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Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
According to the reports of not-for-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 has seen 323 mass shooting incidents as of November 28 in the United States. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016 (more statistics are available here), with “mass shooting” defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. While definitions of mass shooting vary with organisations in the US, the count of over 300 incidents per year, or about once per day on average, is simply alarming. It raises public safety concerns, ignites debates and protests, which in turn lead to public unrest and potentially more violence, and increases costs for governments from the regional to federal level. Most importantly, the loss of lives demands not only improvement in post-incident handling and investigation, but also new prevention technologies. Gunshot detection solutions AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting There are several gunshot detection solutions in the security market, commonly used by law enforcement agencies to detect and locate gun fires. These systems function based on acoustic recordings and analyses and often in combination with signals detected by sensors of the optical flash and shockwave when a gun is fired. However, gunshot detection by nature dictates that the law enforcement can only react to a shooting incident that has occurred. With fast action, law enforcement can prevent the incident from escalating, but lives that are lost cannot be recovered. With the development of artificial intelligence in object recognition, AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognise firearms in different shapes, sizes, colours, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing cameras systems, analyse the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Comparison of the advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies Legacy gunshot detection using sensors AI weapon detection Reactive measure: detect after guns have been fired Proactive measure: detect before guns are fired Time to action: within 1 second Time to action: within 1 second Unable to provide visual data about shooter(s) Can provide data about shooter(s) based on the camera recording: clothing, luggage (backpack, handbag, etc.), facial features, vehicle Unable to track the location of the shooter(s) before and after shooting because of the lack of sound Can track the shooter(s) using AI Person & Vehicle Tracking, AI Face Recognition, and AI License Plate Recognition False detection caused by similar sound such as fireworks and cars backfiring Minimal to no false detection, as AI can distinguish different types of handguns and rifles from normal objects (umbrella, cellphone, etc.) Require physical deployment of gunshot detection sensors Can be used with existing camera systems, do not require special hardware Complicated to deploy, require highly trained professional Easy to deploy as an add-on to existing video surveillance system - Can integrate with gun-shot detection to create a “double knock” audio and video active shooter alert system Gun-shot detection advantages In addition to advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies, this type of visual-based pre-incident detector has three-fold advantages for the public: Save lives by spotting the shooter before the shooting event. Minimise the chaos entailing an incident: panic and chaos caused by a shooting incident often adds to injury, as people run, fall, trample on others… With an AI weapon detector, when a gun is spotted, the system sends an alert to security staff, who can quickly control the situation in an organised manner and apprehend the intending shooter. Can be added as a SaaS (Security as a Service) component to small business and home surveillance systems, e.g., intrusion detection alerts (home invasion incidents with firearms number over 2500 per year nationwide). For a complete active shooter detection system, video-based AI detector can operate in conjunction with gunshot detectors for enhanced security. Traditional X-ray based weapon detection or metal detection entrance systems are complicated and expensive; with AI video technology, active shooter detection system can be cost-effective, and after all, what price tag can one put on a life? Written by Paul Sun and Mai Truong, IronYun
As anyone who has ever flown on a commercial airline since 2001 knows, security measures at airports are well enforced and the emphasis on traveller safety is all around the airport and its grounds. Mass transportation, meanwhile, presents a special but not any less significant challenge when it comes to determining security issues. These facilities need to develop the means to protect a constantly changing and large population of passengers. And unlike airports these facilities often have hundreds of points of entry and exit on multiple modes—buses, subways, light rail, commuter trains, even ferries. About 2 million Americans will use the nation’s airways on a given work day, while 35 million people will board some form of public transportation. In fact, statistics have shown that nearly 11 billion trips are taken on public transportation every year. In some large metropolitan areas in North America where mass transit is well established, more than 20 percent of the area’s inhabitants get around via public transportation.About 2 million Americans will use the nation’s airways on a given work day, while 35 million people will board some form of public transportation Solving mass transit security For transportation officials and their security providers, solving the mass transit security issue begins with determining the key concerns and then creating the proper responses via security systems, policies and procedures to mitigate the risks. Although vandalism and graffiti are very visible signs of criminal behaviour in mass transit settings such as bus stops and subway stations, this is not where transportation officials typically focus their energy. Fences and gates can secure out-of-service buses and train cars, as can remote surveillance methods to keep such vandalism at a minimum. Instead, it is the day-to-day safety and security of transit riders and employees that should become the highest priority. This begins with creating the safest environment possible that is highlighted with appropriate signage and, when necessary, audible warnings, and supporting that with technology, such as surveillance cameras, that will document what has happened if an incident occurs.Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package Crime prevention in transportation Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package Incidents of concern within a transit setting can take several forms, ranging from legitimate accidents or crimes to false claims such as faked fall down the stairs to potential and actual suicides. Bus and subway stations also have become magnets for homeless people who may put themselves and others in harm’s way by trying to access less secure public areas within a station as temporary shelters. If someone is injured on a subway platform and the transit provider is held liable, it could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Suicides are a major concern for operators, with personnel now being trained to look for individuals who seem distressed, are loitering in the area or are intentionally putting themselves in a dangerous situation, such as standing too close to the edge of a platform. The deployment of video analytics, which can be programmed to send alerts when certain pre-set actions occur, can help determine when such dangerous behaviours come into play. Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package or a person going into a restricted area. Whether it is on the bus, train or ferry or at the stops themselves, cameras and intuitive video management systems are the key to both active and forensic transit security. Some cities use buses that are up to 60 feet long and those can be equipped with up to a dozen cameras Train security and safety By using the proper cameras and recording systems in a transit environment, quick-acting personnel can locate a person of interest who boarded a train at one station, follow him during his trip and produce a crisp, clear identifiable image at the end. Those setting up the system thus should keep in mind proper camera positioning, resolution and motion-based changes to framerates or other compression settings. A typical 30-foot bus often has six cameras—one each at the front and middle doors, two more within the bus and then one looking forward and another looking behind the bus. The latter two are important in the event of accidents to verify liability. Some cities use buses that are up to 60 feet long and those can be equipped with up to a dozen cameras.Train stations often deploy high-definition cameras to better support facial recognition software to get that actionable image Train cars are similarly equipped with two to four cameras to view activity down the centre aisle. Within the stations themselves, there can be from 15 to 30 or more cameras capturing wide-angle shots. Train stations, which have a restricted point of egress, often deploy high-definition cameras to better support facial recognition software to get that actionable image. Installing the right technology for the solution Although bandwidth and storage can be a concern, with motion-based recording, the resolution can be bumped up during event, resulting in a 1-megapixel stream jumping to 4 or even 8mbps when needed. By changing the resolution on demand, end users can cut their storage needs significantly. Transportation settings often rely on the same technology used in other security installations, primarily mini dome cameras, although there are some mini transit domes built specifically for the environment with the proper aesthetics. Because of vandalism threats, transit typically avoids pendant mounts, which can be more easily grabbed and damaged. Temperature ratings for cameras also come into play in cold climates with cameras often getting outdoor exposure.Today’s new buses and trains are constructed with the cameras onboard and newer stations also take security into consideration at the earliest design stage As trains and buses move along their routes, especially those that service outlying areas, Internet connectivity becomes an issue as well. Because it may be difficult for video to be sent in transit, security bus barns are equipped with Wi-Fi so video from onboard cameras can be downloaded at the end of the day. And the use of hardened recorders at the stations allows security personnel to retrieve recorded video. Transit security with modern technology Today’s new buses and trains are constructed with the cameras onboard and newer stations also take security into consideration at the earliest design stage. Older infrastructure from long-standing subway and bus terminals can prove to be a challenge when adding security, but these issues aren’t insurmountable. Often the solution is to add more cameras to cover the same square footage because of less-than-ideal sight lines and to place conduit wherever it works best, which may mean positioning it under platforms or in other out-of-the-way places within older stations. Looking ahead, transit security will continue to evolve, not only as new stations and modes of transportation are added to the system, but in terms of communicating with commuters. People can expect to get mass notification alerts on their mobile devices, and those same devices can provide vital data to transportation entities to better develop their overall systems.
