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 LILIN news

LILIN and CyberLink enter strategic partnership with facial recognition system integration to offer one-stop intelligent security solution
LILIN and CyberLink enter strategic partnership with facial recognition system integration to offer one-stop intelligent security solution

LILIN, a globally renowned manufacturer of IP video cameras, recording devices, and software, announced a strategic partnership with CyberLink, a pioneer of AI and facial recognition technologies to strike business opportunities for facial recognition. Together, CyberLink’s FaceMe AI facial recognition engine will be integrated into the LILIN facial recognition system to create comprehensive smart security and smart retail solutions. FaceMe AI facial recognition solution CyberLink’s FaceMe AI facial recognition engine achieves up to 99.7% accuracy of the NIST FRVT test, ranked No. 1 in Taiwan, and when combined with LILIN’s smart security solutions, enables one-stop smart security, data analysis and warning system service. LILIN’s smart security solution is suitable for access control management of commercial offices and factories and can provide business analysis for the restaurant and retail industries as well. AI facial recognition system LILIN’s AI facial recognition system not only has the advantage of ‘3 High’ elements, encompassing a ‘High’ recognition rate Along with over 40 years of experience in IP video manufacturing and development of IP cameras, recording devices and software, LILIN continues to pursue innovation. LILIN’s AI facial recognition system not only has the advantage of ‘3 High’ elements, encompassing a ‘High’ recognition rate, ‘High’ capacity, up to 100,000 face database and ‘High’ elevation angle to be recognised, but also supports multiple image inputs, and image search facial recognition, making it easy to distinguish the trajectory of personnel. Furthermore, companies can create file identification through a photo of the ID, and use one-stop central management to synchronise the data immediately, greatly reducing the precious time spent on complicated processes! Intelligent security solutions “LILIN has many years of smart security experience, providing insight into the market’s needs for creating a comprehensive intelligent security solution. LILIN is pleased to partner with CyberLink and integrates FaceMe into our facial recognition system to strengthen smart retail, smart healthcare, smart factory, and smart business applications. Through continued efforts, I believe that LILIN will provide the most advanced total security solution for global customers.” said Mr. C.C. Hsu, LILIN’s President. “If there was ever a field worthy of continued research and innovation, it’s security,” said Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink, adding “Without a doubt, LILIN is a globally renowned provider and manufacturer of IoT devices and CyberLink is a worldwide pioneer developing facial recognition applications for connected devices. Together, we are setting a new standard for what makes a place secure by bringing to market new technologies that make our customers safer, and our businesses smarter.”

Lessons Learned with Merit LILIN: What is the most innovative COVID-19 solution?
Lessons Learned with Merit LILIN: What is the most innovative COVID-19 solution?

The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time. In order to be able to fight against it, mask detection and temperature measurement have become daily routines for everyone. In this situation, Merit LILIN, with over 40 years of experience in IP video manufacturers of IP cameras, recording devices, and software, have created a cost-effective COVID-19 solution to ensure end-user health and safety. Temperature measurement Many solutions should provide temperature information, with alert settings that trigger alarms when temperatures are high. The main component of LILIN Temperature Measuring Camera is a dual-lens camera with two sensors, one a visible image lens and the other a thermal array sensor. This design not only provides temperature information and color image information but also high-temperature alert settings when the temperature exceeds.  Mask detection With COVID-19 rules and regulations now incorporating person protection equipment such as masks, many solutions are now geared towards mask detection. LILIN has its own mask detection AI, which can be run on an i3 CPU-supported PC. Using the LILIN AI system and Aida NAV server, the system can recognise if the person is wearing a mask or not. If the system identifies a user that is not wearing a mask, an alert goes out with an image of the person. It allows the application to run automatically and enforces the wearing of masks in many situations. A notification is sent to an administrator when an image of a person is captured.  Social distancing measures In addition to temperature measurement and mask detection becoming daily epidemic prevention matters, maintaining social distance is extremely significant as well. Through the LILIN Aida detection system, people can calculate the social density and use it with alarm notifications, if an area exceeds the density threshold. Moreover, the LILIN COVID-19 solution has a wide range of applications in different sectors, including schools, public transportation systems, offices, retail and more. By doing so, extensive safety measures can combat COVID-19, providing the public with intelligent epidemic prevention solutions, through innovative AI detection systems.

LILIN transforms intelligent traffic systems with the AIDA traffic management platform
LILIN transforms intelligent traffic systems with the AIDA traffic management platform

With the introduction of the AIDA Traffic Management platform, LILIN has transformed Intelligent Traffic Systems from expensive, often inaccurate, and inflexible computer-vision solutions into a new simplified platform with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) that learns, adapts and detects every detail of street-level vehicle activity. Engineered for seamless integration into LILIN Windows®-based VMS products including Navigator Control Center, Navigator Corporate, and Navigator Enterprise, AIDA Traffic Management installs on the edge and uses metadata to bring real-time traffic data to organisations and municipalities. Enforcing parking and traffic violations AIDA is purpose-built for a flexible range of ITS applications, making each user-selected function completely automated and cost-efficient. For example, AIDA can extract data from vehicles traveling on multi-lane highways or urban streets, allowing municipalities to better enforce parking and traffic violations, recover stolen cars, or assist law enforcement in Amber Alerts. AIDA can recognise 12 licence plates per second on vehicles traveling up to 125 miles per hour AIDA can recognise 12 license plates per second on vehicles travelling up to 125 miles per hour, casting an astonishingly wide net. Police can store and later access this data, enabling investigators to zero in on a suspect's whereabouts and behavioural patterns. Besides monitoring cars, trucks and motorcycles, AIDA can detect pedestrians loitering or entering restricted areas. Capturing vital operational data In a parking lot, AIDA can compare licence plate data to pre-defined lists of allowed or excluded vehicles before taking an appropriate action, such as opening a gate or generating an alert if an unauthorised vehicle enters an area as a value-added service. It can also locate available parking slots and broadcast this information to incoming cars. In addition to its security role, AIDA can capture vital operational data about parking infrastructures, including the number of cars served by time, day, and length of stay. This data can then be applied to help optimise a staffing schedule and maximise the profitability of a parking lot's rate structure. AIDA removes the hassles of traditional computer vision techniques that require extensive, CPU-draining image processing. In contrast, AIDA software incorporates an AI engine that is instructed to learn what to look for and is able to run multiple models on distributed AI CPU, GPU, and VPUs.