Residential security systems
IDIS is working with systems integrators across Europe to identify and secure video projects in post-COVID growth sectors, including hyperscale and co-location data centers, residential construction, logistics and healthcare. Integrators affected by project delays or cancellations in their established markets are looking to diversify their customer portfolios says the company. In the latest analysis released online it highlights sectors that will offer significant prospects for new video instal...
The Radio Equipment Directive which is applicable for most wireless equipment also in the fire and security industry looks to be prepared for an update where cybersecurity requirements will become part of the directive and with that part of the CE-marking. While Euralarm supports the need for increased cybersecurity, the fire and security industry will preferably support a horizontal cybersecurity regulation. Nevertheless, if embedded in the RED, Euralarm wants to ensure that the technical aspe...
Alarm systems have been available for decades, but many solutions offer little functionality beyond a sensor triggering an alert in the event of a break in. To take alarms to the next level, Hikvision is bringing a number of new and innovative technologies to market, allowing customers to meet their home and business security requirements more fully and to help expand the alarm business. No one can stay alert for a potential home or business security breach every hour of every day. That’s...
ASIS International, the globally renowned association for security management professionals, has announced its decision to move Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2020 to a fully virtual experience, titled Global Security Exchange Plus (GSX+), which includes more than 80 industry renowned education sessions, a robust exhibition marketplace, and unique peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Global Security Exchange Plus Following months of careful evaluation of the risks associated with convening a...
Resilience and efficiency have become watchwords for public institutions, before, during and after the ongoing health crisis (COVD-19 pandemic outbreak). In delivering services fit for the modern world, these institutions need more than just innovation and accountability. They require flexibility and agility, too, including in how they approach security. Importance of locks and keys The lock and key have enjoyed public trust for a long time. Keys were used in Ancient Egypt and Assyria, and war...
When taking a moment to think about all the surfaces and objects that keys touch, people will be reminded about just how many germs they actually pick up and carry around. This is why Mul-T-Lock has launched a new antibacterial key solution for all of its cylinders, locks and padlocks. Antibacterial key solution To ensure their customers feel safer, Mul-T-Lock’s new keys help to reduce the growth of bacteria, making it a more hygienic solution for everyone to use. This is achieved via an...
A series of free interactive webinars is launched by 2N – global provider in Internet-enabled intercoms and access control systems. 2N On Air aims to help owners of residential and commercial property, architects, designers, security firms and building managers to identify and apply touchless technology which protects buildings and their occupants. The webinar series, beginning on 11 June, will profile the latest products for door controls in residential and commercial property. It will also include interactive question and answer sessions for those seeking to understand how to address the needs of their proposed or existing buildings. Coronavirus has already presented many challenges to business. Lockdown in the UK and many European countries has imposed fundamental short-term changes on business as well as individuals. Effect of COVID-19 on businesses Some companies have suffered dramatic drops in demand, with many employees furloughed with many factories, offices and shops empty or with skeleton staffing. Other businesses have been able to adapt in the face of continuing or even increased demand. Some businesses may be better equipped to emerge from lockdown into the new socially distanced normal Production lines have been redesigned to meet new hygiene and distancing regulations. Business processes have had to be adapted rapidly to remote working. Retailers and B2B suppliers have pivoted to an online model, resulting in extraordinary pressures on the infrastructure and capacity of distribution and delivery companies. There have been some clear winners; Joe Wicks, Ocado, Zoom, DHL and the makers of home-baking products. All will hope to carry their lockdown successes forward. By adapting to new public attitudes, some businesses may be better equipped to emerge from lockdown into the new socially distanced normal. For premises, 2N have products to help make them fit for 2020 and beyond. Remote door-controls CEO Michal Kratochvíl explained 2N’s motivation for the 2N On Air initiative. He said: Commercial property managers can integrate Internet Protocol intercoms and remote door-controls with other software" “After this great upheaval in our lives, our attitudes towards hygiene and security may have changed. More than before, we may want to avoid touching surfaces such as keypads which we are not sure are