D-Tec FireVu Dome – Visual verification of smoke & flame
D-Tec FireVu Dome – Visual verification of smoke & flame

FireVu Dome - Visual verification of smoke & flame Over recent years, the high number of Fire Brigade call outs to false alarms combined with the ever increasing pressure to cut funding budgets has led many Fire Service Authorities to implement policies that now require verification of Automated Fire Alarms, specifically at commercial and municipal properties. This presents a real problem for business and commercial property owners alike who need to ensure their investment is adequately protected against fire. D-Tec's FireVu Dome provides a two-part solution to the above problem. Firstly it provides early warning of the presence of smoke and flame and secondly,visual verification of the alarms it generates - a growing requirement in the light of the new response policies created by Fire Service Authorities. Resolving acknowledged detection problems such as smoke stratification, varying air flow and temperature layering, the FireVu Dome can detect smoke or flame anywhere within its field of view, including at any height or direction. Due to its powerful Video Smoke Detection (VSD) technology the FireVu Dome is faster than traditional forms of detection which rely on smoke or heat reaching the detector and acts as an early warning system. In addition, 'real-time' visual verification of an alarm by an on-site operator or RVRC/ARC not only actively minimises the number of false alarms generated but also satisfies the requirement of Fire Authorities for a visual verification of an alarm from commercial premises before responding. Visual verification also has other uses in that it can assess the risk presented to personnel entering a premises and be an aid in determining the required response. In terms of practicality, the FireVu Dome can be conveniently fixed in accessible places rather than positioned in out of reach areas as is the case with conventional detectors. Support for Modbus allows full integration with existing fire alarms and building management systems whilst the inclusion of security alarm inputs and relay outputs further enhances the FireVu Domes' capability. With its video surveillance pedigree the FireVu Dome can be integrated into existing security systems, incorporated into secure Closed IPTV surveillance systems, or treated as a separate, secure, network solution that does not rely on other network infrastructure - a critical feature for any fire detection system. D-Tec's FireVu Dome provides a straightforward solution to the very real problems that fire can cause. Its early warning detection capability and visual verification technology could provide those extra few minutes that could make a difference.

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IP Dome cameras - Expert commentary

We have the technology to make society safer – how long can we justify not using it?
We have the technology to make society safer – how long can we justify not using it?

While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras  Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable.   Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.  

Safety in smart cities: How video surveillance keeps security front and centre
Safety in smart cities: How video surveillance keeps security front and centre

Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.

Biometrics provides industries with security, access control, and data protection
Biometrics provides industries with security, access control, and data protection

