Vanderbilt SPC Connect mobile app for monitoring, managing and maintaining SPC Panels remotely
Vanderbilt SPC Connect mobile app for monitoring, managing and maintaining SPC Panels remotely

Security Products from Vanderbilt (formerly known as Siemens Security Products) has released a new and updated version of its popular SPCanywhere app, which enables users of intruder detection installations based on the versatile SPC range to monitor and control their systems. The company has also now made the app available for use on Android devices as well as on devices that run Apple’s iOS operating system. The Android version of SPCanywhere can be found on Google Play, while the iOS version is in the Apple App Store. Both versions are free, and both are available to download immediately. With SPCanywhere running on an Android or Apple phone or tablet, users can monitor up to four SPC installations via an attractive and intuitive graphical interface. SPCanywhere provides an overview of the system area status as well as the status of all zones and door controls. A convenient map view mode is provided that use icons to clearly show the positions of detectors and verification cameras. By tapping on the appropriate icon, SPCanywhere users can control doors, areas and zones, and can even display realtime images from IP cameras connected to their SPC installation. A valuable new feature that has been added to the latest iOS version of SPCanywhere and is also available in the Android version is the ability to add multiple layers to the map, making it even faster and easier to confirm the status of the installation. In addition, the iOS version has now been optimised for use on the larger screen of the iPhone 5. A particularly valuable feature of SPCanywhere in business applications is that it allows the whole installation to be set and unset remotely. This means that, if the authorised person cannot be present in the workplace at the start of the working day, they can remotely unset the system. Similarly, at the end of the day, if they are not on the premises, they can remotely set the system. A comprehensive log screen is also provided by SPCanywhere, which allows users to access a detailed record of all significant events relating to their installation, including not only alarm activations but also power failures and other system incidents. SPCanywhere for Android is compatible with phones and tablets running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher, while the iOS version requires iOS 5 or higher and works with iPad 2 or later, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.

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Ajax Hub Plus second-generation intelligent control panel
Ajax Hub Plus second-generation intelligent control panel

Protects large areas The Hub Plus is designed to protect large facilities with a great number of rooms and people. New powerful processor and increased memory capacity have expanded the capabilities of the control panel: up to 150 detectors and 50 cameras can be connected to the Hub and you can add 50 users and create 25 groups for room security management. For home and apartment For office For shop and cafeteria Uses all possible alarm transmission methods The Hub Plus is the absolute leader in field in the number of communication channels: the control panel can be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, WCDMA, and GSM. Taken together, these functions ensure ultra-stable connection and instant alarm sending to the owner’s smartphone and the Central Monitoring Station. Alarms via calls, SMS and push notifications Synchronized operation of all communication channels Direct connection with central monitoring stations Increases stability by 4 times The Hub Plus is equipped with a GSM module with two SIM-card slots that support 2G and 3G networks. Now you can use SIM-cards of two different communications providers without any risk of communications failures. The Hub instantly switches between 2G and 3G networks. If one SIM card does not respond, the second one is activated automatically. Improved reliability The Hub Plus makes it possible to use redundant Internet connection by connecting the central unit to networks of two independent communications providers: the main — via Ethernet, and the backup — via Wi-Fi. If connection of one provider fails, the hub will stay connected and continue monitoring the situation at the site.

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Ajax Hub 2 security control panel
Ajax Hub 2 security control panel

