Home Security Systems
Swedish smart home technology specialists, Minut, led by former senior executives at Apple and Google, today announces the availability of its easy to install, all-in-one wireless smart home alarm in the UK. The Minut alarm will be distributed in the UK by smart home specialists Thames Distribution and is available from Minut.com and Amazon UK for £129. Minut believes that every home should feel safe and has executed on the vision to make home security smart, simple and accessible for eve...
SALTO Systems, a manufacturer of electronic access control solutions, appoints Colin DePree as Residential Business Leader. Based in Minneapolis, Colin oversees the commercialisation of the Danalock product line in North America. Danalock smart locks are simple in appearance and are easy to install yet offer the sophisticated security today’s smart homes require. Home automation and security sales management He reports to Bill Wood, President of SALTO Systems North America. “Colin...
Security companies provide a type of service that tends to go unnoticed except when it’s missed. Businesses, banks, stores, event organisers and VIPs are their main clients. Their demand is increasing, mostly due to the expansion that Southern California has experienced in the latest years. Small cities and towns are increasingly growing every day, mostly due to internal migration and the high prices of rent in Los Angeles County. Veteran Los Angeles security company HillQuest Security kn...
People and vehicle access control specialist, Nortech is heading into the end of the year on a high with compliance with the latest ISO 9001 certification standard, a busy year at exhibitions and getting involved with a local teen pioneer being among the company main 2019 highlights. Nortech’s Managing Director Steve Blackler commented, “We are very pleased with how the company has progressed this year. We continue to grow and meet new standards and were also delighted to meet with...
Globally renowned access control and door entry systems provider, Videx has introduced a new range of its 4000 series keypads that offer improved features and enhanced functionality. New range of 4000 series keypads The new range includes three new models that replace the existing keypads and now feature a new adjustable backlit keypad that’s available in a new matt finish 316 Marine grade stainless steel (Suffix /M) or mirror finish stainless steel. The new 4000 series keypad range pro...
Specialists in advanced electronic fire and security solutions, Amthal has launched an interactive new website, providing easy access to the very latest smart solutions and industry news. Desktop to mobile experience The fully responsive website, providing a continuous desktop to mobile experience, features fresh new-look sections dedicated to latest product and service updates for professionals seeking guidance, alongside up to date advice for homeowners.The opportunity to monitor latest rele...
Allegion UK, a pioneer in safety and security, has added the 286DL locking handle to its established range of Brio dual point locks for exterior folding applications. It is ideal for both residential and commercial facilities, joining other Brio accessories for the 286 dual point lock used on Weatherfold 4s and 5c. Designed to ‘suite’ with Brio 288 lever furniture, the 286DL locking handle has been specifically design engineered to secure timber and aluminium folding panels. The single action handle is a stylish alternative to two flush bolts. The product also enables the doors to fold flat. The intelligent security-conscious design of the 286DL is discreetly hidden inside the aluminium stile or edge of a timber panel with minimal machining and quick fixing points thanks to the patented hinge blocks. A variety of keepers allow for neat dressing and accurate alignment of the throw and panel, which improves the performance of perimeter weather seals. This new addition allows joinery manufacturers to offer a lock and handle for access doors that can be used with a cylinder of choice. The new locking handle is stylish and secure – the perfect accompaniment for our folding door systems” Sliding door hardware systems David Newton, Brio UK general manager, explains: “We routinely research and review the marketplace for folding and sliding door hardware systems, to see where Brio can add value for customers. The 286 dual point lock was developed as an alternative to using flush bolts on panels. "The lock is less intrusive than flush bolts, and also has the very considerable advantage of eliminating any bending-down or reaching-up to lock or unlock the door which is the downside of flush bolts. This makes it very friendly with regards to disabled access, as wheelchair users will not have to rely on help to open doors. The new locking handle is stylish, secure and simple – the perfect accompaniment for our folding door systems.”, he adds. Added to the design and manufacturing excellence is the company’s rigorous product testing and quality assurance. The 286DL locking handle is cycle tested in excess of 100,000 operations and comes with a 10-year warranty. It’s available in a variety of finishes for matching flexibility, including stainless steel for coastal areas.
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, announced that it will unveil new headquarters in the City of London, in the autumn of 2019. The announcement follows a period of accelerated growth for Genetec in the United Kingdom, with a significant and sustained increase in EMEA revenues over the last five years. Some of the company’s flagship customers in the UK include the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Twickenham Stadium and the University of Hull. Paul Dodds, Country Manager, UK & Ireland, commented: “At a time when Brexit has seen many organisations reconsider their presence, Genetec is unequivocal about the role of the United Kingdom as a critically important part of the global economy. As such, we’re delighted to be opening a central London headquarters to better meet the needs of our channel partners, end users, and prospects.” Public safety applications We work with local partners to provide training, compelling educational experiences, and state-of-the-art support The new headquarters will incorporate an expanded state-of-the-art training facility, and a new ‘Genetec Experience Center’ housing innovative solutions from Genetec and its large ecosystem of technology partners. Furthermore, the office will house a dedicated research and development team focused on justice and public safety applications for law enforcement, emergency responders and local government. Michel Chalouhi, VP of Global Sales, added: “The new London headquarters will give us the perfect platform to continue to execute our UK strategy and sustain the excellent year-on-year growth that we’ve achieved globally over the past years. The security market is growing and changing rapidly. We are constantly facing new challenges, so we need to ensure we work with our local partners to provide up-to-date training, compelling educational experiences, and state-of-the-art support. Our base in London will help us do that, thanks to its fantastic location, facilities, and links.”