Several major players vigorously employ biometric recognition technologies around the globe. Governments use biometrics to control immigration, security, and create national databases of biometric profiles. Being one of the most striking examples, the Indian Aadhaar includes face photos, iris, and fingerprints of about 1.2 billion people. Financial institutions, on their part, make use of biometrics to protect transactions by confirming a client's identity, as well as develop and provide services without clients visiting the office. Besides, biometric technology ensures security and optimises passenger traffic at transport facilities and collects data about customers, and investigates theft and other incidents in retail stores. Widespread use of biometrics Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is an active user of biometric technology Business, which suddenly boosted the development of biometrics, is another active user of biometric technology. Industries choose biometric systems, as these systems are impossible to trick in terms of security, access control, and data protection. Being in demand in business, these three tasks are also relevant for the industry. However, the use of biometrics at industrial sites is discussed unfairly seldom. Therefore, it is the face identification that is the most convenient there, as workers often use gloves, or their hands may be contaminated, and the palm pattern is distorted by heavy labour. All these features make it difficult to recognise people by fingerprints or veins and significantly reduce identification reliability. Therefore, industries seek facial recognition solutions. Thus, let us demonstrate the application of face recognition technology at different enterprises, regardless of the area. Facial recognition use in incident management Facial biometric products are known to automate and improve the efficiency of security services by enriching any VMS system. These systems provide an opportunity of instantly informing the operator about recognised or unrecognised people, and their list membership, as well as save all the detected images for further security incident investigation. Furthermore, some sophisticated facial biometric systems even provide an opportunity to build a map of the movements of specific people around a site. Besides, it is relevant not only for conducting investigations but also in countering the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Identifying and tracking COVID-19 positive cases Therefore, if an employee or visitor with a positive COVID-19 test enters a facility, the system will help to track his/her movement and identify his/her specific location. It will also help to take the necessary measures for spot sanitary processing. Thus, the introduction of biometric facial recognition at the industrial enterprise can improve and speed up the incidents’ response and investigations without spending hours watching the video archive. Access control system to secure physical assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets The right access control system can help industries secure physical and informational assets, cut personnel costs, and keep employees safe. Facial recognition systems may enrich access control systems of any company by providing more security. As biometric characteristics, by which the system assesses the compliance of a person with the available profiles in the database, cannot be faked or passed. The human factor is also reduced to zero, due to the fact that while identity documents can be changed, the inspector can make a mistake or treat his/her task carelessly, be in collusion with an intruder, the biometric system simply compares a person in front of the camera with the biometric profiles database. Biometric facial identification software For example, RecFaces product Id-Gate, a specialised software product for reliable access control to the site, checks the access rights by using biometric facial identification alone or in conjunction with traditional IDs (electronic passes, access keys, etc.), which means that there is almost a zero probability of passing to the site by someone else's ID. The access control system’s functionality allows one to strictly account the number and time of all the facility’s visitors and also track their movement. When unauthorised access is attempted or a person from the stop list is detected, Id-Gate sends an automatic notification to the access control system and operator. Enhanced data and information security Even despite the division of access to different industrial enterprise areas, the security service needs to provide independent information system security. Employees with the same facility access rights may have different access rights to data. However, in that case, a personal password is not enough, as an employee may forget it, write it down and leave it as a reminder, tell a colleague to do something for him/her during the vacation, or just enter it at another person’s presence. Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure Password-free biometric authentication Password-free biometric authentication systems make the procedure user-friendly and secure. Such systems usually provide an option of two-step verification when successful password entry is additionally confirmed by biometric recognition. Hence, it is particularly relevant due to the current lockdown in many countries. To sum up, the application of biometric technologies solves several issues of the industry, such as: Optimises and partially automates the work of the security service, as it provides reliable identification and verification of visitors/employees, reduces the amount of time spent on finding a person on video and making a map of his/her movements, without spending hours on watching video archive in case of investigation. Provides a high level of reliability and protection from unauthorised access to the enterprise and the information system. Provides a two-step verification of the user/visitor (including password and biometric data) and almost eliminates the risk of substitution of user data/ID.

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D-Tec’s CCTV-based FireVu video smoke detection systems deployed at King Khalid International Airport
D-Tec’s CCTV-based FireVu video smoke detection systems deployed at King Khalid International Airport

