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Intruder alarm communicators - Expert commentary

Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change
Access control and door entry management: How technology is driving change

Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centres, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or flat. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behaviour which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to programme new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via post to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organisation we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist programme to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behaviour growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioural insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.

How to deter thieves on construction sites
How to deter thieves on construction sites

Construction site theft can cause project delays, property damage and loss of profit for companies in the construction sector. It is imperative to deter thieves from targeting construction sites with the help of construction site security. Here, we look into the various security options and how they can help protect your firm from the threat of a break-in. Construction theft has soared during the COVID-19 Pandemic Construction site theft is an ever-increasing problem in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £800 million per year. Unfortunately, this type of crime has accelerated further throughout lockdown by an estimated 50% due to the abandonment of construction sites across the UK. With many uncertainties around a potential second wave in the UK, it is time for construction firms to enhance their security strategies to help prevent thieves from becoming opportunists on construction sites. Why are construction sites ‘easy’ targets? Construction sites can easily be targeted, as they typically lack adequate security loss prevention practices. The most popular security-related issues that are leading causes of construction site theft are: Poor overall site security Multiple pieces of equipment sharing the same keys Easy access to open cabs Unsecured sites, particularly at night and over weekends Lack of product identification systems If you do not want your site becoming a costly statistic, you might want to try implementing some or all of these preventive measures. Strengthen your perimeter Putting a clear boundary around a construction site will help to prevent youths and members of the public from inadvertently wandering onto the site. To stop opportunist thieves in their tracks, you will need to go one step further by erecting robust fencing and concrete blocks along with signage warning intruders about the consequences of trespassing. Putting a clear boundary around a construction site will help to prevent youths and members of the public from inadvertently wandering onto the siteIf potential trespassers can see that it would be too challenging to attempt a break-in, then they will look elsewhere to find another construction site which is not as well secured. Lock away valuable tools When considering the vulnerabilities in your construction site, it pays to think about this from the perspective of a criminal. What is it exactly that they are looking for? What can a thief steal easily to make money if they were to remove something from your site? Unfortunately, many construction firms do not lock away their tools, materials or vehicles properly, which makes them an easy target. Ensure valuable tools and materials are locked away and are not left unsecured or lying around. Criminals are mostly interested in scaffolding, bowsers and other valuables that are quick to sell on, so it is important to have a strategy in place to keep these locked away, safe and securely. Put tracking devices in your equipment If you are unable to securely lock away valuable tools, then modern technology makes securing equipment easier than ever before. Tracking devices can be installed onto vehicles and equipment; if any thief is unwise enough to steal from the site, site owners will be able to provide the location to the police who will be able to follow this up. Site owners should also engrave company identification numbers on valuable tools, equipment and vehicles so that it can easily be identified and will serve as proof who it rightly belongs to. Invest in CCTV Closed Circuit Television, otherwise known as CCTV, is renowned for being one of the most effective deterrents for thieves, especially when it comes to construction and building sites.The items that criminals steal from sites are notoriously hard to trace The items that criminals steal from sites are notoriously hard to trace, but if you have CCTV, there is a chance that you can capture clear footage to help bring criminals to justice, such as footage of the vehicle used and the car licence plate. CCTV cameras can help to oversee every inch of a construction site, and can even be hidden out of sight where required. Step up with regular site patrols With a wide range of security monitoring methods available, stepping up on regular site patrols can help to keep track and respond to any criminal activity taking place on your site. Traditional site patrols can be carried out on a schedule by professional SIA-approved security agents. With the presence of guards patrolling a construction site, any criminals in the area will be deterred to force entry onto the site. Schedule supply deliveries on an as-needed basis To prevent an excess of supplies ‘sitting around’ on the site, construction site managers should instead order what is needed at the time, so that valuable materials are not left around waiting to be stolen for weeks at a time. Good planning and excellent communication between the team will be required so that projects are not delayed, but planning accordingly will help to reduce the chances of theft on a construction site. Drone surveillance As technology becomes more and more advanced, drone surveillance may soon be a security option that many construction sites could benefit from.Many construction firms in the UK are using drone services to provide aerial images, and are seeing huge cost savings by either purchasing and operating their own drones or by hiring out the work to a company equipped to provide imaging.As technology becomes more and more advanced, drone surveillance may soon be a security option With surveillance drones already handling tasks like mapping and surveying of construction sites, one day they may be able to patrol construction sites at night, equipped with motion sensors and infrared or night vision cameras; They could be automatically deployed from a charging station and fly along a pre-programmed route at regular intervals. One to keep an eye on for the near future! Construction site security to help protect your site If you are ready to tighten security on your own construction site, then your starting point will be to identify your main vulnerabilities and get in touch with a reputable security specialist.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Latest WebWayOne Ltd news

