A major water utility in the South of England is benefiting from protection during the vulnerable hours of darkness thanks to infrared illumination from Bosch. UF500 infrared illuminators form an integral part of the total security system at the site which covers several hundred acres. The system was designed and installed by Gardner Security.

Darren Sheppard, Managing Director of Gardner Security explains:

"The client was very specific about the quality of image they required and the levels of recognition they wanted to achieve," he says. "That's why the equipment we selected for this installation needed to be of the highest quality, to ensure high definition images in low and even no light conditions."

The need for a new security system was driven by a number of factors, notably a growing trend of metal thefts in the region. Being such a large and dispersed site, the water utility was also plagued by fly tippers and was incurring significant expense for the disposal of other people's rubbish.

Gardner Security won the tender due to "its clear and appropriate response" according to the utility's spokesman. Gardner proposed a solution that comprised 44 cameras, positioned at strategic points across the site and two ANPR cameras covering the site's front and rear automated gates.

The cameras are supported by halogen bulb based UF500 infrared illuminators chosen, according to Darren, because they are the best on the market: "The UF500 illuminators are easy to install and flexible with a range of beam patterns and wavelengths which gives us plenty of options, and the choice of single or twin lamp operation power supply also helps with installation."

The night-time image quality achieved has set a benchmark for performance, so much so that the customer is requesting the specified camera and illumination combination for all new installations.

Bosch infrared illumination protects a major water utility 
 Bosch infrared illumination protects a major water utility in the South of England during hours of darkness

"From a client's point of view they are also inexpensive to run and maintain," Darren continues. "The lamps consume very little power and if someone throws a stone at them, the glass is inexpensive to replace." Bulbs can be replaced quickly and easily on site, significantly reducing system downtime.

Intruders entering the site at night, trigger detectors that alert the cameras to their presence. Infrared, which is virtually undetectable to the human eye, illuminates the area enabling high definition monochrome surveillance images in total darkness, often before the intruder realises they are being watched. "Where multiple detectors are used the cameras automatically track an individual around the whole site," Darren adds. "The system sends video images to a 24-hour monitoring centre where the activity is observed and the appropriate action can be taken." The night-time surveillance capabilities of the system is expected to significantly reduce the cost of manned guarding.

There is no doubt that water utility officials are pleased with the performance of their security system, to the extent that Gardner Security is now a preferred contractor which, a spokesman says, "is a testament in itself to the quality of the project undertaken."

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