In control of security, not your private life Hub 2 manages all the Ajax devices in the system to alert users about open doors, broken windows, threats of fire and flooding. If burglars break into your house, Hub 2 transmits pictures from the MotionCam detectors and notifies the alarm response company about the danger. You won’t need to live under the constant supervision of the security cameras to know what’s going on. Baffles thieves Prevents fire Detects flooding Doesn't peek   Stress-free The motion detectors react to dangerous situations as well as simple oversights. A nanny may bring the children home from the school and forget to disable the security system, which will raise an alarm. With Hub 2, you won’t have to worry in those cases and waste money on the false alarm fines. Open an alarm notification sent by the MotionCam detector to see what happened.           Send a photo-series when triggered Deliver packages without Wi-Fi and cables   Always in touch Hub 2 uses Ethernet or one of the 2 SIM cards to guarantee the delivery of the alarms and photos from the secured objects. The channels work in parallel and back each other up in case of emergency. Compression and transmission protocols guarantee lightning — fast delivery of the photo series even with weak Internet connectivity. Unlike with the video camera streams, with Ajax, you can evaluate the situation on the secured objects at the 0.5 kB/s Internet speed. Uses 3 independent communication channels Delivers alarms in 0.15 seconds Transmits photo confirmations even on 2G   Trouble resistant With Hub 2, you’ll know immediately if the detector has a malfunction, if someone removed it, if it is damaged, or if its body is open. Even if the lights suddenly go out, the control panel will continue its watch powered by a back-up battery. Checks the functionality of detectors at least every 12 seconds Alerts about threats, channel interference, or malfunctions Operates for up to 16 hours during a blackout   Evolves with every software update Hub 2 runs on OS Malevich, a real-time operating system. This type of software is used in the systems that can’t afford mistakes — for instance, spaceships and ballistic rocket launchers, or car brakes. OS Malevich is immune to viruses and protected from cyber attacks. Its architecture allows us to regularly expand the Ajax possibilities over the air within seconds and without bothering the users. Protected from cyber-attacks New features with every update Automatically updates over the air

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Honeywell launches enhanced Galaxy TouchCenter with Proximity Reader
Honeywell launches enhanced Galaxy TouchCenter with Proximity Reader

Honeywell's new Galaxy TouchCenter Prox is an innovative and enhanced version of the popular Galaxy® TouchCenter keypad. The new integrated proximity reader is designed to reduce the number of false alarms and police call-outs due to operator errors such as incorrect PIN entry. The customer experience is simplified and the integration of the innovative proximity function means the keypad is now fully compliant with UK standards.The TouchCenter touch screen keypad with graphical display simplifies programming and provides a more intuitive experience for the end user. Unlike regular keypads, logs are much easier to read and analyse and the management of users and multi-area systems is more straightforward, enabling end-users to easily manage the system. If users prefer a more traditional MK7 keypad instead of the new interface, a simple button allows them to switch to a standard 32 character display.The Galaxy TouchCenter Prox also now incorporates a VGA high definition screen, allowing photo quality images to be displayed. This innovation, enabled by a simple SD card slot, provides a wealth of customisation options such as a family photo for a home owner or a company logo for a business. Installers can also use this tool to display their contact information and company logo on the keypad screen to drive sales and provide a quick point of reference for helpline numbers.The new keypad also gives users access to an on-screen easy-to-navigate help menu that can address operational problems that the user may experience, and reduce or eliminate unnecessary calls to the installer. The help menu allows the user to access information about the system on a 24/7 basis and also removes the need to store a printed instruction manual that is easily damaged or misplaced. "Since launching the Galaxy TouchCenter we have seen a strong demand from our customer base for touch screen technology," said Yves Pichon, Marketing Leader, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Honeywell Security Group. "As smartphones and other touchscreen devices continue to gain broad consumer acceptance, we expect this to be a key area of innovation and growth for the industry as a whole. Honeywell is excited to be at the forefront of this new trend."For further information on Honeywell's security solutions visit www.honeywell.com/security/uk 

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Visonic introduces the touch-screen keypad KP-160 PG2
Visonic introduces the touch-screen keypad KP-160 PG2

