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

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.

Optimising large-scale event security and operations with intelligent video surveillance
Optimising large-scale event security and operations with intelligent video surveillance

Large event venues spend significant resources on physical security, and the vast majority invest in video surveillance systems as a way of monitoring public areas such as parking lots, garages and seating, as well as “backstage” areas such as loading docks and offices. Even though the camera footage is often preserved for investigating incidents, for the most part, video footage goes untapped because – realistically – security staff cannot constantly and efficiently monitor cameras in real-time or review the high volumes of archived video. Video analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence Increasingly, event venues are overcoming this challenge and maximising this video data by investing in intelligent video surveillance. In this article, I will explore how the combination of traditional surveillance and groundbreaking video content analytics enables event venues to not only optimise physical security and safety, but also improve customer service, streamline operations, and gather valuable business intelligence. Deep learning and artificial intelligence-based video content analytic systems detect, identify, extract, and catalog all the objects that appear in video footage based on classes and attributes such as gender, appearance similarity, color or size. This – along with behavioral detection, such as object interactions, dwell times, and navigation paths, as well as face and license plate recognition – enables searchable, actionable and quantifiable analysis of video. The technology makes it easy for users to accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights from video data. Accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights Accelerating investigations Where there are crowds, it’s not uncommon for medical or criminal incidents to transpire. In the aftermath, security teams must quickly understand the scene and, by making video searchable, video analytics helps them efficiently gather information or evidence from multiple camera. Whereas a manual search of video footage would require hours, if not days, of valuable time and staff resources – while being subject to human error – a video content analytics system enables effective multi-video search using a variety of filters, so that post-incident investigations can be focused and, thereby, accelerated. For instance, if witnesses claim that a man in a yellow shirt caused a disturbance and then drove away in a blue pickup truck, security could filter video to review instances where people or vehicles matching those descriptions appeared, and then focus their investigation on relevant video evidence. For the same example, if the perpetrator was still at large in the venue, security managers would want to track the person’s movements and, ultimately, apprehend him. Using the same cataloged metadata that drives video search, intelligent video surveillance accelerates real-time response to developing situations from threats and suspicious behaviors to emergencies, or even any behavior that requires closer monitoring or intervention. Something as mundane as an unwieldy queue forming at a concession stand can alert logic that increases operators’ situational awareness and ability to effectively intervene. By understanding developing situations in real-time, they can respond more quickly to prevent or solve a problem. Rule-based real time alerts Users can configure rule-based real-time alerts, based on specific scenarios – such as when people counts in the defined space next to the cashier are higher than the specified threshold, indicating a queue, or when vehicles are detected dwelling in a no-park zone or sensitive security area. In the case of the offender in the yellow shirt, security could configure alerts to notify for appearances of men in yellow shirts or blue pickup trucks within the event complex. If they’re able to extract the perpetrator’s face or license plate from the video search, security officers can also identify and track the specific person and vehicle of interest. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” Object recognition is helpful for tracking specific, identified threats, but it can also be leveraged for locating missing persons or vehicles or offering VIP services to guests who comply. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” – that include persons of interest, such as past agitators, recognised criminals or terrorists, missing persons or VIPs – to be alerted when matches for these faces appear in video. Face recognition can also be used to differentiate recognised employees from visitors that are not authorised to be in certain spaces in order to prevent security breaches. Because camera conditions aren’t always optimal for “in the wild” face and license plate recognition – where lighting conditions or camera angles don’t always allow for a pristine face or plate capture – it is critical to have a comprehensive video content analysis tool for triggering alerts based object classifications and non-personally-identifiable parameters. Optimising operations based on business intelligence While having real-time situational awareness is crucial for proactive intervention to developing situations, understanding long-term activity and trends can be equally important for an events venue or stadium. With video analytics, video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence, trend reports, and data visualisations for operational intelligence. This capability transforms video surveillance from a siloed security tool to an intelligence platform with broad value for business groups across the organisation. Marketing departments can gain visitor demographic information for targeted advertising and product placements. On-site retailers can uncover how visitors navigate their stores and the products or spaces that draw the most attention. Property management can follow heatmaps demonstrating where visitors dwell and the durations they stay at certain exhibits or areas, to base rental and leasing fees on actionable and quantifiable intelligence. Operations managers can more effectively plan and hire staff for events, by analysing visitor traffic trends, entry and exit points and occupancy statistics.   Video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence For these reasons and more, event organisations that already rely on CCTV networks should consider how to better leverage those existing investments to deliver substantial value across the organisation. By making video searchable, actionable and quantifiable, intelligent video surveillance empowers event managers to enhance public safety and physical security, while also streamlining operations and improving customer service.

