DITEK, the provider of surge protection solutions is featuring state-of-the-art technology at ISC West 2021, July 19-21 in Las Vegas. DITEK surge protectors are the first line of defence against power surges and spikes caused by lightning or other sources. DITEK solutions protect critical electrical systems—from fire alarms to video surveillance—by safely diverting excess voltage to the ground, avoiding costly repairs and downtime. DITEK’s vast array of solutions gives system...
Security and commercial real estate companies have long searched for solutions to safely monitor private areas where cameras, as well as other technologies, cannot be used. This includes conference rooms, bathrooms, sensitive intellectual property areas, and many others. Competitive people counters have notorious accuracy weaknesses which is why Orion Entrance Control, Inc. sought out a better solution featuring radar because it identifies presence detection through micro movements such as hear...
The Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE) Forum has elected Charlotte Rösener, Frequentis expert in the field of mission-critical broadband communication, as Chair of the Industry Committee for the next four years. Charlotte Rösener was also admitted to the four members Board of the Forum. "The election as Chair of the Industry Committee is a great recognition for our expert Charlotte Rösener and her achievements in the field of mission-critical broadband communication. Her a...
Amulet, the specialist security arm of The Churchill Group, launches a new Temp & Vacant service. The nationwide service will provide 24/7, 365 security solutions and has been launched to support businesses that have temporary and vacant properties – an existing problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. When the first work from home order was given in March 2020, thousands of properties became vacant overnight. Last June commercial office space had a vacancy rate of 4.5 perce...
Senstar, a provider of perimeter intrusion detection and video management solutions, announces it has received LenelS2 factory certification as part of its long-standing membership in the LenelS2 OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). Senstar’s wide array of perimeter intrusion detection sensors including FlexZone®, FiberPatrol®, OmniTrax®, the Senstar LM100™, and UltraWave® now integrate to OnGuard 7.6 and OnGuard 8.0. Senstar’s integration to OnGuard provides tw...
SALTO Systems is delighted to announce the promotion of Beth Kahwajy Zdrojewski to North America Vertical Business Leader-Hospitality. Prior to taking on this new role, Zdrojewski served as SALTO National Account Manager for Hospitality. "I'm excited to move into this new role with SALTO. As the hospitality vertical team leader, I'll focus on business development and integrations in conjunction with our hardware solutions for the variety of hospitality properties found throughout North America....
Hikvision, an IoT solution provider with video as its core competence, announces the launch of its brand-new webcam products to the global market. The product family currently comprises four different series – Ultra, Pro, Live, and Value – designed for various scenarios and user groups, and with bespoke feature sets. According to industry analyst firms, the global live streaming market is expected to continue growing significantly in the coming years. The increase in video streaming among citizens and businesses in all verticals is reported as the main driver for market growth, with content creators diversifying their material and activities, and connecting with audiences in new ways. Immersive video conferencing In addition, complete and partial lockdowns during the COVID-19 crisis also positively impacted the live streaming industry. To provide immersive video conferencing and streaming experiences, users need webcams that deliver high-resolution imaging and excellent-quality sound in a range of scenarios. Hikvision has designed and developed its new webcam range to meet this need. The Hikvision Ultra series of webcams are specifically designed for remote conferencing The Hikvision Ultra series of webcams are specifically designed for remote conferencing. The highlight of this series is its PTZ control capability, which offers 5x optical zoom capabilities. This means that users can see meeting presentations or discussions without straining their eyes. Additionally, PTZ control allows users to pan across 330°, helping them adjust their viewing angle easily, without missing a thing. Webcams for remote conferencing Hikvision’s new webcam range also includes Pro webcams for remote conferencing. These are ideal for business professionals, offering an outstanding, immersive sound and video experience, with a sleek design and an elegant, anodised finish. Pro webcams offer an Auto Focus feature and built-in dual-microphone, ensuring that audio and video is always crystal clear during presentations, conferences, or group discussions. The cube-shaped Hikvision Live series of webcams is designed for live streaming, eCommerce, and gaming applications. If a product is being presented in a live program, for example, the webcam view can be changed – both horizontally and vertically – thanks to magnetic mountings on all four sides of the casing. Online education applications The webcam comes with a built-in microphone, which incorporates advanced algorithms These webcams also offer Sharp Auto Focus, which ensures that images of people and objects are sharp and clear at all times. Importantly, the webcams’ ‘touchable supplemental LED light’ feature enables users to adjust brightness in accordance with the surrounding environment. The Hikvision Value series is their range of entry level webcams. These have a compact design, making them perfect for online education applications that connect school teachers and students. The webcam comes with a built-in microphone, which incorporates advanced algorithms to reduce noise and improve sound quality. Its wide-angle lens provides maximum coverage, with no image distortion. This is particularly useful for teachers giving lessons in a classroom, where both the teacher and the blackboard, or wall-mounted screen, can be viewed clearly in a single frame. Third-party conferencing platforms All Hikvision webcams are driver-free, offering ‘plug-and-play’ installation via a standard USB interface. This allows users to begin conferencing or streaming in seconds. All Hikvision webcams can also be flexibly mounted on users’ equipment, on tables, laptops, monitors, or tripods. Importantly, Hikvision webcams are equipped with dedicated PC-based client software, called HIKIN. Users can use this software for video previews, and to configure image and sound parameters. Notably, the webcams can be used with all the third-party conferencing platforms with video parameters configured using a simple drop-down menu. All Hikvision webcams are delivered with a standard 2-year warranty, giving end-users reliability and peace of mind.
New research has highlighted the importance of striking the right balance between security and aesthetics when securing public spaces, particularly in locations of historic interest or with recognisable design vocabularies. The Future of Urban Design report by ATG Access revealed that a third (32%) of architects, specifiers and urban planners have found that local residents are often reluctant to have the look of an area changed by the implementation of physical security measures. Incorporating security solutions Encouragingly, given the ever-present threats to city life, the research shows that the majority of urban design professionals themselves are aware of the importance of incorporating security solutions into their projects, with 82% agreeing that they make a positive addition. However, some also expressed their own concerns around the impact that these measures can have on a development’s aesthetic appeal. According to the survey, 40% find incorporating security measures into new developments without impacting their aesthetic appeal a key design challenge. A surprising 2% admitted that they actively dislike them and try to avoid including security measures in their designs wherever possible. On the other hand, 8% of those surveyed said that, while they would prefer not to include security measures in their projects, they are conscious that many people like to see them. Reducing carbon emissions Security measures will have an increasingly large part to play as our cities continue to evolve" Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, commented: “Our research really highlights the importance of preserving the visual appeal of public spaces while also protecting people from threats such as vehicle attacks.” “Security measures will have an increasingly large part to play as our cities continue to evolve over the coming years, with a growing focus on smart automation, reducing carbon emissions and transforming retail centres into leisure hubs, so it’s crucial that we maintain positive feeling towards them. When implemented sensitively and correctly, security solutions offer the public a sense of reassurance and comfort, without detracting from historic landmarks or the design of the wider development, or creating a fortress mentality amongst those using the space.” Providing maximum protection “The technology we have available is constantly advancing, with cutting edge products providing maximum protection with very sleek designs. Additionally, protective street furniture such as lighting, seating, planters, litter bins and cycle stands, can now be used alongside more traditional solutions, offering more freedom in the design of public spaces.” According to the report, more than a third (36%) of urban design professionals think that impact-tested street furniture is a great innovation. However, 59% said that, although they think protective street furniture is a good idea, they think that architects should have more say in their design from the ground up. A further 19% said that they wished there were more options to choose from. Protective street furniture Iain continued: “From this, it’s clear that while attitudes towards impact-tested street furniture amongst architects and planners are positive, there is definite demand for access to more bespoke products.” “A more collaborative approach between suppliers and design professionals might therefore be the key to enhancing perceptions of the aesthetic impact of security measures and encouraging even more widespread implementation of both protective street furniture and traditional solutions.”