Featuring a stylish design, graphical touchscreen and proximity tags, KP-160 PG2 is designed to maximise user experience while keeping price at bay. The large, icon-based display is clear and appealing, and the keypad replaces the need for costly keyfobs.   The KP-160 PG2 is also suitable for use by children and elderly people. Using the decorative proximity tags, which easily fit on a keychain, any user - young or old  - can easily arm/disarm the system, initiate fire and panic alarms and review the system status. The intuitive touchscreen display dramatically reduces the learning curve for users. There are no complicated commands to remember or blinking lights to interpret. KP-160 PG2 virtually eliminates the need for long training sessions by the installer.   KP-160 PG2 is the ideal solution for controlling basic alarm functions from different locations in the home or small business premises and is compatible with the PowerMaster family of intrusion alarm systems.   KP-160 PG2 Features and Benefits: Large touchscreen with graphical Icons Easy and intuitive operation Suitable for use also in working environments for employees to use their standard RFID card with the keypad Sleek design Superb value for price Performs all common actions such as arming/disarming, initiating emergency, fire and panic alarms, controlling PGM outputs and reviewing system status Wall-mounted or desktop use Suitable for any home or small office Up to 32 keypads in one PowerMaster system (up to 8 for PowerMaster-10 and up to 32 for PowerMaster-30) Visonic’s PowerG RF technology Extended range – Eliminates the need for repeaters Robust and highly suitable for harsh environments Provides user with feedback on commands Prolonged battery life Optional mains power allows always-on status display Audible exit/entry warning (even when running on batteries) Compatible with PowerMaster intrusion alarm systems Alarm system control panel can be installed in a hidden location hard to find by intruders

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Climax MZ Series brings smart security to your home
Climax MZ Series brings smart security to your home

Climax introduce a new generation of MZ control panel series as an integrated and comprehensive system that manages safety, security and home environments together under one unit. Unlike traditional alarm system, MZ series not only serves as an intrusion alarm system, but also assists you to manage your home in a more convenient way. With advanced alarm communication features and outstanding compatibilities - home automation, visual verification, smart energy saving function, and lighting control, new MZ series brings a complete and cost-effective smart home solution for you to experience a comfortable and convenient life. MZ series includes MZ-1, MZ-3 and MZ-8 with various reporting paths for you to select from: MZ-1 is a wireless IP control panel. MZ-3 is a wireless GSM/GPRS control panel. MZ-8 is a wireless control panel in dual path of IP/GSM. Outstanding features of MZ Series - Flexible home security solution: MZ series works with a variety of sensors up to 40 to protect your family and properties. Sensor connected MZ series can be flexibly set to different attributes and further inform you on a precise type of alarm. -  Visual verification: PIR Video Camera/PIR Camera can provide a visual verification solution for central monitoring station or users to verify whether the alarm is real alarm or false alarm. - Smart home control: Choice of Home Portal™ Server or Vesta EZ Home App:   Home Portal™ Server is a platform to deliver smart home services for users to remotely control their home via web-based browser or smart phone applications. Rather than connecting Home Portal™ Server to enjoy remote smart home services, users have another choice of using Vesta EZ Home App to control their home via SMS protocol. - Compatible with ZigBee Information Keypad KP-29ZB/ KPT-29ZB: MZ series can work with ZigBee information keypad KP-29ZB/ KPT-29ZB to simplify the operation of security system by one touch on the touchpad or swiping a proximity tag or NFC tag near the keypad. - Zigbee home automation: Zigbee based Home Automation feature is designed for you to control your home condition at your convenience. Home appliances can be controlled depending on conditions you configure in MZ control panels. -Create a more pleasant atmosphere:ML series can work with Climax dimmer switches to enhance the beauty of home environment. In conjunction with dimmer devices, ML series enable -users to control their home lighting at certain levels or conditions to make home a more pleasant place to live.

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Homelink 75 – even more intelligent reassurance for your world
Homelink 75 – even more intelligent reassurance for your world