  D-Tec's VSD and its FireVu IP based system allows 24-hour remote monitoring of incidents and faster fire-detectionNetworkable CCTV-based FireVu VSD (Video Smoke Detection) systems from D-Tec part of AD Group have been supplied and commissioned by  BSS-ME, its partner in the Middle East, for five large (90 m (L) x 90m (H) x 33 m (W)) hangars at the Royal Maintenance complex at King Khalid International Airport 35 kilometres north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This application further extends the growing installation base of VSD in the Middle East region.In terms of the final installation the CCTV based Video Smoke Detection solution adopted for the Royal Maintenance complex consists of eight cameras carefully positioned around each hangar with these in turn connected to two four channel FireVu systems, giving a total of 40 cameras and 10 FireVu units across the project.With regards to the actual selection process for D-Tec's Video Smoke Detection (VSD) at the Riyadh Airport project, according to Malcolm Gatenby, Sales Director at BSS-ME, it came into the picture at a relatively late stage: "Initially linear heat detection had been specified in the open roof void of the new hangars as the primary means of fire detection, however this decision changed in preference to the faster and potentially more reliable CCTV-based FireVu VSD system solution following a presentation by BSS-ME to the client, specialist fire and security contractor - Modern Building Est.(Riyadh), and the main contractor, Saudi Oger." D-Tec's VSD systems were deployed at 5 hangars at the Royal Maintenance complex at King Khalid International AirportThe decision to discard linear heat detection and ultimately move to Video Smoke Detection was driven, in part, by the significant installation savings which BSS-ME was able to demonstrate around 35% less than the original solution (if all the installation and fixing of linear cables is included). Crucially, by using the CCTV cameras specified for the project and being able to link-in to the IT network the VSD solution did not require extensive additional works or cabling.Another key advantage, highlighted by BSS-ME, was the proven speed of response offered by VSD which makes it so attractive for voluminous aircraft hangar projects. The detection of smoke at source which D-Tec's FireVu offers by applying sophisticated algorithms to CCTV images, so whether the camera is 10 or 100 metres away time to alarm is the same, is especially critical in a hangar given the high value of the aircraft that are maintained there.Commented Malcolm Gatenby: "In the case of Riyadh the large-scale hangars are designed to be able to house aircraft as large as the Boeing 747. The drawback with a linear heat cable being used in this case is that, realistically, temperatures would have to reach 75 degrees Centigrade on the roof before an alarm would be raised which, with factors such as stratification and temperature layering, can be minutes rather than seconds, with the consequences which flow from this in terms of whether an incident can be tackled before a fire has the chance to take hold. As a result, there were real concerns that if the project had moved forward with linear heat cables, in the event of fire, serious damage could,potentially, be caused to the parked aircraft by the time either the smoke or heat reached the detectors." The smoke testing was extremely successful and all parties were impressed with the speed of responseConstruction of the five new hangars at Riyadh started in June 2009 and was completed in April 2010. The commissioning and testing of the FireVu systems took place over a four-day period to ensure that the camera views in each hangar were optimised for the Video Smoke Detection's operation - leaving no critical gaps in coverage and training was also provided by BSS-ME for the client's personnel who would ultimately be controlling the user-friendly system. The smoke testing proved to be extremely successful and all the parties involved were impressed with the speed of response, typically in under 10 seconds, which was in line with expectations and the fact that no false alarms were generated by D-Tec's FireVu system.Undoubtedly, the number of VSD reference sites which now exist across the Middle East also helped to persuade the client to change to FireVu. Said Malcolm Gatenby: "From a BSS-ME perspective we have now provided D-Tec's VSD solutions for a number of landmark projects in the region, including the world's largest privately-owned aircraft hangar - the massive Royal Airwing Hangar complex at the Dubai International Airport in UAE and the Royal Hangar at Seeb International Airport, Oman.""In addition to the project at the Royal Maintenance complex at Riyadh, which has now been commissioned, FireVu Video Smoke Detection from D-Tec will soon be operational in a further three hangars in Saudi Arabia, this time at Jeddah Airport."

AD Network Video expands its network of security industry professionals with two new appointments
AD Network Video expands its network of security industry professionals with two new appointments