Brilliant, manufacturer of Brilliant Smart Home Control system, and Schlage, a brand of Allegion that has been creating stylish and innovative door hardware for almost 100 years, has announced at CEDIA Expo 2019 a new collaboration designed to bring more convenience and simplicity to the smart home and home technology industry. Complete access control Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt integration with Brilliant Smart Home Control for seamless access control Schlage’s innovative smart lock, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, will integrate with Brilliant’s Smart Home Control to give end users complete access control as well as the ability to conveniently lock and unlock their doors directly from any wall-mounted Brilliant Control or by utilising voice commands through integration with Amazon Alexa. Homeowners will also be able to control locks as part of their home automation scenes. The integration also makes it easier than ever for custom integrators and trade professionals to create safer, smarter homes for end users. The Schlage Encode deadbolt features built-in WiFi, making additional hubs and gateways unnecessary and allowing it to be added simply to a wider variety of smart home ecosystems. Its ability to seamlessly connect with Brilliant provides even more options during home construction. Integration with smart home devices “The Schlage Encode deadbolt was designed to make connected locks simpler for our customers,” said Mark Jenner, Director of Technology Alliances at Allegion. “By integrating with smart home automation platforms such as Brilliant, we provide homeowners greater flexibility, accessibility and simplicity to the smart home experience. That improved experience benefits partners at every stage, from the business decision to include the tech on new homes to installation of the technology.” At CEDIA Expo 2019, September 10-14, Brilliant and Schlage will demo the integration at the Brilliant booth #3527. This demo is aimed at helping custom integrators understand how to deliver the best smart home control experience to their customers. Brilliant – Schlage integration “Brilliant understands that home builders and consumers aren’t smart home experts, yet they want the advanced technology and benefits that come with a smart home,” said Aaron Emigh, CEO and Co-Founder of Brilliant. “Brilliant and Schlage are committed to helping homeowners meet their needs now and in the future by working with custom integrators to create a more harmonious smart home experience.” Benefits Safety: Homeowners are provided with top integrated products that help ensure the safety of their homes and families. Simplicity: With no hubs or gateways needed to connect the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt to the home network, installation and integration with Brilliant and other smart home technology is easier than ever. Convenience: The easy-to-use integration of Schlage and Brilliant provides homeowners with an exceptional smart home experience, resulting in positive customer interactions with builders, custom integrators and other trade professionals. Peace of mind: Brilliant and Schlage’s innovation helps keep homeowners safe through integrated events that allow a door to lock automatically at a set time, see who is at the door and unlock the deadbolt remotely for trusted visitors, and ensure the house is turned on and safe for family members. Flexibility: Customers have access to the smart home options they expect and can choose integrated products that will work with their lifestyle. Affordable: Brilliant and Schlage have extensive relationships with builders to help create a program that is accessible and affordable to contractors and builders, alike. Smart home features Lock and unlock the door conveniently using Brilliant throughout the home or utilise the mobile app when they’re on the go. Incorporate the Schlage Encode deadbolt in Brilliant “Scenes” to trigger controls throughout the home. For instance, tap "Goodnight" and Brilliant will lock the doors, turn off lights, turn down the temperature, and mute music. See and speak to guests at the front door and unlock the door when a Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Ring Video Doorbell are connected to the Brilliant Control. Tell Alexa to lock and unlock the door once the Brilliant Alexa Experience is set up and the Schlage Encode Alexa Skill is enabled.
Video surveillance has evolved from a simple requirement for clear images to video content analysis (VCA) for improved management. Now, with deep learning, security solutions are enabled with sophisticated intelligence and efficiency at a whole new level. Hikvision AcuSense software Hikvision AcuSense makes advanced VCA and deep learning capabilities available to SMBs Hikvision AcuSense is newly born out of this, which makes advanced VCA and deep learning capabilities available to small and medium businesses, and residential customers for the first time. Small and medium businesses have many of the same surveillance and security requirements as larger organisations. They need to identify and react to perimeter breaches in real time, and to automate footage searches to fast locate true events. Another example could be the security and protection for residential areas. Perimeter protection When the need to look into the security of a property arises, the first line of defence would be securing its perimeter. The idea is to prevent intruders from breaking in. However, conventional surveillance system may not do the job well enough. Conventional surveillance systems provide certain detection features enabled by video content analysis (VCA), such as motion detection, line-crossing detection and intrusion detection, but, would simply compound all event detections, triggering frequent alarms when an object is detected. This could be an animal, a shadow, or other natural movements – we call them false alarms. As a result, the need to spend time to investigate each one is very consuming, potentially delaying any necessary response and generally affecting efficiency. Video content analysis So being able to identify the real threats – the presence of a human or a vehicle – would greatly improve the accuracy of perimeter VCA functions. Hikvision’s hassle-free AcuSense technology can help achieve this goal, and give a cost-effective way to protect locations and assets. Employed with advanced VCA and deep learning algorithms, Hikvision AcuSense helps maximise security with efficient human and vehicle detection by categorising alarm information into human, vehicle, and other objects. With high accuracy, the system disregards alarms triggered by other objects such as rain or leaves, and delivers alarms that are associated with human or vehicle detection. Quick target search and detection Hikvision AcuSense has a “quick target search” feature that allows security personnel to find footage quickly Hikvision AcuSense has a “quick target search” feature that allows security personnel or local police to find footage quickly in the event of a security incident. This saves many hours rather than searching for footage manually. Now, re-imagine perimeter security systems armed with Hikvision AcuSense technology. Video surveillance is in operation when an intruder tries to sneak in on a windy and rainy day. The intruder probably thought such bad weather would do him a favor, as there are no witnesses near your house. But this is not the case. Effective intrusion detection The security camera incorporated with AcuSense precisely captures the intruder entering the front yard. At the same time, the home owner receives a message on their smartphone and view the video feeds. With this verified alarm, action can be taken straight away. Hikvision AcuSense prevents problems before they escalate into would-be emergencies. The fully-integrated video surveillance makes it easy for owners to see and capture important activity with video alerts, live feeds and 24/7 digital video recording – all easily viewed from your Hik-Connect app. Hikvision AcuSense key features: False alarm reduction – Reduces false alarms triggered by inanimate objects to a minimum, vastly improves alarm efficiency and saving costs; Quick target search – More efficient and effective file searching based on human and vehicle classification, preventing security personnel from having to search through footage manually; Strobe light and audio alarm – Wards off potential intruders by combining siren with flashing light.
