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 Hikvision news

Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard helps traffic managers make faster and better real-time traffic management decisions
Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard helps traffic managers make faster and better real-time traffic management decisions

In modern crowded cities, effective traffic management is critical for reducing congestion and preventing accidents. With the Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard, traffic managers can view historical and real-time traffic information, helping them make the best decisions and improve outcomes for road users and residents. Traffic management challenge in cities Cities around the world are experiencing major traffic management challenges related to congestion, air pollution, slow journey times, and increased road accidents. With 68% of people expected to live in cities by 2050 (compared to 55% currently) and tough demands for sustainability and lower emissions, the challenges are set to increase exponentially. In an attempt to keep traffic flowing and to maximise road safety, many cities are investing in roadside infrastructure to monitor traffic conditions, including cameras and sensors at key junctions. However, with no way to convert vast quantities of traffic data into actionable insights, this kind of infrastructure can rarely support effective strategic and real-time traffic responses. Traffic Visualization Dashboard To help authorities overcome their immediate and longer-term traffic management challenges, Hikvision has created the Traffic Visualization Dashboard. This dashboard integrates data from roadside cameras and sensors, and displays it to traffic management teams, via an immersive and map-based interface. Converting traffic data into actionable insights This Hikvision solution gives traffic managers fast and easy access to the information that they need With options to overlay historical and real-time traffic data on either a 2D or 3D map, this Hikvision solution gives traffic managers fast and easy access to the information that they need. The dashboard can also be customised quickly and easily, allowing teams to focus on the traffic information that is most important to them, from vehicle counting and congestion information to traffic incidents and violations, such as drivers who break the speed limit, drive without their seat belts fastened, or run red lights. Key benefits of the Traffic Visualization Dashboard: Optimised traffic management decisions - The Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard solution combines historical and real-time traffic data, to help managers understand key traffic trends, thereby enabling them to make better planning decisions. In particular, the Traffic Visualization Dashboard can support better decisions on which kinds of traffic management policies and solutions to implement, from signal optimisation to access management solutions, and congestion charging schemes. Real-time incident responses and traffic violation management By helping traffic managers to make better long-term planning decisions, the Traffic Visualization Dashboard can help to tackle traffic issues, such as traffic congestion and other negative impacts of excessive traffic. As well as helping to inform long-term traffic planning, the Hikvision solution helps teams to identify and respond to traffic incidents, and violations in near real-time. This helps to keep key corridors on the road network as clear as possible, helping to speed up journey times for road users. Actionable traffic insights ‘at a glance’ The solution provides 2D and 3D map options that model junctions and traffic corridors accurately The solution provides 2D and 3D map options that model junctions and traffic corridors accurately, and to scale. The map-based interface provides a fully immersive experience that allows traffic and incident managers to quickly spot congestion and to detect traffic incidents, and violations in different areas of the city, all in a matter of seconds. With no need to generate reports to understand real-time traffic conditions and ongoing traffic trends, managers can also make faster, better informed decisions, in order to help optimise traffic flow and public safety. Key features of the Hikvision Traffic Visualization Dashboard: Immersive 2D or 3D map-based interface for traffic insights ‘at a glance’ Simple configuration for specific use cases, including congestion management and traffic violation management

Foxstream joins Hikvision’s HEOP program with embedded FoxIntruder application for thermal cameras
Foxstream joins Hikvision’s HEOP program with embedded FoxIntruder application for thermal cameras

Hikvision, an IoT solution provider with video as its core competency announced Foxstream has joined the Hikvision Embedded Open Platform (HEOP) program for the FoxIntruder edge-based intrusion detection solution – which is available for Hikvision’s range of DS-2TD2137/VP thermal cameras. Perimeter security With this integration, FoxIntruder can now be embedded directly into Hikvision’s thermal cameras at the edge to provide an extremely reliable and easily deployable end-to-end solution for high-security perimeter protection. This solution also features less bandwidth and lower latency than server-based solutions. Users simply need to add a camera’s IP address into the browser to access the HEOP application, which provides the following: Real-time visualization based on alarm triggers and video event playback Minimal false alarm rates Integration with industry-leading VMS platforms and Central Station Receivers Quick and simple configuration and intuitive operation An API for integration with other platforms Edge-based perimeter protection "Foxstream has an excellent reputation for optimal perimeter detection algorithms and extremely low rates of false alarms. Now, validated by Hikvision for their HEOP program, we can provide this as an embedded solution for edge-based perimeter protection. FoxIntruder for HEOP uses the same tried and trusted algorithms that we use in our FoxVigi and FoxBox solutions, with even simpler configuration settings.” “In combination with Hikvision thermal cameras, this product combination provides reliable and optimal perimeter protection against intruders to secure large sites!," says Franck Depierre, Product Manager at Foxstream. Long-term implications “We are happy to see that more and more technology partners, like Foxstream, are joining our HEOP program. This is part of our long-term strategy to build the best possible market offerings for customers alongside technology partner solutions that fit inside our HEOP cameras." "Through the HEOP program, technology partners can showcase their technologies to a wider audience as well as deliver solid value propositions to the market,” says Myler Zhong, Vertical Director at Hikvision Europe. Hikvision’s HEOP program provides a platform for third-party technology partners to develop their own applications and install them directly into Hikvision cameras, which brings a greater variety of intelligent functionality directly to customers.

Nedap enhances security solutions for Polpharma and provides better software integration
Nedap enhances security solutions for Polpharma and provides better software integration

Polpharma is the largest Polish manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and among the top 20 generic drug manufacturers in the world. They actively operate in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. For over 80 years, Polpharma have been trusted by patients, healthcare professionals and business partners alike. The Polpharma Group and associated companies employ more than 7,500 people in Poland and on international markets. Polpharma wanted a centralised, high-level and reliable security solution. Moreover, they need the flexibility to integrate with systems, like Hikvision, Evoko and Followme. All in cooperation with a company that offers local support. Centralised access control Nedap provides the following things to provide the flexibility to manage complexity Centralised access control Encryption on each level of communication Implementation and support from local channel partner Improved flexibility and scalability Integration with HikVision, Followme (printing), Evoko (room manager) "The Pharmaceutical sector and especially Polpharma has to pay high attention to security. That’s why they identified that operating so many access control systems and card technologies leads to risks and affects the resilience of the company. Since 2016 we have been involved in the merge of the access control systems into one: AEOS," said Anna Twardowska, Nedap Security Management.