ISC West 2019: what's new in physical security's biggest global tradeshow?
ISC West 2019: what's new in physical security's biggest global tradeshow?

ISC West continues to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of the security marketplace. In 2019, there will be 200 new exhibitors, 100 new speakers and an expanding mix of attendees that includes more end users and international attendees. The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Among the more than 200 new exhibitors on the show floor will be Dell Technologies, Resideo, SAST (a Bosch IoT startup), Belkin International, NetApp, Lenovo, Kingston Technology and many others. The event continues to see more and more solutions in the area of IoT/connected security, a surge in barrier/bollards exhibitors, an increased number of start-up companies, and an emphasis this year on stadium/major events security. Plus, the new exhibit area of ISC West, Venetian Ballroom, will include a mix of solutions from mid-sized domestic and international companies, and is the home of the Emerging Technology Zone – back for its second year with 50-plus start-up companies expected.  The International Security Conference & Exposition (ISC West) will be held April 10-12 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas “ISC West is no longer just about video cameras, access control systems and alarms,” says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions, which produces and manages ISC West. Embracing and stimulating the market dynamic of comprehensive security for a safer, connected world, solutions on display at the show reflect convergence across physical security, IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology). The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home, Public Safety & Security, Connected Security, Unmanned Security Expo and the Emerging Technology Zone. Plus, complimentary education sessions in the Unmanned Security Expo theatre will include topics such as drones, counter-drone solutions, ground robotics and regulations/policies that support autonomous technology. This year’s event will feature more than 1,000 products and brands covering everything from video surveillance, access control and alarms/alerts, to IoT, IT/cybersecurity convergence, AI, embedded systems, drones and robotics, smart homes, smart cities, public safety and more. The ISC West expo floor includes specialised featured areas such Connected Home and the Emerging Technology Zone  Elevating the Keynote Series  Over the past few years, ISC West has elevated its Keynote Series (open to all attendee types) to include more speakers and dynamic content covering relevant topics. Attendees should be sure to head to the Keynote room Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. before the expo floor opens at 10 a.m.  Relating to attendance, ISC West continues to diversify and grow the attendee universe by attracting additional enterprise government end-users across physical and IT/OT responsibilities. The show also continues to attract and grow the channel audience, and there will be an increasing number of International attendees.  “Years ago, ISC West was known exclusively as a dealer/integrator/installer show, but not anymore,” says Wise. “Today, the demographic mix continues to evolve as the event diversifies its product and educational offerings, embracing the current market reality of collaboration among integrators/dealers/installers, end-user decision-makers, and public safety and security professionals.”  When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities Within the SIA Education@ISC West conference program, there are over 100 new speakers. Through ISC West’s strong partnership with the Security Industry Association (SIA, the Premier Sponsor of ISC), the SIA Education@ISC West program has expanded and become increasingly dynamic and diverse over the last three years. In addition, ISC West and SIA are hosting a Women in Security breakfast on Friday morning April 12th.  Women in Security is a new track for the education program.    “Our attendance data reflects the demand for a mix of physical security integrator and end-user content, a balance of technical and management/strategic topics, and diverse topics incorporating IoT and cybersecurity/physical security convergence, and analytics expertise,” says Wise. “Last year was a record year for conference program attendance, and 2019 will yet again set new benchmarks.” Mobile apps, information desks and ease of registration ISC West is also focusing on the attendee experience. Need advice on what exhibitors are a fit for your business needs and interests? The Information Desk adjacent to the main expo entrance will provide customised recommendations based on the information attendees provided during the registration process.  Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website Attendees can download the official ISC West mobile app and create a MyShow account through the ISC West website to research exhibitors and product categories, receive exhibitor recommendations that best fit business needs, review complimentary educational opportunities as well as 85-plus sessions from the paid SIA Education@ISC program.  There are many networking opportunities being offered at the show this year. When planning for the show, be sure to view the list of special events and take advantage of the additional connection-making opportunities.  Whether attendees want to network with peers or customers at an awards ceremony (Sammy Awards, Fast 50, New Product Showcase Awards), Charity event (AIREF Golf Classic, Mission 500 Security 5K-2K Run/Walk), or an industry party (SIA Market Leaders Reception, ISC West Customer Appreciation Party at Tao), there are a variety of special events offered, all designed to help you make new connections. Make sure to check out the ISC West website for all the Special Events taking place at ISC West.

Latest Detector Technologies Ltd news

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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