ABP Technology, a value-add specialty distributor for IP technology solutions, has obtained the exclusive rights to distribute AlarmReady™ in the United States. AlarmReady is the first universal alarm system video verification solution designed to frictionlessly attach to any IP video surveillance system. “AlarmReady is an exciting opportunity for system integrators to deliver a video verification solution – for any alarm system users may have – that enables higher situational awareness, faster emergency response, and fewer false alarms,” said ABPTech CEO Robert Messer. AlarmReady is a cloud-based solution designed for commercial buildings or higher-end homes. Its first delivery will be for MOBOTIX camera systems as a FREE beta feature included with MxLINQ™ – the mobile universal viewer, alert, and control tool for MOBOTIX surveillance system end users. Immediate video access ActivitySensor technology helps eliminate false alarms and AlarmReady can quickly discern which cameras to show As soon as an alarm is activated at any monitored location the solution provides immediate video verification to users and owners or, if configured, to a compatible monitoring center. AlarmReady sends users alerts directly via phone, tablet, or computer and can send a text message to subscribed users to make sure the alarm is not missed. Users will see the location of the alarm as well as have immediate video access to the cameras on site that shows activity at that time. “AlarmReady together with decentralised intelligent MOBOTIX cameras and MxLINQ Cloud Access provides the highest situational awareness in the market,” said Messer. MOBOTIX-patented ActivitySensor technology helps eliminate false alarms and AlarmReady can quickly discern which cameras to show. MxLINQ, a cloud access solution for MOBOTIX, enables the user to immediately view and forward video footage to law enforcement – including a live-link by SMS or email – to the affected location. Powerful cloud-based platform AlarmReady is a flexible and powerful cloud-based platform that can be integrated with professional monitoring systems “People are nervous in alarm situations and AlarmReady simplifies this process and guides end users directly to the cameras they need to see,” said Messer. “AlarmReady provides additional situational awareness, user-friendliness, and overall simplicity of the system. Primary design factors give the end user as seamless an experience as possible.” AlarmReady can help prevent further harm or damage by enabling users to take a variety of actions via the MOBOTIX system. For example, users can play dissuasive Audio Messages. If set-up by a system integrator, users may also have access to turning on lights, locking doors, closing gates, or any other features on their IoT/surveillance system right then and there. This makes AlarmReady a flexible and powerful cloud-based platform that can be integrated with professional monitoring systems, offering end users and businesses a unique hybrid solution. Take a closer look at this exciting feature at the upcoming MOBOTIX Global Partner Conference in October in Mainz, Germany and Americas Partner Summit in January 2020.
Johnson Controls will exhibit security technologies and platforms that are helping to advance the safety, comfort and intelligence of spaces in order to power the mission of its customers at Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Chicago from Sept. 8 through Sept. 12. In booth #703, Johnson Controls will showcase innovative technologies that work together to construct connected, intelligent facilities in an “Integrated Smart Buildings Command Center.” Attendees will have an inside look into Johnson Controls integrated security, building controls, and life safety offerings that help to create safer, smarter and more sustainable environments. Create smarter, more integrated buildings “As we help empower our customers to create smarter, more integrated buildings, it is important for us to exhibit our solutions in a connected environment instead of having siloed displays,” said Hank Monaco, vice president, marketing, Johnson Controls, Building Solutions North America. “At GSX, we have traditionally demonstrated our security, fire and life safety technologies, but we are excited to also layer in our additional capabilities in building controls and data-driven solutions to reinforce how critical they are to the equation of more secure and intelligent spaces.” Johnson Controls Digital Solutions group will be highlighting the following solutions that work at the nexus of data and business to gather insights that allow for smarter buildings, increased efficiencies and new business value. Assurance Services helps deliver preventative service insights to maintain high availability of security assets Enhancing life-safety standards Connected Converged Security (CCS), a SaaS-based platform that provides proactive, holistic, and smarter security solutions, CCS is a hardware agnostic software solution that enhances health and life-safety standards while providing measurable results and a basis for superior decision-making. As a result, customers can save on operational costs and hardware spend, and improve their security return on investment. Assurance Services and False Alarm Reduction Service (FARS), both offerings analyse data to increase safety, streamline operations and decrease costs through actionable insights into a facility’s space and security considerations. Assurance Services helps to deliver preventative service insights to maintain high availability and reliability of security assets. When problems are detected, a remote resolution team can automatically resolve issues in minutes, rather than days. FARS analyses and identifies alarm patterns to deliver to help reduce false alarms and their associated risks and costs. Identify false alarm triggers Athena Security sends authorities an alert, getting people to the scene faster with an up-to-speed video feed into what’s going onThe software leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to identify false alarm triggers and help to stop the activities that trigger them. In addition, cutting-edge startups from Johnson Controls Open Innovation – a global innovation center in Tel Aviv, Israel launched to foster collaboration between the company, customers and the startups to deliver effective solutions worldwide – will be revealing emerging technologies, including: Indoor Robotics A smart robot that operates indoors after-hours to run security and inspection missions, follow up on alerts, detect leaks and fires, patrol the indoor space, learn the environment and respond to various anomalies detected. Weapons detection Athena Security offers a sophisticated AI-driven solution that utilises existing security cameras to work to detect dangerous objects, such as guns and knives, in real-time. The platform sends the authorities an alert, getting the right people to the scene faster with an up-to-speed video feed into what’s going on and where. Evolv Technology, a fully automated high-speed concealed weapons detection solution, integrates firearm and explosives detection with facial recognition for early detection of unauthorised concealed weapons or persons of interest.
