High performance Internet alarm communicator from DSC
High performance Internet alarm communicator from DSC

The T-Link TL250 is part of the next generation of low-cost, high-performance network alarm communicators that use the latest digital networking technologies to provide secure Internet communications between Power™ or MAXSYS® control panels and Sur-Gard™ System lll central station receivers.Programming the T-Link TL250 can be accomplished locally using the control panel keypad or T-Link Console software over the IP network connection made directly to T-Link TL250's Ethernet port.  By interfacing to T-Link TL250's four onboard programmable zone inputs, the unit can be configured to operate as a stand-alone communicator for interfacing existing third party control equipment.The TL250 works within a proprietary LAN/WAN (Intranet) or over the Internet to communicate alarm signals efficiently and economically to a SG-DRL3-IP central station receiver line card, or System II single line IP receiver.  The TL250 connection is encrypted and fully supervised when used in conjunction with the afore mentioned receivers.Features include:Supported by PowerSeries and MAXSYS control panels via built-in PC-Link, or stand-alone mode2-way, always-on IP communicationWorks over local LAN/WAN network or the Internet128-bit AES encryption (NIST approved)Supports DHCP (dynamic IP addresses)Reports events to 2 different receiver IP addressesCompatible with 10/100BaseT networks4 on-board PGM zone inputs (expandable to 12 using PC5108 zone expander module)2 PGM voltage outputsCompatible with Concourse™ structured cabling systemUL AA High Line Security and ULC Level 5 listed

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Intruder alarm communicators - Expert commentary

Highlighting the importance of security integrations and alliances
Highlighting the importance of security integrations and alliances

Most technology companies have one goal in mind: to provide customers with high-quality, affordable products that can efficiently help streamline operations. Whether it's surveillance cameras, video management software, access control technology or any other type of security device, today's leading organisations invest in expertise in these product segments and strive to produce the highest quality solutions. To effectively fulfill this task, technology providers are always searching for emerging components to make their products and services even stronger. Oftentimes, a key aspect necessary to build a comprehensively robust solution involves finding like-minded partners that share a common goal and are willing to work together to create an integration that increases insight and intelligence.The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast Key factors for security integrations A basic factor in a partnership is openness. For an integration to perform seamlessly for the end user, the platform through which the technologies converge must follow standard protocols, easily operate with other platforms, allow freedom and customisation, and provide adaptability. The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast, enabling more time to be spent on analysing critical data and responding to security events. The puzzle of a complete security solution contains many pieces, and it's often necessary to fuse together aspects from various providers to create a best-in-breed technology offering. When organisations collaborate, the end result is a simplified solution with an increased level of value. As threats become more severe and complex, customers demand solutions that combine different security and business elements into a single interface that can address a wide variety of risks. A unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions Interconnected security devices Users used to only look at specific security devices - such as cameras or door alarms - as each having a strong, autonomous purpose, but now, every device plays an important interconnected role. And the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made this transition even easier, as maintaining a consistent and uniform communication and interconnectivity between devices has now become the norm. The IoT has also made it so that partnerships must not only exist between manufacturers, but also within the customer's organisational structure. Although exceptionally beneficial, the IoT brings with it an increased amount of cyber vulnerabilities. As security systems are networked to increase flexibility, the door is opened to a number of potential threats that could compromise the entire enterprise. This risk highlights the need for an internal partnership and knowledge sharing between a company's physical security professionals and its IT team. IT experts should be pulled into security decisions and positioned as collaborative partners to assist with software updates, data safety protocols and solving complex network challenges, ultimately leading to a more cyber secure solution.Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers Knowledge sharing and learning Aside from cybersecurity, the latest prominent security attacks and events have focused primarily on soft targets, such as schools, concerts or shopping malls. This has caused many technology providers to venture into different vertical markets, and strong partnerships streamline this crossover. Innovators can extend their geographic reach and purpose through integrations with other like-minded manufacturers or integrators to add new levels of functionalities. Of course, a partnership cannot operate properly and to the best of its ability without a core component: learning. In today's evolving business and risk environment, knowledge is critical. A shared knowledge base can open up new opportunities and lead to the strengthening of security across many levels. A truly powerful, unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions. Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers, and the results created through these alliances can reach far beyond a user's expectations, offering enhanced flexibility and extensive safety options.