Located in the South East of England, Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in the county of Hampshire. With Basingstoke as its largest town, the area is known for family-friendly living and is home to over 175,000 people. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council consists of 60 elected members who discuss local politics, municipal budgets and taxes at regular meetings. For full transparency with the members of their constituency, the council streams live video of all its meetings, including public votes, on their YouTube channel. Automatic camera control To ensure a high level of video production, the Borough Council decided to upgrade their conference system. After discussing their requirements with Andover-based system integrator VP Bastion, a fully IP-based DICENTIS Conference System from Bosch was installed. The system meets the council’s key priorities by offering the highest audio quality, full integration of live voting, built-in automatic camera control and direct streaming with speaker-name indication. Council members wanted the freedom to sit anywhere in the council chamber during council sessions Additionally, council members wanted the freedom to sit anywhere in the council chamber during council sessions – while still being automatically identifiable on camera – and the installation needed to accommodate for the limited desk space and cabling voids. The system includes 63 DICENTIS Discussion devices with touchscreens (to support the required voting and identification capabilities for council members), nine DICENTIS discussion-only devices for guest speakers, and automatic camera control software. High directive microphones All the discussion devices are mounted on raised brackets to maximise desk space and are equipped with high directive microphones to deliver crystal-clear audio. Council members have the freedom to sit at any seat in the meeting room, as the system automatically registers their presence at a specific location thanks to the NFC (Near Field Communication) card registration on the discussion devices. When a speaker activates its microphone, the system’s automatic camera control points the camera towards their location, zooming in and displaying their image on the big screen. Additional features were added to the installation thanks to DICENTIS’ compatibility with third-party software. Two companies – Arbor Media, European market leader in conference recording and streaming services, and MVI Engineering, expert in creating conference software solutions – worked together to create a webcasting and conference control software package that was integrated with the DICENTIS system. Integrated conference system The new DICENTIS system has supported a seamless and transparent democratic process This solution helped to fulfil all the Borough Council’s requirements, including report generation via live image feed and identification by name and party affiliation on the council’s YouTube channel. In addition to displaying the DICENTIS-enabled voting results on the council chamber’s big screen, it is now possible to share the voting results on the YouTube Live feed. Since the installation, the new DICENTIS system has supported a seamless and transparent democratic process at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. “Having a fully integrated conference system with audio-video feeds from meetings automatically streamed to the council’s YouTube channel was a must,” says Iain Steele, Director of VP Bastion. Behind the scenes, via the third-party MVI Engineering application, the system automatically upgrades to the latest software versions. These centralised updates save time and operating costs. With the potential to increase the system’s functionality and size in the upcoming years, the council has a future-proof and expandable conference solution from Bosch, which already supplies around 50 percent of councils in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
With roots dating back to the year 1948, Italian pharmaceutical company Alfasigma is dedicated to advancing the state of healthcare under the company motto, ‘Pharmaceuticals with Passion’. Headquartered in Bologna, the multinational corporation was created in 2017 by the merger between Alfa Wassermann and Sigma-Tau. As a result, Alfasigma now employs about 3,000 people and markets a wide range of therapeutic drugs in 18 countries including the US, China, Russia and several European countries with annual revenues of EUR 1.06 billion. In order to keep up with the company’s ongoing evolution while emphasising building protection, Alfasigma decided to update the infrastructure of its corporate offices in Milan and Bologna. This large-scale remodelling project also required updating the fire alarm, intrusion detection and video security systems at both facilities to the highest standards. Security cameras for outdoor surveillance On the exterior of the buildings, FLEXIDOME IP starlight 7000 VR cameras were installed to provide 24/7 securityAssuming a long-term perspective, Alfasigma management headed into the project with three key requirements: First, saving cost by refurbishing already installed system components such as intrusion and fire alarm detectors. Second, accommodating for future building expansions and saving additional costs by installing a future-proof and scalable system. And third, adding around-the-clock security to the building’s exterior through modern security cameras built for outdoor use. For