There’s a lot of hype around the term ‘digital transformation.’ For some, it’s the integration of digital technology into everyday tasks. For others, it’s the incorporation of innovative processes aimed at making business optimisation easier. In most cases, digital transformation will fundamentally change how an organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. And within the security realm, the age of digital transformation is most certainly upon us. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality. No longer are the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities foreign and distant concepts full of intrigue and promise. Enhancing business operations We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other These elements are increasingly incorporated into security solutions with each passing day, allowing enterprises the chance to experience countless benefits when it comes to enhancing both safety and business operations. The term ‘connected world’ is a derivative of the digital transformation, signifying the increasing reliance that we have on connectivity, smart devices and data-driven decision-making. As we become more familiar with the advantages, flaws, expectations and best practices surrounding the connected world, we can predict what issues may arise and where the market is heading. We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other through the IoT to achieve both simple goals and arduous tasks. Within our homes, we’re able to control a myriad of devices with commands (‘Hey Google...’ or ‘Alexa...’), as well as recall data directly from our mobile devices, such as receiving alerts when someone rings our doorbell, there’s movement in our front yard or when a door has been unlocked. Analytics-driven solutions The focus is now shifting to the business impacts of connectivity between physical devices and infrastructures, and digital computing and analytics-driven solutions. Within physical security, connected devices can encompass a variety of sensors gathering massive amounts of data in a given timeframe: video surveillance cameras, access control readers, fire and intrusion alarms, perimeter detection and more.As the data from each of these sensors is collected and analysed through a central platform, the idea of a connected world comes to fruition, bringing situational awareness to a new level and fostering a sense of proactivity to identifying emerging threats. The connected world, however, is not without its challenges, which means that certain considerations must be made in an effort to protect data, enhance structured networking and apply protective protocols to developing technology. Physical security systems We can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well As the use of connected devices and big data continue to grow, we can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well. Connectivity between devices can open up the risk of cyber vulnerabilities, but designing safeguards as technology advances will lessen these risks. The key goal is to ensure that the data organisations are using for enhancement and improvements is comprehensively protected from unauthorised access. Manufacturers and integrators must be mindful of their products' capabilities and make it easy for end users to adhere to data sharing and privacy regulations. These regulations, which greatly affect physical security systems and the way they're managed, are being implemented worldwide, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the United States, California, Vermont and South Carolina have followed suit, and it can be expected that more countries and U.S. states develop similar guidelines in the future. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality Automatic security updates Mitigating the concerns of the ‘connected world’ extends beyond just data privacy. IoT technology is accelerating at such a pace that it can potentially create detrimental problems for which many organisations may be ill-prepared - or may not even be able to comprehend. The opportunities presented by an influx of data and the IoT, and applying these technologies to markets such as smart cities, can solve security and operational problems, but this requires staying proactive when it comes to threats and practicing the proper protection protocols. As manufacturers develop devices that will be connected on the network, integrating standard, built-in protections becomes paramount. This can take the form of continuous vulnerability testing and regular, automatic security updates. Protocols are now being developed that are designed to ensure everything is encrypted, all communications are monitored and multiple types of attacks are considered for defensive purposes to provide the best security possible. IoT-connected devices Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices Built-in protection mechanisms send these kinds of systems into protection mode once they are attacked by an outside source. Another way for manufacturers to deliver solutions that are protected from outside threats is through constant and consistent testing of the devices long after they are introduced to the market. Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices, taking every avenue to discover vulnerabilities. But a manufacturer that spends valuable resources to continue testing and retesting products will be able to identify any issues and correct them through regular software updates and fixes. ‘IoT’ has become a common term in our vocabularies and since it’s more widely understood at this point and time, it's exciting to think about the possibilities of this revolutionary concept. Providing critical insights The number of active IoT devices is expected to grow to 22 billion by 2025 — a number that is almost incomprehensible. The rise of 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars can be seen on the horizon of the IoT. As more of these devices are developed and security protocols are developed at a similar pace, connected devices stand to benefit a variety of industries, such as smart cities. Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches to ensuring a city is well-run and safe. For example, think of cameras situated at a busy intersection. Cameras at these locations have a variety of uses, such as investigative purposes in the event of an accident or for issuing red-light tickets to motorists. But there are so many other possible purposes for this connected device, including providing critical insights about intersection usage and traffic congestion. These insights can then be used to adjust stoplights during busy travel times or give cities valuable data that can drive infrastructure improvements. Physical security market The impact of connected devices on cities doesn’t stop at traffic improvement. The possibilities are endless; by leveraging rich, real-time information, cities can improve efficiencies across services such as transportation, water management and healthcare. However, stringent protections are needed to harden security around the networks transmitting this kind of information in an effort to mitigate the dangers of hacking and allow this technology to continuously be improved. Whether you believe we’re in the midst of a digital transformation or have already completed it, one thing is certain: businesses must begin thinking in these connectivity-driven terms sooner rather than later so they aren’t left behind. Leveraging smart, connected devices can catapult organisations into a new level of situational awareness, but adopting protections and remaining vigilant continues to be a stalwart of technological innovation within the physical security market and into the connected world.
There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance. According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them. Increase in revenue for dealers With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Wireless, connected smart locks For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry. Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup. Portfolio of home automation products One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation. Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system. First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled. Advantages of professional installation Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realise they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realise that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional. Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart. Selling additional home automation products If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available. The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labour warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes. This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly. Reduces connection instability According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realise over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognise right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent. Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognisable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.” In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches. Not everyone is a DIY customer There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products. But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them. The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.” Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation. Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products Producing complete and custom solutions Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system. Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale. No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.
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.