clean. We may want to avoid unnecessary face-to-face meetings with strangers, especially at our own front door.” “In the workplace, there may be greater spacing between employees, including receptionists and security staff who may feel nervous about direct exposure to employees and visitors as they enter and exit buildings. Apartment buildings equipped with intercom or mobile-enabled access control systems offer reassuring security without exposing residents, guests and tradespeople to unwanted face-to-face exposure or unhygienic keypads.” “The 2N On Air series offers seminars on the products in the market – offering resilient security while maintaining social distancing and good hygiene - and advice to those who are considering whether and how they might future proof their buildings. Commercial property managers can integrate Internet Protocol intercoms and remote door-controls with other software such as employee time recording systems.” “Effective high quality video and mobile-enabled door access controls are already recognized as a competitive advantage for forward-thinking building designers and operators. In the new post-coronavirus environment, the resulting wellbeing of building occupants has an even greater value.” Remote control of visitor access 2N itself saw no let-up in demand for its products and its expertise during the lockdown. The advantages of touchless entry controls, remote control of visitor access and socially distanced video intercoms are all the more apparent when so much focus is on hygiene. 2N’s production hub, near Czech capital Prague, continued to operate throughout the period, with automated production and assembly lines and a mixture of social distancing protocols and home working. One of central Europe’s largest hospitals invited 2N to advise on a tailored door control system to flexibly manage access to COVID-quarantined parts of the estate.
On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association), Genetec and Related Companies will host a webinar called: “Back to Work: How technology can keep your occupants and your building safe.” During this one-hour event, the panelists will discuss policies and best practices for implementing a coordinated and unified security vision within a multi-stakeholder property management model and how to get back to work in light of COVID-19. Agenda How to implement and use technology to manage occupancy, elevators, access control and cleaning procedures in facilities How to secure the security operations, including topics related to security and privacy How to improve the security of corporate assets, people and information through the video surveillance, visitor management, and evidence management systems How to evolve the practice to manage the convergence between physical security and IT How to generate additional revenue by partnering with the tenants and leveraging their existing security technology Members of the press are welcome to attend. If they would like to register, they can go to the BOMA registration page or contact the company for more information.
Amthal has been working closely with UK, secure cloud CCTV specialists Cloudview, to upgrade legacy network surveillance systems into smart cloud based, compliant solutions for the benefit of staff and residents at Notting Hill Genesis. Notting Hill Genesis is one of the largest housing associations in London and the south-east. With head offices in Kings Cross, and five further site locations requiring high quality protection for more than 1,500 office based staff, Amthal has worked closely with Cloudview to take responsibility for security maintenance across the office portfolio, alongside ensuring the safety and security of residents in new and existing housing stock. Secure remote access Cloudview is supplying its specialist systems for Amthal to install across the office and development network To ensure efficiency savings, compliance and smart capability when it comes to CCTV, Notting Hill Genesis’ visual data partner Cloudview, is supplying its specialist systems for Amthal to install across the office and development network. The new system removes the need for digital video recorders and allow authorized personnel instant and secure remote access for management or evidential footage stored as required in case of a threat or emergency. Says Suki Kahlon, Office Services Manager, Central Services for Notting Hill Genesis: “The need to update CCTV systems to ensure compliance with latest GDPR regulations was of paramount importance, both for the Notting Hill Genesis team, and also our residents and their safety. Partnering with Cloudview and later with Amthal who understand our working environment, is of great assurance. Both operated to enable a scalable upgrade program of works across our office base and housing developments." Visual data infrastructure "Essentially our ambition is that wherever we have CCTV systems in place, we want to upgrade to the cloud and bring our networks together in a centrally managed, visual data infrastructure. The Cloudview solution has been well received by building managers and authorized personnel, and being simple to install with Amthal minimizing downtime, provides remote access across our housing portfolio as and when required for all our safety and security.” In total, to date Notting Hill Genesis, together with Amthal’s installation and maintenance