Security camera mounts - Expert commentary

Ergonomic Standards Increase Control Room Productivity
Ergonomic Standards Increase Control Room Productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organizational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased Productivity In The Workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centers. Health Benefits Of Ergonomic Workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency Operations Center “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realization is guiding emergency operations center (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorized M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centers. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving Security System Installations With Acceptance Testing
Improving Security System Installations With Acceptance Testing

Endless possibilities for security deployment have been made possible with technological advancements Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from the company’s headquarters in Chicago. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 percent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labeled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

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The Ins and Outs of a Successful Security Partnership
The Ins and Outs of a Successful Security Partnership

The only constant theme for video technology is its constant evolution. Over the last 40 years, cameras have gone from limited view, constantly monitored rarities to being one of the most populous Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a global reach. Fixed cameras with limited fields of view have been augmented with panoramic cameras with 180- and 360-degree viewing capabilities at ultra-high resolutions in the 4K and 8K ranges, a far cry from the grainy, monochrome viewing of the past. Threats have also evolved in that time, leading to a necessary evolution in security posture, moving from a series of individual programs and practices, to a comprehensive strategy designed around complex risk assessments. To ensure the successful implementation of your security stance in today’s world, you need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together to deliver coherent solutions rather than individual components. Since successful partnerships are always a two-way street, it’s important to take a look at some of the factors that vendors should offer and expect to receive when entering a beneficial partnership where technology seamlessly folds into the ecosystem of the partner’s technology offerings. Open Technology Standards If you ask any customer what the biggest negative is when it comes to new and emerging technologies, you’ll get a pretty rapid answer of “vendor lock-in.” You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t give a customer the opportunity to build multiple, “best-of-breed” products into a comprehensive strategy, you’re going to fall by the wayside pretty quickly. You need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together That’s not to say that you can’t have unique, proprietary or visionary technology; you absolutely can, and it is what innovation and progress thrives on. Building those technologies around open technology standards is vital if you are looking for wide-scale adoption. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer. All of this leads to a faster time to revenue and a more rapid scaling of your presence in the market. Direct Technology Integrations Continuing the theme of open technology standards improving the ability to drive relationships with existing, complimentary technology partners, the directness and depth of integration also bears consideration. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer One of the blights of building a security practice is getting all of your technologies to integrate together and feed information to each other. When you add the fact that each technology has its own user interface (UI) and management console, it can very quickly become overwhelming for the end user to keep tabs on each console, learn every interface and complicates building a workflow in the case of incidents or investigations. The administrators who manage the system also have to update each component individually, ensure that the integrations don’t break when an update is delivered and ensure that any new technologies don’t cause an existing piece of your solution to fail. As a technology vendor, if you have used open technology standards, and written your software with integrations in mind, you will find yourself becoming an easy solution to turn to. Camera manufacturers in particular can take advantage of this when integrating with a video management system (VMS). The deeper you integrate, and the easier you make it to manage, update, monitor and interact with your cameras for the VMS and subsequently the operator using the VMS, the more likely your technology will be designed into solutions. Open Communication and Equal Joint Development Successful partnerships are all about communication, and in my experience, having organizational alignment throughout both companies does wonders to improve the development processes. Executive support in particular is key, and a mutual understanding between leaders makes for a more successful go to market strategy. Equally as important is joint development, especially for engineering teams. Often, software engineers are just thrown the software from the larger of the two partners and told “make sure we integrate with this.”  It is then down to the engineering teams to figure out how the partner software works and figure out their integrations. This is less difficult if the partner is using open standards, but there is still a high degree of difficulty involved. It also takes longer to create, test, adjust and release software integrations in this way. Then you have to repeat the process whenever there is a software update on either side. Successful partnerships are all about communication If you work collaboratively as engineering teams with defined co-development plans and processes, this process is simplified, and a better solution is realised for the customer. Working as equals also allows you to drive technology advancement faster, especially for the longer established vendor. New technology companies are forced to innovate faster to stay alive and that is well worth remembering. Your mutual sales teams also have a large part to play here, since working together in front of customers with a connected message will deliver better feedback into the engineering teams for future developments and projects. If you build your technology partnerships on these foundations, then you are well positioned to deliver great solutions to your customers, real value when it comes to forming a major part of the wider security ecosystem and will be well on your way to becoming a mainstay in the physical security world.

What Are The Security Challenges Of The Oil And Gas Market?
What Are The Security Challenges Of The Oil And Gas Market?

Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?

How Have Standards Changed The Security Market?
How Have Standards Changed The Security Market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?