Mass security screening technology for large events
Mass security screening technology for large events

Live events at large venues like arenas, stadiums or convention halls – whether they involve wrestlers breaking chairs over each other’s heads, Axl and Slash letting bygones be bygones and reuniting Guns ‘n’ Roses, your favorite NFL team annihilating the opposition 62-3, or a convention involving anything from politics to food to Star Trek – are exciting affairs that channel the camaraderie of the crowd into a powerful collective energy. But they also are vulnerable to threats. Physical security solutions Terrorists and other malefactors have known for centuries that any large gathering of people has inherent vulnerabilities on which they can prey: Crowds make it hard for security to keep track of any single person or spot unusual behavior, and the number of people congregated in one space amplifies the impact of any attack. In recent years, organisers of large events have augmented the security methods they use to protect a venue, using both walk-through metal detectors and hand wands, and deploying K9 and police units to patrol the lines to enter security. But these current methods share a universal flaw: to be caught, evil-doers have to be on the verge of actually entering the venue with hundreds of other people, which means they can still cause a massive amount of destruction. In a survey conducted by Brivo, 50 percent of business security leaders felt they lack adequate budget and financial resources to invest in physical security solutions. Augmented security measures Organisers of large events have augmented the security methods they use to protect a venue, using both walk-through metal detectors and hand wands Security professionals and event organisers are constantly on the verge of finding new methods to implement in order to add an extra layer of security at venues and large facilities. For example, at this year’s Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California, which attracts over 100,000 attendees each year, organisers boosted their security initiatives by adding drones, armed guards, magnetometers and dog patrols. Unfortunately, large entertainment festivals have been a target for ill-intended individuals. Last year, the 91 Route Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada took the lives of more than 50 people and injured over 500. In the United Kingdom, 22 people lost their lives to a suicide bomber at an Arianna Grande concert in the Manchester Arena. Yet, concerts aren’t the only place new security initiatives and technology need to be implemented in, but also sports arena and large facilities. Metrasens partnered with Villa Park, the football grounds for Aston Villa Football Club in the UK, to conduct a trial using FMDS technology, Proscreen 900, to screen fans Current screening methods Conventional walk-through metal detectors are a compromise between effective screening and high throughput, as they successfully detect metal objects, but only can screen about five or six people each minute. They are generally placed 10 to 20 yards from a venue’s front façade, either just outside or just inside, to screen people as they enter the facility. Hand wands are used for anyone that sets off the walk-through detector as a secondary screening method for confirmation. Many facilities also use observational methods to screen, such as drones, CCTV, security officers or police walking the crowd and looking for suspicious behavior, or explosives-sniffing K9 units patrolling the area. Security personnel are aware of these pre-security-screening vulnerabilities around the perimeter of the venue Security method limitations Each of these methods has intrinsic limitations. Observational security methods are just that – observation-based, not detection-based. They rely much more heavily on human factors that introduce greater degrees of error and chance, and positive visual identification of a suspicious threat requires a relatively close proximity to observe the threat. They’re also slow and laborious. Walk-through detectors and wands will catch someone trying to enter a facility with a weapon, but by the time they do, it may be too late – a terrorist will already be well within proximity to do a lot of damage. Bad guys don’t need to actually enter the venue; they just need to get close enough to injure or kill a large number of people. That can happen – and has happened, such as with Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 – right at the security point, where a terrorist will be surrounded by dozens or hundreds of people and 10 to 20 yards away from the critical asset: the interior of the venue. Security personnel are aware of these pre-security-screening vulnerabilities around the perimeter of the venue. What they haven’t had until recently is a way to screen mass amounts of people for weapons of mass casualty as far away from the critical asset as they can, and as far away from densely populated areas as they can, all while not impeding throughput resulting from the requirement for patrons to divest their possessions. Expanding security reach with FMDS The far perimeter of a venue is an ideal place to screen for weapons of mass casualty. Most of the time, a terrorist is trying to get closer to the immediate perimeter of the venue, to inflict the most damage to large groups of people waiting to get in; farther away, event attendees are walking toward the entrance and thus are more dispersed, not standing in clusters or lines. This advance screening is possible using ferromagnetic detection systems (FMDS). The FMDS systems in the trial, Proscreen 900, were placed outside, where individuals were screened for large weapons before they even entered the football stadium Metrasens recently partnered with a football stadium in Birmingham, UK to conduct a trial using FMDS technology to screen fans. The trial took place in March at Villa Park, the football grounds for Aston Villa Football Club. The stadium can hold over 42,000 people. The FMDS systems in the trial, Proscreen 900, were placed outside, where individuals were screened for large weapons before they even entered the football stadium, adding an extra layer of security. FMDS is highly accurate – there is no false alarm rate, because it is programmed to find only what security personnel need to find In the most basic terms, FMDS uses passive sensors that evaluate disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field made by something magnetic moving through its detection zone. Everything else is invisible to it; it doesn’t see people, clothing, backpacks, purses, etc. Nothing can be used to shield the threat, because FMDS doesn’t detect metallic mass; it detects a magnetic signature, down to a millionth of the earth’s magnetic field. It is also highly accurate – there is no false alarm rate, because it is programmed to find only what security personnel need to find (e.g., a weapon). Although it is a passive technology, it is more effective and reliable than using observational security methods to screen a perimeter, because the technology will never miss something the way a human would. Recognising moving magnetic signatures An important point is that the system only works on moving objects. This makes it immune to environmental conflicts such as rebar that would trip up conventional metal detectors and allowing people to be screened quickly and unobtrusively without stopping to divest their possessions as they walk toward a venue – up to 50 or 60 people a minute. FMDS does not need people to be organised into lines or groups; it simply detects a magnetic signature on anything that passes. It runs on batteries – there is no need for an electricity source, as with a walk-through detector – and can be placed on just about any form factor (a pole, a stand, etc.). This gives security personnel flexibility when deploying FMDS, allowing them to create a wide perimeter around a venue without worrying about portability or a power source. Screening can be as obvious or as concealed as personnel prefer for a particular situation, based on the form factor they select. FMDS simply gives the opportunity to add a layer of security where there currently is not an effective solution All of these combine into a solution that creates a way to close a gap in mass screenings at large events, by expanding the secure perimeter and creating a highly accurate way to detect weapons of mass casualty farther away from a critical asset and large crowds. It does not replace screening for smaller items necessarily, and all large venues should use a layered security solution that also deploys tactics like roving security guards, walk-through metal detectors and hand wands. FMDS simply gives the opportunity to add a layer of security where there currently is not an effective solution. Effective mass screening solution Pessimists sometimes muse the world is getting more dangerous with each passing year, and that technology is at least partially responsible for both the breadth and depth of the increasingly creative ways bad guys harm people. But some technologies also are responsible for helping to fight against those threats and make the world safer, and FMDS is one of those. By providing a foolproof method of detecting weapons of mass casualty before terrorists get too close to an event venue, FMDS gives event security personnel a way to better protect large events, making them less dangerous and keeping people safe. Images source: Metrasens