The boundaries between the smart home market and security market at large are narrowing. Amidst a wave of expansion, suddenly everything is becoming digital. Home automation has been around for close to 30 years but hasn’t really hit it big because integration hasn’t been that simple. Now that the Internet of Things has stepped into the market, home automation is really taking off. As technology in the smart home market advances, the gap between the residential and professional security markets is growing smaller. Additional revenue for security industry There will continue to be more opportunity for interoperability, and home automation will continue to grow and eventually become a norm. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions, have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras and other products suffice for their security. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. Data capture form to appear here! Residential security solutions Growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that" The trend has no doubt accelerated in the last couple of years. New collaborations are being made between audio-video (AV) suppliers and security solution providers. The clientele of high-end AV products is becoming increasingly concerned with home security and property protection. So, in recent months, the requirement for residential security solutions has been increasing as technical solutions can go hand in hand with AV installers’ capabilities and client base. “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” says Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum. "This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” Pressure to upgrade security standards Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation, security is seen as a solution some consumers are looking for. Another security aspect of home automation is cyber security, in particular how it applies to various IoT devices in the home. Now as connected devices gather personal information from realms long considered private and protected – the bedroom, the kitchen counter, the nursery – the risks are higher than ever. All of the data that various devices and sites have collected can be combined, shifted and then exploited by marketers or even stolen by hackers. Both manufacturers of smart home products and the companies that install them are feeling pressure to upgrade security standards. They are moving to set policies that will regulate who has access to data and how it is used. Ease of installation Advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies A recent revelation that some “smart TVs” might be listening to conversations and transmitting them to "third parties" caused an uproar. These sets have voice activated features that enable users to change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the internet by speaking to the screen or remote. The fine print in privacy policies contains warnings that general conversations are also being heard, and one company even told owners to turn off this function if they were concerned. Another impact of smart homes on the security marketplace is to raise expectations about the capabilities of commercial systems. Products made today for residential applications are very high quality, easy to install (do-it-yourself, or DIY), and have very rich feature sets. End users expect their commercial solutions to have a similar ease of use and ease of installation. Geofencing in commercial applications The quality of video that people are seeing at home is motivating some legacy commercial customers to finally move to IP video from lower resolution analogue cameras. A higher percentage of commercial customers use mobile applications to view integrated video and access control data. People’s experience with smart thermostats has them asking for geofencing in some commercial applications. In short, advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies. Read part two of our smart home mini series here.
Could millions of burglar and fire alarm control units be recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission? That could be the upshot when the independent agency of the U.S. government rules on a 'Complaint of Non-Conforming Products' investigation requested on behalf of a consultant/forensic expert who says he has identified non-compliance dangers and vulnerabilities related to the devices. Breaching security standards Jeffrey Zwirn, an alarm and security forensic expert, says he has identified problems with the alarm devices and has posted online a series of videos confirming that they do not operate in conformance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 985 and 103 and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code) Standards. Specifically, the single data-bus circuits of the hardwired devices can be short-circuited and become either fully or partially non-functional. The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury, such as risk of fire, chemical exposure, electrical malfunction or mechanical failure.The U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products Typically, the CSPC evaluates such requests and determines what corrective action, if any, is appropriate, in this case possibly by the end of the year. IDS Research & Development Inc. (Zwirn’s company) and Connaughton Group LLC, a product integrity consulting firm, sent a request to the CSPC on Sept. 20 asking for an investigation of products across the North American household fire and burglar alarm control units and commercial burglar and fire alarm control panel category. Recalling alarm control units The request estimates that “hundreds of millions” of the units were sold and installed across the United States. They include products sold under brand names such as Honeywell, DSC, NAPCO, ELK Products, and Interlogix. If the recall were to happen, it would be the largest recall in the history of the alarm industry. The request states: “It is our expert opinion that these non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard and risk to all of the unsuspecting consumers, their families and business owners who have these control panels installed in their homes and businesses.”These non-conforming control panels present a foreseeably dangerous and serious public safety hazard" Zwirn has also submitted the products for investigation by UL and Intertek Testing Services Inc., which respectively provide the UL and ETL certification marks and are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). Outcomes of those investigations are forthcoming. Jeffrey Zwirn also promotes and sells a product, The Interceptor, that would address the vulnerability. It is a microprocessor designed to protect the data-bus and auxiliary power output wiring installed throughout a protected premises.
The phrase ‘eye in the sky’ is taking on a whole new meaning as the concept of home security drones becomes a plausible idea that could be realised in the not-too-distant future. It’s a possibility that came to light recently in the form of a patent that was granted to Amazon for ‘Image Creation Using Geo-Fence Data’. The patent specifies a “geo-fence, which may be a virtual perimeter or boundary around a real-world geographic area.” An unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) may provide surveillance images of data of objects inside the geo-fence. Any video captured outside the geo-fence would be obscured or objects removed to ensure privacy. Detecting break-ins and fires The Amazon patent outlines how its UAVs could perform a surveillance action at a property of an authorised party. It would be ‘hired’ to look out for open garage doors, broken windows, graffiti, or even a fire. The drone would only view authorised locations and provide information back to the homeowner. The idea is to deploy Amazon’s ‘delivery drone’ to provide surveillance of customers’ homes The idea is to deploy Amazon’s previously proposed (but not yet realised) ‘delivery drone’ to provide surveillance of customers’ homes between making deliveries. (One could say the employment situation has truly peaked when drones start taking second jobs!) In a ‘surveillance as a service’ scenario, Amazon’s customers would pay for visits on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities. (The microphone aspect seems creepy until you remember that Amazon’s Echo devices already have a microphone listening to what happens inside our homes.) A remaining obstacle for such a plan is the matter of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration regulations that restrict commercial drone operations and even hobbyist or consumer drone flights outside an operator’s line of sight. Drones would be equipped with night vision and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities Amazon company officials have stressed that the plan is still in its infancy and implementation would be in the future. “The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorise monitoring of their home,” Amazon’s John Tagle told National Public Radio (NPR). Although use of drones for security is in the future, the launch of delivery drones appears to be on the nearer-term horizon. Amazon has said it hopes to launch a commercial service in a matter of months. Amazon’s competitor – Alphabet’s Wing – has already been granted FAA approval to make deliveries in the United States. Autonomous drone monitoring Another company, Sunflower Labs, is also working on security drones and has created a prototype that uses an autonomous drone to monitor activity in conjunction with a series of motion and vibration sensors located around the house. The sensors, which can detect footsteps or car engines, are placed around the home to create a virtual map, track objects and guide the drone. The ground sensors would alert a homeowner of something moving around the house. The homeowner could then elect to deploy the drone, which would stream a live video feed to a smart phone or tablet. Smart home technologies are in the process of transforming the home security market Smart home technologies and do-it-yourself security installations are in the process of transforming the home security market. The traditional ‘alarm service’ model is barely recognisable today among all the changes and new products, from home automation to video doorbells to personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Technology-loving consumers are looking at an expanding menu of options just as they are embracing new ways to protect their homes. Instead of a call to an alarm company, a consumer today may instead view a video of a burglary-in-progress live-streamed to their smart phone. Amazon and the other Big Tech companies are already playing a role in the disruption. Home security provided by a drone (on its way to delivering a package down the street) may seem like an extreme divergence from the norm. But such is the changing world of smart homes and residential security.
