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Construction site theft can cause project delays, property damage and loss of profit for companies in the construction sector. It is imperative to deter thieves from targeting construction sites with the help of construction site security. Here, we look into the various security options and how they can help protect your firm from the threat of a break-in. Construction theft has soared during the COVID-19 Pandemic Construction site theft is an ever-increasing problem in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £800 million ($1,040 million) per year. Unfortunately, this type of crime has accelerated further throughout lockdown by an estimated 50% due to the abandonment of construction sites across the UK. With many uncertainties around a potential second wave in the UK, it is time for construction firms to enhance their security strategies to help prevent thieves from becoming opportunists on construction sites. Why are construction sites ‘easy’ targets? Construction sites can easily be targeted, as they typically lack adequate security loss prevention practices. The most popular security-related issues that are leading causes of construction site theft are: Poor overall site security Multiple pieces of equipment sharing the same keys Easy access to open cabs Unsecured sites, particularly at night and over weekends Lack of product identification systems If you do not want your site becoming a costly statistic, you might want to try implementing some or all of these preventive measures. Strengthen your perimeter Putting a clear boundary around a construction site will help to prevent youths and members of the public from inadvertently wandering onto the site. To stop opportunist thieves in their tracks, you will need to go one step further by erecting robust fencing and concrete blocks along with signage warning intruders about the consequences of trespassing. Putting a clear boundary around a construction site will help to prevent youths and members of the public from inadvertently wandering onto the siteIf potential trespassers can see that it would be too challenging to attempt a break-in, then they will look elsewhere to find another construction site which is not as well secured. Lock away valuable tools When considering the vulnerabilities in your construction site, it pays to think about this from the perspective of a criminal. What is it exactly that they are looking for? What can a thief steal easily to make money if they were to remove something from your site? Unfortunately, many construction firms do not lock away their tools, materials or vehicles properly, which makes them an easy target. Ensure valuable tools and materials are locked away and are not left unsecured or lying around. Criminals are mostly interested in scaffolding, bowsers and other valuables that are quick to sell on, so it is important to have a strategy in place to keep these locked away, safe and securely. Put tracking devices in your equipment If you are unable to securely lock away valuable tools, then modern technology makes securing equipment easier than ever before. Tracking devices can be installed onto vehicles and equipment; if any thief is unwise enough to steal from the site, site owners will be able to provide the location to the police who will be able to follow this up. Site owners should also engrave company identification numbers on valuable tools, equipment and vehicles so that it can easily be identified and will serve as proof who it rightly belongs to. Invest in CCTV Closed Circuit Television, otherwise known as CCTV, is renowned for being one of the most effective deterrents for thieves, especially when it comes to construction and building sites.The items that criminals steal from sites are notoriously hard to trace The items that criminals steal from sites are notoriously hard to trace, but if you have CCTV, there is a chance that you can capture clear footage to help bring criminals to justice, such as footage of the vehicle used and the car licence plate. CCTV cameras can help to oversee every inch of a construction site, and can even be hidden out of sight where required. Step up with regular site patrols With a wide range of security monitoring methods available, stepping up on regular site patrols can help to keep track and respond to any criminal activity taking place on your site. Traditional site patrols can be carried out on a schedule by professional SIA-approved security agents. With the presence of guards patrolling a construction site, any criminals in the area will be deterred to force entry onto the site. Schedule supply deliveries on an as-needed basis To prevent an excess of supplies ‘sitting around’ on the site, construction site managers should instead order what is needed at the time, so that valuable materials are not left around waiting to be stolen for weeks at a time. Good planning and excellent communication between the team will be required so that projects are not delayed, but planning accordingly will help to reduce the chances of theft on a construction site. Drone surveillance As technology becomes more and more advance, drone surveillance may soon be a security option that many construction sites could benefit from.Many construction firms in the UK are using drone services to provide aerial images, and are seeing huge cost savings by either purchasing and operating their own drones or by hiring out the work to a company equipped to provide imaging.As technology becomes more and more advanced, drone surveillance may soon be a security option With surveillance drones already handling tasks like mapping and surveying of construction sites, one day they may be able to patrol construction sites at night, equipped with motion sensors and infrared or night vision cameras; They could be automatically deployed from a charging station and fly along a pre-programmed route at regular intervals. One to keep an eye on for the near future! Construction site security to help protect your site If you are ready to tighten security on your own construction site, then your starting point will be to identify your main vulnerabilities and get in touch with a reputable security specialist.
The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorization and the appropriate credentials. The access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customized and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms powers continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.
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. SecurityInformed.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 organizations. 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 organizations 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 prioritizes 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.
There was a time when men dominated the physical security industry. On second thought, that time is today. Even with increasing numbers of women entering our community, it’s an industry that is still mostly populated by men. But change is coming, and the industry as a whole is benefiting greatly from a surge in female voices. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the changing role of women in security?
