|Samsung SSA-R1001V Smartcard readers installed at various locations within the Cathedral|
St Paul’s Cathedral has invested in new access control and video surveillance systems to enhance health & safety for staff, visitors and worshippers.
The Cathedral has a daily pattern of prayer with many worshippers returning each day to pray within the awe-inspiring interior. It is also a major tourist attraction with approximately over two million sightseers during 2011 visiting what is one of the most famous London landmarks.
A large number of the visitors will have taken the opportunity to climb up to the Whispering Gallery and try out its unique acoustics. Many would have also climbed another 271 steps to reach the Golden Gallery at the very top of the dome, where they could enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across London.
“Whatever their reason is for visiting St Paul’s, it is of course essential that everyone can do so knowing that our staff are on hand to guide them to safety in the unlikely event there is an emergency,” said Tom Fletcher, Acting Works Manager of St Paul’s. “With this in mind, we have recently carried out a complete refurbishment of our security facilities and this has included an investment in new access controls and an upgrade of our video surveillance systems.”
Of great concern to the Chapter, the governing body of St Paul’s, is to know where any of its 200 permanent staff, as well as 300 part time volunteers, might be at the actual time of an emergency, should one ever occur. Although therefore the access control system is being utilised to restrict access to non-public areas within the Cathedral, its primary purpose is to create a report as to who is on site at any given time, as well as automatically generate a muster list in the event of a fire alarm activation.
Integrated security systems specialists, Touchstone Electronics Ltd, were commissioned to supply and install the new access control and video surveillance systems. “We were obviously delighted to be entrusted to carry out this important project for such a prestigious client,” said Adrian Soper, Engineering Director for Touchstone Electronics Ltd. “We considered solutions from a number of different manufacturers but our research led us to conclude that Samsung could offer the price/performance ratio required to match St Paul’s requirements for both systems.”
“We considered solutions from a number of different manufacturers but our research led us to conclude that Samsung could offer the price/performance ratio required to match St Paul’s requirements for both systems”
Touchstone Electronics has installed Samsung SSA-R1001V vandal resistant proximity Smartcard readers at various locations within the Cathedral and the Chapter House. Access control cards have been issued to all permanent and part time staff which they swipe against the access control readers whenever they enter or leave one of the buildings.
The access control system has been integrated with the new video surveillance system which is monitored 24/7 by security personnel from an on-site control room.
The high resolution images captured by the 10 Samsung cameras installed by Touchstone Electronics Ltd are all recorded simultaneously in real time on a Samsung SRD-1670DC DVR, allowing, if necessary, a detailed review of any incidents. Six of the cameras are vandal resistant models incorporating Day/Night functionality and built-in IR lighting, enabling them to capture high quality images regardless of the lighting conditions. The other four cameras are internal vandal resistant models.
“We have previously used a paper register to record which of our colleagues are on duty and where they may be located in the building,” said Tom Fletcher. “The main issue with this register is that all staff have to check in and check out through the security office which can be time consuming. We may work in an environment whose history dates back to the 7th Century, but we can now claim to have system in place which benefits from 21st Century technology.”