teams has completed the install at its head office in Kings Cross and West London office in Hammersmith, alongside new housing development connections, forming part of its pledge that everyone has a safe and secure environment. Smart surveillance technology The new surveillance technology is created to offer alerts when instant action is required, based on what is identified as a threat. Visual data can be accessed anywhere at any time on any device and shared immediately and saved for up to 12 months if required, with 30 day delete options as standard to comply with GDPR. It is only accessible by authorized personnel all with audit control capability, for full compliance. Notting Hill Genesis is committed to providing safe and secure communities for residents to thrive" Stephen Bates, CEO of Cloudview added: “Notting Hill Genesis is committed to providing safe and secure communities for residents to thrive. And equally it is very clear on its responsibilities to its team, who are at the heart of these communities. The need for smart surveillance technology, that can be centrally managed is integral, and we were delighted to offer a solution that could bring these requirements together." Seamless installation process "With the help of Amthal, we could enable a seamless installation process between all Notting Hill Genesis’ offices and housing developments.” Phil Bryant, Manager, Strategic Accounts Team of Amthal Fire & Security added: “At the heart of social enterprise is the need to create homes and communities in which residents want to live, managed by dedicated, local teams as Notting Hill Genesis employ, who now have smart systems in place to ensure ongoing safety and security." Advanced electronic solutions "The Cloudview system installed by Amthal, with both of us operating in constant collaboration, has proven to offer best value and significant efficiency savings, that can be maintained to ensure ongoing compliance and simple maintenance plans. It also allows Notting Hill Genesis staff to have a much more reactive and instant approach to any threat identified, creating total peace of mind all round.” Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, maintenance and monitoring of advanced electronic fire and security solutions; including intruder, fire, access and CCTV solutions. Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).
Customers may know it as DMP’s enhanced all-in-one system — and until now, the XTLtouch has only been available to Verizon customers. DMP is pleased to announce that the XTLtouch Wireless Control Panel with AT&T LTE is here. “We’re very excited about this,” says DMP’s Vice President of Sales Mark NeSmith. “No other all-in-one offers the same powerful and flexible solution. For areas that require AT&T service, this allows our dealers to much more aggressively compete in the residential and small commercial markets.” Graphic touchscreen keypad All XTLtouch installation options offer Entry Check-In Protection included at no extra price The XTLtouch combines DMP’s elegant and intuitive 5-inch graphic touchscreen keypad with the popular XTLplus. The installer can place it in the best location with the option of wireless sirens and wireless keypads exactly where their customers want them. All the keypads have the exact same interface so users can learn them quickly and move from one to another easily. Plus, it’s competitively priced. In fact, all in a single small footprint, the XTLtouch comes standard with: 99 zones of DMP’s 900 MHz Two-Way Wireless LTE AND Wi-Fi communication Six Areas or Home/Sleep/Away Arming or All/Perimeter Remote control via DMP’s Virtual Keypad app or VirtualKeypad.com Built-in Z-Wave support for up to 140 Z-Wave Plus devices Custom Actions - up to 20 different user programable scripts that can be programed into the XTLtouch Video integration with multiple options via the Virtual Keypad app or browser Proactive safeguard Compared to other all-in-one systems, the XTLtouch offers much more, including: Entry Check-In Protection All XTLtouch installation options offer Entry Check-In Protection included at no extra price. In the event of an intrusion, this is a proactive safeguard against a burglar’s fast tactic to disable the security system before it can send a signal. “Entry Check-In Protection is based on the same reliable check-in technology that we’ve used for years for our high-security customers,” NeSmith explains. External 110dB Wireless Sirens The XTLtouch’s external 110dB wireless siren can be placed anywhere. When it comes to real security, this can make a resounding difference. “The first thing an intruder would typically do is try to disable the soundmaker,” NeSmith says. “But with the XTLtouch, since the siren won’t be coming from the main panel, it’s not alerting the intruder to where the main system is; therefore, it’s more secure.” Fast and flexible installations And they remind, that the XTLtouch offers table-top and wall-mount installation options to fit the customer’s preferences. And, depending on where they find the best cell reception or wireless coverage, the installer will be able to place the panel wherever it works best with the option of installing up to eight wireless sirens, as well as seven additional keypads. Those keypads all have identical user interface as the main unit and can be placed exactly where the customer wants them.