Homelink 75 is a professional home security solution, which has an attractive modern design, and is quick and easy to install.   Features include:Now fully compliant with EN50131 and PD6662:2004, DD243:2004 Grade 2 32 radio zones and 2 hardwired zone inputs128 x 64 pixel LCD pictographic displayAttractive, modern design to fit in any location and lifestyleScreen logos self programmable via flashloaderRemote access and control from any telephone, fixed line or mobileGSM to communicate alarms and system status without the need for a fixed telephone lineTCP/IP broadband sends data straight from your Homelink 75 system to a monitoring centre via broadband, LAN or WAN Scantronic AE2 dual diversity 868MHz narrowband radio receiverStandard integral digital communicator offering SCANCOM Fast Format, CID, SIA 1, 2 and 3 extended formatsIntegral social alarm function with Tunstall and SCANCOM Fast Format communications and semi-duplex loud-speaking facilityIntegral speech dialler with one 12s home message and up to 4 consecutive messages, each 8s long with listening-in and talk-back facilityFull up/download and remote servicing facilityNow lets you remotely check the status of the system at any time and even allows the user to switch all or part of the system, on or offOffers all the functionality to protect your property as well as minimal disruption during installationUsing mobile technology, Homelink 75 combines communications and security to bring you a system that not only protects what you care about, but tells you what you need to know - when you need to know it

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DSC IMPASSA self-contained 2-way wireless security system
DSC IMPASSA self-contained 2-way wireless security system

The IMPASSA strategy: Detect. Defend. Defeat. IMPASSA is the newest, next generation wireless security system from DSC. IMPASSA comes with the defense and offense needed to protect the ‘king’ – the home and homeowner - including: An integrated HSPA (3G) cellular communicator for high speed, reliable and secure alarm communications. The flexibility of a distributed approach that allows wireless devices to be located wherever needed for optimal protection. As easy as setting up a chessboard, installers can now deliver a full featured home security solution in minutes by easily enrolling a range of compatible wireless devices into the IMPASSA security system. Defensive strategy - Integrated 3G cellular communicator As any good chess player knows, looking many moves ahead is critical for a checkmate. As more homeowners transition away from traditional phone lines towards VoIP (Voice over IP) or mobile wireless phones for communication, IMPASSA delivers an alternate communication path using the cellular network. In addition, IMPASSA includes a more traditional phone line communicator using the Plain Old Telephone Systems (POTS). The IMPASSA integrated communicator uses proven 3G technology. This not only allows for faster data-transmission speeds, but provides a longer lifecycle as cellular providers begin to phase out their GSM (2G) networks. Just like a mobile phone, IMPASSA displays the cellular signal strength to help determine the optimal mounting position within the home. For the homeowner’s convenience, the real time clock updates the time and date via the cellular communicator.

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Intruder alarm system control panels & accessories - Expert commentary

Sensor data fusion for more reliable intrusion alarm systems
Sensor data fusion for more reliable intrusion alarm systems

