabrielle Shea as the 2021 SIA Industry Advocate Award winner – she has been an immense help to our government relations team in efforts to support responsible policy on biometrics technology, leveraging her legal expertise and assisting with strategy development and communications on key issues,” said Jake Parker, Senior Director of government relations at SIA. “We congratulate Gabrielle on her outstanding leadership and achievements and look forward to continuing to work with her in addressing the most critical issues impacting our members and security and safety overall.” Securing government facilities Additional session topics will include the latest on federal identity, credential and access management Each year, SIA GovSummit brings together government security leaders with private industry technologists for top-quality information sharing and education on security topics affecting federal, state and local agencies. Part 3 of the 2021 conference will be held as a full-day program on Tuesday, September 21, kicking off at 11 a.m. EDT. Attendees will enjoy a keynote presentation from Dr. David Mussington – Executive Assistant Director of the Infrastructure Security Division at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – on security challenges and how we can address them as a nation. Additional session topics will include the latest on federal identity, credential and access management, new technologies for securing government facilities and the role of safety and security solutions in infrastructure modernisation. Biometrics technology market In addition to presenting the SIA Industry Advocate Award, SIA will also present the 2021 Women in Biometrics Awards, a globally recognised program co-founded by SIA and SecureIDNews and co-presented with sponsors IDEMIA, Biometric Update and the SIA Women in Security Forum that recognises innovative women creating a more secure world by guiding the biometrics technology market. On-site attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a SIAThere! networking reception Part 3 of the 2021 GovSummit will take place as a hybrid conference, with attendees having the option to join in person or participate virtually via Zoom. The in-person component of the event will be held at the SIA member company (and GovSummit sponsor) CertiPath’s facility at 1900 Reston Station Boulevard in Reston, Virginia. On-site attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a SIAThere! networking reception and can even schedule tours of the GSA testing lab, in addition to attending the full schedule of seminars. Public safety personnel Health and safety precautions will be in place at the in-person event, including physical distancing, and attendees will be required to provide proof of full vaccination. Masking will be strongly encouraged indoors per recent recommendations from the Fairfax County Health Department. This event is free for all government employees, including U.S. and international federal, state, county and municipal-level staff, plus all military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. SIA GovSummit is considered a ‘widely attended gathering’ and complies with all relevant event guidelines. SIA GovSummit 2021 is sponsored by Aiphone; Allegion; Ariel Technologies; Axis Communications; CertiPath; Dell Technologies; GSA Schedules, Inc.; Hanwha Techwin America; HID Global; Identiv; ISC Security Events; Leidos; LenelS2; Louroe Electronics; Security Information Systems, Inc.; and Smarter Security.

Solis Energy to showcase wide range of power solutions at GSX 2021
Solis Energy to showcase wide range of power solutions at GSX 2021

Solis Energy Inc., a manufacturer of outdoor power systems for the industrial automation and control, transportation, telecommunication, security, and government markets, announced that the company will be showcasing its wide range of power solutions at GSX 2021 taking place on September 27th – 29th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. As one of the largest security trade shows in the world, GSX offers an event that unites global security professionals and delivers the very latest in cutting-edge technology, and a chance to learn from industry pioneers. GSX sets the stage for Solis Energy to provide the security industry with a display and overview of its power supply solutions, including the Solar Power Plant, Continuous Power Bridge, and Outdoor UPSs. Solis continues to deliver value to its customers by joining forces with pioneering solution providers, such as Siklu Communications, Axis Communications, Code Blue, and Cradlepoint, who will be present at Solis’s booth #1769. Lightpole Power Taps Some of its power solutions include solar generators, outdoor battery backup systems, and a suite of power management components including PoE injectors, DC to DC converters, and Lightpole Power Taps. Solis Energy has been committed to developing innovative, reliable products that provide customers with flexible solutions Solis Energy products are made to last, and installations can be found on all habitable continents and climates ranging from mild to harsh, ensuring that critical energy is running to security systems even in the most extreme conditions. For sixteen years, Solis Energy has been committed to developing innovative, reliable products that provide customers with flexible solutions that take control of their outdoor power requirements. Field proven solutions “After the previous, unusual year we have all encountered, Solis Energy is excited to be exhibiting alongside our valued technology partners at GSX – especially with the show taking place in our own backyard in Florida,” states Robert Reynolds, President of Solis Energy. “We’re looking forward to a tremendous event where we can meet face-to-face and share the latest technology of the security world with some of the best in the business.” Attendees can stop by booth #1769, to see the latest power solutions and discuss field proven solutions with its team of experts. Solis has achieved great success in several city-wide, large-scale security and surveillance projects working with Siklu, Axis, and other technology partners. The company continues to set the bar high by delivering complete, field proven solutions to customers across a broad range of vertical markets and offers solutions that are high quality, durable, versatile, and scalable. 