The Brio straight sliding range has been expanded to include simultaneous action and telescopic action kits. Used in conjunction with Brio’s single run and zero clearance systems, these accessories allow Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and distributors to offer an additional product to the standard straight sliding hardware, whilst enabling end-users to move doors with less effort, but with increased control. Suitable for commercial and residential applications, both accessories can accommodate different building designs with panels sliding to one or both sides. Users also have the freedom to choose how to install the accessories as both can be surface mounted and hidden in pockets. Clamped toothed belt Enabling a safer and quieter operation, the Brio simultaneous action kit allows bi-parting doors to operate in unison, creating an opening of two meters. A first for Brio, this kit is perfect for use in residential, healthcare, education and commercial buildings. The Brio telescopic action kit allows two or three stacked panels to open or close progressively, so that they arrive in the open or closed position at the same time, across an opening for a 3-meter-wide doorway. This eliminates the need to manually handle each door, making it the ideal accessory for residential, commercial, office fit outs or hospitals. Included in the simultaneous action kit is a clamped pulley, belt connector, belt clamp, floor guide and toothed belt, whilst the telescopic action kit comes with a clamped toothed belt, floor guide, pulley, datum block, clamp retainer, belt clamp and door guide. Straight sliding door hardware The products also allow architectural ironmongers to expand their offering to customers" The fully functional kits allow these to be easily installed on site. David Newton, General Manager at Brio UK comments: “Adding these timeless accessories to our portfolio strengthens Brio’s position in the growing sliding door market – allowing us to provide exactly what our customers are looking for. One of the greatest benefits for OEMs and distributors is that they now have the opportunity to offer customers an extra add-on accessory to the standard straight sliding door hardware.” “The products also allow architectural ironmongers to expand their offering to customers. For end-users, not only are these accessories easy to install and can be assembled on site, but paired with the sleek design, they create a statement the moment you step into a room.’’ Sliding and folding door industry With a discrete hardware design, the kits do not require a bottom guide channel. This allows for a clear passageway with no interruption when entering a room - reducing tripping hazards and making them ideal for schools or care homes. The simultaneous action and telescopic action kits have been tested in Brio’s Regents Park Facility to ensure it meets local standards. Brio is an acknowledged brand in the sliding and folding door industry and part of the Allegion family of brands.
Hikvision, one of world’s renowned supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, launched its new modular 2-wire IP video intercom for retrofitting in multi apartment buildings. This is an extension solution to already successful 2-wire video intercom kit based on IP technology that are mainly used for small residential houses, using the same design style from the recently launched 2nd Generation IP intercom technology, also ‘inheriting’ its modular nature, which makes it flexible for any scenario. The 2-wire video intercom system delivers all the benefits of IP intercom systems. More than that, the power and audio video data can be transmitted with just two lines. This makes it simple to install, saving time and cost - great for retrofitting and modernizing large residential and office building projects. Integrated with video surveillance Typical applications for this new product will be in modernisation of residential apartment buildings Full HD images give a clear picture of the door area on the indoor stations. IR provides excellent night vision, and the inclusion of WDR (wide dynamic range) means there’s no problem if the camera is faced with direct light from outside. All in all, the indoor station screen will give a clear overview of the doorstep, and a cellphone app means entry can be managed from anywhere users would like. The modular nature of the intercom gives the system massive flexibility, with a range of modules to choose to build the right system for the scenario. This can also be integrated with video surveillance, access control and intrusion systems so it can be a seamless part of any total security solution. The 2-wire system can be combined with IP intercoms through a network that is connected to power and data distributors while also sharing common accessories and modules. Residential apartment buildings Other features include: High image quality from the camera Recording and storage of the video High quality of audio, even on noisy streets Remote control via common cellphone application Simplified configuration Optional wall or flush mounting installation Up to 16 additional cameras can be observed at the indoor station Typical applications for this new product will be in modernization of residential apartment buildings, school buildings and office buildings.
