Security camera mounts - Expert commentary

Making School Safety A Priority With Smart Technology
Making School Safety A Priority With Smart Technology

With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities.  The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a second time, anyone behind the curve with the benefits of smart technology should get on board now before children return to the school environment. And with the ever-changing variants of the COVID-19 virus, schools can’t afford to be “late to class” when it comes to health and safety. Preventing the spread of disease Some schools in the US have been using smart technologies for a while to measure utility consumption and efficiency, streamline maintenance and enhance general school safety. These technologies are playing a significant role in keeping school buildings healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Let’s take a look at how smart technology can help schools to become safer, as well as more energy-efficient and cost-effective.   Thermal detection cameras  Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing. These cameras provide medically-accurate, real-time temperatures of individuals in real-time. If a high temperature is detected, the software sends an instant alert to the relevant party. It can also be set to deny access to those with high temperatures or to people not wearing masks.  Safer water  As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the world’s population, healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms. Legionella is a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school's duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating.  Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place. Automated flushing and temperature testing Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters The Health and Safety Executive advises, “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.” Typically, managing the risk of Legionella includes running all outlets for two minutes, taking and recording the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s not conducive to Legionella growth. This is a time-consuming process, which is why schools are looking for automated water temperature monitoring systems. This smart system with automated flushing and temperature testing reports and records water temperature data in real-time. Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters.  Cleaner air  Advisers say that improving air filtration and ventilation in schools can help mitigate the potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. Strategies include: Increasing outdoor air ventilation Filtering indoor air Using portable air cleaners with HEPA filters  Smart building technologies such as advanced HVAC controls can help facilities managers promote cleaner air with less hassle. For example, smart HVAC systems use sensors to remotely monitor and control variables such as:  Humidity Temperature Indoor air quality The level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants The technology is also energy-efficient and cost-effective.  While these solutions may be key to the reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19, they also bring long-term benefits. Although COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of smart technology, many of these solutions are focused on health, wellness, and security in general; which have been needed in school systems for a long time.

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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We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort Selects Hanwha Techwin For Camera Quality And Functionality
We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort Selects Hanwha Techwin For Camera Quality And Functionality

Hanwha Techwin a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions announced that We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has selected Hanwha cameras for its new state-of-the-art video surveillance system. First established as a bingo-hall style building by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in the early 1990s, the facility received approval to be revamped into a fully-fledged gaming facility in 2017. To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, this also included a new video surveillance system. Quality cameras When it came time to build the new facility, the Tribal Regulatory Agency, having learned from its earlier attempts, knew they had to find a vendor that wouldn’t let them down. Explains Lee Brown, Lead Surveillance Technician for the Fort McDowell Tribal Regulatory Agency, “We were looking for a manufacturer that had a variety of camera offerings to give us what we wanted and that also had a good reputation for quality.” They found what they were looking for with Hanwha Techwin. Camera coverage The cameras available from Hanwha Techwin enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation The number of cameras available from Hanwha Techwin was a key differentiator for the We-Ko-Pa Resort as it enabled them to choose the right camera for every situation. The range of options was especially important when it came time to design camera coverage for the slot floor in the new facility. This area proved to be challenging in part because it was designed to be flexible and modular. The new design allows the Casino to be dynamic in terms of where they place machines. The challenge then was how to ensure coverage of every machine even as they move around daily. Flexible 4k cameras They initially considered attaching cameras to the ‘cloud’ ceiling so that they could be moved as the configuration changed. But, because it floats below a concrete ceiling, this was not possible. The Casino decided instead to use the higher resolution P series 4K cameras and place them strategically throughout the space. Says Brown, “We had to give very careful consideration to where we placed our cameras. We wanted high quality and flexibility to avoid having to reconfigure and reinstall cameras all the time. The image quality with the Hanwha Techwin cameras gave us the edge we needed to work within our ceiling constraints.” WDR technology The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models The new Casino has over 800 Hanwha Techwin cameras, including the XNV-8080R, PNV-9080R, and PNF-9010R models. According to Brown, their favorite feature is the quality they deliver at low bitrates. He says, “The majority of our cameras face intense and volatile lighting changes against a backdrop of complex scenery with many moving objects. Hanwha Techwin cameras and their advanced WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology can easily be configured to accommodate these conditions without sacrificing quality or producing obnoxious data streams.” Wisenet wave VMS While part of the interest in Hanwha Techwin was based on the build and image quality of the cameras and variety of the offerings, the Casino was also drawn to the Wisenet WAVE VMS (Video Management System). Says Brown, “We were attracted to the WAVE VMS because our virtualized server and client operating systems are 100% Linux based, and the WAVE client and server applications are well supported on Linux. It works exceptionally well with the Hanwha Techwin cameras and other devices, like HDMI encoders and third-party cameras.” Live central monitoring WAVE also helps operators with live monitoring. As part of their daily routines, operators at the Casino have to actively watch a variety of events and occurrences, including deliveries and vendors on site. Says Brown, “The layout system in WAVE makes it easy for us to organize our cameras into groups. So, when an operator follows someone through the Casino, rather than thinking in terms of which camera covers which machine or specific area, they think more in terms of the geography of the location.” Motion detection To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording Every casino must comply with strict retention requirements in part because forensic examination and maintaining a clear chain of custody are extremely important. At the We-Ko-Pa Resort, they have a one-week minimum retention rate with some cameras keeping video for 30 days. Currently, We-Ko-Pa has 500 terabytes (TB) of redundant ZFS-based network storage. To reduce the storage requirements for video surveillance footage, they use motion-based high/low recording. Explains Brown, “We use motion detection to save on storage. If no motion is detected in a frame, the camera is set up to record at very low quality and low frame rate. If the camera detects motion, then the recording automatically shifts to high-quality mode.” Video surveillance system Moving forward, the Casino is excited about future possibilities for their system, including people counting and using their WAVE VMS to make data-driven decisions. The Casino and Tribal Regulatory Agency aren’t the only ones who recognize the outstanding features and functionality of their new Hanwha Techwin system. The Arizona Department of Gaming, which provides specific mandates for gaming operators in the state, is also impressed. According to Brown, “We have even received compliments for our video surveillance system from the state inspector who was quite impressed with the image quality and the smoothness of the recordings.”

