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Within the unique high-security environment of Prisons and Detention Centers, CCTV images can be used not only to prevent unauthorized access but also to detect violent confrontations, smuggling of contraband, self-harm / suicide attempts, escape, and to protect prison infrastructure from vandalism. In modern Detention facilities, images can prove vital for evidential purposes of events during arrest procedures – to assure the safety of both detainees and officers.

In order to protect prisoners, staff and infrastructure, as well as enforce site-wide health & safety, and security procedures, prison CCTV installations commonly feature surveillance cameras that cover visiting areas, corridors and selected cells, in addition to building perimeters and fence lines. In Detention facilities, cameras can be deployed to cover custody suites, custody desks, corridors and entrance/exits.

Comprehensive security remits and duty-of-care to prisoners and detainees are just a sample of reasons why in today’s multi-faceted custodial environments, high-quality CCTV camera images play an essential role in facility management – where they are used to provide an essential aid to staff supervision of prisoners and detainees, 24-hours-a-day.

High-quality NVT video

Ensuring the supply of reliable, crystal clear footage from every CCTV camera in a system, the use of NVT UTP video transmission maximises camera investment and performance; delivering interference-free camera images that are ready for effective monitoring and recording.

High-quality NVT CCTV images can also be used as an efficient means of detecting highly specific behaviours within detention facilities, or as a means of visual verification for remote door access control, to facilitate the co-ordination of responses to incidents, gather evidence, and ultimately – to improve overall safety within the institution

Specified throughout many detention facilities across Europe, NVT’s UTP CCTV Hybrid VideoTM technology can provide the cornerstone for the transmission of high-quality CCTV images up to 1.6km (1 mile), i.e. from a camera to the control room.

As well as offering prison and detention facility managers a viable alternative to using fiber-optic or coax cable media, due to the flexible nature of UTP based video transmission solutions, Cat5 UTP cable (or better) also offers a simpler and quicker installation. This intrinsic characteristic helps to minimize engineering time on-site, disruption to daily prison operation, and overall project duration: all with associated cost saving and project management benefits.

Flexibility of installation

As UTP multi-pair cable is much smaller in diameter than the equivalent coax bundle, cable containment and space management within a prison or custody suite is very much simplified using NVT UTP video transmission, affording the provision of easy, low-cost CCTV camera networks.

Allied to the UTP cable media’s inherently smaller size, additional/spare UTP pairs can be readily included in the Cat5 infrastructure – making it easy for further cameras to be added to the system in the future, if required. Using NVT, these can be easily be connected into the CCTV network, without the requirement for supplementary cables / containment to be installed.

Due to the multi-application nature of Cat5 structured cabling (i.e. where it is used for telephone networks, data transfer etc.), most prison buildings are already equipped with a comprehensive cable infrastructure, including ‘spare’ UTP pairs; which can be cost-effectively utilised for CCTV camera image transmission.

Cat5 cable networks can also be specified at the planning stage of any new-build Prison facility or wing, with site contractors installing a dedicated UTP backbone as part of the construction schedule – ready for the connection of NVT UTP video transmission products to distribute high quality CCTV images.

Thanks to the ‘built-in’ interference immunity of NVT video transmission products, NVT UTP cable networks can be included in cable containment alongside other services, permitting economical system design, allied to interference free operation – even when installed adjacent to high-voltage services, such as electrical power infrastructure.

Power, video & data

Saving further on installation time, equipment, and associated costs, NVT Power, Video & Data (PVDTM) technology can be used to supply cameras with low-voltage power, via the same UTP cable network. Negating the need for additional fused spurs to be installed at each camera point, this technology means electrical contractors are not required to be involved in the installation of the camera network, with the benefit of saving time and money in the provision of camera power.