Imagine a home surveillance camera monitoring an elderly parent and anticipating potential concerns while respecting their privacy. Imagine another camera predicting a home burglary based on suspicious behaviors, allowing time to notify the homeowner who can in turn notify the police before the event occurs—or an entire network of cameras working together to keep an eye on neighborhood safety. Artificial Intelligence vision chips A new gen of AI vision chips are pushing advanced capabilities such as behavior analysis and higher-level security There's a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) vision chips that are pushing advanced capabilities such as behavior analysis and higher-level security to the edge (directly on devices) for a customizable user experience—one that rivals the abilities of the consumer electronics devices we use every day. Once considered nothing more than “the eyes” of a security system, home monitoring cameras of 2020 will leverage AI-vision processors for high-performance computer vision at low power consumption and affordable cost—at the edge—for greater privacy and ease of use as well as to enable behavior analysis for predictive and preemptive monitoring. Advanced home monitoring cameras With this shift, camera makers and home monitoring service providers alike will be able to develop new edge-based use cases for home monitoring and enable consumers to customize devices to meet their individual needs. The result will be increased user engagement with home monitoring devices—mirroring that of cellphones and smart watches and creating an overlap between the home monitoring and consumer electronics markets. A quick step back reminds us that accomplishing these goals would have been cost prohibitive just a couple of years ago. Face recognition, behavior analysis, intelligent analytics, and decision-making at this level were extremely expensive to perform in the cloud. Additionally, the lag time associated with sending data to faraway servers for decoding and then processing made it impossible to achieve real-time results. Cloud-based home security devices The constraints of cloud processing certainly have not held the industry back, however. Home monitoring, a market just seven years young, has become a ubiquitous category of home security and home monitoring devices. Consumers can choose to install a single camera or doorbell that sends alerts to their phone, a family of devices and a monthly manufacturer’s plan, or a high-end professional monitoring solution. While the majority of these devices do indeed rely on the cloud for processing, camera makers have been pushing for edge-based processing since around 2016. For them, the benefit has always been clear: the opportunity to perform intelligent analytics processing in real-time on the device. But until now, the balance between computer vision performance and power consumption was lacking and camera companies weren’t able to make the leap. So instead, they have focused on improving designs and the cloud-centric model has prevailed. Hybrid security systems Even with improvements, false alerts result in unnecessary notifications and video recording Even with improvements, false alerts (like tree branches swaying in the wind or cats walking past a front door) result in unnecessary notifications and video recording— cameras remain active which, in the case of battery powered cameras, means using up valuable battery life. Hybrid models do exist. Typically, they provide rudimentary motion detection on the camera itself and then send video to the cloud for decoding and analysis to suppress false alerts. Hybrids provide higher-level results for things like people and cars, but their approach comes at a cost for both the consumer and the manufacturer. Advanced cloud analytics Advanced cloud analytics are more expensive than newly possible edge-based alternatives, and consumers have to pay for subscriptions. In addition, because of processing delays and other issues, things like rain or lighting changes (or even bugs on the camera) can still trigger unnecessary alerts. And the more alerts a user receives, the more they tend to ignore them—there are simply too many. In fact, it is estimated that users only pay attention to 5% of their notifications. This means that when a package is stolen or a car is burglarized, users often miss the real-time notification—only to find out about the incident after the fact. All of this will soon change with AI-based behavior analysis, predictive security, and real-time meaningful alerts. Predictive monitoring while safeguarding user privacy These days, consumers are putting more emphasis on privacy and have legitimate concerns about being recorded while in their homes. Soon, with AI advancements at the chip level, families will be able to select user apps that provide monitoring without the need to stream video to a company server, or they’ll have access to apps that record activity but obscure faces. Devices will have the ability to only send alerts according to specific criteria. If, for example, an elderly parent being monitored seems particularly unsteady one day or seems especially inactive, an application could alert the responsible family member and suggest that they check in. By analyzing the elderly parent’s behavior, the application could also predict a potential fall and trigger an audio alert for the person and also the family. AI-based behavior analysis Ability to analyze massive amounts of data locally and identify trends is a key advantage of AI at the edge The ability to analyze massive amounts of data locally and identify trends or perform searches is a key advantage of AI at the edge, for both individuals and neighborhoods. For