Calipsa, a provider of deep-learning powered video analytics for false alarm reduction, announces the promotion of a Regional Sales Director and the appointment of two Business Development Managers as the company continues its expansion in the Americas. Tara Biglari was promoted to Regional Sales Director, Americas. She joined Calipsa in 2017 as a Sales Associate in the United Kingdom. Since 2020, she has focused solely on business development in the Americas, forming relationships with Latin American industry representative companies enabling Calipsa to expand its client base. Accelerating business growth Biglari, a Maryland native, received a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Edinburgh. “Watching our team grow over the past few years has been a joy,” she said. “I’m excited about my increased responsibilities to help us continue our growth throughout the Americas.” Francisco Espinosa is a new Calipsa Business Development Manager. Previously, as Director of Monitoring Operations, he oversaw a team of 140 people monitoring more than 300 customer sites for Totem, Ecuador’s video monitoring centre and a Calipsa client. Espinosa also held several financial executive positions with Ecuadorian companies Espinosa also held several financial executive positions with Ecuadorian companies. His Calipsa territories include Latin American countries. Andrew Gyimesi is Calipsa’s new Business Development Manager with responsibility for North America. Previously, Gyimesi was a Senior Sales Development Representative for memoryBlue, a Virginia-based sales development consulting firm helping a wide range of high-tech clients accelerate new business growth. Deep learning technology “The Americas represent are a tremendous growth opportunity for Calipsa’s false alarm reduction software,” said Brian Baker, Chief Revenue Officer, Calipsa. “We’re confident our Americas business development efforts are in good hands with Tara, Francisco and Andrew. Each has proven capabilities to handle the needs of our current and prospective clients.” Calipsa’s technology uses artificial intelligence with deep learning technology to recognise genuine alarms caused by human or vehicle movement while filtering out notifications resulting from nuisance factors such as animals, lighting, weather or foliage. The result is the elimination of more than 90% of false alarms. The software is easily scalable, making it ideal for any growing monitoring station and enterprise customer business.
The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance, an organisation of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining, and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), announces Matter – the interoperable, secure connectivity standard for the future of the smart home. The proliferation of connected objects continues to change the way one lives, works and plays. From homes to offices, factories to hospitals, connected objects enable one to experience the environments in cohesive, interactive ways. Yet, for too long, disconnected platforms and disparate development paths have caused confusion for consumers and complicated processes for developers and innovators. Promoting new standard Smart objects should be reliable, secure, and work together – this is the shared vision behind Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), now known as the new standard, Matter. Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google, SmartThings, and the Connectivity Standards Alliance came together in 2019 to develop and promote this new standard, joined by fellow Alliance board member companies IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, Somfy and Wulian. Matter is the unified IP-based connectivity protocol built on proven technologies Now, there are more than 180 Member organisations of all sizes, across a range of business categories, and over 1,700 Member individuals participating in bringing the Matter specification, reference implementations, testing tools and certification programs to life. Matter is the unified IP-based connectivity protocol built on proven technologies, helping connect and build reliable, secure IoT ecosystems. Truly connected world This new technology and royalty-free connectivity standard enable communications among a wide range of smart devices. Matter is also a seal of approval, assuring that any object built on this standard is reliable by nature, secure by design, and compatible at scale. “We create marks of trust, and Matter is an important milestone for users in our long history of delivering unifying, secure, reliable and trustworthy standards for the IoT,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance. “I’m very excited to unveil Matter as a foundational element in delivering a truly connected world.” Matter makes it easier for device manufacturers to build devices, and to ensure they are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit with Siri, Google’s Assistant, SmartThings, and others.” Simplifying connected experiences The first specification release of the Matter protocol will run on existing networking technologies such as Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (802.11), and Thread (802.15.4) and for ease of commissioning, Bluetooth Low Energy. Other key attributes include: Simplicity – Easy to purchase and use. Simplifying connected experiences. Interoperability – Devices from multiple brands work natively together. Providing greater compatibility. Reliability – Consistent and responsive local connectivity. Security – Maintaining secure connections. Robust and streamlined for developers and users. Flexibility – Matter makes it easy for users to set up and control their devices with multiple ecosystems simultaneously. Simple setup code Retailers get reduced complexity in-store to create a more simplified purchasing experience Breakthrough connectivity is built on Matter, providing greater benefit and value for developers, and those who live or work in a smart home or business. Consumers get an increased choice, compatibility, and more control of their experience. Developers get lower development and operational cost via a single SKU and more time for innovation. Retailers get reduced complexity in-store to create a more simplified purchasing experience, leading to fewer returns for compatibility issues. With Matter, consumers and businesses can choose the brands they want in their smart home or commercial building and be confident they will work seamlessly. Homeowners, and especially those living in a smart home with multiple devices like smart locks, thermostats or smart speakers, can easily add new devices with a Matter mark using a simple setup code to connect their home as one. Single-vendor stacks Businesses, particularly those that rely on connectivity, can count on one network to keep their operations running smoothly. Key for developers is that Matter isn’t only a specification – it also offers an open-source reference implementation in parallel. This drives tangible benefits for developers including: faster time to market, reduced reliance on single-vendor stacks, improved quality since they can access multiple use cases to test against, and increased security with full transparency into the community’s ability to identify and commit patches. Products with the Matter mark connect securely with more devices, more reliably than ever Products with the Matter mark connect securely with more devices, more reliably than ever. The Matter mark will serve as a seal of approval, taking the guesswork out of the purchasing process and allowing businesses and consumers alike to choose from a wider array of brands to create secure and connected homes and buildings. Promise of convergence The new symbol and wordmark of Matter tell its story of connectivity. The name was selected for its foundational nature. Matter is a building block for life, and now also for the IoT. The three arrow forms meeting in the Matter symbol communicate the brand promise of convergence and connectivity in its most distilled visual form. Its geometric construction and triangular nature express security and utility. The badge on the product and packaging, with the Matter symbol and wordmark, notes that a product is Matter certified. The two-colour visual identity has been simplified to represent Day and Night with gradients evocative of dynamic connections between products. The new Matter brandmark was developed in partnership with Interbrand, one of the brand consultancies. Connected home technologies With Matter, smart home devices built on technologies