School security benefits from advanced communication technology
School security benefits from advanced communication technology

With the recent tragic events in Florida, it’s evident that schools require more tools to help ensure their students’ safety. With that, school and municipal officials all over the country are looking for more advanced ways to combat gun violence. While there is no perfect solution for the myriad of threats and emergencies with which our schools are confronted, many have looked to technology to help improve communications before, during and after incidents. For schools across the state of Arkansas; Nassau County, New York; Snohomish County, Washington; New Castel County, Delaware; Limestone County, Alabama and scores of others, the answer was the implementation of technologies that connect school personnel directly with local police, fire and EMS, and designated individuals at the school. Communication tools have proven invaluable when a potential active shooter situation was being discussed on social media Key to these schools’ choice in technology was the recognition that while the most traumatic of threats is the active assailant, any technology investment should be just as effective in handling the more frequent day-to-day incidents. Communication technologies for incident management How have technologies such as mobile panic buttons and anonymous texting helped impact school safety? Here are a few examples: In Limestone County, Alabama, 9-1-1 Director Brandon Wallace led an effort to implement technology tools across the county to help prevent and more quickly notify personnel of possible emergency situations. Communication tools have proven invaluable especially when a potential active shooter situation was being discussed on social media. Advanced technology integration The technology not only connected directly to emergency personnel, but also ensured that school faculty were able to communicate with one another during a potential emergency and account for students. Following the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the school superintendent Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. chose to make communication technology a part of their new safety plan. The integration of advanced technology has given staff and teachers a greater sense of safety with not only active shooter events but also events like medical emergencies that require fast action and a quick response from public safety officials. Trainings ensure that staff and students are prepared for any type of situation and be on the same page in an emergency situation Implementing enhanced safety measures What are some lessons learned from these schools that can be applied to protect students in other areas? Here are some tips for implementing more safety measures into schools: Make sure your solution has a daily use. Unfortunately, many great technologies have sat unused when emergencies struck simply because those involved weren’t familiar with them or were under extreme duress and forgot about them. Training is an obvious necessity, but finding solutions with daily use cases (such as value in medical emergencies) can have a huge impact not only on ROI but also during an incident. Evaluate past incidents. Response during past incidents can always help future plans. Whether incidents have been handled well or have room for improvement, it’s important to continue to develop incident responses. For Limestone County, Alabama, the use of technology in their response plan was first tested during a medical emergency which helped to confirm the continued use within the school. Knowing the ease of use and responsiveness of emergency response tools, the county decided to build upon the technology already in place to help thwart future incidents. Train staff on the newest measures. Snohomish County, Washington holds trainings with teachers and staff, alongside local emergency personnel to prepare for active shooter incidents. Trainings ensure that staff and students can be prepared for any type of situation and be on the same page in the event of an emergency. Especially as new technology is introduced, integrating the tools with staff first will help ensure greater adoption throughout the process. Integrate practice drills. Fire drills are a common part of the school year; why not implement practicing other scenarios which may affect your school? Not only will this help with preparedness but will also highlight any measures that might need to be adjusted. New tools can then be tested to ensure that all staff and students are comfortable in the event they will need to utilise it in the future. Expand those involved in your drills to be those who will actually be involved in an incident. All too often, drills are siloed and don’t include outside agencies. Re-evaluating safety procedures Schools across the country can learn a lot from districts that have implemented and actually used new communications technologies addressing school safety, which are leading the way in how teachers and faculty are preparing to keep students safe. However, it will remain important to re-evaluate safety procedures and integrate technology to help ensure that these steps remain effective. As the tools continue to advance, the available safety measures will only continue to grow.