Recycling Lives is a very special business. Ostensibly a recycling and waste management operation, they actually use this commercial element to support and sustain charity programmes for offender rehabilitation, residential support and food redistribution. It’s a genuinely effective approach to social aid, and one that has earned four prestigious Queens Awards and numerous admirers, including Andy Moore, managing director of security and fire experts ADJ Fire & Security Limited. ADJ works with Recycling Lives to provide technology-based solutions to minimise risk at its sites.

Residential accommodation

The whole company’s called Recycling Lives, because that’s what it does,” Moore explains. “It gives people a second chance, people who have come out of prison or who are homeless, and they help them back into society. It’s providing help to people who really need it, by giving them jobs and if necessary rehoming them if they need somewhere to stay until they get their own place. They’re a special company, definitely. ADJ is extremely proud to be associated with a company like Recycling Lives.”

Recycling Lives has sites across the UK was founded, and is run, by second generation recyclers, time-served experts with a wealth of industry knowledge, insight and contacts.

Their charity and social enterprise teams provide residential accommodation for the homeless, help to reduce reoffending and redistribute food, directly supported by recycling, recruitment, compliance and waste management businesses. As a result, they create more than just environmental and financial value from their activities: they provide significant social value too.

Thermal imaging technology

Specialist cameras are designed to detect even minor changes in temperature using thermal imaging technology

At the Recycling Lives site in Preston, on Longridge Road, ADJ was asked to help devise a solution which could help the Recycling Lives staff prevent and detect fires on-site during and out of office hours, explains Moore.

These fires can happen within waste piles on site, and can end up burning inside without any notification,” he says. “They can seriously flare up when the pile is disturbed. There are batteries stored on site from depolluted cars and these can also be a serious fire hazard if ignited.”

ADJ Fire & Security is a Hikvision Gold VASP partner, and works closely with Hikvision to devise intelligent and efficient smart technology-driven solutions for its clients. In this case, ADJ, Hikvision and Recycling Lives collaborated on the development of the ideal system for Recycling Lives’ specific requirements. ADJ recommended the use of Hikvision’s Thermometric thermal bullet cameras, specifically the DS-2TD2136T-15 model. These specialist cameras are designed to detect even minor changes in temperature using thermal imaging technology.

Fire detection and alarm function

The camera uses cutting edge image processing technology, including Adaptive Automatic Gain Control, Digital Detail Enhancement, 3D Dynamic Noise Reduction, and a Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference of less than < 40mk.

The thermal imaging module provides 384 x 288 resolution, a high sensitivity sensor, and supports contrast adjustment

Its powerful behaviour analysis algorithm enables automatic smart detection including Line Crossing, Intrusion, and Region Entrance & Exit, and it also provides a reliable temperature exception alarm function and advanced fire detection algorithm. Temperature measurement range is -20℃ to 550℃ with ±2℃ accuracy.

The thermal imaging module provides 384 x 288 resolution, a high sensitivity sensor, and supports contrast adjustment and shutter adjustment in various modes. There are 15 palettes of adjustable colour available, and because this is a thermal imaging camera rather than a conventional CCTV device, there’s no need for additional lighting. Nineteen thermometric cameras were installed initially at the Preston site, with more set to be added in future.

Prevention and early detection of fire

Cameras are located in the high-risk areas where fires could break out such as the plant rooms and stockpiles, shredder, and depollution areas,” Moore says. “When the cameras detect an increase in temperature that signifies a potential fire risk, they automatically raise an alarm and alert the client to the issue. That allows them to take action much more quickly than relying on traditional video or other forms of fire detection – they can react immediately even to the risk of fire breaking out.”

Recycling Lives compliance manager Dave Gallagher says: “The prevention of fire, and early detection of any fire that may break out, is of critical importance to protecting our people, infrastructure and the local environment. Whilst our risk controls have proved effective year after year, the opportunity to invest in new technology that enhances our ability to react fast in the event of an emerging fire hazard was one that was not to be missed.”

Commercial properties fire safety

The results have been tangible, Moore says, and have impressed some influential people. “Recycling Lives recently had a visit from the Environmental Agency as part of a routine inspection,” he says. “The EA were impressed with the standard of risk management and controls on the site, including the recent investment in fire detection technology. As a result, the EA Director of Regulated Industry was invited to site to view the systems in place.”

The success of the Preston solution has prompted Recycling Lives to engage ADJ to implement similar systems, over time, at all their other sites across the country.

Dave Gallagher says: “We’ve been impressed with how ADJ Fire & Security Ltd and Hikvision have worked collaboratively with us to identify how the technology can best be employed to reduce risk and look forward to the enhanced protection the system provides. ADJ Fire and Security Ltd are adaptable, commercially aware and completely comprehend the commercial realities of the scrap metal industry. They are reputable, reliable and respected by local authorities and institutions and moreover, they are a pleasure to work with.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What is the impact of lighting on video performance?
What is the impact of lighting on video performance?

Dark video images contain little or no information about the subject being surveilled. Absence of light can make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. Adding light to a scene is one solution, but there are also new technologies that empower modern video cameras to see better in any light. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what impact does lighting have on the performance of video systems?

Alarm.com adapts during pandemic to enable partners to ‘succeed remotely’
Alarm.com adapts during pandemic to enable partners to ‘succeed remotely’

As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, Alarm.com has adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, Alarm.com has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at Alarm.com. The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions. Alarm.com’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts. Helping customers remain connected Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Alarm.com is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged. The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, Alarm.com is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely “Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson. “Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.” Do-It-Together solutions Alarm.com partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson. Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call. Alarm.com’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs. End users can validate the Alarm.com Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app Alarm.com Smart Gateway For example, the Alarm.com Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the Alarm.com mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says. Shift to the cloud Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.” End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Alarm.com Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through Alarm.com’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximise lifetime account value. “We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”

COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”