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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.
Security industry stakeholders from across the subcontinent have descended upon Mumbai for the 8th edition of Secutech India, which opens its doors today at the Bombay Exhibition Center. Taking place from 25 – 27 April, the fair offers business, networking and sourcing opportunities for India’s commercial security, smart home and fire safety sectors. In addition, plenty of educational value can be gained through the fairs fringe events, which include a fire safety training and two full days of smart city and security technology forums. Ms Regina Tsai, the Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, spoke about the distinguishing features of this year’s fair: “In response to market demands, this year’s show features more exhibitors from the smart home and intelligent transportation sectors. “Exciting products gaining traction in these sectors include home surveillance systems, integrated home networks and vehicle tracking solutions. We have also refined the fringe programme to incorporate the most relevant topics for the Indian market, including smart city solutions, cyber security, and the growing role of artificial intelligence.” Altogether, 100 exhibitors representing over 400 brands are featured across 15,000 sqm of exhibition space Security products on display The ‘Make in India’ initiative has sparked a renaissance among Indian OEMs, with many domestic security and fire safety brands such as ESSL, Mantra, Biomax and AAAG represented across the show floor. In addition to the domestic companies, there is also a significant international presence. Brands Avigilon, Hikvision, Vanderbilt and Veracity, join the fair’s strong exhibitor line-up to display the latest surveillance cameras, access control systems, intrusion alarms, police equipment, and perimeter security systems for the commercial and government sectors. Altogether, 100 exhibitors representing over 400 brands are featured across 15,000 sqm of exhibition space. A highlight of the international contingent is the Shenzhen pavilion, where buyers are able to find security, smart home solutions, components, networking communication systems and peripherals. Shenzhen is one of China’s powerhubs for security manufacturers, and the attending exhibitors were carefully selected to represent a wide array of solutions for visitors seeking OEM opportunities. Smart home zone The new smart home zone features a selection of smart cameras, locks and integrated networksAnother convergence point at the fair is the new smart home zone. Featuring a selection of smart cameras, locks and integrated networks, the zone serves as a hub for suppliers to connect with property developers, architects, system integrators and other related buyers. Elsewhere, the concurrent ‘Fire and safety India’ event is a significant attraction for the fire safety fraternity. The event returns for its 4th edition this year as the destination for visitors to get hands-on with the latest fire detection and alarm systems, firefighting gear, evacuation apparatus and rescue equipment. Whether trying to penetrate the Indian market or further bolster their brand exposure, exhibitors will be aiming to connect with as many trade visitors as possible during the show. Fair organisers are anticipating a similar visitor turnout to the previous edition, which attracted 22,720 trade visitors, including distributors, system integrators, architects and consultants. Smart City Infrastructure Conference On top of being a business and networking occasion, the fair adds even more value to the visitor experience through its fringe programme of forums, seminars and events. This year’s programme is headlined by the ‘Smart City Infrastructure Conference’, which takes place on day one. A panel discussion is set to examine how smart cities will develop in India over the next five yearsAs part of the conference, a panel discussion is set to examine how smart cities will develop in India over the next five years. Other discussions analyse emergency response mechanisms and cyber security in smart cities. In addition, the ‘Security Technology Conference’ takes place on the second day of the fringe programme to explore supply-chain security in e-commerce, as well as AI and its impact on the security industry. Fire safety training to raise awareness On the final day, industry experts will gather for the highly anticipated fire safety training day. As part of the concurrent ‘Fire and Safety India’ event, and run by the State of Maharashtra Fire Service and the Mumbai Fire Brigade, the training aims to raise awareness among corporate professionals and wider society. Important topics to be addressed during the training include the common causes of fire, fire safety precautions, fire drills, evacuation procedures and safety legislation. On top of providing a platform conducive to information exchange, the fringe programme is also a hub to celebrate the achievements of India’s security and fire safety fraternity. The SECONA Shield Awards return this year to acclaim OEMs, system integrators, consultants and end users for product innovations, R&D, successful projects, unique designs and outstanding individual contributions to India’s safety and security landscape. The awards are co-organised with the Security Consultants Association of India, and the winners will be announced on the 26th April.