example, an individual might be curious as to what animal is wreaking havoc in their backyard every night. In this case, they could download a “small animal detector” app to their camera which would trigger an alert when a critter enters their yard. The animal could be scared off via an alarm and—armed with video proof—animal control would have useful data for setting a trap. Edge cameras A newly emerging category of “neighborhood watch” applications is already connecting neighbors for significantly improved monitoring and safety. As edge cameras become more commonplace, this category will become increasingly effective. The idea is that if, for example, one neighbor captures a package thief, and then the entire network of neighbors will receive a notification and a synopsis video showing the theft. Or if, say, there is a rash of car break-ins and one neighbor captures video of a red sedan casing their home around the time of a recent incident, an AI vision-based camera could be queried for helpful information: Residential monitoring and security The camera could be asked for a summary of the dates and times that it has recorded that particular red car. A case could be made if incident times match those of the vehicle’s recent appearances in the neighborhood. Even better, if that particular red car was to reappear and seems (by AI behavior analysis) to be suspicious, alerts could be sent proactively to networked residents and police could be notified immediately. Home monitoring in 2020 will bring positive change for users when it comes to monitoring and security, but it will also bring some fun. Consumers will, for example, be able to download apps that do things like monitor pet activity. They might query their device for a summary of their pet’s “unusual activity” and then use those clips to create cute, shareable videos. Who doesn’t love a video of a dog dragging a toilet paper roll around the house? AI at the Edge for home access control Home access control via biometrics is one of many new edge-based use cases that will bring convenience to home monitoring Home access control via biometrics is one of many new edge-based use cases that will bring convenience to home monitoring, and it’s an application that is expected to take off soon. With smart biometrics, cameras will be able to recognize residents and then unlock their smart front door locks automatically if desired, eliminating the need for keys. And if, for example, an unauthorized person tries to trick the system by presenting a photograph of a registered family member’s face, the camera could use “3D liveness detection” to spot the fake and deny access. With these and other advances, professional monitoring service providers will have the opportunity to bring a new generation of access control panels to market. Leveraging computer vision and deep neural networks Ultimately, what camera makers strive for is customer engagement and customer loyalty. These new use cases—thanks to AI at the edge—will make home monitoring devices more useful and more engaging to consumers. Leveraging computer vision and deep neural networks, new cameras will be able to filter out and block false alerts, predict incidents, and send real-time notifications only when there is something that the consumer is truly interested in seeing. AI and computer vision at the edge will enable a new generation of cameras that provide not only a higher level of security but that will fundamentally change the way consumers rely on and interact with their home monitoring devices.
There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance. According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them. Increase In Revenue For Dealers With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Wireless, Connected Smart Locks For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry. Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup. Portfolio Of Home Automation Products One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation. Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system. First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled. Advantages Of Professional Installation Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realize they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realize that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional. Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart. Selling Additional Home Automation Products If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available. The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labor warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes. This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly. Reduces Connection Instability According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realize over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognize right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent. Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognizable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.” In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches. Not Everyone Is A DIY Customer There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products. But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them. The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.” Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation. Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products Producing Complete And Custom Solutions Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system. Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale. No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.
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.
