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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VIVOTEK upgrades security at South Africa's BP Manor Garage Gas Station
VIVOTEK upgrades security at South Africa's BP Manor Garage Gas Station

Providing a safe and secure environment to drive into the lane and fuel up vehicles is a key factor in ensuring improved customer satisfaction for a gas station. To offer better service to the customer, VIVOTEK the global pioneering IP surveillance provider has assisted BP Manor Garage Gas Station, located in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, to upgrade their existing security system. Most of the existing cameras on-site at the BP Manor Garage Gas Station, installed about four years ago, were adequate for the customer's current requirements. The BP Manor Garage Gas Station did not want to replace most of the older cameras, meaning that retrofitting was an essential aspect of the project. However, major updates were required. Some of the older cameras were damaged because their seal had worn out, allowing water to enter. On the storage side, the user needed to retain recorded footage for four months while enabling remote viewing from a location that was about 5kms away. IP surveillance systems BP Manor already had a strong and positive history of using VIVOTEK complete IP surveillance systems, including network cameras, network video recorders (NVR) and video management software. This long-term partnership and trust ensured that the company continued to choose the same brand. A total of 50 cameras were installed, covering areas from driveways to cash points, the shop floor, pump islands, and staff rooms. VIVOTEK began the project by replacing the damaged cameras with IB9360-H and IB9388-HT. These bullet cameras deliver high-quality images and are weather-proof with an IP66 rating and vandal-proof with IK10-rated housing. In order to meet the unique demands of the gas stations, a mini fisheye camera with a 360-degree surround view can cover the shop floor, while box and fixed dome cameras cover an indoor cashpoint, and weather-proof and vandal-proof bullet cameras protect outdoor driveways. Network video recorders The result has meant that BP Manor can continue to grow its business intelligently The transformation also included three existing network video recorders (NVR) were replaced with a single 128 channel, 16 hot-swappable HDD bays NVR, the NR9782-v2. The whole system was connected and managed by VIVOTEK's state-of-the-art video management software VAST 2, empowering the customer to control the footage better with smart search, video analytics report, and third-party data source with Data Magnet functionality. Data Magnet The Data Magnet enables importing PoS data into VAST 2, providing rapid access to the recorded data while supporting the simultaneous display of sales transaction information during live streaming. The result has meant that BP Manor can continue to grow its business intelligently. Their customers can be assured of their safety and security as they return to this trusted brand, just as BP Manor has returned to VIVOTEK. "Ever since 2010, we have been supplying and installing VIVOTEK's IP surveillance system and offering them to our customers as a premium option. They provide unparalleled quality and performance. We remain loyal to the brand and can vouch for the product's durability and performance,” stated Azam Paruk, Azrea Installations, Managing Partner.

VIVOTEK provides a rigorous surveillance system for Peyrelongue Chronos to prevent robbery and safeguard surroundings
VIVOTEK provides a rigorous surveillance system for Peyrelongue Chronos to prevent robbery and safeguard surroundings

