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 Dallmeier electronic GmbH & Co.KG news

Dallmeier Italy moves into new office
Dallmeier Italy moves into new office

In the new premises of the Italian branch of the German video technology manufacturer, everything is focused on a comprehensive, practice-oriented customer care from presales consulting to technical support. The patented Panomera® multifocal sensor technology from the German manufacturer Dallmeier has been successfully used in Italy for many years: The Allianz Stadium in Turin, ParkinGO in Milan, or Naples Airport are just a few names from Dallmeier Italy's extensive range of customers. All customers benefit from the excellent cost-benefit ratio of the technology: by using lenses and video sensors of different focal lengths in one optical unit, the Panomera® systems require far fewer camera systems than conventional solutions. The result is savings in all project areas – from implementation, infrastructure and civil engineering to ongoing operating and support costs. Short distances and a holistic offer The Italian subsidiary offers much more than just the distribution of the sought-after technology from Germany. From the new office Dallmeier Italy offers its entire portfolio. From consulting to the 3D planning service, with which customers and partners can precisely define all details of their future system with the help of a "digital twin" even before the project begins, to the Factory Acceptance Test, which puts the entire system through its paces before delivery, to support during ongoing operation. In addition to a meeting room and a showroom for product demos, extensive training facilities are available in the training rooms for "hands-on" training of Dallmeier customers and partners. Tailored video security solutions The modular structure allows video security solutions to be tailored precisely to the respective application "In addition to our patented Panomera® multifocal sensor cameras, which allow customers to get by with far fewer systems and thus save significantly on infrastructure and operating costs, the open software platform HEMISPHERE® offers our users particular added value. The modular structure allows video security solutions to be tailored precisely to the respective application," explains Daniele Sisinio, Director Dallmeier Italia. "With our new branch offices, we ensure that customers and installers can implement even more complex environments with the maximum expertise – with customised support depending on the situation and request." The new branch is in Via Bruno Barilli, 5/C, 42124 Reggio Emilia, very conveniently situated near the Mediopadana high-speed railway station and the A1 freeway.

Dallmeier enterprise opens a branch of their main office in Brunn am Gebirge to expand business
Dallmeier enterprise opens a branch of their main office in Brunn am Gebirge to expand business

The Austrian market for video security technology is booming. And the demand specifically for the ‘Made in Germany’ mark of quality in the country next door has never been higher. To do justice to this market trend and at the same time deliver its expertise to customers and partners as immediately as possible, last month the Germany-based Dallmeier enterprise opened a branch of its main office in Brunn am Gebirge, a suburb of the Austrian capital city Vienna. Video technology pioneer Many businesses and organisations in industry, finance, as well as government authorities have already been relying on the patented systems from the video technology pioneer for over three decades now. With its branch office in Vienna, Dallmeier is bringing the customary advantages of its solution and service portfolio still closer to its Austrian customers and partners. Experts from the Dallmeier office in Vienna offer customers and partners access to the expertise and resources Experts from the Dallmeier office in Vienna offer customers and partners access to the expertise and resources of the Dallmeier main office for the duration of the entire project cycle: From consulting via the 3D planning service, with which customers and partners can define all the details of their intended system with the aid of a ‘digital twin’ even before the project starts, through the Factory Acceptance Test, which tests the whole system rigorously before it is delivered, and on to support during operation. Besides its customers and partners all over Austria, the Dallmeier branch office in Vienna will also service Switzerland and the bordering countries of Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Multifocal sensor cameras "Besides our patented Panomera® multifocal sensor cameras, with which customers can meet their objectives with considerably fewer systems, thereby saving significantly on infrastructure and operating costs, the HEMISPHERE® open software platform offers our users a particular additional benefit. Thanks to their modular design, the video security solutions can be tailored precisely to the individual application in each case." explains Christian Linthaler, Head of Sales Austria & Switzerland. "With our new branch office just outside of Vienna, we guarantee that customers and installers also have the highest level of expertise at their disposal when implementing more complex environments – with support designed specifically to address their situation and wishes."

Dallmeier introduces new video management software "SeMSy® Compact" with "Comfort Search"
Dallmeier introduces new video management software "SeMSy® Compact" with "Comfort Search"

In most video surveillance scenarios, the essential task is to identify relevant events in a short space of time. Therefore, surveillance managers need a powerful tool they can use to distil results rapidly and efficiently from the metadata and analytics data generated. To this end, the SmartFinder technology within the new SeMSy® Compact video management system from Dallmeier promises a veritable Comfort Search with a whole range of functions. Innovative assistance systems Whether they take the form of classic VCA reports, standardised neural networks, or customer-specific AI analysis, modern technology offers a vast range of capabilities for analysing video images and automatically detecting suspicious or relevant events. But these capabilities cannot be used successfully unless the surveillance managers can also find the important sequences quickly to investigate offences, track events or run an efficient loss management procedure. The new SeMSy® Compact video management system from Dallmeier is the successor to the proven SMAVIA Viewing Client, and in conjunction with Dallmeier cameras and recording systems it delivers a whole range of innovative assistance systems for these tasks. Search for count values and objects "SmartFinder" function enables users to first define the area and timeframe for their search With the completely redesigned SmartFinder function, users first define the area and timeframe for their search. Then they can filter by the available analysis criteria, such as AI object groups or attributes, and specify the objects that are of interest for the current search. It is also possible to search for incidents in which a certain minimum or a maximum number of objects were detected in freely definable areas, or in which objects have entered or left certain areas. The images in which the objects or count results have been found can then be displayed in an organised way in preview image sequences and on a timeline. This enables the operator to compare the search results easily and find the sequences he or she is looking for extremely rapidly. An easy-to-operate search function for timeframes and timeline markers completes the portfolio of search assistants. Object auto-tracking Another important assistance function is SeMSy® Compact AutoTracking: With the analysis data from network cameras and Dallmeier Panomera® systems, it is possible to detect image areas that include moving people or objects while the video stream is running – both live and in the recording. The operator can zoom in on these areas with complete accuracy, showing them in a detail split to attract attention to specific features during analysis. Pixelation of people not in motion The system can pixelate images from third-party manufacturers as well as from Dallmeier cameras In the context of the GDPR directives, it is particularly helpful to be able to pixelate individuals simultaneously even while the images from up to four different video streams are being displayed. This function is available for both live images and recordings, and it also recognises individuals who are not moving. The system can pixelate images from third-party manufacturers as well as from Dallmeier cameras. It is also possible to differentiate according to a user group so that employees of the operator's own company see only pixelated faces, but the external security service can view unobscured images, for example. In this situation, pixelation is carried out on a powerful workstation equipped with SeMSy® Compact and the "Pixelation AI Server Software". Dashboard for analysis data  Besides being able to find significant incidents, it is at least as important for security managers to be able to gain an overview of the overall state of activities in the area under surveillance as quickly as possible. For this purpose, the SeMSy® Compact Dashboard outputs the various analysis data as a bar chart in a separate window. Besides a basic overview of all incidents, operators can select single cameras for analysing the incidents captured during the day. With the SmartFinder function, this view also supports a direct display of the corresponding recordings. And users can also use the software to control the Panomera® functions such as Panomera® Privacy Shield or Panomera® Air Blast Charger.