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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.
The Enforcer on Tour is back and this time with its flexible perimeter protection that speaks for itself, delivering voice push notifications and Full-HD video verification. The company’s dedicated Account Managers will be hosting open days at various distributors across the UK throughout May and June, showcasing the full capabilities of the Enforcer system and how Pyronix perimeter protection can deliver a plethora of business growth opportunities. “Following on from last year’s tour, we’re really excited to bring the Enforcer on Tour back in 2019 across the UK, with all new offerings and features, including Full-HD video verification,” Laurence Kenny, Pyronix Marketing Manager, said. Voice notifications for intruder warning By adding the XDL12TT-WE, the system can now be configured to deliver voice push notifications for early warning of intrusionWith Account Managers on-hand at selected distributor outlets across the UK, professional security installers have the opportunity to see the multi-award-winning ‘installer’s choice’ Enforcer system for themselves and how their XDL12TT-WE wireless outdoor detector, sensors, contacts, Wi-Fi cameras and ProControl+ app can diversify their security offerings and add upselling opportunities. “We can’t wait to get back on the road and highlight the opportunities that our solutions now offer to businesses,” Laurence said. He continues: “By adding the XDL12TT-WE, the system can now be configured to deliver voice push notifications for early warning of intrusion, while adding and linking our cameras also provides Full-HD video verification. This provides professional installers with an added layer of security protection; detecting intruders before they can even have the opportunity to break in, while easily upselling to video monitoring and verification. Full-HD visualisation of the event The users are provided with an immediate voice push notification to alert them, with Full-HD visualisation of the event"“Now, installers leave nothing to the imagination of the user, by bridging the gap between assuming and knowing; so whether it’s their children coming home from school, an elderly relative activating a medical alert, or an intruder, they are provided with an immediate voice push notification to alert them, with Full-HD visualisation of the event, so that they can see exactly what’s happening. “By delivering this using the PyronixCloud and ProControl+ infrastructure, there is also a wealth of customisation, branding, recurring revenue and increased customer retention benefits to enjoy, with a flexible and easy to fit wireless system.” By registering and attending one of the tour dates, professional installers can also claim a FREE Pyronix XDL12TT-WE outdoor detector, which has multi-configuration options and is easy to setup. With 1,000 of the detectors available in the Enforcer on Tour national giveaway, demand will be high, so installers should book early to avoid disappointment.
With its commitment to continuous improvement, Pyronix is delighted to announce the release of its new and improved ProControl+ app version 2.0. Listening to customer feedback, the latest version sports a new and improved Graphical User Interface (GUI), as well as boosted User Experience (UX), with added features and functions to deliver even more value to installers and end users alike. Voice push notifications “We’re really excited by these latest developments to ProControl+,” Laurence Kenny, Pyronix Marketing Manager, said. ProControl+ version 2.0 extends the capabilities of professional security and video monitoring, with push and voice push notifications now selectable via the PyronixCloud infrastructure. This allows specific voice push notifications to be delivered via ProControl+ This advances the setup of the system for the installer and user, tailoring the function to suit the needs and desires required. This capability is extended further with the installer also able to program switcher inputs into the control panel. This allows specific voice push notifications to be delivered via ProControl+. Video monitoring capabilities So, for example, should an outdoor XD detector be programmed as a switcher zone, when an intruder is detected, a ‘Perimeter Breached’ voice notification will be delivered via the app to alert the user of the activity. If the installer pairs this with an outdoor Mini Dome camera, the user would also be able to switch to video to visually verify what’s happening and take appropriate action. As part of these developments, face ID and fingerprint capabilities have also been added into the login process of ProControl+; adding an extra layer of security to video monitoring. Users can now access video monitoring capabilities with their face or fingerprint instead. One complete solution “We’re proactively developing ProControl+ to deliver more and more value within our app and Cloud solutions,” Laurence said. He continues: “By using ProControl+, the capability, convenience and scope of security is becoming increasingly more interactive, with intrusion, video, voice and control seamlessly delivered in one complete solution.” With Pyronix and ProControl+ installers are keeping their users informed" “We recognised with our developments within ProControl+ that voice push notifications deliver a unique selling point, so we have made these selectable and able to combine with our portfolio of products to offer a complete and custom system every time.” Perimeter breached notification “So, whether it is an outdoor XD detector generating a ‘Perimeter Breached’ notification before a break-in can occur, a smoke detector, a CO detector, or simply their children coming home from school, users can pick which notifications they receive, how they receive them and can switch to video to verify the activity.” “With Pyronix and ProControl+ installers are keeping their users informed and in control with a system that differentiates their business from any other on the intruder market.” Compatible with all Hikvision video products and with more developments in the pipeline, ProControl+ continues to deliver.
New for the UK and Republic of Ireland security markets, the Pyronix Enforcer Perimeter Protection Kit ensures that intruders are detected before they gain access to residential or small commercial properties. Two-way wireless technology Featuring secure Enforcer two-way wireless technology and a combination of shock sensors and magnetic contacts, the Enforcer Perimeter Protection Kit provides an effective, alternative solution to internal, volumetric motion detection. Our new Enforcer Perimeter Protection Kit meets the growing demand for security systems that raise the alarm before property intrusion occurs" Laurence Kenny, Marketing Manager at Pyronix comments: “Pyronix is committed to providing installers and system integrators with a great range of solutions and options to promote to end-users and our new Enforcer Perimeter Protection Kit meets the growing demand for security systems that raise the alarm before property intrusion occurs.” The new Enforcer Perimeter Protection Kit comprises: 1x Enforcer all-in-one two-way wireless control panel with DIGI-WIFI communicator 4x Combined wireless shock sensor and magnetic contact (MC1/SHOCK-WE) 1x Wireless mini magnetic contact (MC1MINI-WE) 1x Wireless Deltabell module (DELTA/MOD-WE) Pyronix Enforcer Perimeter Protection Kit The Perimeter Protection Kit provides greater opportunity for early detection and prevention of break-ins and has additional benefits: End-user convenience and protection - the perimeter protection kit enables the end-user to move around their property whilst continuously protecting it. Installer convenience – an all-in-one, great value kit that’s ready for installation; easy to handle and quick to install. Wireless solution - possesses advantages over wired solutions; faster and easier to fit with minimal disruption. Easy ordering – all that the security professional needs in one pack; no individual product ordering to construct the equivalent system. Building on the award-winning Enforcer’s status as “the installer’s choice” and featuring robust design and materials, the new Enforcer all-in-one Perimeter Protection Kit provides security professionals and end users with a convenient and highly effective first layer of defence.
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