like Wi-Fi will be more interoperable" “Today, millions of customers around the world rely on Alexa as their favorite way to control more than 140,000 Alexa-compatible smart home products, and we are committed to continuing to make smart home connections easier for customers,” said David Shearer, Vice President, Amazon Smart Home. “With Matter, smart home devices built on technologies like Wi-Fi will be more interoperable, making them simpler for manufacturers to develop and certify, and delivering more value for customers.” “As we focus on delivering the best connected experiences to our customers, Matter represents an important step forward in the global effort to make connected home technologies easier to use and more secure, with a high degree of interoperability. We’ve been honoured to work with our industry peers on Matter from the beginning and are excited to be part of its role in shaping the future of IoT,” said Jim Kitchen, Vice President Product, Connected Home and IoT Devices, Comcast. Multi-brand interoperability “Matter will be a leap forward in interoperability. It also demonstrates the power of the collaborative and open-source process within the Alliance that embraces the full IoT value chain and yields results. We are convinced that Matter is a great opportunity, therefore Legrand supports the project since the beginning notably by involving engineers and by participating in test events,” said Bruno Vulcano, R&D Manager at Legrand and Chair of the Board at the Connectivity Standards Alliance. We are convinced that Matter is a great opportunity, therefore Legrand supports the project" “Signify, the world leader in lighting and a long-term leader in the Alliance, is excited to be a driving force in the creation and adoption of Matter. We believe this multi-brand interoperability in the smart home will catalyse the benefit and value of smart lighting worldwide via both Philips Hue and WiZ smart lighting,” said George Yianni, Head of Technology Philips Hue, on behalf of Signify. Developing revolutionary protocol “We believe that a universal standard in connectivity is critical for the industry and Matter is the key that will fully unlock the connected home for consumers. We are proud to lend our historical expertise in IoT and be part of the pioneering team to develop this revolutionary protocol,” said Samantha Osborne, Vice President of Marketing and Business Operations at SmartThings. “Over the past year we’ve doubled down on our technology to enhance our ecosystem to not only welcome future Matter products, but to ensure that they work seamlessly with the thousands of products already within our ecosystem.” Providing diverse options Tuya is dedicated to providing diverse options to power our IoT developer ecosystem" “As an open IoT development platform provider, Tuya is dedicated to providing diverse options to power our IoT developer ecosystem. Matter is important to us and our developers because it enables even easier interoperability between brands and simplifies connections between people and our connected objects. When we can securely and easily connect everything, the possibilities of what we can do with those connections are limitless,” said Alex Yang, Co-Founder and COO, Tuya Smart. In early May, the feature-complete base specification was approved by the Matter Working Group. Reaching this milestone gives Members a definition of the major features to build out the open-source implementation and test the specification. Tracking first devices With this, the project is currently on track to see first devices through certification in late 2021, depending on manufacturer go-to-market plans. Devices targeted for launch include lighting and electrical (e.g., light bulbs, luminaires, controls, plugs, outlets), HVAC controls (e.g., thermostats, AC units), access controls (e.g., door locks, garage doors), safety and security (e.g., sensors, detectors, security systems), window coverings/shades, TVs, access points, bridges and others. Members poised to be early adopters of Matter include: Amazon, ASSA ABLOY, Comcast, Espressif Systems, Eve Systems, Google, Grundfos Holding A/S, Huawei, Infineon Technologies, LEEDARSON, Legrand, Nanoleaf, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, Qorvo, Resideo, Schlage, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, SmartThings, Somfy, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Tuya Smart, ubisys, Wulian, and Zumtobel Group. Companies interested in accessing the specification and building devices with Matter can join the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
SSAIB is proud to announce that they have achieved accreditation for BAFE’s SP207 scheme for emergency evacuation systems, which are used by Fire and Rescue services to prioritise evacuation from residential high rise buildings and ensure people at risk in endangered areas can be safely evacuated. Supporting British Standard 8629 Evacuation Alert Systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats, this new development from BAFE – the UK’s independent register of quality fire safety providers - covers the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of emergency evacuations systems that will help to provide quality evidence of competency to deliver these services. Providing evacuation systems And SSAIB fire scheme manager Keith Strugnell believes this new scheme has the potential to become an essential addition for organisations looking to provide evacuation systems. Discussing the SP207 scheme in the upcoming edition of SSAIB’s annual magazine The Standard, Keith revealed: “Developed in response to a recommendation from the Grenfell Tower Phase 1 inquiry report, it is likely to become a requirement that you will need to be third-party certified to work on emergency evacuation systems going forward.” Existing SSAIB-registered SP203-1 firms will find it comparable to their own scheme" “However, despite it being a brand new scheme, existing SSAIB-registered SP203-1 firms will find it comparable to their own scheme – as it utilises a similar format, albeit that the scheme document has been changed to make it more relevant to emergency evacuation systems. Therefore, in theory, you will satisfy the requirements for SP207 by default if you already have SP203-1.” Accredited certification body BAFE announced the scheme in the final quarter of 2020 and Keith went on to reveal that the UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries acted promptly to ensure that the organisation could add SP207 to its existing catalogue of BAFE fire schemes. Keith continued: “With regards to SSAIB, we completed training with BS 8629:2019 for our auditors and scheduled several pilot audits for those initial companies to achieve certification for this latest scheme that we provide certification for to the fire industry. We then collated all of the necessary criteria that was needed for our information packs and then we were ready to go.” Latest industry developments “Through doing all this, it has allowed us to successfully add to our list of fire schemes and ensure that our firms are able to keep up with the latest industry developments.” BAFE’s director of schemes, Chris Auger, added: “The demand shown following the MHCLG consultation is unprecedented and represents a far greater awareness of systems and competency of their installers required following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire.” We are pleased to offer a route to achieving this important third-party certification" “With the work BAFE have performed in conjunction with the industry and Fire and Rescue Service, we are pleased to offer a route to achieving this important third-party certification. Quality evidence of competency is going to have far greater scrutiny for everyone working in high-rise blocks in the very near future which can only be a good thing.” Third-party certification “This scheme will fill this crucial gap in providing confidence to specifiers knowing they are fulfilling their due diligence and continuing the ‘golden thread’ of accountability for the life safety of residents within the building.” “The expanding portfolio of BAFE schemes represents the necessity of quality evidence of competency required for niche, but extremely important, areas of the industry. Third-party certification is going to be a key focus of attention for the built environment moving forward and BAFE need to position itself to offer schemes that are both needed and, reflect the current concerns of occupants, regulators, service providers and building owners/managers.”
