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The role of physical security has expanded and grown rapidly over recent years. Below are some of our observations, particularly throughout the pandemic, and a look towards the changing times ahead. The new era of physical security The role of private security has shifted dramatically over the last decade and beyond. Historically, the focus was on protecting assets such as property and goods, but more frequently now the sector is being asked to play an even bigger role in protecting the public from physical danger. During the current coronavirus pandemic this has increased to high profile marshalling in city centres and public areas to ensure social distancing is in place, as well as managing people and traffic through COVID-19 Testing Sites. The role of private security has shifted dramatically over the last decade and beyond As these responsibilities have changed so to have the expectations on the industry, which are now wide ranging. However, this is not a new phenomenon, as we have seen how this has specifically impacted on the role of door supervisors in recent years. Whereas this primarily used to be focused on protecting the venues themselves, this role has now expanded with the same door supervisors finding themselves responsible for areas beyond merely the front entrance. Not only are they fulfilling the traditional role, but they are increasingly relied upon to provide welfare and support far beyond the traditional remit. Credit needs to be given to the industry and those within it who have driven these changes, particularly with regards to what can be termed ‘safeguarding’. Whilst mandatory SIA licence training includes specific guidance and instruction for 'safeguarding', or how to help vulnerable people, it was instigated by the industry itself. As a result, now the person being refused entry to a venue due (for whatever the reason), now finds themselves often being helped by the door supervisor, for example, by arranging a taxi for them, rather than allowing a young and/or vulnerable person - perhaps separated from their friends, to wander off alone into the night. Pandemic constraints Throughout the pandemic, security operatives are being deployed to provide a positive physical presence to support and instil the importance of social distancing, mask wearing and to ensure the safety of the public. Who would have thought that in 2020 it would be commonplace to see the vast majority of supermarkets, large and small, with an obvious security presence! Filling a void (changing responsibilities) Alongside this, and for some time increasingly private security has been asked to fill a vacuum created by greater demands on policing and consequently they have naturally moved towards contributing to what can be termed 'place management'. The latter was a concept that primarily came about as efforts increased to 'revive' towns and city centres where a safe, welcoming, inclusionary environment was seen as critical to attracting a wider demographic, rather than the dominant economy being centred around night-life, which was seen as the domain of the 'young'. You may have read about efforts to diminish the distinction between the day, evening and night-time economies and replicate what was happening in the large out of town ‘retail’ centres e.g. the Trafford Centre in Manchester. There you can shop, eat, drink, watch a film, bowl almost at any time in the day. Towns and cities have increasingly tried to replicate this, for example asking other venues, such as museums to stay open longer. Responsibilities have also shifted towards enforcing legislation when appropriate, particularly at a local level Consequently, with greater expectations placed on private security operatives today, as well as their traditional role of protecting property and people, their skill set is extending to include a greater emphasis on customer service and being well voiced in welfare issues. Also, responsibilities have also shifted towards enforcing legislation when appropriate, particularly at a local level, which is further evidence of security operatives increasingly taking on duties and responsibilities which have previously always been in the remit of the police or other enforcement personnel. Framework schemes to facilitate this have transited online, and been under public scrutiny, most notably the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS). CSAS allows Police Chief Constables to 'allocate' powers to accredited security providers operating in their geographical regions, which whilst it has been in existence for many years isn’t probably widely known about beyond the industry itself. Training must meet the need This leads to the question of training: we need to talk about training and what’s necessary in this new era of security, in line with the increased expectations and responsibilities of the security operative. Where does the role of private security start and stop? All regulated security operatives have been given specific training to gain their SIA licence, and many companies operating in the field of large-scale crowd management offer their own bespoke learning and development. Such training can include: Stages and pits (area found in front of the stage) Externals (often outside the footprint of the licensed venues) Directional stewards Roaming response operatives With such courses being optional and unregulated, how do we create an adequate baseline skills base? Whilst some of this training can be accredited and/or included in recognised qualifications it can be the case that security providers have developed their own ‘guidance’, which for some companies is used to respond to emerging risks. The industry being asked to be integral to the pandemic response is an example of where companies are putting together guidance, which may be based on emerging central Government thinking. The science of large-scale events Over the years we have seen a real boom in events. Specifically, large scale (50,000+) music events are no longer restricted to festivals and have been seen as a lucrative source of income, for example, the use of football stadia in the closed season, to maximise year round usage. For example, a number of years ago Manchester City Football Club staged the return of Take That resulting in a wider demographic attending events, from your older fan, probably with children the same age as they were when they last saw them live, to young children attending their first live music event and everybody in between. Safely managing these types of 'diverse' event and crowd management has become a science in its own right with many considerations including crowd dynamics, crowd behaviour, ingress and egress planning, transport plans and of course, contingency planning for the unexpected. Maintaining public safety – applying the science Consequently, if the overarching aim for any pandemic response is public safety, then the objective for the security industry should mirror this, aiming to maintain complete safety for the public. If the overarching aim for any pandemic response is public safety, then the objective for the security industry should mirror this This should always include managing the flow of people in highly charged environments, now with the added consideration of social distancing in what are worrying times for the average person on the street. Private security has a pivotal role to play as social conventions are rebuilt and the world grasps its new normal. Where you want to gain compliance by cooperation then it needs to be certain that the security operatives are: "the right people, in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things and working alongside the right partners". We believe that this can only be achieved by applying science to these situations, a skill that that is second nature to those who routinely deliver effective security. We need to clarify the role of manned security providers covering the limitations and extent of their responsibilities. This needs to be unanimous across the licensing bodies, employers and public in order for operatives to fulfil the role and an industry benchmark set. Security firms are not the police, BUT it is important to note that their role is integral to keeping people safe.