Wavestore appoints Barry Vincent as Regional Sales Manager for open platform Linux based VMS
Wavestore appoints Barry Vincent as Regional Sales Manager for open platform Linux based VMS

Barry Vincent is a seasoned sales professional, who prior to joining Wavestore was the European Account Director for WebWayOne. He previously worked for 14 years for Telefonica Digital where he was a Senior Business Development Manager and has also been a Corporate Account Manager for BT. Reporting to Wavestore’s Sales Director, Simon Shawley; Barry will provide local support for distribution partners and system integrator partners by helping them capitalise on the increased demand for the company’s open platform Linux based VMS. “We are delighted to welcome Barry to the Wavestore team,” said Simon Shawley. “He will certainly be able to put his professional strategic sales skills to very good use in support of our determination to make a difference in the market by offering ultra-user-friendly video management software (VMS), which provides a seamless integration experience. This and other unique features built into the Wavestore VMS will enable Barry to work closely with distribution and system integrator partners to help them win new projects whenever a futureproof and easy to implement VMS solution is required.” Video Management Software Solution Wavestore’s award winning VMS is capable of bringing together third-party devices and sub-systems such as cameras, intruder detection, access control and video analytics from global brands onto an easy to operate, highly secure and robust platform. Free technical support for system integrators and the provision of flexible Upgrade Bundles which eliminate reoccurring annual upgrade charges that are commonplace in the VMS market, are just some of the ways that Wavestore has developed a reputation for understanding the needs of the market.

Orisec control panel range integrated with CSL and WebWay solutions
Orisec control panel range integrated with CSL and WebWay solutions

The Orisec control panel software features a pre-configured CSL or WebWay menu option Orisec, the UK based professional intruder alarm manufacturer, has announced the full integration between their control panel range and CSL and WebWay.All Orisec metal control panels feature a pre-drilled mounting gantry for quick and easy installation, removing the need for sticky pads or feet.Connection is via a simple RS-485 lead, which provides full upload/download and signalling without the need for dial capture or a separate modem.The Orisec control panel software features a pre-configured CSL or WebWay menu option which enables all necessary programming in seconds.

BSIA promoting product quality and services at IFSEC 2016
BSIA promoting product quality and services at IFSEC 2016