Intrusion alarm systems are currently facing a growing number of potential error sources in the environment. At the same time, alarm systems must comply with increasingly demanding legal requirements for sensors and motion detectors. As a future-proof solution, detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion technology raise the level of security while reducing the risk of cost- and time-intensive false alarms. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Sensor Data Fusion technology. Anti-masking alarms A cultural heritage museum in the South of Germany for decades, the installed intrusion alarm system has provided reliable protection on the premises. But suddenly, the detectors trigger false alarms every night after the museum closes. The system integrators are puzzled and conduct extensive tests of the entire system. When they finally identify the culprit, it’s unexpected: As it turns out, the recently installed LED lighting system in the museum’s exhibition spaces radiates at a wavelength that triggers anti-masking alarms in the detectors. Not an easy fix situation, since a new lighting system would prove far too costly. Ultimately, the integrators need to perform extensive detector firmware updates and switch to different sensor architecture to eliminate the error source.  This scenario is by no means an isolated incident, but part of a growing trend. Need for reliable detector technology Legal requirements for anti-masking technology are becoming stringent in response to tactics by criminals The number of potential triggers for erroneous alarms in the environment is on the rise. From the perspective of system operators and integrators, it’s a concerning development because every false alarm lowers the credibility of an intrusion alarm system. Not to mention steep costs: Every false call to the authorities comes with a price +$200 tag.   Aside from error sources in the environment, legal requirements for anti-masking technology are becoming more stringent in response to ever more resourceful tactics employed by criminals to sidestep detectors. What’s more, today’s detectors need to be fortified against service outages and provide reliable, around-the-clock operability to catch intruders in a timely and reliable fashion. Sensor Data Fusion Technology In light of these demands, one particular approach has emerged as a future-proof solution over the past few years: Sensor Data Fusion technology, the combination of several types of sensors within one detector – designed to cross-check and verify alarm sources via intelligent algorithms – holds the keys to minimising false alarms and responding appropriately to actual alarm events. This generation of detectors combines passive infrared (PIR) and microwave Doppler radar capabilities with artificial intelligence (AI) to eliminate false alarm sources without sacrificing catch performance. Motion detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion technology present a fail-proof solution for building security “It’s not about packing as many sensors as possible into a detector. But it’s about including the most relevant sensors with checks and balances through an intelligent algorithm that verifies the data for a highly reliable level of security. The result is the highest-possible catch performance at the minimum risk for erroneous alarms,” said Michael Reimer, Senior Product Manager at Bosch Security Systems. Motion detectors with sensor data fusion Looking ahead into the future, motion detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion technology not only present a fail-proof solution for building security. The comprehensive data collected by these sensors also unlock value beyond security: Constant real-time information on temperature and humidity can be used by intelligent systems and devices in building automation. Integrated into building management systems, the sensors provide efficiency improvements and lowering energy costs Integrated into building management systems, the sensors provide the foundation for efficiency improvements and lowering energy costs in HVAC systems. Companies such as Bosch support these network synergies by constantly developing and optimising intelligent sensors. On that note, installers must be familiar with the latest generation of sensor technology to upgrade their systems accordingly, starting with a comprehensive overview of error sources in the environment. Prominent false alarm triggers in intrusion alarm systems The following factors emerge as frequent triggers of false alarms in conventional detectors: Strong temperature fluctuations can be interpreted by sensors as indicators of a person inside the building. Triggers range from floor heating sources to strong sunlight. In this context, room temperatures above 86°F (30°C) have proven particularly problematic. Dust contamination of optical detectors lowers the detection performance while raising susceptibility to false alarms. Draft air from air conditioning systems or open windows can trigger motion sensors, especially when curtains, plants, or signage attached to the ceilings (e.g. in grocery stores) are put in motion. Strong light exposure directly on the sensor surface, e.g. caused by headlights from passing vehicles, floodlights, reflected or direct sunlight – all of which sensors may interpret as a flashlight from an intruder. Extensive bandwidth frequencies in Wi-Fi routers can potentially confuse sensors. Only a few years ago, wireless routers operated on a bandwidth of around 2.7GHz while today’s devices often exceed 5GHz, thereby catching older detectors off guard. LED lights radiating at frequencies beyond the spectrum of visible light may trigger sensors with their infrared signals. Regarding the last two points, it’s important to note that legislation provides clear guidelines for the maximum frequency spectrum maintained by Wi-Fi routers and LED lighting. Long-term security But the influx of cheap and illegal products in both product groups – products that do not meet the guidelines – continues to pose problems when installed near conventional detectors. For this reason, Sensor Data Fusion technology provides a reliable solution by verifying alarms with data from several types of sensors within a single detector. Beyond providing immunity from false alarm triggers, the new generation of sensors also needs to comply with the current legislature. These guidelines include the latest EN50131-grade 3, and German VdS class C standards with clear requirements regarding anti-masking technology for detecting sabotage attempts. This is exactly where Sensor Data Fusion technology provides long-term security. Evolution of intrusion detector technology Initially, motion detectors designed for intrusion alarm systems were merely equipped with a single type of sensor; namely passive infrared technology (PIR). Upon their introduction, these sensors