Tony Lannon brings with him over 20 years of CCTV transmission and network design engineering know-howAD Network Video - the recently established enterprise video arm of AD Group - announces two major appointments to further strengthen its UK team. Tony Lannon joins as Systems Consultant and Rob Drewery as Systems Sales Engineer. Lannon is to be based at AD Group's headquarters in Daresbury, Cheshire, giving him ready access to the Group's technical team to support large-scale AD Network Video projects, while it is planned that Drewery will work out of AD Network Video's office in Bicester, Oxfordshire.This growth in the AD Network Video team reflects increased demand for integrated systems, specifically high-end enterprise video solutions. AD Network Video, which was launched to market at IFSEC last year, offers a one-stop resource for large scale video surveillance projects where consultants, installers, and end users are planning to combine the latest NetVu Connected CCTV technology, from AD Group, including Dedicated Micros high-end server and IP products; mobile CCTV such as the award-winning TransVu and CCTV-based Video Smoke Detection from D-Tec. AD Network Video offers a one-stop resource for large scale video surveillance projectsAD Network Video's newly appointed Systems Consultant, Tony Lannon brings with him over 20 years of transmission and network design engineering know-how. Lannon started out in telecommunications with BT as a Transmission Network Engineer designing System X Telephone Exchanges. He moved into the security industry as an Installation Engineer for Smart-Tech Surveillance Ltd and was then a Technical Sales Consultant for AT Solutions responsible for the design and installation of IP Networks for CCTV and IT. Lannon returned, briefly, to the telecoms as a Senior Commissioning Engineer with Graniou, working on the design and roll-out of the new BT 21CN fibre network, and then moved back to the security sector working for Norbain CCD as a Sales Engineer and, most recently, was with BT Business Direct as a Brand Manager, consulting in-house on the procurement of their new CCTV range.   Rob Drewery, Joins AD Network Video this month as Systems Sales EngineerRob Drewery, who starts this month as Systems Sales Engineer at AD Network Video, began his career as an apprentice in the mechanical and electrical engineering industry, before spending several years working in the fire, security and CCTV industry, installing and servicing systems. After successfully completing a BSc Hons degree in Media Technology at the University of Lincoln, he was employed with ADT as a Service Engineer and then with Yorkshire Electronic Services as an AV engineer. Subsequently, Drewery joined QFT, as an IT Manager in the e-learning industry, project managing and developing a series of e-learning courseware. He then joined Synectics Industrial Systems as a Project Engineer, moving into the role of Sales Engineer where he was responsible for designing high-end IP and analogue integrated CCTV systems for the oil and gas industry.Said Alan Lefford, Director of Video Solutions, at AD Network Video: "We are very pleased to welcome Tony and Rob to AD Network Video, both of whom have extensive system design and engineering expertise. Their knowledge should prove invaluable - especially given the requirement for a wider system focus - as we strive to support customers looking at integrated surveillance solutions, for security and safety, across key sectors such as transport, utilities, industrial, hotel and leisure and local authority."For more information on AD Network Video, click here.

D-Tec highlights CCTV-based Video Smoke Detection's role in asset protection
D-Tec highlights CCTV-based Video Smoke Detection's role in asset protection