BSIA promotes the importance of quality as a key consideration when procuring security products or services The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is looking forward to the security industry’s flagship event, IFSEC International. In just under two weeks’ time, some of the world’s leading security brands will converge on the show floor at London’s ExCeL for three days over the 21st - 23rd June. This will be the third year running that ExCeL has hosted IFSEC; the addition of some exciting new features look set to make 2016 another record-breaking year. The inclusion of a dedicated ‘Smart Zone’ complete with a replica ‘Smart Home’ will showcase some of the innovative solutions that the industry is developing, highlighting the vital role that security systems and services play in building automation. The inaugural ‘ARC Village’ will also provide an incisive platform for the UK’s Alarm Receiving Centres to showcase their technical expertise and services, whilst giving visitors the opportunity to discuss their requirements in a relaxed and informal setting. Quality and security As in previous year’s, the BSIA will be located on stand B1700, promoting the importance of quality as a key consideration when procuring security products or services and encouraging security buyers to begin their IFSEC journey with the BSIA. The Association has plenty of activity taking place on its stand, including the launch of the preliminary findings of a White Paper due to be released in early July and the unveiling of a new brand for the Association’s Export Council. A key function of IFSEC International is to provide both security buyers and industry colleagues with access to education and thought leadership. This year’s busy programme of seminars and debates will feature many of the BSIA’s staff and member experts, providing a wealth of expertise across a wide spectrum of industry topics. James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA, commented: “IFSEC continues to be an important part of the BSIA’s events calendar and I’m delighted that we will be joining many of our industry colleagues on the show floor again this year. IFSEC provides the BSIA with a great opportunity to forge new relationships with industry practitioners, as well as to engage with existing industry stakeholders in order to reinforce the BSIA’s position at the heart of our vibrant and diverse industry.” BSIA member’s exhibition Many of the BSIA’s members will be exhibiting at IFSEC International this year, including: Eaton Security – Stand G180-200 Eaton Security will be showcasing recently launched products including: 2 way radio keypad, flush keypads, internal and external sounders; introducing their generation 2 control panels with app and cloud connectivity and functionality, and their 100% radio offer. Eaton’s broad offering of safety solution products will also be demonstrated on their stand. Guardian24 – Stand E265 Guardian24 will be demonstrating its range of lone worker safety devices, apps and mobile phone solutions throughout the show. For Guardian24, IFSEC provides them with a unique opportunity to meet with security professionals from across the UK and internationally, and demonstrate to them their range of products in a pressure-free environment. IFSEC provides the BSIA with a great opportunity to forge new relationships with industry practitioners, as well as to engage with existing industry stakeholders Kings Security Systems – Stand B805 Kings Security is an integrated systems house providing turnkey solutions across a diverse range of market sectors and has been trusted to protect people and property for over four decades. Kings will be showcasing their wide range of solutions at IFSEC, from electronic security, fire systems, lone worker and physical security. OPTEX – Stand E600 OPTEX will be showcasing its latest sensors and solutions for intrusion, tailgating and piggybacking detection as well as a people counting sensor for measuring occupancy levels. OPTEX will also be launching a new generation laser scanner at IFSEC, the REDSCAN RLS2020 series. “IFSEC 2016 will be a great opportunity to showcase how OPTEX’s sensing solutions integrate with complementary technologies and management software platform to deliver a reliable security system to the customers” says Ricky Miwa, Managing Director of OPTEX EMEA Headquarters. TDSi – Stand F1200 TDSi will be showcasing its full range of integrated security systems at IFSEC International 2016. Amongst the products on display will be TDSi’s new range of readers, along with the new version of its EXgarde 4.5 Access Management and Integrated Security Systems Management Software. The TDSi team will be on hand throughout the event to discuss its products and services with visitors, offering advice on specific security needs and guidance on the best use of the latest security solutions for all applications. WebWayOne Ltd – Stand F1250 WebWayOne will be launching a range of new signalling products and services at IFSEC 2016. They will be showcasing new signalling solutions which enable installers to implement Grade 2, 3 and 4 systems more easily than ever before. They will also launch new services for installers and ARCs to supply to end users. On the stand will be demonstrations of all systems. Members of their Senior, Sales and Service teams will be available every day to discuss how these solutions benefit end users, installers and ARCs. Members of the BSIA will also be exhibiting in the Safety and Health Expo which runs alongside IFSEC as part of the Protection and Management Series: Blackline Safety Europe Ltd – Stand M1915 Blackline Safety will be demonstrating a new generation of lone worker monitoring devices that empower the fastest possible emergency response when a safety incident occurs – the Loner M6 series. Gavin Boorman, Managing Director, commented: “Our new Loner M6 surpasses the requirements of the lone worker BS 8484 monitoring guideline that requires two-way voice communication with our Alarm Receiving Centre. Speaking with the live monitoring ream is completely automatic. When a safety alert is triggered, the worker can speak directly with monitoring personnel – all without pressing a button.” Members of the BSIA will also be exhibiting in the Safety and Health Expo which runs alongside IFSEC as part of the Protection and Management Series Peoplesafe – Stand M1900 Peoplesafe will be releasing a new training brochure for the show. This will include promotion of new training sessions for businesses. Ian Johannessen, Peoplesafe’s Managing Director, said: “We are very much looking forward to once again exhibiting at the Safety and Health Expo. The expo provides a valuable opportunity to meet those with real concerns for their lone workers and start to work with them to provide a comprehensive personal safety solution for their business.” Skyguard Ltd – Stand M2000 Skyguard is launching a new Windows Mobile App for versions 8.1 and 10, with a host of unique lone worker protection features. Skyguard will be demonstrating their new MySOS personal safety device and their range of Smartphone apps on the stand. Skyguard has always found SHE and the Lone Worker Theatre to be an excellent opportunity to promote their range of unique products to Health and Safety professionals across an array of sectors. SoloProtect Ltd – Stand L1900 SoloProtect remains at the forefront of Lone Worker protection in the UK, Europe and the US, and the Identicom lone worker device remains the popular and discreet communication device for staff working alone. SoloProtect will be located within the Lone Worker Theatre section, which will be showcasing a mix of presentations on the subject matter, from a wide range of organisations. Managing Director, Craig Swallow, commented: “The Safety and Health Expo will give us a great chance to discuss the progress we’ve made across the business in the last 12 months, specifically with a new Alarm Receiving Centre that’s EN 50518 accredited. Ultimately, we want to make our clients’ lives easier, whilst using the show as a platform for meeting new organisations that are looking to improve the safety provision made for their lone workers.”  

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