What Is The Impact Of Privacy Concerns On Physical Security?
What Is The Impact Of Privacy Concerns On Physical Security?

Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?

Hanwha Techwin Unveils Five New Models Of P Series HD AI Cameras
Hanwha Techwin Unveils Five New Models Of P Series HD AI Cameras

Hanwha Techwin, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, has expanded and updated its line-up of P series AI cameras with five new 2 MP HD models. A follow-up to the premium 4K P series AI cameras announced in 2020, the new cameras present a cost-effective entry point into the powerful world of AI-based camera technology. Hanwha P series AI cameras Hanwha P series AI cameras include license-free video analytics based on deep learning that can detect various object types, such as people, vehicles, faces and license plates, as well as identify unique object attributes, such as a person’s age group, gender and clothing color, or a vehicle’s type and color. The cameras offer enhanced people counting, que management and heat-map functionality, with no requirement for overhead mounting, making sure faces are seen and footage is always useful for identifying persons of interest or delivering business intelligence. Digital auto-tracking provides a second video stream, which features close-up detail on objects being tracked. AI-based Preferred Shutter technology Wisenet AI cameras can significantly reduce the false alarms generated from irrelevant movement Wisenet AI cameras can significantly reduce the false alarms generated from irrelevant movement, such as moving trees, shadows and animals. Additionally, new enhancements to the line include WiseNR II noise reduction, which utilizes AI (Artificial Intelligence) to identify object movement and reduce blur in noisy and low light or dark environments. AI-based Preferred Shutter technology automatically adjusts the shutter speed, based on classified objects in motion and the lighting condition in a scene, in order to reduce motion blur and deliver the clearest images. AI-based bandwidth reduction with WiseStream III As the size of video data continues to increase, it’s important to develop technologies to minimize network bandwidth. By utilizing the results of AI-based object detection, WiseStream III technology adjusts the video encoder to focus maximum video quality on the detected objects in a scene, while at the same time, scaling back encoding on the rest of the scene. Adjustable by the end user, this technology can provide data reduction of up to 80% depending on the environment. Further data reduction is achieved with the BestShot feature, which ensures that only the most suitable image of a detected object is sent back to the server. VMS Metadata Compatibility AI object and attribute metadata (color, type, age, gender) is stored alongside the video image data for use during forensic search. VMS systems from Genetec and Milestone, as well as Wisenet WAVE and Wisenet X NVRs enable users to filter and search using this enhanced metadata. The new P series line of HD AI cameras include: PNO-A6081R - Network 2M AI IR Bullet Camera PND-A6081RV - Network 2M AI IR Dome Camera PND-A6081RF - Network 2M AI IR Dome Camera PNV-A6081R - Network 2M AI IR Vandal Dome Camera PNB-A6001 - Network 2M AI Box Camera Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence “These new P series AI cameras provide an affordable entry point into the powerful world of AI,” said Ray Cooke, Vice President, Products, Solutions and Integration, Hanwha Techwin America. Ray Cooke adds, “The impact of AI on both security and business intelligence is quickly transforming the way organizations think about and deploy these influential new sensors. There’s never been a better time to invest in this future-proof technology.”