Comelit has worked closely with its Gold Partner, MRFS Group at Inspired Living’s flagship Impact House development, to ensure residents in upgraded apartments can experience seamless smart home automation in one all-encompassing solution. Set in Croydon London, Impact House has undergone an extensive programme of redevelopment from a largely vacant office building to create 197 contemporary one and two-bedroom micro-flats and 39 larger one, two and three-bedroom apartments, including four exclusive, larger duplex layouts. Comelit smart home automation solutions Comelit’s specialist SimpleHome system incorporates home automation, without compromising style Designed for modern, luxurious urban living, MRFS Group, who has worked closely with award winning Inspired Living on a number of projects from a security perspective, introduced Comelit’s specialist SimpleHome system to the top level apartments at Impact House to incorporate home automation, without compromising style. Adam Tokarski of Inspired Living, said “Impact House has been transformed into a light filled landmark setting for contemporary apartment living. Finished with high specifications throughout, we were keen to ensure the ground-breaking larger and duplex apartments offered the height of luxury.” Smart security Adam adds, “We turned to MRFS Group to advice on an integrated design to present new residents with smart security and home automation. On recommending Comelit’s SimpleHome we initially saw for ourselves its ability to control heating and lighting via the stylish door entry system and supporting app capability. Its flexible design allowed us to work with MRFS to create a bespoke solution for Impact House that was simple to use and finished in a sleek design.” Simplehome smart home automation system Simplehome is Comelit’s smart home automation system, which operates with door entry in one user-friendly integrated solution, providing homeowners with full control of their lighting, heating and ventilation. With an ability to programme schedules for up to seven days, Simplehome can be operated remotely using Comelit’s dedicated app, available via smartphone or tablet and connecting to a home router. Ross Wilkins, MRFS Group Director of Projects and Integration added, “When it came to door entry and incorporation of home automation to the 39 top-end apartments, systems had to be considered in line with the change of purpose to the building and how to coordinate installation with minimal cabling requirements." Door entry monitor Using the door entry monitor as a master control unit for Simplehome reduces the wall clutter within each apartment" He adds, “Using the door entry monitor as a master control unit for Simplehome significantly reduced the wall clutter within each apartment. This combined with Simplehome’s control equipment being din rail mountable and very space efficient appealed to Inspired Living, as it allowed maximum footprint to each apartment.” Chris Carroll, Comelit Business Development Manager concluded “Technology continues to play a significant role in our daily life and increasingly driving the demand towards home automation. This is where inspirational developers such as Inspired Living, with the support of our Gold Partner, MRFS Group, are leading the way by integrating facilities such as SimpleHome in apartment offerings." Easy installation He adds, “The professional installation, especially in redevelopment programmes such as Impact House, ensures homes can instantly benefit from the convenience and home control factors, without compromising on security or finishing design.”
Being a property management and home security service provider, DOM UK Ltd. considers specialised door security solutions for different premises such as holiday homes, serviced apartments and other temporary accommodations. By implemented keyless solutions on a rented property or serviced apartment provides effortless access granted by property managers and ease of control. Guests can also benefit as the last thing they want to worry about is looking after an extra set of keys. DOM Tapkey cloud-based smart locks DOM Tapkey, is a cloud-based smart lock, which diminishes the problem of remotely managing property access, including the expense and hassle of constant key exchanges, the disruption of early check-ins and overstays, and minimise the security risks of unauthorised access. A similar issue was put across to DOM UK by a popular AirBnB situated in Oxford. Pillow Talks are a specialist property management business based within Oxfordshire. Both Pillow Talks and their tenant, Ginger Video, who are renting premises for their business needs, wanted to replace their existing mechanical locks with an alternate, safe and secure digital locking solution. Allowing them full management and control of the premises. Digital locking system With DOM Tapkey, users can use the same ID on several smartphones and tablets simultaneously that works for temporary tenants or small business owners renting premise, allowing multiple access at any one time. DOM Tapkey is a revolutionary way to lock and unlock the doors to homes and offices The revolutionary digital locking system allows users to manage access and security of their home or office environment with the easy-to-use Tapkey app. They can add or remove users with smartphones and transponders on their smartphone conveniently. Whether at work or a meeting, it’s a quick and easy process. This locking system offers an innovative plug-and-play solution for all security needs. Home and Corporate Security National Sales Manager, DOM UK Ltd, Mr. Lloyd Chitty states “The project itself had been installed by one of our trusted partner and security expert, Oxford SMS (now J.Priest&Son), the tenant was highly impressed by the product and service provided by Mr. Jason Priest, they requested for a digital cylinder to be installed within their private home and labelled the locking cylinder as a new 21st Century system.” DOM Tapkey access control solution is more than just a digital door opener. It’s also a smart management tool that allows homeowners to remotely program electronic keys, send authorisations to other users, share access and receive event notifications. DOM Tapkey is a revolutionary way to lock and unlock the doors to homes and offices. Simply place the smartphone against the digital cylinder and avail instant access.
Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) manages more than 26,000 properties on behalf of Newcastle City Council. They are piloting an innovative fire detection system in partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, the UK’s largest privately-owned independent security company and a national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sector. MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras have been installed in 3 multi-storey blocks across the city to continually monitor temperatures in the buildings’ bin chute rooms. The thermal cameras will send an alarm to OpenView’s central control centre and the fire service immediately if an unexpected heat pattern is detected. The early detection system provided by the OpenView now means that residents can be reassured of much faster response times from the fire service in the event of an incident, minimising the potential impact on occupants and their properties, so that they and their homes are far safer as a result. Risks and Challenges Ensuring safety of residents through early detection and prevention of potential fires To be able to react quickly to verify a fire situation Alerting the fire service within seconds of a potential fire so they can respond rapidly Keeping residents safe and minimising damage to property in the event of a fire The risk to lives and property caused by rapid spread of a fire in high-density apartment blocks Solution provided by MOBOTIX and OpenView MOBOTIX M16 thermal cameras installed in bin chute rooms of 3 YHN multi-storey blocks Thermal technology continuously monitors temperature, triggering an alarm if an unexpected heat pattern is detected Operators in OpenView’s central control room assess and monitor the situation Fire service instantly alerted ready for rapid response MOBOTIX cameras integrated into existing infrastructure with no disruption to residents Potential risk to lives and property minimised through early fire detection Installation of thermal imaging cameras YHN has installed thermal imaging cameras in 3 of its 45 multi-storey blocks across the cityYour Homes Newcastle (YHN) manages community and public housing on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Set up in 2004, the organisation oversees more than 26,000 properties for the council. With fire safety in tower blocks having been in the spotlight since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, YHN took the decision to pilot an innovative fire detection system. In a trial partnership with OpenView Security Solutions, the UK’s largest privately-owned independent security company and a national supplier of fire, electrical and mechanical services to the public and private housing sectors, YHN has installed thermal imaging cameras in 3 of its 45 multi-storey blocks across the city. “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower have undoubtedly put fire safety in multi-storey blocks under a microscope, but we have been trialling new measures in our multi-storey properties for some time,” says David Langhorne, YHN’s Assets and Development Director. ONVIF compliant thermal cameras OpenView Security designed and installed an early fire detection system using MOBOTIX dual M16 thermal cameras, featuring one thermal and one optical sensor. MOBOTIX thermal sensors measure minute differences in mid-wavelength infrared radiation emitted from an object or body based on its temperature, allowing them to pick up temperature differences of 0.05 of a degree within a temperature range of -40 to +550 degrees Celsius. The ONVIF compliant MOBOTIX cameras contain a powerful CPU that can deliver up to 3 video streams simultaneously The ONVIF compliant MOBOTIX cameras contain a powerful CPU that can deliver up to 3 video streams simultaneously and fulfil the H.264/ONVIF standard, making it easy to combine them with other systems to create unique solutions to real-world problems. By integrating the cameras into YHN’s existing infrastructure, which uses OpenView installed equipment, it was possible to implement the new system without any disruption to residents. Alerts central control room in case of fire Operators are able to monitor images from the thermal lens to pinpoint the exact location of hotspotsThe MOBOTIX M16 cameras were installed in bin chute rooms, where they continually monitor the temperature, sending an alert to the OpenView’s central control room instantly if an unexpected heat pattern is detected. Operators are then able to monitor images from the thermal lens to pinpoint the exact location of hotspots, such as smouldering fires, as well verify the situation via a live feed from the optical lens. An alarm is also raised with the fire service within seconds of a potential fire, making them ready to respond rapidly to a potential emergency situation. According to Andy Ward, Sales Director of OpenView Security Solutions, the innovative fire protection solution enables housing providers to ensure a safer environment for residents and minimise the incidence of false alarms: “It now forms part of our expanding portfolio of fire and life safety solutions, which is one of the fastest growing areas of our business, and consolidates our leading position in the public and private housing sectors.” Faster response times from fire service The early detection system provided by the OpenView now means that residents can be reassured of much faster response times from the fire service in the event of an incident, minimising the potential impact on occupants and their properties, ensuring that they and their homes are far safer as a result. We have wet and dry risers, central alarm systems, smoke alarm activated bin chute fire dampers and bin room sprinklers"“This trial system is one of many fire safety measures currently in place in the blocks we manage across the city. We also have wet and dry risers, central alarm systems, smoke alarm activated bin chute fire dampers and bin room sprinklers,” Langhorne explains. “We pride ourselves on being innovative, so it was an easy decision for us to test something that had not yet been adopted elsewhere,” he adds. Meeting requirements of integrator and end-users Frank Graham, MOBOTIX Regional Sales Manager UK & Benelux, said of the partnership with YHN and OpenView: “We are very happy to be working so closely with both YHN and OpenView in the development and provision of an innovative solution for such a serious issue. “MOBOTIX cameras have inbuilt intelligence to meet all the requirements of integrator and end-users alike and we look forward to a longstanding and fruitful partnership with both organisations moving forward.”
ProdataKey (PDK), an innovator of networked cloud-based access control products and services, and OwnerGo, a complete web-based lease-management, communication and organisational tool for multi-tenant properties, has implemented a fully integrated, comprehensive solution for Freedom Heights and Lofts (Freedom Heights), a condominium community in Atlanta, Georgia. Prodata cloud access control This unique integration between ProdataKey's Cloud Access Control platform and OwnerGo's lease management, communication and organisational tool for multi-tenant properties, is supporting the diverse needs of property management, the Homeowners Association and residents of Freedom Heights and Lofts, an upscale condo community in Atlanta, Georgia. This case offers the perfect example of how everyone wins when multi-tenant residential properties unite security solutions with other property management functions. Integrated security and access control The integrated platform, designed for condo, apartments & townhomes provides enhanced security The integrated platform, designed for condo, apartment, townhome and single-family home communities, provides enhanced security and convenient controlled access to all tenants and workers who service the property while simultaneously providing the Homeowners Association (HOA) board members and property managers with the tools they need to be responsive to residents and function more efficiently. The integrated, user-friendly interface controls 32 access points to external building entrances and common areas and contains a wealth of tools to support work order submissions, resident directories, event calendars, leasing documentation, a fully automated leasing list tool and more. Up to 25% of Freedom Heights homeowners lease their units to renters; the balance of units is owner-occupied. PDK access control system The PDK access control system provides the Freedom Heights HOA with powerful security management capabilities, robust reporting and the ability to segment access to specific buildings by tenant. A mobile interface provides the night security guard with real-time awareness of when doors are being accessed, as well as Instant Alerts if any doors are left propped open. Integration with OwnerGo eliminates redundant data entry while providing continuity in managing lease documents and assigning access credentials. System administrators can more easily keep track of authorised card holders and deactivate cards that have been lost or should no longer be in circulation. In addition, cards assigned to a particular unit can be transferred automatically to the next occupants. OwnerGo integration OwnerGo integration allows residents to unlock doors for which they have permission without the need for access control cards The OwnerGo integration allows residents to unlock doors for which they have permission without the need for physical access control cards. Using the graphical map feature within the OwnerGo web and mobile interface, they can simply tap or click on the door they wish to open. Using this method, they can also open doors remotely for visitors who call ahead from outside. The system also provides the HOA board with leverage when collecting delinquent payment of condo fees. Residents who are significantly late in payments may have their access to community areas, like the pool and gym, temporarily deactivated until payment is received. Cory Jackon, Vice President of Sales for PDK, says, “Using our open API, OwnerGo has been able to pull in a lot of PDK’s features, making the management of security a seamless part of the platform’s capabilities.” Enhanced security “Integrating PDK’s access control capabilities into the OwnerGo platform is an extension that enhances the security and convenience for all involved,” adds Klye Montgomery, President of OwnerGo. Current President of the Freedom Heights HOA, Ken Gwinner, agrees. He says, “I would definitely recommend the OwnerGo/PDK solution to Homeowner Associations, property management companies and other entities responsible for the many challenges associated with properties like ours. It does exactly what we need.”