For the jewellery business owner, ensuring the highest level of security has always been a top priority. VIVOTEK, the IP surveillance provider, has built up a rigorous surveillance system for Peyrelongue Chronos, a well-known luxury boutique offering high-end jewellery in Mexico, to monitor their precious products without any blind spots and to prevent robbery or theft. Peyrelongue Chronos has recently remodelled its facilities, including an overall of the video surveillance system. In search of the best solution to meet demands for both outside and inside the store, Peyrelongue Chronos found all of its requirements met by the wide range of VIVOTEK cameras. Harsh outdoor environment The 180-degree multi-sensor MS8391-EV was mounted on the facade of the boutique to maximize the field of view with 12-megapixel high-quality images and reduce the number of cameras required, thus cutting down installation costs. The camera is also ideal for the outdoors because of the robust housing that resists rain, dust and protects it from vandalism or tampering. The 180-degree multi-sensor MS8391-EV was mounted on the facade of the boutique To enhance the outdoor security of the building, two FD9360-H cameras were added to monitor the avenue in both directions and provide clear night views despite the harsh outdoor environment. Inside the Peyrelongue Chronos store, two of MS9390-HV, the most efficient panoramic network camera, were installed in the jewellery area to surveil all displays as well as all movements within them. Receiving alarm notification With its unique and stylish dual-sensor design, the MS9390-HV offers a 180-degree field of view and range of up to 20 metres, and is capable of maintaining a higher field of view (FOV) than traditional multi-sensor panoramic cameras using four sensors. Within the spacious and comfortable luxury watch area, two 12-megapixel fisheye cameras, the FE8191 and FE9191 were chosen to monitor the product showcases, delivering blind-spot-free 360-degree surround imaging of wide areas. Further enhancing performance, the FE9191 features AI-powered Video Content Analyses - Smart 360 VCA, including intrusion detection, crowd detection, and loitering detection, which enables the security staff to receive alarm notification for any notable event. Finally, for the shared area, such as aisles, entrances, and exits, the ability to capture high-quality images both in low light and high-contrast environments is a critical issue when selecting surveillance cameras. Providing quality service The most remarkable thing when working with VIVOTEK is technical support" The 5-megapixel and 2-megapixel dome cameras, FD9189-HM and FD8166A-N, were chosen precisely for this reason. The FD9189-HM is equipped with 30 metres range IR illuminators for enhanced night vision, and the FD8166A-N is armed with invisible 940nm IR illuminators and capable to see up to 6 metres in total darkness, making it a sure bet to meet all the surveillance requirements in transit zones within this renowned boutique. “Thanks to VIVOTEK’s high-level security system, we are confident that we can guarantee our clients the best experience from the moment they walk in. Peyrelongue Chronos feels secure with VIVOTEK’s surveillance solution while servicing clients,” pointed out Ana Lucía García, Marketing and PR Manager of Peyrelongue Chronos. “The most remarkable thing when working with VIVOTEK is technical support. They assisted me both pre-sale and post-sale to provide quality service to our customers. No matter what types of security issue my clients may have, I know I can solve it with VIVOTEK’s technology,” remarked Serafin Sanchez, Automatisation Server Manager and Integrator Certified by VIVOTEK.

VIVOTEK collaborates with Chiyu Technology on integrated access control and IP surveillance solution
VIVOTEK collaborates with Chiyu Technology on integrated access control and IP surveillance solution

VIVOTEK, the globally-renowned IP surveillance solution provider, has in recent years been committed to offering comprehensive solutions through multiple strategic alliances. Integrated access control  Partnering with Chiyu Technology, one of the most experienced access control system provider in Taiwan, VIVOTEK rolls out the latest integrated access control and IP surveillance solution, an one-stop shopping, seamless integration, and easily managed solution to meet the market's demand. Traditional access control system requires time, budget, and third-party partners to adopt and integrate the intelligent IP surveillance technology with it. This new integrated solution, however, can be adopted in various fields at once and establishes a considerably higher level of security. Equipped with facial recognition and video tagging With facial recognition and video tagging, the new solution can accurately verify who is entering a specified area With facial recognition and video tagging, the new solution can accurately verify who is entering a specified area and then subsequently track where visitors go once they have entered. VIVOTEK also provides a wide selection of versatile network cameras to deliver high-quality imagery in diverse and changing environmental conditions. More importantly, security staff can easily manage both IP surveillance and access control systems through VIVOTEK’s VAST 2, user-friendly, intuitive video management software. All of these advanced features combine to provide an enhanced user experience while simplifying procedures of device setting and management. IP surveillance and access control integration “The integration of IP surveillance and access control has become a growing trend for Smart Security Systems. I believe this cooperation with IP surveillance pioneer VIVOTEK will build a mutually beneficial partnership, making us more competitive in the global industry,” said Eric Chang, General Manager of Chiyu Technology. From network cameras, and access control systems to backend software, VIVOTEK provides one-stop shopping solutions to create a new standard of customer service. Strategic partnership “It is our pleasure to team up with Chiyu Technology. With their profound expertise in the industry, we can reinforce our solutions' capability and realise the potentials of our products. We will be relentlessly devoted to offering more comprehensive and compatible IP surveillance solutions to unlock new possibilities for different applications and vertical markets,” said William Ku, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK Brand Business Group.