D-Tec suggests Video Smoke Detection as viable option for a multitude of projects According to CCTV-based VSD (Video Smoke Detection) specialist D-Tec - part of AD Group - organisations need to carefully consider the impact that large scale fires, if left unchecked, can have on their operations and take effective preventative measures, especially when it comes to the targeted protection of key assets such as a multi-million pound production line. Sadly, many businesses never recover from a major incident due to the delay in re-building and associated customer loss.Commented Tim Maslen, Sales Manager at D-Tec: "The need for vigilance is highlighted by the fact that according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) the insured cost of commercial fire damage in the UK in 2008 amounted to £865 million, up 15 percent on the previous year. There is also the requirement to deliver an early warning of incidents to non-commercial premises, especially historic buildings whose structure and contents, if ravaged by fire, are in many cases irreplaceable. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that Video Smoke Detection is being applied in an ever wider range of scenarios where timing is critical to minimise any damage. The reality is that it is now possible to consider Video Smoke Detection as a viable option for a multitude of projects whether it be the asset protection of key areas of an historic building, a manufacturing plant, the main thoroughfares in a shopping centre, the atrium of a corporate headquarters, the roof of a large department store or monitoring the corridors of an office development."In the picture on VSDVideo Smoke Detection, VSD is fast making its mark in projects - both new build and refurbishment - by virtue of its ease of installation and minimal impact - cameras can be placed in unobtrusive positions so that the design of a building is not compromised with an unsightly object positioned on the ceiling. There is also the enhanced performance compared to more traditional alternatives. D-Tec's Video Smoke Detection, because of its careful analysis of CCTV images, is ideally suited to this high temperature, dirty, environmentSo how does VSD actually work? In practice, this approach to fire detection utilises standard CCTV images in real-time that can then be analysed by specialised image processing software. This seeks out the particular pattern that smoke produces by applying extensive detection and known false alarm algorithms. The cameras used could be part of the existing infrastructure in which case there is no disruption or installation cost which leads to a greater return on investment. By programming the software to look for anticipated motion patterns of smoke over a specified area within a camera image, and looking for pixel changes, VSD has the potential to deliver an exceptionally fast response - typically in seconds. Crucially, once smoke has been detected the system can alert the operator as well as delivering a visual representation of the smoke on the system's monitor. This ability to effectively detect smoke at source, unlike more traditional methods, means that VSD does not have to rely on the smoke reaching a detector and is therefore unaffected by distance.From smoke to flameAn added advantage with the latest systems, such as D-Tec's new FireVu model, is that they are able, for the first time, to bring together video smoke and flame detection. This means that, at a practical level, they can offer customers a layered response, typically alarming on smoke first and then confirming again if fire appears. The new FireVu also opens up the potential for the application of this capability in dark areas at night where flame rather than smoke will be the most visible sign of an incident.Video Smoke Detection is being applied in an ever wider range of scenarios where timing is critical to minimise any damageCommercial challengesSaid Tim Maslen, Sales Manager at D-Tec: "Putting the considerable risks associated with unplanned downtime and loss of key assets into perspective, it is estimated that roughly 1 in 5 businesses suffer a major disruption every year and 80% of those affected by a major incident close within a month.""In terms of the commercial application of VSD, one German manufacturing customer we are now working with previously lost a multi-million pound production line due to a major fire, which impacted on their ongoing operations. Consequently, they were determined to have measures in place to ensure that, if such an incident happened again, they would be in a position to take rapid action using VSD and their on-site fire officers. I am pleased to report that this was successfully demonstrated recently when smoke was detected in part of the plant and remedial steps taken before any damage could occur."Another area where VSD is proving its worth is for power stations, specifically to monitor all important turbine halls, here the potential for disruption not only to the power station but to the electricity consumers it serves is tremendous. VSD, because of its careful analysis of CCTV images, is ideally suited to this high temperature, dirty, environment where at anytime a combination of superheated steam, leaking lubrication oil and - in a coal fired power station - superfine coal dust can be released into the atmosphere. By contrast this is an environment where conventional heat and smoke detection systems are wholly unsuitable, as all alarm conditions are present in normal operating situations.No additional unsightly cabling was needed for the project and the FireVu networked DVR (Digital Video Recorder) itself could be fitted elsewhere, out of sight of visitors to the ChapelHistoric protectionWhen it comes to non-commercial, historic, buildings a project in a 14th Century Czech chapel underlines the potential of this technology to be applied in potentially sensitive locations. In this case it was imperative that the chosen solution would not impact, negatively, on the aesthetics of the chapel so, for example, an aspirated system which involved extensive tubing to draw in air from the immediate area was one of the options ruled out at an early stage. This contrasts with D-Tec's IP-based VSD solution (FireVu) where, after surveying the immediate area, it was decided that all that would be required in the vicinity of the chapel was a single CCTV camera. To minimise any visual impact this was simply positioned at the entrance window of the chapel where there was already a climate control unit. As a result, no additional unsightly cabling was needed for the project and the FireVu networked DVR (Digital Video Recorder) itself could be fitted elsewhere, out of sight of visitors to the Chapel. Crucially, the main driver for adopting VSD was the irreplaceable nature of many of the artefacts held in the chapel as any major fire would be disastrous in terms of what might be lost, consequently the ability to provide fast track alerts - in seconds - regarding any potential fire was extremely attractive.Active asset protectionSaid Tim Maslen, Sales Manager at D-Tec: "In the end, with regards to asset protection, the effectiveness and ease of installation and maintenance of VSD, particularly in the shape of networkable solutions, makes a compelling case to deliver the early warning necessary to minimise the very real risks associated with fire and the consequences of unplanned downtime."

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