raised the overall level of building security tremendously in automated security systems. But over time, these sensors proved limited in their catch performance. As a result, manufacturers began implementing microwave Doppler radar capabilities to cover additional sources of intrusion alarms. First step detection technology In Bosch sensors, engineers added First Step detection to trigger instant alarms upon persons entering a room Over the next few years, sensors were also equipped with sensors detecting visible light to catch flashlights used by burglars, as well as temperature sensors. In Bosch sensors, engineers added proprietary technologies such as First Step detection to trigger instant alarms upon persons entering a room. But experience in the field soon proved, especially due to error sources such as rats and other animals, that comprehensive intrusion detection demands a synergetic approach: A combination of sensors aligned to cross-check one another for a proactive response to incoming signals. At the same time, the aforementioned bandwidth expansion in Wi-Fi routers and LED lighting systems required detectors to implement the latest circuit technology to avoid serving as ‘antennas’ for undesired signals. Sensor data fusion approach At its very core, Sensor Data Fusion technology relies on the centralised collection of all data captured by the variety of different sensors included in a single detector. These data streams are directed to a microprocessor capable of analysing the signals in real-time via a complex algorithm. This algorithm is the key to Sensor Data Fusion. It enables the detector to balance active sensors and adjust sensitivities as needed, to make truly intelligent decisions regarding whether or not the data indicates a valid alarm condition – and if so, trigger an alarm. Advanced verification mechanisms The current generation of Sensor Data Fusion detectors, for instance from Bosch, feature advanced verification mechanisms, including Microwave Noise Adaptive Processing to easily differentiate humans from false alarm sources (e.g. ceiling fans or hanging signs). For increased reliability, signals from PIR and microwave Doppler radar are compared to determine whether an actual alarm event is taking place. Additionally, the optical chamber is sealed to prevent drafts and insects from affecting the detector, while the detector is programmed for pet and small animal immunity. Sensor cross-verification Further types of sensors embedded in current and future generations of Sensor Data Fusion detectors include MEM-sensors as well as vibration sensors and accelerometers. Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that the cross-verification between sensors serves to increase false alarm immunity without sacrificing the catch performance of actual intruders. It merely serves to cover various indicators of intrusion. Protecting UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in China Intelligent detectors equipped with Sensor Data Fusion are protecting historic cultural artifacts in China from theft and damage. At the UNESCO-protected Terracotta Warriors Museum site, one hundred TriTech motion detectors from Bosch with PIR and microwave Doppler radar technology safeguard the invaluable treasures against intruders. To provide comprehensive protection amid the specific demands of the museum site, the detectors have been installed on walls and ceilings to safeguard the 16,300-square-meter museum site. To ensure an optimal visitor experience without interference from glass walls and other barriers, many detectors are mounted at a height of 4.5 meters (15 feet) above ground under the ceiling. Despite their height, the detectors provide accurate data around the clock while exceeding the performance limits of conventional motion detectors, which clock out at a mere 2 meters (6 feet) catchment area. Integrated video systems The site also presents additional error sources such as large amounts of dust that can contaminate the sensors, as well as visitors accidentally dropping their cameras or mobile phones next to museum exhibits. To distinguish these events from actual criminal activity, the intrusion alarm system is integrated with the museum’s video security system. This allows for verifying alarm triggers with real-time video footage at a fast pace: In the case of an actual alarm event, the system alerts the on-site security personnel in the control room in less than two seconds. Added value beyond security Sensor Data Fusion technology provides a viable solution for the rising number of error sources in the environment As of today, Sensor Data Fusion technology already provides a viable solution for the rising number of error sources in the environment while providing legally compliant building security against intruders. In light of future developments, operators can leverage significant added value from upgrading existing systems – possibly without fundamentally replacing current system architecture – to the new detector standard. Added value how? On one hand, the detectors can integrate with access control, video security, voice alarm, and analytics for a heightened level of security. These synergetic effects are especially pronounced on end-to-end platforms like the Bosch Building Management system. On the other hand, the data streams from intelligent detectors also supply actionable intelligence to building automation systems, for instance as the basis for efficiency improvements and lowering energy consumption in HVAC systems. New backward-compatible detectors Bosch will release a new series of commercial detectors by end of 2021, based on the latest research on risk factors for false alarm sources in the environment and line with current legislation and safety standards. Throughout these developments, installers can rest assured that all new detectors are fully backward compatible and work with existing networking/architecture. With that said, Sensor Data Fusion technology emerges as the key to more secure intrusion alarm systems today and in the future. TriTech detectors from Bosch For reliable, fail-proof alarms the current series of TriTech detectors from Bosch relies on a combination of different sensor data streams, evaluated by an integrated algorithm. These Sensor Data Fusion detectors from Bosch combine up to five different sensors in a single unit, including: Long-range passive infrared (PIR) sensor Short-range PIR sensor Microwave sensor White light sensor Temperature sensor Equipped with these sensors, TriTech detectors are capable of detecting the most frequent sources of false alarms; from headlights on passing cars to a mouse passing across the room at a 4.5-meter distance to the detector. What’s more, TriTech detectors provide reliable performance at room temperatures above 86°F (30°C) while fully guarding against actual intrusion and sabotage attempts from criminals.

