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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.
A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and while business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback program, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security center, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyze what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximize surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyze suspicious behavior or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.
Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localization. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymized and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.
One of the key problems in airport security is the sheer size of the perimeter and a large number of incidents are in fact linked to unauthorized access onto the airfield, either runways or where aircrafts are being loaded or refueled posing an extremely high risk. Most airports will combine multiple sensors and technologies to protect the actual perimeter fence and even beyond the perimeter fence, to warn of potential threats. OPTEX LiDAR sensor integration with RSA module Some airports have found the level of information generated by the perimeter security systems quite challenging to deal with and they wanted to decrease the number of events so operators could focus on what was critical. The Airport development team at Genetec integrated the OPTEX LiDAR sensor into their Restricted Security Area (RSA) Surveillance module, an extension of the Genetec Security Center platform with the purpose to unify data from the sensor and camera to present more meaningful information to the operators. Restricted Security Area Surveillance module The RSA module has been designed specifically with a view to providing wide area protection The RSA module has been designed specifically with a view to providing wide area protection and integrating with wide area surveillance technology, including radar, fiber optic and laser detection devices. The solution allows security staff to determine the level of threat for each area, map them, and utilize OPTEX technologies to identify and locate quickly and precisely the point of intrusion. For instance, with Fiber optic fence sensor, zones can be 100m-200m long and will identify people cutting through a fence, crawling under or climbing over. Newer fiber technologies provide point location. Another way to pin-point exact intruder location is with OPTEX LiDAR technologies or with Radar. ‘Fuse’ data into a single event A particularly intelligent feature of the system is its ability to ‘fuse’ data (known as ‘target fusion’) coming from multiple sources and confirm an event as a single (i.e. the same) activity rather than a multiple threat. For instance, using the X&Y coordinates provided by OPTEX REDSCAN sensors, RSA allows to map exactly the path of the intruders or moving vehicles, fuses the path from one camera to the other and considers it as one event, one target and tracks it precisely on the map. Intelligent Tracking and event categorization This gives a more meaningful picture to the operator and presents events in a unified and intelligent way. This helps support the security team in making the right decisions. The deeper integration of OPTEX’s technologies into Genetec’s RSA platform enables intelligent tracking and event categorization, making it a very precise security system for airports.
Dahua Technology, a renowned video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, will hold its online Dahua Technology Partner Day 2020 on 1st of December. The event will be a perfect occasion to get a taste of the Dahua ECO system in the EMEA region. 26 technology partners will bring solutions in the field of security and IoT. Smarter Together is the central theme of the Dahua Technology Partner Day 2020. A total of 26 distinguished Dahua partners will gather to share their knowledge and expertise on the development of security and IoT applications for a variety of vertical markets. This online event will serve as a technological and commercial hub for end-users and system integrators from different markets, ranging from Logistics, Traffic and Infrastructures to Healthcare, Retail and Residential. Attendees can Register free of charge and tune in to all the partner keynotes. Explore business opportunities In the partner hub, participants can chat with technology partners, explore business opportunities or technical challenges and get the latest product information. The event will kick off with an opening speech by Mr. Jason Zhao, Dahua VP & General Manager of Overseas Business to introduce how Dahua Technology and its technology partners become smarter together. 26 Partners will showcase their solutions in a main auditorium and six different break out rooms, including Axxonsoft, Qognify, Ivideon, TechnoAware, Vaelsys, A.I. Tech, Optex, Eagle Eye Networks who joined in the 2019 offline partner day and gained much exposure and business opportunities last year. Global security industry We are moving the Partner day to an online event in order to sustain the opportunity of getting together" Integrated solutions developed by both Dahua Technology and its partners will be displayed during the event, which will surely raise spectators’ interest as they meet different needs of system integrators and end users with greater versatility.“The 2019 Partner Day held on September 26th at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid was a success with many of our partners’ participation. However, 2020 is challenging because of COVID-19." "We are moving the Partner day to an online event in order to sustain the opportunity of getting together. During the event, leading representative companies in global security industry and IoT industry will have the chance to present their insights into the latest Security Application and also reflect on current challenges in the industry”, says Mr. Jiaqi Gao, Overseas Marketing Director at Dahua Technology. Smart integrated security solutions “The attendees will have the chance to meet security players in the market and create new and diverse business opportunities.” Committed to its mission of “Enabling a Safer Society and Smarter Living,” Dahua Technology will continue to adhere the core value of “customer-centered” and provide the market with smart integrated security solutions, systems, and services to create value for city operations, corporate management, and consumers.
OPTEX has launched its new Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution in the UK and Ireland, powered by CHeKT - a hardware and software solution that takes separate intruder and CCTV technologies installed on the same site, but acting independently, and ‘bridges’ them to create one, seamless, integrated visual monitoring solution. Monitored intruder alarms can now be visually verified within seconds, without impacting the integrity of the technology installed, or its Grade. When an alarm occurs, a signal is instantly sent to the Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) whose operator can view images pre and post the alarm event as well as the live view via a dedicated portal to determine whether the alarm is genuine. Intrusion sensors OPTEX Bridge is the hardware device that physically connects the intrusion sensors and IP cameras Camera locations can be overlaid with a map of detection zones, thus helping the ARC operator to quickly and easily ‘see’ where the incident has occurred and take the appropriate action. Images can also be sent directly to the customer’s handheld device for further verification if, for example, the alarm is genuine, but the ‘intruder’ is known to the customer or has a legitimate reason for being on site. The OPTEX Bridge is the hardware device (gateway) that is physically connecting the intrusion sensors or the panic buttons and IP cameras on site. It provides a complete audit trail of activity and can detect when a camera is not working (i.e. when it has dropped out of the network), and report the fault, thus ensuring security is not compromised. Intruder alarm technology It can also communicate via a gated Cloud portal with the ARC in the appropriate ‘language’, regardless of the make or manufacture of the monitoring technology installed, or the protocols with which it operates. It will, in effect, work with virtually any intruder alarm technology and any ONVIF camera to deliver one seamless visual verification solution. The ARC software needs to be compatible, and many of the major ARC software platforms are already integrated. Whereas the monitoring of intruder alarms through an Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) is generally accepted best practice, CCTV monitoring remains slow to take hold. Part of the problem has come down to money; larger sites such as major depots and warehouses with constant activity 24/7 can clearly benefit from a fully functioning CCTV system monitored through a dedicated Remote Video Response Center (RVRC). Visually verified alarms Cloud-hosted platform also allows a stronger collaboration between the ARCs and the home/business owners Smaller sites, while they would benefit from visually verified alarms, would struggle to justify the investment of a full-scale RVRC solution. ARCs now have the ability to provide a visual verification service to residential and commercial sites without a substantial investment in time or money; the Bridge can be installed and working within the hour. The Cloud-hosted platform also allows a stronger collaboration between the ARCs and the home/business owners by having the ability to share video clips to confirm the alarms while respecting any privacy guidelines through its bespoke privacy feature that only end-users can release. Early warning solution Masaya Kida, Managing Director of OPTEX EMEA says by installing the OPTEX Bridge, sensors and cameras combine to deliver a secure, reliable and effective early warning solution, detecting and reacting to an intrusion before a potentially damaging and costly event has occurred. “It is also invaluable to those who need police response and may have lost their URN (Unique Reference Number); a visually verified alarm will put them back on police response. For the installer, meanwhile, it provides them with the opportunity to re-engage and adds further value to the customer with the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing systems and technology across single or multiple sites.”
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