UK emergency control rooms are to benefit from a ground-breaking partnership between the world’s first emergency response data platform, RapidSOS, and location technology company what3words. Through the RapidSOS Platform, emergency call handlers in the UK will be able to gather critical health data from callers as well as their accurate what3words location. This will provide police, ambulance, and fire services with the information needed to quickly dispatch the appropriate resources to the caller in need and can ultimately save lives. The first service in the UK to test the concept will be Avon & Somerset Police. Emergency intelligence data The RapidSOS Platform securely and automatically links life-saving emergency intelligence data from connected devices directly to the UK’s emergency services. Meanwhile, what3words has given every 3-meter square a unique identifier made of three random words. This means that any location can be communicated using just three words. what3words provides the accuracy of GPS coordinates in a human-friendly format that is easier to communicate and less prone to error than long strings of numbers. Control rooms in the UK and around the world rely on the limited information a phone call Communicating the right location in an emergency is crucial, but not always easy. Street addresses do not always point to precise locations, and many parts of the UK do not have an address, such as parks, forests and coastlines. Moreover, control rooms in the UK and around the world rely on the limited information a phone call can provide, resulting in delays in dispatching responders to the scene. Emergency control room With this partnership, when a caller dials 999, the what3words address of the caller’s current location will be securely delivered to the emergency control room via RapidSOS. Call handlers will be able to see this information displayed directly on their screens via the RapidSOS Platform. RapidSOS will continue to update the call handler with the caller’s latest what3words address, in the event that the caller is mobile. Emergency call handlers can then pass the what3words address to field responders. The caller does not need to have the what3words app on their smartphone in order for this information to be relayed via RapidSOS. Critical location information RapidSOS and the integration with what3words will take location data to the next level" Sam Sheppard, Command and Control Systems Manager at Avon & Somerset Police commented: “RapidSOS and the integration with what3words will take location data to the next level for emergency services. This partnership will provide critical location information quickly and accurately when it’s needed the most.” “Our control room will be better equipped to deal with calls for help when the location information may have previously been a challenge to get. We will have the technology that will allow us to dispatch quickly to an accurate location with a range of supplementary information that will inform our units prior to arriving on scene. This will save valuable time and save lives.” “In an emergency, there are often many stakeholders involved in coordinating a response. By having one precise, easily communicable what3words address, multiple teams can pass the location amongst each other seamlessly and provide help faster,” adds Patrick Arbuthnott, UK Emergency Services Partnership Lead. Heroic first responders Location is one of the most important pieces of information in an emergency" “The emergency services already do phenomenal work, but any additional tools we can provide them to make their job easier is something we’re incredibly humbled to do.” “Location is one of the most important pieces of information in an emergency. Together with what3words, we’re able to deliver an accurate view into 999 callers’ locations, providing people with an added layer of safety and security, while supporting our heroic first responders in saving millions of lives annually,” said Jeremy Habberley, Director of Global Accounts at RapidSOS. “We’re united in our commitment to create a safer, stronger future where technology and people work together seamlessly to protect and save lives. We are planning on introducing new features to enhance this joint solution in the coming months.”
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities. Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year. As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies. SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems. Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems? The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations. The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system. Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems? Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own. For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation. When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment? Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies. From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend. When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity. Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run. Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)? Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include: Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs Enhanced occupant experience and comfort Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul? Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies. There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future. As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline. Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings? Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems. This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
As the world continues to become more connected, it’s becoming increasingly important to adjust security and safety procedures in the workplace. But today’s ever-evolving office environment can present unique safety and preparedness challenges. No two businesses are exactly alike, with some located in numerous buildings or spread out across campuses, while others have employees that frequently journey from different locations, work remotely or travel internationally. With this shifting environment, Rave Mobile Safety’s recent Workplace Safety and Preparedness survey asked over 500 full-time employees in various industries across the United States about their views on safety at work and emergency preparedness. Preferred safety measures Only 57 percent of respondents indicated that their workplace currently had preparedness drills in place for critical situationsThe survey looked at how employees and companies respond to various workplace emergencies: workplace violence, active shooter, medical emergency, fire, hazmat incidents, weather events and cyberattacks/system outages. Respondents provided insight on the current state of safety in their workplace, as well as how they want to be contacted when an emergency occurs. Though opinions on the preferred safety measures differed between generations and also between on-site and offsite workers, one fact remains consistent: there is much to be done to instil a better sense of safety in the workplace. While the findings show that employees feel safe in their workplace, only 57 percent of respondents indicated that their workplace currently had preparedness drills in place for critical situations. Quick thinking Of the plans currently in place, excluding fire, 57 percent of the other major emergency plans were rarely or never tested. With so few drills in place, employees are left not knowing the best ways to respond to emergencies like weather events or hazmat incidents or if their employer recommends a certain response to situations like medical emergencies. Testing these plans is essential so that all employees, whether they are new to the company or not Even if plans are in place to begin with, not ensuring your employees understand and are comfortable with how to react to certain situations, can put the organisation in harm’s way. Testing these plans is essential so that all employees, whether they are new to the company or not, have the appropriate response top of mind and their actions become second nature during a situation that will likely require quick thinking. Workplace violence Instilling regular practices will only further ensure that responses will happen seamlessly, regardless of the emergency. Beyond the general awareness of drills and practices, most surprising in the responses was the fact that 34 percent of female respondents were unaware of workplace violence emergency plans. This is particularly shocking because workplace violence is the second leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. This shows an obvious lack of preparedness from organisations. It’s immensely important that employees to understand the relevant dangers of the workplace, especially when alternative could have a fatal result. The differences between baby boomers and millennials in the workplace is a common barometer showing how the workplace is continuing to change. Emergency plans Workplace violence is the second leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour StatisticsWhat may have worked for previous generations must be reworked and adjusted so every generation is made aware of and understands the plans and procedures in place. These changes can help make workplace safety plans fresh and continuously relevant. With that in mind, millennials currently represent the largest segment of employees unaware of emergency plans for major workplace emergencies. 38 percent of this age group are unaware of existing emergency plans, compared to just a 28 percent average of employees over the age of 35. This could be associated with the fact that some organisations are not communicating plans with newer employees or even that organisations that employ a significant number of millennials might not have plans in place at all. Affecting everyday work If the newest generation is unaware of these plans, then it is only a matter of time before Generation Z enters the workforce and is in even worse position when it comes to emergency awareness. The survey results showed that on average, workplaces use two methods of communication for emergencies Feeling safe and secure at work should not be something that workers need to focus on, however more than a quarter of respondents that work remotely said that worrying about safety is exactly what is affecting their everyday work. With that in mind, it’s even more concerning to see that there seems to be a clear divide between current methods and preferred methods of communication during an emergency. The survey results showed that on average, workplaces use two methods of communication for emergencies, with the top two being intercom system announcement/building alarm (27 percent) and email (22 percent). Mass text messages At first, these methods seem to cover both remote and in-office employees, but survey results actually showed that both groups preferred and would be better reached during other methods. While email is the second most common emergency method currently in place by organisations, it actually ranks as the fourth most preferred method at a mere 11 percent. Even with a clear preference towards communication via mass text messages by respondents (39 percent of remote workers prefer this method), less than 20 percent of companies actually take advantage of this technology. This clear disconnect shows that organisations must find what works best for their employees instead of using methods that were previously established or that are just currently being used. Preparedness plans What remains important for organisations, regardless of size or industry, is to keep emergency preparedness plans ever evolving Communication can not only be essential to alert employees to everyday situations, like office closures, but it is also imperative in preventing emergencies to escalate when they do occur. Although this survey discusses the current state of safety in the workplace, it’s that the disconnect between employee perceptions and employer polices that’s the most concerning. Companies need to take steps to understand how their employees would like to be reached during an emergency, as well as how employees would also like to reach out to management to report their own concerns. What remains important for organisations, regardless of size or industry, is to keep emergency preparedness plans ever evolving and well communicated, so your employees are confident in the emergency plans in place. By proactively planning and practicing for emergency events through table top exercises and drills, employers can demonstrate their commitment to employee safety and preparedness and build employee confidence.