A security system upgrade at one of Australia’s most prestigious universities has seen Gallagher’s solutions installed at campuses across Melbourne. According to the University of Melbourne, Gallagher was selected for the upgrade due to their strong integration capability, commitment to supporting the university’s long-term site plan, and investment in development. Gallagher worked in partnership with the university and Gallagher Channel Partner MGA Electronic Security to roll out the upgrade in over 150 buildings across seven campuses. The partnerships were integral to the success of the rollout, ensuring the system was configured to best meet the university’s needs. System flexibility “We’re impressed with not only the flexibility of the system, but the support from Gallagher,” says Adam Leach, Security Systems Coordinator at the University of Melbourne. Project Leads from the university visited Gallagher’s head office in Hamilton, New Zealand, prior to the project beginning. The upgrade included access control for over 3,000 doors, over 177,000 cardholders, and thousands of inputs “The opportunity to visit Gallagher and see their investment in R&D showed us that they are committed to growth and future developments. We were looking for a long-term business relationship, and we are definitely confident we have chosen the right solution.” Complete site control The upgrade included access control for over 3,000 doors, over 177,000 cardholders, and thousands of inputs. Gallagher Command Center software, a powerful solution offering complete site control from one central platform, runs at the heart of the university’s security system. “The integration capabilities of Gallagher’s Command Center are second to none,” says Leach. The university has integrations with Active Directory, Unicard, Syllabus Plus, IndigoVision and Schindler. People safety One of the key decisions in choosing the Gallagher system for their upgrade was its flexibility to grow with the university. “Our security solutions are designed to protect sites now and into the future,” says Scott Johnstone, Gallagher’s National Sales Manager, Australia and Papua New Guinea. “We’re pleased to be able to support the University of Melbourne with their long-term plans, all while ensuring the safety of their people, assets and information.” MGA Electronic Security completed the upgrade project quicker than expected and on budget, undertaking the entire system changeover in under 18 months.
Resort World Casino New York City, (RWNYC) is the only legalized gaming casino in New York City. Its location near JFK International Airport meets New York State gaming regulations regarding geographical requirements, in order to protect visitors, patrons, and the casino’s assets. With approximately 400 million dollars channeled through its facility each week, the casino’s concerns include security across multiple points of entry, vendor offices, cashier cages, count room areas, and high limit rooms. The casino has an average of 15,000 guests per day, approximately 1,000 employees and 6,500 parking spaces. The requirement to accurately monitor and protect Resort World’s guests, facility, and personnel, demanded a state-of-the-art solution that could meet its complex security needs. Comprehensive security and surveillance program Gallagher worked closely with Resort World to understand their unique challenges In order to create and maintain a safe and secure environment for all, Gallagher worked closely with Resort World to understand their unique challenges. A comprehensive security and surveillance program were implemented to seamlessly integrate people, processes, and technology. This program included: Integration with iTrak System, providing up-to-date information on personnel and incident reports from all departments. Synectics VMS Integration (with more than 2,000 HD cameras), to control doors, acknowledge alarms, link cameras to alarms, and alter the mood of the monitor room by changing the color of the lighting. If an alarm is activated the monitor room lighting turns red. Open Process Control Integration, to automatically generate VMS alerts. These alerts convert to a WAV (audio) file that announces the location of the alert and then directs cameras to the specific area of interest. Interface and automatic export of the Employee Dining Buffet record to payroll weekly. Scalable security solution Director of Surveillance at Resort World New York City, Jason Arnett, and his team have completed the Gallagher Access Technician Training Course and are qualified as first responders. A+ Technology & Security in Bay Shore, New York is Gallagher’s Certified Channel Partner and service provider for RWNY. “Security of the property is key to the success of our business,” says Jason. “Having a system that is capable of numerous customizations, while being scalable to the constant demand for growth, proves it is an all-around solid security system for our environment.” Customer inspired Resort World Casino New York City identified a need for a solution that would disable employee access cards at the end of their shift. Employees were required to pass through a security checkpoint at the start of their day to reactivate their access card. To streamline this process, Resort World selected Gallagher’s Action on Access integration. Jason explains, “This significantly enhanced the security of the property by taking fear out of the equation.” Gallagher Action on Access integration ID badges are no longer active while off property, activation of the ID is done in the presence of security ID badges are no longer active while off property, activation of the ID is done in the presence of security, meaning unauthorized access to the property due to a lost ID badge is no longer a concern. Additionally, in the event of an emergency, a report can be run producing an accurate account of who is in the building. Lastly, it requires staff to enter and exit the property though one particular entrance, limiting the possibility of internal theft. Ultimately, Action on Access delivers a two-fold protection plan. Cardholder selection is regulated by the state to ensure that no individual has full capability to create a complete cardholder credential or select access for the cardholder. In order to maintain compliance with state regulations, RWNYC utilizes features included with Gallagher Command Centre such as dual access point authorization, interlocks, and security alarms tied-in with output to control lights, as well as additional device notifications. Authorized and secure access control In order to provide enhanced protection and authorized access control, several mantraps were positioned in critical areas of the facility. These mantraps allow RWNYC staff to know who is on duty. This step, in conjunction with Action on Access, provides a significant safety measure as it allows for the enabling and disabling of card access with time restraints, in the event a card is lost or compromised.The Gallagher system is fully customisable to meet and exceed gaming regulations for this property" “With Gallagher’s latest software update, we’ve been creating more customized views for our staff to better monitor particular areas,” says Jason. Email alert notifications are used to inform Player Development that an invited guest is entering the private gaming space, allowing a greeter to welcome them and provide best in class customer service. Gallagher security system Gallagher’s security solution affords RWNYC a reduction of five to eight hours of labor per week by utilizing Command Center’s reporting and auditing capabilities. “The Gallagher system is fully customizable to meet and exceed gaming regulations for this property. It is modular and can be divided into multi-tenant features. Gallagher’s functionality and flexibility are only limited by your imagination,” Jason summarized. Gallagher Command Center is at the center of Resort World Casino New York City’s thorough and complex security program, helping protect their world class entertainment facility by safeguarding physical property, minimizing risk, and reducing operational costs.
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