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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March Networks’ Unveils Linux-Based Video Management Software (VMS) With Support For 3,000 IP Cameras On A Single Server
March Networks’ Unveils Linux-Based Video Management Software (VMS) With Support For 3,000 IP Cameras On A Single Server

March Networks, a global video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions company, is pleased to announce a new highly scalable Linux version of its Video Management Software (VMS) that can support up to 3,000 cameras on a single server. Command Recording Software The latest release of March Networks Command Recording Software offers unparalleled flexibility and scalability for customers. In addition to Windows systems, the software now works with Linux-based Operating Systems (OS), offering an unprecedented ability to support up to 3,000 IP channels on one server. March Networks has achieved this scale by leveraging Docker container technology, an open-source platform March Networks has achieved this scale by leveraging Docker container technology, an open-source platform that can speed the delivery of cloud-based applications, centralized video storage, and cloud recording – all elements of the March Networks VMS roadmap. Centralized storage  Using the solution, customers can lower infrastructure costs with fewer servers. They can move toward centralized storage, by streaming cameras to just one server in an on-site data center. “We added the Linux option for our VMS because of its superior security and Docker support, which provides the scalability our customers need as well as the foundation for our cloud recording solution,” said Net Payne, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, March Networks.  End-to-end encryption Net Payne adds, “This platform further builds on March Networks’ 20-year history of offering highly secure, enterprise-class Linux recording solutions.” Net Payne notes that Command Recording Software uses a customized OS that removes unnecessary services and applications, reducing the likelihood of cyber-attack. It offers complete end-to-end encryption (from camera to recorder to enterprise management system to client software), with cameras supporting RTP/RTSP over HTTPS. X-Series Hybrid Recorders For customers that prefer a purpose-built appliance, the software is also embedded on March Networks’ new X-Series Hybrid Recorders. The high-performance recorders are optimized to support Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications with NVIDIA system-on-chip (SOC) technology. The high-performance recorders are optimized to support Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications New 4, 8, and 12-channel versions of the X-Series – ideal for ATM and small retail installations – are now available for order and shipping later this quarter. Net Payne adds, “Our VMS platform’s flexible architecture, supporting both Windows and Linux-based systems, as well as running on our X-Series recorders or commercial off-the-shelf servers and virtual machines, makes it an ideal solution for almost any business.” Retail warehouses and distribution centers He further said, “Large organizations with high camera counts including retail warehouses and distribution centers, school campuses, airports and corporate headquarter locations will particularly benefit from the solution’s scalability, high availability and failover recording.” The platform also offers: Business intelligence – When integrated with March Networks Searchlight data analytics software, customers can enjoy access to people counting, que length, and dwell time analytics as well as ATM or POS transaction data overlaid on the video. Compatibility with March Networks’ hosted Command Enterprise Software for a cloud-managed video solution offering real-time health monitoring, and centralized system and user management. Convenient external recording options (DAS, NAS, and SAN). Remote viewing with the March Networks Command Mobile app or the March Networks Web Client. March Networks will showcase Command Recording Software and its X-Series Hybrid Recorders at ISC West, booth #12045, July 19-21, at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

March Networks Releases Advanced VA Series IP Cameras, Offering 2 MP And 4 MP Resolutions With Built-In Video Analytics
March Networks Releases Advanced VA Series IP Cameras, Offering 2 MP And 4 MP Resolutions With Built-In Video Analytics