With increased demands being placed on safety and security globally, and supported by advancements in IP cameras and 360-degree camera technology, the video surveillance industry is growing steadily. Market research indicates that this worldwide industry is expected to reach an estimated $39.3 billion in revenue by 2023, driven by a CAGR of 9.3 percent from 2018 to 2023. Video surveillance is not just about capturing footage (to review an event or incident when it occurs), but also about data analysis delivering actionable insights that can improve operational efficiencies, better understand customer buying behaviours, or simply just provide added value and intelligence. Growth of Ultra-HD surveillance To ensure that the quality of the data is good enough to extract the details required to drive these insights, surveillance cameras are technologically evolving as well, not only with expanded capabilities surrounding optical zoom and motion range,4K Ultra HD-compliant networked cameras are expected to grow from 0.4 percent shipped in 2017, to 28 percent in 2021 but also relating to improvements in signal-to-noise (S2N) ratios, light sensitivities (and the minimum illumination needed to produce usable images), wide dynamic ranges (WDR) for varying foreground and background illumination requirements, and of course, higher quality resolutions. As such, 4K Ultra HD-compliant networked cameras are expected to grow from 0.4 percent shipped in 2017, to 28 percent in 2021, representing an astonishing 170 percent growth per year, and will require three to six times the storage space of 1080p video dependent on the compression technology used. Surveillance cameras are typically connected to a networked video recorder (NVR) that acts as a gateway or local server, collecting data from the cameras and running video management software (VMS), as well as analytics. Capturing this data is dependent on the communications path between individual cameras and the NVR. If this connection is lost, whether intentional, unintentional, or a simple malfunction, surveillance video will no longer be captured and the system will cease operations. Therefore, it has become common to use microSD cards in surveillance cameras as a failsafe mechanism. Despite lost connectivity to the NVR, the camera can still record and capture raw footage locally until the network is restored, which in itself, could take a long time depending on maintenance staff or equipment availability, weather conditions, or other unplanned issues. Since microSD cards play a critical role as a failsafe mechanism to ensure service availability, it is important to choose the right card for capturing video footage. It has become common to use microSD cards in surveillance cameras as a failsafe mechanism if an NVR breaks Key characteristics of microSDs There are many different microSD cards to choose from for video capture at the network’s edge, and they range from industrial grade capabilities to commercial or retail grade, and everything in-between. To help make some of these uncertainties a little more certain, here are the key microSD card characteristics for video camera capture. Designed for surveillance As the market enjoys steady growth, storage vendors want to participate and have done so with a number of repurposed, repackaged, remarketed microSD cards targeted for video surveillance but with not much robustness, performance or capabilities specific to the application. Adding the absence of mean-time between failure (MTBF) specifications to the equation, microSD card reliability is typically a perceived measurement -- measured in hours of operation and relatively vague and hidden under metrics associated with the camera’s resolution and compression ratio. Therefore, when selecting a microSD card for surveillance cams at the edge, the choice should include a vendor that is trusted, has experience and a proven storage portfolio in video surveillance, and in microSD card technologies. Endurance, as it relates to microSD cards, represents the number of rewrites possible before the card can no longer store data correctly High endurance Endurance, as it relates to microSD cards, represents the number of rewrites (program/erase cycles) that are possible before the card can no longer store data correctly. The rewrite operation is cyclical whereby a new stream of footage replaces older content by writing over it until the card is full, and the cycle repeats. The higher the endurance, the longer the card will perform before it needs to be replaced. Endurance is also referred to in terabytes written (TBW) or by the number of hours that the card can record continuously (while overwriting data) before a failure will occur. Health monitoring Health monitoring is a desired capability that not many microSD cards currently support and enables the host system to check when the endurance levels of a card are low and needs to be replaced. Having a card that supports this capability enables system integrators and operators with the ability to perform preemptive maintenance that will help to reduce system failures, as well as associated maintenance costs. Performance To capture continuous streams of raw footage, microSD cards within surveillance cams perform write operations about seventy to ninety percent of the time, whereas reading captured footage is performed about ten to thirty percent. The difference in read/write performance is dependent on whether the card is used in an artificial intelligent (AI) capable camera, or a standard one. microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras should support temperature ranges from -25 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius Finding a card that is write-friendly, and can provide enough bandwidth to properly capture streamed data, and is cost-effective, requires one that falls between fast industrial card capabilities and slower commercial ones. Bandwidth in the range of 50 MB/sec for writes and 80 MB/sec for reads are typical and sufficient for microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras. Temperature ranges Lower capacity support of 32GB can provide room to attract the smaller or entry-level video surveillance deployments As microSD cards must be designed for continuous operation in extreme weather conditions and a variety of climates, whether located indoors or out, support for various temperature ranges are another consideration. Given the wide spectrum of temperatures required by the camera makers, microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras should support temperature ranges from -25 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius, or in extreme cases, as low as -40 degrees Celsius. Capacity Selecting the right-sized capacity is also very important as there needs to be a minimum level to ensure that there is enough room to hold footage for a number of days or weeks before it is overwritten or the connectivity to the NVR is restored. Though 64GB is considered the capacity sweet spot for microSD cards deployed within surveillance cameras today, lower capacity support of 32GB can provide room to attract the smaller or entry-level video surveillance deployments. In the future, even higher capacities will be important for specific use cases and will potentially become standard capacities as the market evolves. When choosing the right storage microSD card to implement into your video surveillance system, make sure the card is designed specifically for the application – does it include the right levels of endurance and performance to capture continuous streams – can it withstand environmental challenges and wide temperature extremes – will it enable preventative and preemptive maintenance to provide years of service? It is critical for the surveillance system to be able to collect video footage whether the camera is connected to an NVR or is a standalone camera as collecting footage at the base of the surveillance system is the most crucial point of failure. As such, failsafe mechanisms are required to keep the camera recording until the network is restored.
The coronavirus pandemic had a monumental impact on all aspects of the business world, including the security industry. However, amid the gloom and doom, many security professionals also saw opportunity: New ways the industry’s products could be applied to address the challenges of coping with the virus. This article will review some of those opportunities, based on our reporting throughout the year and including links back to the original articles. During and after the pandemic, security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe as employees return to work. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. Role of thermal cameras These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices - like ventilation and temperature controls - and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. Thermal surveillance, a mainstay of traditional physical security and outdoor perimeter detection, began being deployed early in the pandemic to quickly scan employees, contractors and visitors as part of a first line of defence to detect COVID-19 symptoms. These systems provide flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices These systems provide flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices. Thermal cameras can be a tool for detecting fever, but any use of the technology for this purpose is full of qualifications and caveats. Importantly, how the camera system is configured makes all the difference in whether temperature readings are accurate, and the downside of inaccurate readings is obvious - and potentially deadly. Temperature detection systems FDA guidelines limit how the cameras are used, not to mention guidance from other regulatory/government bodies such as the CDC. One of our Expert Roundtable panelists compares the market to a “wild west scenario,” and almost all the panelists are clear about how customers should approach the market: Buyer beware. There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system. Customers need to know what questions to ask to ensure they maximise the accuracy of body temperature detection systems. Rise of contactless Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favor 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 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. "Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Facial recognition system Another contactless system that benefits from concerns about spread of COVID-19 is facial recognition. New advancement in software, specifically in the areas of algorithms, neural networks and deep learning and/or artificial intelligence (AI), have all dramatically improved both the performance and accuracy of facial recognition systems, further expanding its use for an increasing number of applications. A low-tech solution - the face mask - became a leading preventative measure during the pandemic. But, a high-tech solution is necessary to ensure that everyone is wearing them. Cameras powered by artificial intelligence can now identify whether or not people entering a facility are wearing facemasks and help enforce adherence to mask mandates. This technology is proving to be a cost-effective solution that reduces risks of confrontations over masks policies and gives managers the data they need to document regulatory compliance and reduce liability. Smart video analytics Other technology approaches, including artificial intelligence (AI), were also brought to bear during the pandemic. The German data analytics powerhouse G2K, for example, has developed a Corona Detection and Containment System (CDCS) that is ready for immediate use in record time. Detection takes place in combination with AI-supported data analysis to specifically identify virus hotspots and distribution routes, as well as to identify other potentially infected persons. One specific AI application fuels the reopening of the world and successfully keeps the spread of the virus abated One specific AI application fuels the reopening of the world and successfully keeps the spread of the virus abated. A “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. Enforcing social distancing Several applications have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. The site of one pilot programme is the 250,000-square-foot HID Global facility in Austin. For the pilot programme, 80 HID Location Services readers were installed in a wide area in the facility, including a variety of environments. Initially 30 badges and 30 fobs, all BLE-enabled, were issued to employees. If a badge identifies another nearby beacon (suggesting a social distancing failure), it emits a blinking LED light, which can be seen by the offending co-worker. To ensure social distancing, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is emitted from an employee’s fob (or from a badge that has the same functionality). The beacon communicates peer-to-peer with a beacon emitted by another employee’s fob or badge to alert if the location of the two employees is less than six feet apart. For contact tracing, the beacons communicate via a nearby “reader” (a BluFi BLE-to-Wi-Fi gateway) to the Bluzone cloud-based software-as-a-service. COVID-19 white papers In addition, we published several White Papers in 2020 that addressed various aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. They included: The top five security lessons learned that apply across all industries navigating COVID-19. Using video analytics to keep staff, visitors and customers safe by enforcing social distancing. How antimicrobial treatment on door handles and levers can reduce disease spread. How companies can put in extra precautions that will continue to grow and adapt with their environment over the long-term. Determining the practicalities and capabilities of today's thermal cameras to accurately detect body temperature.