Comelit has ensured future residents at Kebbell Homes’ new luxury Aubury Place development can experience smart door entry with the installation of its latest Mini Handsfree monitors. Set in Chiswick, London, Aubury Place is a new gated community of nine four, five and six bedroom homes. Every element of the design is focussed on creating an exceptional first impression, right from the bespoke touch screen entrance panel. Comelit’s Specification team, together with chosen installers Wheeler Electrical, was involved with Kebbell from the initial design process, through the works programme to project completion. Door entry requests Kebbell was instantly impressed with the capability of newly launched Mini Handsfree Wi-Fi Monitors Whilst originally, Comelit’s stylish Icona monitors were considered, Kebbell was instantly impressed with the capability of newly launched Mini Handsfree Wi-Fi Monitors. The new Comelit system would enable new residents to respond to door entry requests from any compatible mobile and benefit from video memory, to record missed calls. Says Andrea Fawell Sales and Marketing Director at Kebbell Homes: “The aim with Aubury Place, as with all our developments, was to offer families spacious home options in prime locations. The ideals of luxury, convenience, comfort and understated elegance were all of paramount importance, and seeing everything from our resident’s point of view, to ensure our homes allow natural flows in tune with daily living.” Mobile connected lifestyle “Every small detail has been carefully considered and this is where Comelit latest options for door entry fitted our requirements. It means our residents can benefit from the latest technology, seamlessly installed, enabling them to instantly respond to door entry requests, with video, from wherever they are. And we can achieve this without compromising on the style, look and feel of this beautiful collection of homes.” Kebbell Homes is well-known for meticulously planning and creating homes of exceptional quality" Ed Wheeler, Director from Wheeler Electrical added: “Kebbell Homes is well-known for meticulously planning and creating homes of exceptional quality. When it came to door entry at Aubury Place, Comelit was the specification of choice and the new Mini Handsfree Monitors exceeded expectation, even over an initially approved specification. It has proven itself more cost effective and a better fit for today’s increasingly mobile connected lifestyle choice.” Powerful security solution Each home at Aubury Place has been fitted with a Mini Handsfree monitor complete with integrated WiFi, operating through Comelit’s innovative VIP system. At the striking gates to the development is Comelit’s premium stainless steel flush mounted 316 Touch entrance Panel, branded to Kebbell Homes. The system enables new residents to grant access through the vehicle gates or adjacent pedestrian gate using the 4.3” internal monitor or a dedicated mobile app. And up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WiFi monitor. Daniel Wood, Southern Sales Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “Comelit worked closely with Kebbell Homes to ensure the door entry system installed, achieved the desired balance between timeless style and latest technology. The combined solution, completed using our very latest app enabled monitors, provides aspiring residents with a powerful security solution and the convenience of audio and visual communication, together with ease of use in everyday life.”
Fermax is delighted to have been able to offer an ideal, cost effective solution to allow installation partners to complete a successful upgrade of a large apartment complex in Nottingham. Working with its approved partner FSE Security systems and involving over 90 apartments at Marina Park Nottingham, the challenge was to upgrade an old third-party audio only system to a modern audio-video system with the minimum of disturbance to residents and without incurring excessive high cost. By using the Fermax 2 Wire Duox system with SKYLINE surface mounted panels and VEO-XS flat screen hands-free video monitors, the installation was completed using existing cables throughout, achieving major reductions in time and material cost. Benefit of image storage Residents were delighted to be able to upgrade to the new Fermax VEO-XS monitor using innovative 2 wire DUOX technology offering the high-quality performance of a purely digital system. As well as its modern, slimline design, the VEO XS hands-free monitor offers the added benefit of image storage and retrieval using the PHOTOCALLER function, enabling residents to view images of visitors and callers to their apartment whilst they were not at home. A delighted installer commented: “The cables were a selection of cat 5.8 core alarm cable and flat twin 0.5 mains flex; all cables suited the DUOX system which was easy to install and easy to program. Most of all it was user friendly which to me as an installer is the most important quality.”
Round table discussion
Driven by technology developments such as voice recognition, smart devices and the Internet of Things, our homes are getting “smarter” all the time. Increasingly, we expect our residential environments to be responsive to our voice commands, whether we are adjusting a thermostat, turning on a light, or lowering the window shade. Smarter home integration yields new opportunities and challenges for home security, too, which contributes an element of safety and protection to the convenience aspects of smart homes. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are new smart home systems impacting security?
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!
Video cameras are everywhere, and hundreds more are installed every day. Our society appears to be reaching a point of perpetual surveillance. It certainly feels as if we are always being watched even though it is not yet the case. But as cameras are becoming more common than ever, we are also entering a new era of privacy concerns and sensitivities, as evidenced by GDPR and other such initiatives. We presented this quandary to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Surveillance cameras can go anywhere, right? Where is it “not OK?”