this reason, Alfasigma commissioned Bosch as the one-stop provider to equip the Milan office – home to the International Division – as well as corporate headquarters in Bologna with an IP-based solution. The video security set-up includes high-definition DINION IP 5000 HD cameras connected to recording stations and offering 1080p resolution images at 30 fps. On the exterior of the buildings, FLEXIDOME IP starlight 7000 VR cameras were installed to provide 24/7 security. Recording at 1080p and 60fps, the cameras incorporate starlight technology to deliver relevant images even in challenging light conditions. Extremely weather-resistant, water-tight and able to withstand high impacts, the cameras are highly suited for outdoor use, confirmed by IP66, NEMA type 4X and IK10 rating and installation in mission-critical environments such as airports and government buildings worldwide. MAP 5000 installed with LSN detectors The new fire alarm system is interfaced with the voice alarm system Plena via Smart Safety Link“The video surveillance products are excellent and have impressed me the most. We are very satisfied, above all, with the high quality of the products,” said Stefano Borsarini, Facility, Maintenance and EHS Manager at Alfasigma facilities in Bologna and Milan. The cameras are supplemented by the intrusion panel Modular Alarm Platform MAP 5000 installed with LSN detectors – a large portion refurbished from the legacy system – to safeguard Alfasigma’s offices at night. Fire alarm is provided by the Modular Fire Panel 5000 Series with four loops, processing signals from 190 fire alarm detectors and 28 manual call points. The new fire alarm system is interfaced with the voice alarm system Plena via Smart Safety Link thus optimising the operational security via a monitored connection. Successfully installed and customised according to client specifications, the Bosch fire alarm, intrusion detection and video security solution maintains the safety of Alfasigma’s employees and property at both sites. It also fulfils the key customer requirement of accommodating for future expansions in a modular, IP-based system that is able to keep pace with Alfasigma’s rapid evolution as an innovative multinational company.
Decades of experience, innovative ideas, a strong commitment to quality, and a full range of first-class offset printing services: Mohn Media Mohndruck GmbH, a company of the Bertelsmann Printing Group, is one of Europe’s providers of printing and media services. At its facility in Gütersloh, Germany, some 2,000 employees are involved in professionally creating and executing tailored solutions for customers across a variety of industries. To avoid endangering staff and production, the company also has extremely high standards where the plant’s safety and security are concerned. And Bosch has supported the print specialists with advanced technology and services through multiple system generations. Cutting-edge solution The latest new project involved implementing a networked solution to improve fire safety “Again and again, we’ve been impressed by the innovative solutions that Bosch comes up with for us,” says Jörg Naumann, who heads the company’s fire brigade. “Bertelsmann has been partnering with Bosch for over 35 years, and for good reason.” The latest new project involved implementing a networked solution to improve fire safety in the eight-meter-high waste paper warehouses. On average, around 300 tons of paper are stored there at any given time. Problems in waste paper removal would directly impact production. To enable prompt responses to any fire events in these sensitive areas, the Bosch experts planned and implemented a cutting-edge solution. Fire detection system AVIOTEC, the first video-based fire detection system to be certified by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH (the VdS is an independent, renowned institution for enterprise safety and security, and harmonised body for international safety standards) plays a key role in it. Intelligent algorithms directly integrated in cameras reliably detect the first signs of any smoke or flame. This technology detects fires at their source much more reliably than conventional detectors Particularly in challenging large-volume buildings, this technology detects fires at their source much more reliably than conventional detectors, which are not triggered until smoke reaches them. The data generated by the new fire protection solution come together in the Bosch Video Management System. If AVIOTEC identifies a potentially dangerous situation in any of the waste paper warehouses, it immediately alerts the continuously staffed emergency service desk of the plant fire brigade. Building integration system The situation can then be checked on a video screen and appropriate steps will be initiated. The use of this innovative technology permits very early detection of any fires. This prevents major damage and resulting production downtimes, thus saving the company a great deal of time and money. To additionally enhance security and efficiency, all of the integrated on-site systems for fire protection and video security are managed by the Building Integration System from Bosch. As required, the security systems can be centrally or locally monitored and controlled by staff as appropriate. Not only Mohn Media benefits from this, but also all of the other companies of the Bertelsmann Printing Group operating at the same site.
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