The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.
Public spaces in cities and suburbs are important places for community development and promoting outdoor recreation. These areas may include main streets, parks, promenades, band shells and fields. Such locations are often utilised by public event planners for community activities, including summer festivals, wintertime ice skating rink installations, music concerts and art fairs. As the year drew to a close, holiday and Christmas markets as well as major New Year’s Eve events, presented cities with constant public event security needs. The public nature of these events increases risks of incidents with high-speed vehicles that put attendees in danger. Fortunately, there are three ways for public space managers to prevent casualty-causing collisions and further promote the use of local public areas. Developing an effective action plan When strategising how to react to an alert, think about what time of the year and time of day the event is occurring It is important to have a plan developed before an incident or accident occurs. Warning systems, utilising doppler radar and digital loop technologies, alert guards to abnormal vehicle velocity changes in the surrounding area. Managers of public areas should organise a meeting with public safety authorities and local agencies to discuss what must immediately occur when a high-speed vehicle is approaching a public event. When strategising how to react to an alert, think about what time of the year and time of day the event is occurring. Having such a reaction plan in place combines technology and strategic planning to ensure everyone is on the same page to effectively target a threat and promote overall event safety. Securing public areas Ideally, there will be no need to implement a well-conceived action plan. After all, taking preventive measures to secure public areas where events take place is important to keep people safe from accidental vehicle collisions and intentional attacks. Protect attendees by clearly separating pedestrian and vehicle locations using security devices such as – Barricades Portable barriers Bollards Install guard booths Avoid the risk of vandalism and theft, making sure people are safe when walking back to the cars at night by keeping parking areas illuminated with flood lights. Install guard booths with employees who monitor activity in the parking area and who are prepared to react if an alert is triggered. Furthermore, prevent accidental collisions by clearly marking the parking area with informative warning signs and using barricades to direct traffic. These three tips can be used by public area managers to promote security at the next community event. Additionally, the technologies used to secure an event can also be used as infrastructure for year-round security. Installing gates that shut when the public space is closed or using aesthetically pleasing bollards are steps any public area manager can take to promote community safety.
Delta Scientific, the manufacturer of counter-terrorist vehicle control systems used in the United States and internationally, announces that they have reached a milestone in achieving job number 10,000. That translates to over 9,800 wedge barricades, 1,100 gates, 5,300 beam barriers, 23,000 bollards and thousands of traffic spikes and gate arms. The first order was entered into the system in 1974 for what is now the Sabre Tooth Traffic Control with Tire Spikes that enforces ‘One Way’ traffic flow for parking facilities or other single direction vehicle lanes. Best possible product solutions Delta has been fortunate to be on the receiving end of several large contracts throughout their history. In August of 1998, Delta Scientific announced an $8 million order to produce barrier systems for United States embassies around the world. In June of 2004, it received a $25 million order from the U.S. Air Force and, in August of 2010, garnered a $19 million order to supply counter-terrorist vehicle barricades for the Forward Operating bases in Afghanistan. From our first days, it has always been the goal of Delta Scientific to help supply our clients" "From our first days, it has always been the goal of Delta Scientific to help supply our clients with the best possible product solutions that meet their vehicle access control application needs," affirms David Dickinson, president of Delta Scientific. "For instance, if one of our products doesn't match the exacting security needs of the client, we will create a new product that does and produce it on budget and on time. We will then add it to our inventory of available products for all." Perimeter security applications As a result, Delta Scientific Corporation has become the pioneer manufacturer of vehicle access control equipment with over 260,000 square feet of production facilities. Recognised as the industry innovator, with a bounty of patents, more than 40,000 Delta systems protect people and property in over 130 countries around the globe. Delta Scientific has now proudly conducted 65 live full-scale crash tests. "Delta Scientific is the de-facto solution for perimeter security applications. We are the trusted brand in the industry," states Greg Hamm, vice president of sales and marketing. “With spare parts stocked and ready to ship daily, you can be assured that your Delta systems will always be operational. Delta's technicians are available for installation and maintenance services as well as email and phone consultation. Product reliability, customer service and innovation are the standards that set Delta apart from the competition."
Traditionally, dealer-installers and/or integrators provide the front line of support to end user customers after a sale. Because integrators assemble and provide the “solution” – often using products from multiple manufacturers – they are most familiar with the total system and can troubleshoot any problems. However, manufacturers may be better equipped to deal with specific problems after a sale and also to provide a variety of resources to end-users. It’s a delicate balance, and the best approach may be dependent on the product or even the market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of manufacturers in providing support to end user customers after the sale?
Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
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