Across the security industry, power supplies are too often an afterthought and the first item in an access control system to be value-engineered. However, when the power supply fails on a high-end access control device, the system becomes a very expensive paperweight. Fortunately, there are now power supply units available that can enhance system reliability by providing remote diagnostics and real-time reporting and analytics. There is also a mistaken perception that all power supplies are the same, says David Corbin, Director of ASSA ABLOY’S Power Management Strategic Business Unit. Access control and security applications Power supplies today are more important than ever for access control and security applications The fact is, a properly designed unit for today’s market must have a wide input range, a myriad of features, interface to network, have adequate transient protection, good surge capability and a demonstrated quality level for mission critical reliability, he says. “Power supplies today are more important than ever for access control and security applications,” says Corbin. “From heavy snowstorms in the Midwest and East Coast to the two million Californians that experienced unprecedented power outages, extreme weather conditions have created chaos for millions over the past few months. These events have resulted in students being locked out of schools, hospitals darkening and electronic keypads or card readers shutting down. With events like these on the rise, and an increased reliance on the technology we use to get in and out of the spaces we occupy, power supplies are critical for keeping systems up and running and people safe and secure.” ASSA ABLOY's LifeSafety Power’s FPO Intelligent Power Supplies and Helix Redundant Power Systems Installing right power supplies ASSA ABLOY has a range of products within the power supplies category, including LifeSafety Power’s FPO Intelligent Power Supplies and Helix Redundant Power Systems. ASSA ABLOY’s acquisition of LifeSafety Power in September expanded the company’s offering of smart integrated access control power solutions for OEMs, integrators and end-users. Other ASSA ABLOY power supply products include Securitron AQ Series Switching Power Supplies, and eco-friendly, linear, plug-in and solar power supplies, as well as Power over Ethernet (PoE). Access control is crucial to security and life safety, says Corbin. And without power, any protective system is useless. When the right power supplies are installed correctly, the system will have built-in backup power that will be triggered during an outage. Dependable power supplies, with regularly replaced and appropriately sized backup batteries, are critical to keeping occupants safe in an emergency event. Other ASSA ABLOY power supply products include Securitron AQ Series Switching Power Supplies Periodic testing of the battery When it comes to extreme weather conditions, the result of a power outage can lead to hazardous situations for employees, patients, residents and students, he says. Buildings that require power to gain access can leave people stranded outside or locked inside. “When access controls are disabled, intruders can easily enter buildings without notice, affording the opportunity for interruptions to power distribution, water supplies and other necessary public utilities,” says Corbin. Preparation for the next big power outage should include the sizing of power supplies to the system requirement with a reasonable safety factor for foreseeable system expansion and a battery set that is sized for operating the system for a period of time greater than the planned requirement, he says. Using a ‘smart’ power supply provides early warning of an impending failure; and consistent, periodic testing of the battery set keeps the system in peak operating condition. Predictive maintenance of access control Predictive analytics and data harvesting can help with predictive maintenance of access control Redundancy ensures that power remains available in the event of a failure, regardless of whether it is a blackout situation or a failure of the power supply itself, says Corbin. “In critical power installations where redundancy is vital, the system must have a properly sized and maintained backup battery,” says Corbin. “Additionally, further redundancy can be achieved via products like our Helix systems that provide for seamless switching between two different power supplies in the event of an electrical failure of one of the power supplies.” Corbin also notes there is a growing want and need for more data and analytics in the access control field. End users increasingly expect access control systems to be able to integrate with building information systems. Predictive analytics and data harvesting can help with predictive maintenance of access control and building systems. For example, intelligent power supplies can identify problems before they happen – such as performing periodic, automated battery tests and then notifying a central monitoring location and/or a facility manager of a battery that needs replacement. Lock operation can also be monitored on a real-time basis for failure or impending failure of a secured door opening, he says.