Get the most from investments in building security
Get the most from investments in building security

From analogue to digital, from stand-alone to interlinked, building systems are in a state of transition. Moreover, the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, which can make it difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments. If asked to pinpoint the single biggest driver of this revolution, one could point out the growing clamour for platform convergence. A security guard in a building doesn’t want to use different systems to check video cameras, fire alarms or if someone has entered a restricted area: – it simply isn’t efficient. For similar reasons, a building manager wants a single interface to control heating and lighting to match fluctuating occupancy levels, particularly in a hybrid working model. Applying the digital glue The demand from end-users for system convergence is growing, but to achieve full interoperability you still need to apply some ‘digital glue’ and that requires expertise. Yet bringing together disparate systems from different manufacturers can be problematic. Just as you get things to work, someone upgrades their solution and your carefully implemented convergence can start to come unstuck. Managing an implementation can quickly become more complicated, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s headache This is one of the principal issues with all types of new technology; not everyone will choose the same path to reach the desired goal – it’s the old VHS/Betamax argument updated for building management and security systems. Managing and maintaining an implementation can quickly become more complicated than it first appears and without proper oversight, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s technical headache. Effective support for a hybrid workforce Today’s hybrid workforce is a response to the pandemic that looks set to become an established part of working life for many companies across the world. Security systems have a massive role to play in facilitating this transformation that goes beyond simple intrusion detection, access control, and video monitoring. They can identify the most densely populated areas in a building to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide efficient use of space. The insights gathered from a security system can also be used to identify patterns of behaviour, which can then be used for planning and directing the use of building space to help create the best possible working environment while also minimising heating, lighting, and air conditioning expenditures. Identity credentials can help manage compliance with industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas Similarly, identity credentials – either biometric or mobile-based – can help manage compliance to industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas only to approved employees. Creating and maintaining the appropriate level of functionality requires a combination of innovative solutions and industry experience. The complete security package It’s not just physical security that’s important – cybersecurity is a major focus, too. Bringing together both the physical security and cybersecurity realms is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ capability. What is evident is that the pace of technological change is faster than ever. Today’s functionality simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, while today’s leading-edge developments may seem commonplace in five years.

Is hybrid working a red flag for business security?
Is hybrid working a red flag for business security?