Intelligent solutions, such as those derived from artificial intelligence, help critical infrastructure organisations make sense of vast amounts of data. These integrated applications, such as advanced video analytics and facial recognition, can automatically pinpoint potential breaches and significant events, and send alerts to the appropriate personnel, departments, and agencies. These solutions can be powerful in unifying disparate command centre technologies, fusing critical data input from emergency calls and responder activity to enhance situational awareness. Electrical substations are particularly vulnerable (and in need of extra security) due to their role in power distribution and the nature of their equipment. The challenge power utilities worldwide are facing is finding an affordable solution, which can help detect, deter and facilitate an informed response to a substation security event. Data capture form to appear here! U.S. regulations In the United States, this need is furthered by the physical security mandate CIP-014 issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), calling for identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address. CIP-014 identification of security issues, vulnerability assessments and deployment of appropriate processes and systems to address CIP-104 specifically calls for implemented security plans that include measures to deter, detect, delay, assess, communicate, coordinate and respond to potential physical threats and vulnerabilities. Manufacturers of video and other systems are designing products to serve the critical infrastructure market. For example, Dahua Technology offers explosion-proof cameras with a combination of rugged reliability and superior optics that is a fit for surveillance of explosive and corrosive environments, including chemical plants, refineries, and other facilities in the oil and gas industry. This explosion-proof series of cameras are housed in enclosures that are certified to the ATEX and IECEx standards for equipment in explosive atmospheres. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time. They are IP68-rated to prevent water and dust ingress. Each explosion-proof camera features Dahua’s Starlight technology for ultra low-light sensitivity and high-definition sensors that deliver clear images in real-time Video footage in extreme temperatures Another manufacturer, Videotec, offers a range of cameras and housings that provide video footage regardless of aggressive external factors, such as ice cold, scorching heat, desert sand, the force of sea or wind, total darkness, pollution, corrosion and even explosive agents. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sitesSightLogix smart thermal camera systems have been deployed to protect substations for electric utilities and other critical infrastructure facilities. SightSensor thermal systems enable a utility to detect and respond to substation security incidents across multiple sites, ranging from copper theft to vandalism while also meeting regulatory compliance. At each substation facility, Thermal SightSensors are positioned along the perimeter, and are paired with a high-resolution pan-tilt-zoom camera for alarm assessment. When a Thermal SightSensor detects an intruder, the target’s location information is sent over the network to a SightTracker PTZ controller, which automatically zooms and steers PTZ cameras to follow the intruder. The target’s location is also displayed on a topology site map to provide real-time situational awareness. Alarms are sent to the utility’s 24-hour security operations centre, which will contact law enforcement in real time when unauthorised intrusions are detected. Integrated intrusion detection and lighting systems The Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system is simplifying security at one U.S. electrical utility company. For years, the utility company had integrated its perimeter intrusion detection and lighting systems. The company has now installed the Senstar LM100 which provides detection and lighting in one product and saves them over $80,000 per site. The savings are a result of the reduction of electrical requirements, conduit, grounding, and associated labor, as well as the removal of certain equipment from project scope that are required for the two-system integration. The Senstar LM100’s perimeter LED-based lighting acts as an initial deterrent. If an intruder persists and an attempt to cut, climb or otherwise break through the fence is detected, the closest luminaire begins to strobe, and an alert is sent via a security management system. The intruder knows immediately they have been detected and that their exact location is known by security and others in the vicinity.