March Networks, a global video surveillance and video-based business intelligence firm, is pleased to introduce its new VA Series IP Cameras, a comprehensive line of 2 MP and 4 MP cameras, featuring advanced encoding technology and built-in video analytics. VA Series IP cameras The VA Series IP cameras deliver a range of features for indoor and outdoor applications at a cost-effective price point. Incorporating the latest imaging sensor technology for improved color reproduction, the cameras deliver sharp, detailed video in the most challenging lighting conditions. Their Ambarella chipsets make them fully compliant with the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Their Ambarella chipsets make them fully compliant with the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and power the cameras’ video analytics, including tripwire, abandoned object, loitering detection, intrusion detection, and object removal. Analytics are included at no extra cost, allowing organizations to quickly identify threats and find relevant videos faster. Region of Interest (ROI) feature All VA Series IP cameras will also offer an innovative Region of Interest (ROI) feature that allows users to customize compression levels within identified zones and save on storage. Using this feature, customers can identify zones of high or low importance in the camera’s field of view and apply additional compression in those zones. When combined with March Networks’ existing Low Bit Rate (LBR) feature, the ROI feature can help customers reduce storage and bandwidth by as much as 65%. The VA Series IP cameras line includes seven new cameras: The VA2 Indoor IR Dome – A 2 MP dome offering High Dynamic Range (HDR), integrated infrared (IR) LEDs, hallway mode, and remote zoom and focus. The VA2 Outdoor IR Dome – A rugged 2 MP dome with a weather-proof (IP66), vandal-resistant (IK10) enclosure, integrated HDR, IR, and a P-Iris The VA2 Indoor NanoDome – A discreet 2 MP dome with an extra-wide, 134-degree field of view (FOV). Includes a 3-axis gimbal for quicker installation, and a 90-degree hallway mode rotation to better capture vertically-oriented scenes. The VA4 Indoor IR Dome – A 4 MP dome with HDR, built-in IR LEDs, and adjustable zoom and focus settings. The VA4 Outdoor IR Dome – A 4 MP dome with a P-Iris, integrated IR LEDs, HDR, and a rugged IP66 and IK10-rated enclosure. The VA4 IR MicDome – A 4 MP dome with a built-in microphone for complete video and audio capture. The camera is available with an 8 mm or 4.0 mm fixed lens. The VA4 IR DuraBullet – A 4 MP indoor/outdoor bullet camera with a rugged IK10-rated housing, integrated IR LEDs, and HDR. Includes a 2.7-12 mm lens with a P-Iris. ISC West 2021 The 2 MP versions of the VA Series, along with the VA4 Indoor IR Dome and VA4 Outdoor IR Dome, will begin shipping in August. The VA4 IR MicDome and VA4 IR DuraBullet will ship in September 2021. “We are pleased to add the VA Series IP Cameras to our portfolio,” said Frank Splain, Product Manager of Smart Edge Devices for March Networks, adding “Combining high-quality images with features like ROI compression and video analytics – all for an affordable price – will make the VA Series a popular choice for our customers.” March Networks will showcase new models of the VA Series at ISC West, booth #12045, from July 19-21, 2021 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

March Networks Signs Product And Services Contract With California Transportation Agency To Standardize Vehicle Fleet
March Networks Signs Product And Services Contract With California Transportation Agency To Standardize Vehicle Fleet

March Networks, a global video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions provider, is pleased to announce that one of California’s busiest transportation authorities will standardize its entire bus fleet on the company’s RideSafe mobile solution. RideSafe solution The US$ 4 million contract will see more than 400 buses deployed with March Networks’ complete end-to-end RideSafe solution. The contract includes cloud-based monitoring of all of the transportation authority’s mobile cameras and recorders, a services contract providing annual and recurring revenue for March Networks for up to 7 years. RideSafe solution enables transit operators to maintain the highest security for passengers and employees, respond quickly to emergency situations, and resolve liability claims faster with integrated surveillance video and vehicle metadata. It also provides peace of mind with sophisticated monitoring through March Networks’ Insight Monitoring and Resolution Service. Insight Monitoring and Resolution Service With Insight, March Networks’ managed services professionals proactively monitor all video devices and troubleshoot issues remotely, saving customers’ time and money by eliminating unnecessary truck rolls. If a physical update is required, March Networks immediately dispatches a technician to conduct onsite repair services. All activity is logged online, giving customers a complete view of their network via a secure web browser. RideSafe GT Series Hybrid Transit NVRs Fully integrated with Insight is March Networks’ RideSafe GT Series Hybrid Transit NVRs Fully integrated with Insight is March Networks’ RideSafe GT Series Hybrid Transit NVRs (Network Video Recorders), the backbone of the RideSafe solution. The highly reliable, Linux-based recording platforms are purpose-built for transportation environments, with industry-recognized SAE J1455-standards and tamper-proof enclosures that protect against dust and moisture. They allow operators to quickly access live and recorded video and search for incidents based on vehicle information, such as GPS location, when managed by March Networks Command for Transit video management software (VMS). Mobile cameras deployed As true hybrid appliances, the NVRs support a mix of analog and IP cameras, allowing transportation agencies to migrate to IP video cost-effectively and at their own pace. The California transportation authority will also deploy March Networks’ ruggedized mobile cameras, including its new SE2 Fleet Dash Camera and SE2 Fleet Wedge Camera. Both cameras deliver 2MP resolution and feature industry-first LED flicker mitigation technology, which suppresses the strobing in the recorded video caused by LED light sources. Eliminating flicker in surveillance video ensures brake lights and other light sources are not mistaken for flicker and allows for more accurate post-incident investigations. Cloud-based monitoring solution “By offering the most reliable video surveillance technology and secure cloud-based monitoring services, March Networks is meeting the needs of transportation customers and rapidly growing the services side of our business,” said Net Payne, March Networks’ Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. Net Payne adds, “Almost 27 million people rely on this transportation authority’s buses each year. We are proud that our RideSafe solution was chosen to help safeguard this ridership.”