Axis Communications and Jabil innovate video surveillance breakthroughs
Axis Communications and Jabil innovate video surveillance breakthroughs

With innovation in its DNA, Axis Communications has been at the forefront of breakthroughs in video surveillance since developing the first network video camera in 1996. Also responsible for introducing the world’s first HDTV-compliant cameras and video encoders, Axis delivers hundreds of leading-edge products for security, safety, and operational efficiency. As part of the company’s pioneering approach, Axis often teams with manufacturing solution providers to keep pace with aggressive growth worldwide.     Challenges of meeting dynamic market demand The demand to ramp high-volume manufacturing in the European Union led Axis to Jabil, a manufacturing solutions provider with more than 260,000 employees across 100 locations in 30 countries. Axis also needed help navigating market volatility through greater supply chain intelligence and real-time procurement insights. Moreover, Axis was keen to advance its path to a circular economy.   Solutions for ramping high-volume Entire product lifecycle needs are met at highly automated manufacturing, assembly, and logistical facilities Jabil offered Axis an ideal EU manufacturing location at its 70,000 square-foot facilities in Kwidzyn, Poland near Axis’ headquarters in Sweden. Entire product lifecycle needs are met at highly automated manufacturing, assembly, and logistical facilities in Poland, Russia, and the U.S. A cross-functional team with deep knowledge of optics, electronics, and manufacturing support accelerated prototyping, new product introductions, and escalating manufacturing demands. Jabil applies in-line robotics, a novel Cleanroom approach, and industrial automation to drive high-volume precision manufacturing while reducing costs. Jabil’s dedicated WorkCell model offers expert support across the entire product lifecycle. Jabil builds optical modules that meet stringent specifications and performance requirements. Supply chain and procurement experts alleviate market constraints during times of extreme market volatility by offering new sourcing and component redesign recommendations.   Benefits of trusted partnership Axis and Jabil have redesigned carton packaging using sustainable materials that can be sourced locally Axis has confidence that Jabil can assure delivery of top-quality products anywhere in the world, even as production volumes continue to grow. When one of the company’s biggest customers tripled production volume within two months, Jabil increased technical and manufacturing capacity while its supply chain team secured the additional components needed to ensure success. This long-term partnership even includes logistical services from Jabil’s Memphis, Tenn. facility.  During COVID-19, the two partners turned to AR/VR to keep projects on track. This includes about 40 new product introductions each year while maintaining sufficient component supplies to grow the business by 15% year-over-year. Moreover, the partners are working together to elevate sustainability efforts by minimising energy consumption, reducing landfill waste, and increasing recycling. To that end, Axis and Jabil have redesigned carton packaging using sustainable materials that can be sourced locally. Looking ahead, the partners are poised to drive Axis’ business growth in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.   Call-out quote “Axis a company is known for quality--we have a great quality reputation in the market,” says Per Ädelroth, VP of Operations, Axis Communications. “We depend on Jabil to actually sustain that and make it come true as we manufacture higher and higher volumes.”