Using NVT Hybrid Video permits
the use of cost-effective analog
cameras, rather than less
cost-effective IP alternatives

Hybrid video

NVT technology can be integrated to provide the best of both analog CCTV and digital solutions. Using NVT Hybrid Video permits the use of cost-effective analog cameras, rather than less cost-effective IP alternatives. High-quality NVT analog camera signals can be distributed to an on-site digital video recorder (DVR), affording the best possible quality of recorded images for investigative / evidential purposes. However, if required, both live and recorded camera footage can be encoded (via a DVR or separate encoders) to a LAN/WAN for offsite distribution, enabling remote monitoring if necessary.

When considering the use of fiber-optic cables for the transmission of camera video, it is important to consider that this cable media requires highly specialized skills / professionals to install it, which adds substantially to the overall installation cost. NVT Hybrid VideoTM technology utilising UTP cable can be used to provide a highly-effective solution versus the use of fiber-optic cable, when being used to distribute camera video for distances over ‘the first mile’ (1.6Km). As an example, this methodology can be deployed to extend a prison CCTV network being extended to protect a detention facility’s fence line.

NVT’s practical UTP based solution not only delivers ‘fiber like’ video quality, but also delivers it at a fraction of the cost. Systems utilising NVT UTP to transmit camera video for ‘the first mile’ over UTP, and integrating it to fiber at a central node for onward transmission over greater distances, are proven to dramatically reduce total system costs – while maintaining the high-quality of the transmitted camera video.

Yielding significant savings, superior image quality and interference free video, NVT video transmission technology has provided more than 4,000 channels of surveillance in Prisons and Detention Centers across the world – all backed by NVT’s reputation for reliable products and quality post-sales support.

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Why Access Control Is Important
Why Access Control Is Important

When we talk about security, people are often quick to jump to conclusions and picture bouncers, heavy steel doors and alarms that go off as soon as a door is opened. Access control is in fact one of the most common and least invasive methods of adding extra security to a home, communal or business premises – controlling who is able to enter a space based on the use of entry codes, key fobs, and/or access cards. Communal flats and office blocks are where access control is often an important factor in keeping the building secure, though private residences also have their own lowkey methods of access control with burglar alarms and personalized codes. With that said, what is it that makes access codes so effective across so many spaces – and why are they so important in today’s society? Benefits of access control Every time you visit an office space, enter a block of flats, or drive into a gated community, you will likely be faced with restricted access and a code pad – plus a button to ring through if you are a visitor. This is a prime example of access control, whereby the owner of the premises has installed a gate or security door which requires a code to enter from the outside. Pressing the request button puts you through to a controller who can then either grant access or deny access. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure Some of these code pads have cameras so that the controller can see the visitor – some just have a microphone and speaker. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure – only visited by those who are granted access. This restriction helps to keep residents and property safe, not only deterring burglars but ensuring that they are unable to gain entry without permission. Access control panels Some of the examples of access control panels in use include: Private car parks, granting access to employees or residents or paying guests based on the location. Communal buildings and flat entranceways, granting access to residents. These kinds of access control panels will have multiple buttons, one for each flat so that guests can buzz and speak to their contacts. Offices, granting access to employees and their guests. Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked, and data can be used for anything from tracking the use of a building, to understanding and logging when individuals have entered and left the premises. For those who have ever watched a Detective drama, you will know how crucial this kind of data can be to determining alibis! Replacing lost keys Inhouse, this can also be useful in identifying who is around when an incident occurs, and in ascertaining how many people are in the premises in the event of a fire or emergency situation. On top of knowing when individuals are accessing certain spaces, access controls can also be used to restrict access to spaces during certain time periods – for example at the end of a shift, or overnight. This is most often found in commercial spaces and car parks, as private residences will grant access at all hours to residents. Access control plays an important role in security and can impact everything from your insurance bills and insurance cover to the amount you spend on replacing lost keys. By keeping certain spaces restricted, only granting access to those who are supposed to be there for work or through their private residence, you are able to keep individuals safe and protect them from the effect of theft. Preventing unlawful access Access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur In a workspace, access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur, as well as making the life of your team much easier in allowing them to move between spaces without security personnel and site managers present. It can also reduce the outgoings of a business by reducing the need for security individuals to be hired and paid to remain on site. For a private homeowner or flat owner, access control is what grants you the privacy and security that you deserve in your own space. Whether the control is placed on the outside of a bin store, car parks, communal entrance way or your own personal flat, creating barriers to prevent unlawful access can make a private residence more appealing to tenants or homeowners, and can also provide information and data about who has entered a building and when. Vacant property security The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget, your requirements, and the way that you intend to use access control across your site or inside space. For the most part, access control is considered to be a cost effective way of increasing security, cutting back on personnel while ensuring that access is only granted to those who are supposed to be a specific space. The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget According to construction site and vacant property security company Sicuro, access control systems with a built in camera are becoming increasingly popular, particularly on the exterior of a building when it comes to granting access to visitors – as those inside can see who is asking to be let in. Managing access control Meanwhile, across inside workspaces and sites, access control managed by pin numbers or fingerprints is often sufficient. Access control is an important part of modern security, ensuring that everywhere from office spaces to private residences are protected from unwanted or unlawful visitors. For the most part, access control is managed automatically, tracking and storing data on who has entered and exited a specific space and at what time – though some examples are tracked and managed manually (for example in a school reception or private residence).

Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control
Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control

For more than 22 years, Open Options, Addison, Texas, has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. In 2018, Open Options was acquired by ACRE, which already owned the Vanderbilt and ComNet brands. To find out the latest, we interviewed Chuck O’Leary, President of Open Options. Q: It has been two and a half years since Open Options was acquired by ACRE. Briefly describe that transition and how the company is stronger today because of it. O’Leary: The ACRE transition really focused on integrating our access control solution, DNA Fusion, with Vanderbilt Industries technologies in order to further our reach in the market and enhance our portfolios. With their support, we have been able to accelerate innovations and expand our global reach. Overall, it has been a great experience to be a part of the ACRE organization, and it has opened the doors to new opportunities for us both here in the states and globally.  Q: What is "Connect Care" and how does it benefit integrators and/or end user customers? O’Leary: For those unfamiliar with the world of access control, it can often be a little overwhelming when first introduced; however, we strive to make our products as easy to use and intuitive as possible, with Connect Care being no different. Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market. It serves as a 24/7 bridge from our customers to services like technical support, platform support, professional services, and training. By providing these options for our customers, we can better empower them with the knowledge and expertise of our DNA Fusion access control system and ensure their success with the product.  Q: Who are the new customers entering the market for access control systems in the wake of the pandemic, and how should they be approached/managed differently? O’Leary: Over the last year, there has been a huge demand for access control systems as remote work increased due to COVID-19, and even now, as employees and students are heading back into the offices and schools. Organizations are realizing that having an outdated security system is no longer robust enough for the rapid advancement of technology that we witnessed over the course of the pandemic, and really the past few years. For those who are just dipping their toe into a new access control deployment, the most important thing they can do is to search for a provider who has a solution that is easily integrated, scalable, and provides excellent training and resources. Q: Define the term "touchless access control" and explain why it is gaining a higher profile in the post-pandemic world. O’Leary: The interesting thing about access control is that it has almost always been touchless. Many organizations are looking for robust solutions that are touchless and can be utilized remotely, and it's fairly easy to understand why a solution like this would become widely popular because of COVID-19. Integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizationsThe process of using access control to streamline security infrastructures is not a new concept by any means, but due to the rapid development in technology over the past few years, more integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizations, while still supplying the touchless and remote-based features. Q: What do you see as the future course of the changing technology trends we see in today's market (such as mobile credentials, cloud-based systems, cybersecurity, etc.)? O’Leary: As we continue to tread through the different technological developments in the market today, we are noticing that mobile credentials and biometrics are becoming increasingly popular. As cybersecurity and mobility continue to become more important, we are also seeing the rapid jump to the cloud. By utilizing cloud-based systems, an organization is not hindered by a lack of storage or old software and gains the flexibility to scale their security system as their business grows. Q: How will the access control market look different five years from now versus today? What about 10 years from now? O’Leary: Within the next five years, I suspect that access control will continue to make the move towards cloud-based systems and utilize mobile credentials and biometrics. In 10 years, I think all access control will be open platform and many more organizations will embrace cloud solutions for increased functionality. Also, innovations will continue to be the drivers behind new deployments with some installations being biometrics only and include recognizing fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition, and voice. Q: What is the biggest challenge currently facing the access control market, and how should manufacturers (including Open Options) be addressing the challenge? O’Leary: One of the biggest challenges facing the physical access control market is organizations actually making the shift to more up-to-date access control systems. Organizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiencesOrganizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiences — ones that are focused on integration, newer features, cybersecurity, and ease of monitoring. Access control manufacturers should be addressing this challenge by creating integratable, scalable systems that are easily managed and provide a structured, streamlined approach for an organization’s security infrastructure. Q: What is the biggest misconception about access control? O’Leary: Access control is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and some organizations might have different standards or assets that need protection. This is why it's vital to know the risks your organization faces when speaking with access control providers — to ensure the best possible outcome for your specific needs. It's important to remember that whatever access control system is chosen should proactively mitigate any risks, be easily taught to and successfully used by employees, and be scalable with your organization. No matter the line of work, a proper access control system should streamline the security infrastructure and lessen stress on the security team and employees.

Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control
Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control

Automatic gates remain an increasingly popular security choice for family homes, business premises or public buildings – anywhere that full control over access is needed. While there is much to consider for installers when advising clients on the right solution for their property, from the size, weight and cost of a gate system, it’s useful to be aware of the latest developments in the market, as this can help to find the right option to fit their needs. The need for speed Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open, and there are many factors to take into consideration, when advising on which option to use. However, swing gate motors tend to be slower than the speeds achievable for sliding gates, which means the latter are usually more popular, especially for commercial sites where timing can be among the more important factors. One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors, such as those from Bft Automation, which allow for opening and closing at a quicker speed than has previously been achievable. Fast authorized access control From a security point of view, the ability to allow people and goods in and out of a property at a quicker pace reduces the risk of unauthorized entry, while waiting for a gate to close – an important consideration in both commercial and residential contexts. Other benefits of a faster motor include reduced waiting times. This can be particularly useful for properties in busy areas, where a vehicle could risk blocking traffic, while waiting to turn into a site controlled by a slower gate. Faster motors Also, a faster motor could potentially reduce the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. For example, this might happen if someone was making their first visit to a property situated off a fast road in an unfamiliar area. Beyond these practical considerations, in today’s fast-paced world, people aren’t as used to having to wait for things and this applies to the time it takes to get in and out of their own property. So, security benefits aside, faster motors are likely to be more appealing for clients who have sliding gates fitted to their domestic property and who prioritize convenience. The choice of which of the new faster motors to use will be impacted by a number of factors, including the weight of the gates. Essentially, the lighter the gate is the higher the speed achievable. And, as always, it’s important to make sure that any installation complies with safety regulations. Intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems, which update the level of torque required to perform the gate’s operation, allowing it to work at the optimum level, regardless of weather conditions, temperature or the degree of wear and tear on the device. Depending on the typical weather conditions experienced at the site and the anticipated frequency of use, it’s worth looking at options that take these factors into account. Importance of security rights In some scenarios, it’s important for particular individuals to have security rights. In which case, there are motors available that come with personalized keys, which are unique, providing an additional level of security. Installers often face the challenge of fitting gate motors in confined spaces, potentially making for a time consuming and technically demanding task. Available space When you only have a small space to work with, simple details can go a long way to helping you. For example, by putting the fastening screws on the front of a motor’s casing, installation and maintenance are easier and more convenient, even in particularly compact areas. Working with suppliers that offer more than just a manual means you’ll have access to advice and support on how new products work in practice and what you need to consider before advising on an installation.