The ‘new normal’ was all we heard about when it came to the working model shift after the pandemic hit. Businesses worldwide adopted working from home, and then the hybrid model: a balance of remote work and office work. And according to a recent survey by 451 Research, nearly 80% of organisations surveyed said they have implemented or expanded universal work-from-home policies as a result of COVID-19, whilst 67% expect these policies to remain in place either permanently or for the long-term. With more vacant office spaces, the question is: is hybrid working a red flag for business security? Empty-office days When buildings and office spaces are still active with advanced technology, equipment and assets on show, yet footfall is not as busy as it once was, opportunistic criminals are closely watching and taking note. But what are they learning? Security systems provider, Expert Security UK, investigates our new normal. Offices are nests for expensive, valuable equipment, with maybe the latest technology Instead of a packed, busy office five or six days a week, hybrid working means more empty-office days, which is music to the ears of burglars. Offices are nests for expensive, valuable equipment, with maybe the latest technology and safes sitting there, or potential stacks of cash or company cards. You may be thinking, well, who leaves company cards or cash out? You’d be surprised, especially when business owners think they’ll never be a victim, or sometimes, staff make mistakes. Hybrid working model And don’t forget, burglars don’t always know what’s been left and will take their chances. And when a hybrid working model is the ‘new normal’, that means a lapse in security - at least in a thief’s mind. So how worried should business owners be? Well, the latest figures are pretty worrying, but also, not massively shocking. Reiterating the temptation and lure the working model shift has on robbers, Statista recorded a 12-year high for robbery offences in the UK in 2019/2020. When more businesses either shut up shop or sent staff away to home offices, it’s not hard to make a connection. These figures reflect how, when given the opportunity, thieves will strike and take advantage. Handing vital information Whether you’ve decided to go fully remote, it’s crucial to review and rethink your business security However, it’s worth noting that the lockdowns and empty streets would also have played a part in this spike, and now that we’re out of lockdowns with a world back to flipping its sign to ‘open’, many businesses will be carrying on working from home, but towns, shops, and streets are busy again. Whether you’ve decided to go fully remote, or have adopted the hybrid model, it’s crucial to review and rethink your business security, starting with your social media presence. It’s a good idea to review your social media channels. We forget how open we can be on social media, and how our digital presence can actually work as a perfect guide and insight for criminals. All they have to do is follow your channels to pick up on clues. And if you’re not giving it a minute’s thought about what you're putting out there, you may even be just handing them vital information and helping their plans. Remote working shift Of course, there is information readily available such as your opening times, location etc. But, do you really want/need to show off the new, state-of-the-art tablets you’ve just kitted your office out with? It can be hard as a business, or even as a social person, to not want to share positive news on social media, but we really do have to stop and think, especially if people know a lot about the company and its remote working shift. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting with your staff about a social media policy Maybe share a post about that new, intelligent security system you've installed instead. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting with your staff about a social media policy or maybe just a casual chat about best practices, e.g. not to tag the business in a post about their new office gadget etc. Improving business security With fewer office days, you probably won’t need to take up as much work space anymore. Maybe some equipment has become more ornamental. Anything you don’t use or need, you could sell or donate. If you do have expensive equipment lying around that’s not being used, try and make money back from it or store it elsewhere. If you are keeping a lot of expensive equipment in vacant premises, especially fixed equipment and technology, then consider installing bars and shutters over the windows. Whatever your budget, you can improve your business security tenfold with key security measures. One of them being access control. Security gates with access control are incredibly effective at stopping unauthorised people from gaining entry. There are also car park barriers and bollards that are highly effective at keeping any potential getaway vehicles out. Easily portable technology High-quality CCTV is a best friend to any business, but you need to be reviewing it frequently High-quality CCTV is a best friend to any business, but you need to be reviewing it frequently, especially if you’ve done a perimeter check and noticed any signs of forced entry or damage. Don’t forget those signs either, let visitors or trespassers know they’re on camera. To fit in with the hybrid working model, static fixtures are becoming redundant. For instance, companies are switching to laptops instead of computers, so that workers can transport them easily to and from the office. This is not only more efficient and convenient, but it means assets are more guarded. It’s the same for any other gadgets. Having easily portable technology is good for business, hybrid working, and security. Don’t forget about your deterrents. Simple signs to warn people of alarms, CCTV, and even the fact that you don’t leave equipment inside overnight can go a long way. Best security technology Thieves are famous for taking their chances. Some will meticulously plan, and many strike at a convenient, opportune time. So having signs in place that show you have high-quality, intelligent security in place can work wonders, making them think twice. It’s also worth noting that you may not have the best security technology in place at the moment, but those on the outside don’t need to know that; they can be fooled. However, having the best physical security in place is vital, as criminals lurk and will take chances. Keep reviewing your security, especially as your business adapts and reshapes - whether you return back to full office days or carry on the hybrid working model. This guest post was contributed by Danny Scholfield, Managing Director of Expert Security UK.

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