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilised in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalisation is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, travelling over existing networks, empowering a more centralised security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Multiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ cameras Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-light capability It’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darkness Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
The Highway Patrol Vehicles are customised, fully equipped, robust vehicles, outfitted with specialised surveillance, communication & monitoring equipment for emergency response on highways. These first responder vehicles are designed for patrolling and preventing crime on highways. The Highway Patrol Vehicles (HPV) provide an enhanced sense of safety and security to highway commuters by ensuring smooth traffic flow and managing any impediments due to accidents or other crimes. This case study showcases Mistral’s expertise in design, integration, and commissioning of advanced highway patrol vehicles, that feature sophisticated monitoring, control and communication systems. Modern highway surveillance The Highway Patrol Vehicles are designed for Karnataka State Police who were keen on inducting these patrol vehicles with modern highway surveillance and monitoring systems to their fleet. The Karnataka State Police under the directive of the Hon’ble Supreme Court had approached the industry for solutions to enhance road safety and reduce accidents on the highway. Mistral was awarded the contract to design and integrate a modern surveillance system Mistral was awarded the contract to design and integrate a modern surveillance system into an SUV platform for 24×7 patrolling of highways and smooth traffic management. These Highway Patrol Vehicles had to have the below-mentioned equipment to ensure that traffic discipline is maintained, and valuable lives are saved in case of any emergencies. Requirements of the customer for the Highway Patrol Vehicles included: Public address system Search/emergency light Pan-tilt zoom surveillance cameras Network video recorders and communication console Central monitoring station Alcohol breath analysers UPS power supply GPS tracking & 4G based video transmission Rescue tools – crowbar, axe, snatchstrap Special-purpose equipment Mistral designed and integrated Highway Patrol Vehicles with special-purpose equipment Mistral designed and integrated Highway Patrol Vehicles with special-purpose equipment and custom-made components such as PTZ surveillance camera, Top-Bar LED light, Pan-Tilt searchlights, etc. for patrolling and monitoring the traffic on Highways. The Highway Patrol Vehicle was based on a newly launched Toyota Innova CRYSTA which was supplied by the Karnataka State Police Department. Below listed are the details of equipment integrated into the Highway Patrol Vehicles: Custom-designed PTZ Camera – A 30X Pan-Tilt-Zoom Surveillance camera to provide a panoramic/long-range view of the traffic, even during critical conditions. It allows remote adjustment of the camera to pan, tilt and zoom into objects with high-resolution video quality. Fixed camera – A 1/2.8″ CMOS, full HD camera is fitted on the rear side of the vehicle. Advanced video analytics (at control rooms) – To enable traffic enforcement, various customer-centric analytics like ANPR, Speed Monitoring, Triple Riding, Helmet detection, etc. have been enabled at the central control room effective traffic and safety management. Monitoring and GPS tracking Real-time positioning Geo-Fencing Tracking of Highway Patrol Vehicles Live video feed monitoring from the central command centre, & designating officers through their mobile devices The VMS software provided by Mistral allows the officers to access the CAN data Command & dispatch - An IP-based command & dispatch communication system is provisioned inside the Vehicle enabling control room operators to communicate with the police personnel in Highway Patrol Vehicles and vice versa. Statistics & reports - Malfunction, alarm, business & illegal reports, device logs, operation logs. Vehicle CAN data - The VMS software provided by Mistral allows the officers in the command control room to access the CAN data like speed, remote start and stop in case of emergency, fuel level, etc of the vehicle for remote monitoring and decision making. Public addressal and traffic management PA System Expandable reflective traffic delineators / barricades Rescue & emergency response Rescue tools (snatch strap, foldable saw, crowbar) First aid, stretcher Managing traffic violations Breath analyser Speed gun, ANPR
Boon Edam Inc., a provider of security entrances and architectural revolving doors, announces that NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, has installed new turnstiles as part of a major renovation of their D. H. Hill Library. Founded in 1887 as a public, land-grant, research university and part of the University of North Carolina system, NC State is the largest university in the Carolinas The university is home to two libraries: the D. H. Hill Jr. Library on the North Campus and the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus. Different common spaces The Hill Library houses over one million volumes of the libraries' total collection and offers a number of different common spaces for work and study. A recent renovation transformed the interior with the addition of an open grand staircase. The stairs connect the second and third floors to the lobby and flood the space with natural light. Two of the new turnstiles are for visitors entering the library, and the other two are dedicated for those exiting As part of this renovation, four Boon Edam Lifeline Speedlane Swing optical turnstiles were added to the Hillsboro Street entrance on the north side of the building. Two of the new turnstiles are for visitors entering the library, and the other two are dedicated for those exiting. The Hill Library is open to the general public during certain hours, with visits limited to the campus community the rest of the time. Exterior swinging doors lock During the day when the library is open to all, the turnstile barriers are kept open for free entry and exit. After general hours, the exterior swinging doors lock and authorised visitors must use their ID badges to unlock the doors and subsequently pass through the turnstiles. The Speedlane Swing turnstiles are known for their ultra-slim, stylish cabinets as well as their user friendly and responsive LED lighting system, which turns on when users approach and shows where to present their badge. The turnstiles offer support to security staff in the library lobby, helping ensure that no unauthorised individuals can access the library during non-public hours. If tailgating occurs, the turnstiles sound an alarm and security staff can respond immediately. Avoiding barrier contact On a typical day during the school semester, the turnstiles process approximately 6,000 to 7,000 students and other visitors. During the summer, this number drops to 400, but during exam time, usage peaks with up to 10,000 people entering the library every day. The campus population had no difficulty adapting to the new turnstiles at the Hill Library The campus population had no difficulty adapting to the new turnstiles at the Hill Library, as there were already turnstiles in place at the Hunt Library. According to Travis Tyo, the Director of Facilities for the Libraries, the new Speedlane Swing turnstiles were an improvement from the older turnstiles, due to their accurate ability to sense tailgating attempts and avoid barrier contact with fast moving users. Implementing another installation The University is already implementing another installation of Speedlane Swings at the south entrance to the Hill Library. The new entry will match the layout of the north entrance, with four turnstile lanes and a security guard on site. A future installation at the Hunt Library is also in the works. Travis says of the installation, “We worked closely with our Security and Applications Technologies departments here on campus; we tested different products and everybody liked the Boon Edam turnstiles and the ability of the company to respond whenever we need them. Ultimately it is much simpler and more efficient to have people badge in than to have a security guard look at IDs as each person enters the library.”
Senstar, a provider of perimeter intrusion detection systems and video management solutions, has published a case study detailing how the Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system is simplifying security for a US electrical utility company. For many years, the utility company has integrated its perimeter intrusion detection and lighting systems. Recently, the company has begun installing the Senstar LM100 which provides detection and lighting in one product, and saves them over $80,000 per site. The savings are a result of the reduction of electrical requirements, conduit, grounding, and associated labour, as well as the removal of certain equipment from project scope that are required for the two-system integration. Combining functions of two systems in one “The LM100 combines all of the functions the two systems provide and it saves us a lot of money,” said the utility company’s security administrator. “It is also simpler to integrate and has better functionality.” The Senstar LM100’s perimeter LED-based lighting acts as an initial deterrentThe Senstar LM100’s perimeter LED-based lighting acts as an initial deterrent. If an intruder persists and an attempt to cut, climb or otherwise break through the fence is detected, the closest luminaire begins to strobe, and an alert is sent via a security management system. The intruder knows immediately they have been detected and that their exact location is known by security and others in the vicinity. Protecting property and assets “Why use two systems when the same job can be done by one,” said Senstar Product Manager Todd Brisebois. “With the combined sensing and lighting capabilities of the LM100, this is the only system that has its lighting affected by its sensing all while reducing costs related to operation, theft, vandalism and electricity usage with minimal light pollution. Above all, the LM100 provides peace of mind for those who need to protect their property and assets.” Another key benefit the utility company is realising from the LM100 is its high colour rendering (CRI) index which maximises camera performance, providing clear and concise images of the intrusion attempt, so the security personnel at the monitoring station can more effectively assess the situation and initiate an appropriate response. The Senstar LM100 is now installed at three of the utility company’s sites, with an additional 43 other sites planned.
Senstar, a global provider of perimeter intrusion detection systems and video management software, is pleased to announce its Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system is helping to prevent theft at AIM Marine, a boat and motor sales and repair shop near Ottawa, Canada. Perimeter intrusion detection After two thefts from the storage yard, Aim Marine owner David Scott looked to add a layer of security to his 235 m (771 ft) perimeter fence. “My initial impression was that these systems were cost-prohibitive for a business of my size,” Mr. Scott said. But after doing some research, he learned Senstar has simple and affordable options for small sites, including the Senstar LM100, which combines two key security features – lighting and perimeter intrusion detection. “The Senstar LM100 luminaires provide high quality, direct illumination along the fence line – deterring intruders and providing targeted illumination for video surveillance systems, all while monitoring the perimeter to detect any attempt to cut, climb or lift the fence fabric,” said Senstar Product Manager Todd Brisebois. Monitoring perimeter “Fully programmable, the luminaires provide general security lighting and can inform intruders that you know where they are by flashing the light. The Senstar LM100 also minimises light pollution and is energy efficient.” Following the thefts, Aim Marine was subjected to high repair costs and insurance deductible increases. With the LM100 now on the fence, no repairs are needed and insurance deductibles have been cut in half. The system has practically paid for itself. Since the Senstar LM100 was installed in spring 2018, there have been no attempted thefts at Aim Marine, and Mr. Scott is convinced having the LM100 lighting his fence has been key in deterring intruders. “Absolutely the LM100’s got something to do with it,” Mr. Scott said.