Access control has become a central component for the safety and security strategies of today's schools, and due to the complicated threats and challenges these facilities face, a school's access control technology must be innovative and intelligent enough to ensure comprehensive protection. The education sector is a gateway to the future for young people all over the world. But to assure this passage, schools must guarantee their students safety as well as their education. One such example of Vanderbilt solutions at work in the education sector is at a Study Abroad University in London that hosts students from the USA. Enabling campus security Live and recorded footage can be viewed remotely, and footage can be used in evidence The university wanted a security system to protect their student accommodation; in particular, a keyless system that would grant 24/7 access to its students while also enabling campus security to monitor these activities remotely. Vanderbilt’s ACT365 keeps audit trails of who is in the student accommodation by monitoring and recording fob activity. Additionally, the system produces diagnostic reports on door status and can investigate situations such as door forced, door ajar and break glass activation either locally or remotely. If an incident arises in the student accommodation, ACT365 can link events at doors through video footage so campus security can quickly identify and react. Live and recorded footage can be viewed remotely, and footage can be used in evidence. Real-time list In further protecting students’ safety, campus security can provide pin codes, access fobs, and cards to students. These credentials can be remotely enabled or disabled if required. This can be managed on desktops, laptops tablet, or smartphone device. In the event of a fire or other emergency, ACT365 automatically unlocks all doors allowing students to reach safety. The ACT365 muster report gives security campus a real-time list of all students in the campus The ACT365 muster report gives security campus a real-time list of all students in the campus accommodation building. When students exit their accommodation and swipe out, the muster report automatically updates. If someone is missing, campus security can check cameras and call them directly by clicking on their name in the dashboard. Safeguarding foundations Security in education is a crucial issue. It requires thoughtful attention and procedure while allowing room for agility, adaptability, and dependability moving forward – flagship traits of the Vanderbilt brand. Students want to attain a higher education in a safe and secure environment while enjoying their first step into varied careers. Vanderbilt’s solutions respond to these expectations and enable active safeguarding foundations to be laid.
ACRE, renowned global provider of state-of-the-art security systems, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire RS2 Technologies in Munster, Indiana. This purchase will enhance ACRE’s strategic expansion plans for strengthening its access control business and product portfolio. Following on from the recent acquisition of Open Options in December of 2018, ACRE continues to build its access control strength and reach in the North American market. ACRE’s portfolio now consists of Vanderbilt, Open Options, RS2 and ComNet, providing a robust offering to meet the needs across many verticals and the requirements of simple applications to very complex enterprise systems. RS2 security platform The RS2 platform was designed to easily integrate with other security system components RS2, founded in 1998, has long prided itself on the use of an open architecture platform approach in order to provide a broad product offering whilst working with a multitude of technology partners. RS2 goes the extra mile to address customer concerns and satisfy customer needs. RS2 has stayed in tune with the demands of the industry, listening to VOC from both end users and installers. The RS2 platform was designed to easily integrate with other security system components. ACRE’s CEO, Joseph Grillo, stated that this transaction continues to expand ACRE’s competitive position in a highly fragmented market with great growth potential. “The acquisition of RS2 boosts ACRE’s portfolio in the access control market and provides us one more seat at the table in a highly competitive market with many companies vying for the same work”, commented Grillo. “ACRE will continue to look for strategic opportunities to build the portfolio with complementary, albeit competitive, acquisitions.” Access control portfolio expansion “This is a great opportunity for RS2 to further expand our customer base and leverage the benefits of being a part of a broader ACRE portfolio,” said David W. Barnard, Director of Dealer Development/Partner. “We are excited to be joining the ACRE family and this will help push RS2 to the next level, and more quickly achieve our 2025 growth goals.” Financial details of the transaction were not released. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April 2019.
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