The Polizei Bayern successfully opened its first operations centre in mid-September at its Police Headquarters in Central Franconia in Nuremberg. At the heart of the communication system was the Frequentis 3020 LifeX platform including digital radio connections and the newly developed AudioHub. The headquarters in Nuremberg is the second largest operations centre in the German state of Bavaria. It comprises 21 operator working positions that receive and process between 800 and 1,200 police calls per day. In the event of an emergency, an additional 13 operator working positions can be activated. Dispatch calls successfully Within the first week of operation the system was put to the test during a storm which led to over 900 emergency calls in the space of seven hours Within the first week of operation the system was put to the test during a storm which led to over 900 emergency calls in the space of seven hours. The system proved its stability and operators were able to dispatch calls successfully without issue. "The professionalism of Frequentis during the preparation, implementation and follow-up commissioning of the system gave us confidence in their abilities. All of the aspects important to us as customers were immediately considered and processed by the Frequentis team. Above all, the usability of the system was well received by the operators.", said Anton Beierweck, Head of State-wide IT Procedures at the Police Headquarters Upper Bavaria South. Provides highest protection LifeX was first deployed for Bavarian Police Force in 2015, ahead of the G7 summit. The system was adapted to the needs of the event which required 18,000 emergency services personal to protect government leaders and control demonstrations. The police headquarters of Mittelfranken is the pilot for the rollout of nine additional control rooms in Bavaria through October 2020 "What has been clear from the start of the project is the willingness of the Polizei Bayern to innovate. We are very proud to have met their high requirements in terms of technology and services and appreciate the professional cooperation with the organisation who provides the highest protection and security in Bavaria.", Robert Nitsch, Frequentis Vice President Public Safety. The police headquarters of Mittelfranken is the pilot for the rollout of nine additional control rooms in Bavaria through October 2020. Two more operational centres are planned to be brought on line before the end of 2018.
Nestled on the banks of the river Thames, Kew Gardens in southwest London is home to the most diverse collection of living plants anywhere in the world. At 330 acres in size, it’s London’s largest UNESCO world heritage site, and has a history stretching back more than 250 years. The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, attracts more than 1.6 million visitors every year, coming to see the 30,000 different kinds of plants, and to visit the Herbarium, which has over seven million preserved plant specimens. As an internationally important botanical research and educational institution, Kew’s library contains more than three quarters of a million books, along with more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plant life. 24/7 video surveillance coverage Kew Gardens hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year, including festivals, concerts and art exhibitions, as well as learning experiences for all ages and interests, in addition to the garden attractions. A need was identified to upgrade the existing legacy analogue CCTV system to one capable of transmitting and recording in true HDThe site is accessible via London Underground, Overground, buses and river services in summer, and the public can enter via four separate gates: the Elizabeth Gate, the Brentford Gate, Victoria Gate and the Lion Gate. There are also a number of other access gates to the gardens which are not open to the public. Because of the sheer volume of visitors and the multitude of public and trade entrances to Kew Gardens, the site requires around the clock video surveillance coverage, seven days a week. Analogue to IP CCTV system Kew’s CCTV control room operations team works to monitor the safety and security of the park, but a need was identified to upgrade the existing legacy analogue CCTV system to one capable of transmitting and recording in true High Definition. Security specialist firm The ITS Group was called in to help. The ITS Group is comprised of ITS Fire and Security, ITS Electrical, ITS Fire Training and ITS Building Services. The company has 20 years of experience within the fire and security industry, and provides CCTV, intruder alarms, barrier gates, security lighting, panic alarms, access control, and door and video entry, alongside a swathe of other services. ITS Group Director Tim Dyer said the Kew project required upgrading equipment in the Gardens’ security control room and providing site-wide cameras which can be used to view all entrances for both public and trade, as well as various strategic locations throughout the Gardens. Challenges in system installation The results were achieved in the process of implementing a Hikvision IP HD video surveillance systemThe massive 330-acre site is a huge area to monitor in itself, and Tim Dyer says the very public nature of the Gardens and its operations meant the actual video system installation posed some security continuity challenges. “Because the control room needed to be in operation 24/7, close co-ordination was required between ITS and the security team on-site,” he says. “We needed to maintain the CCTV in line with the changing site requirements on a daily basis. This, coupled with access issues and working in a public environment, was very challenging, and the fact that we were able to achieve such good results is testament to the close co-ordination between the site team and Kew security.” Those results were achieved in the process of implementing a Hikvision IP High Definition video surveillance system, which included new 43-inch and 22-inch HD monitors for the control room, along with new touchscreen network keyboards and joysticks. HD images in low light When there’s no light at all, the Darkfighter cameras switch to IR mode and record black and white images at 0 LuxControl room operators monitor images from a number of different Hikvision cameras. These include an initial 48 DarkfighterX network speed domes, which provide colour HD images in light levels as low as 0.001 Lux. That’s pretty dark. And when it gets darker still, they provide black and white images in light levels down to 0.0001 Lux. When there’s no light at all, the Darkfighter cameras switch to IR mode and record black and white images at 0 Lux. In addition, they offer 25x zoom capabilities and Deep Learning-powered target classification for automatic tracking and perimeter protection. They’re complemented by 29 Darkfighter 2 megapixel motorised varifocal lens cameras, 21 ultra-low light smart bullet cameras, and six low light smart cameras. Images are recorded to Hikvision 16-channel Turbo HD digital video recorders which support analogue, HD-TVI, and IP cameras, H.264, H.264+ and dual-stream compression, and can output at up to 4K resolution. Improved picture quality The Gardens now have a full HD system which can be expanded with additional cameras in the future"The resulting system is not only powerful and effective in the short-term but is purposefully planned to incorporate forthcoming changes. “The Gardens now have a full HD system which can be expanded with additional cameras in the future,” Tim Dyer says. “It allows them to take advantage of technology advances and newly developed functionality on any cameras or devices they add to the system in future.” Tim Dyer says the Hikvision system has revolutionised Kew’s video picture quality and functionality. “Making the change from an old analogue system to installing a new Hikvision IP system has transformed the Gardens’ picture quality, both during the day and at night,” he says. “The zoom facility is amazing and precise, and the reliability of them is second to none, making the work of the control room operatives a much easier role.” The HD surveillance system has been received exceptionally well by those whose opinion matters most: the security team at Kew Gardens. John Deer, Head of Security, said: “I am delighted with the installation of Hikvision cameras at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. They are of the highest quality, which has enhanced the overall security across the 330-acre site.”
Round table discussion
When a fire or other emergency occurs in a building or facility, first responders depend on every available resource to ensure a safe and orderly evacuation and response. One element in any response plan is the facility’s physical security systems, including access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection. How can these systems contribute to an orderly response to a chaotic situation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the role of security systems in the event of a fire or other emergency evacuation?
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
Our Expert Panel is an opinionated group on a wide variety of topics, and we are dedicated to providing a useful and flexible forum to share those opinions. This week, our panelists address a range of opinions about several self-selected topics, culled from the large number of Expert Panelist responses we have collected in the last year. In this Expert Panel Roundtable article, we will share these varied and insightful responses to ensure they are not lost to posterity!
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