The success of smart homes began with professional security providers offering bundled packages, focused mostly on security monitoring. However, due to the cost of professional contracts, consumers began to embrace the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. Despite the challenges and opportunities that come with professional and DIY approaches, the momentum of smart home growth depends on these two approaches working symbiotically. Smart home systems In 2017, there were about 122 million smart home devices shipped globally, according to IHS Markit. The retail channel represented about 62 percent of all device shipments in 2017 and will represent about 70 percent in 2021. Despite the increased demand for professional installation, the “do-it-for-me” approach, most the volume remains with ad-hoc purchases. This includes a consumer video camera or a smart thermostat purchase from a retailer. Data capture form to appear here! When a consumer wants to add devices to an existing professionally installed system, they often will buy products from retail. Flexible service offerings and pricing are already taking shape across smart home offerings. DIY installed smart home systems such as Scout Alarm already offer no contract monitoring. Professional monitoring companies are already offering no contract pricing, and providers such as Comcast are looking to pilot programs for just video monitoring, bundled with Internet for a low monthly fee. Home automation system Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller Options for financing are also going to become commonplace. Smart home equipment is expensive, even when attempting to outfit a modest size home (2,500 square feet). Immediate access to services is becoming more critical. This means consumers should be able to access on-demand service options directly from a mobile device to activate or deactivate professional monitoring. Lastly, pricing still needs to come down for many smart home devices, but there is a threshold. For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to communicate wirelessly with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more. Residential security According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. For example, with their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchases. There are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” Full-time monitoring DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchase and installation of professionally installed systems What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.” So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems. Instead of paying for monthly monitoring, homeowners can install a web cam, access from a smartphone or tablet and essentially do their own security monitoring. The downside of this approach is readily apparent. Without full-time monitoring, homeowners can easily miss the break-in or the aged parent who falls and can’t get up. Near-field communication Until they log on and take a look, there’s no central station to send medical aid or call the police. Connecting door locks and other devices to the Internet can also open a door to hackers, if the infrastructure isn’t properly protected. The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined. For example, Apple recently expanded near-field communication (NFC) support to include the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format), which will likely accelerate the adoption of smartphones for access control credentialing. In another recent development, Amazon acquired Blink, a home security camera startup that offers wireless home security systems. The acquisition aligns with Amazon’s effort to offer more home devices. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household Traditional security features For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market that want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Missed part one of our smart home mini series? Read it here.
The boundaries between the smart home market and security market at large are narrowing. Amidst a wave of expansion, suddenly everything is becoming digital. Home automation has been around for close to 30 years but hasn’t really hit it big because integration hasn’t been that simple. Now that the Internet of Things has stepped into the market, home automation is really taking off. As technology in the smart home market advances, the gap between the residential and professional security markets is growing smaller. Additional revenue for security industry There will continue to be more opportunity for interoperability, and home automation will continue to grow and eventually become a norm. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions, have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras and other products suffice for their security. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. Data capture form to appear here! Residential security solutions Growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that" The trend has no doubt accelerated in the last couple of years. New collaborations are being made between audio-video (AV) suppliers and security solution providers. The clientele of high-end AV products is becoming increasingly concerned with home security and property protection. So, in recent months, the requirement for residential security solutions has been increasing as technical solutions can go hand in hand with AV installers’ capabilities and client base. “One of the big mistakes many make is that they assume – based on some of the hype and big market investments – that the smart home market is set to explode,” says Michael Philpott, Senior Practice Leader, Consumer Services at Ovum. "This is not the case – growth is going to be slow and steady. Everyone needs to be realistic about that, rather than expecting some rapid ramp up simply because some big names have entered the market.” Pressure to upgrade security standards Surprisingly for what has historically been something of a grudge purchase, in the context of home automation, security is seen as a solution some consumers are looking for. Another security aspect of home automation is cybersecurity, in particular how it applies to various IoT devices in the home. Now as connected devices gather personal information from realms long considered private and protected – the bedroom, the kitchen counter, the nursery – the risks are higher than ever. All of the data that various devices and sites have collected can be combined, shifted and then exploited by marketers or even stolen by hackers. Both manufacturers of smart home products and the companies that install them are feeling pressure to upgrade security standards. They are moving to set policies that will regulate who has access to data and how it is used. Ease of installation Advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies A recent revelation that some “smart TVs” might be listening to conversations and transmitting them to "third parties" caused an uproar. These sets have voice activated features that enable users to change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the internet by speaking to the screen or remote. The fine print in privacy policies contains warnings that general conversations are also being heard, and one company even told owners to turn off this function if they were concerned. Another impact of smart homes on the security marketplace is to raise expectations about the capabilities of commercial systems. Products made today for residential applications are very high quality, easy to install (do-it-yourself, or DIY), and have very rich feature sets. End users expect their commercial solutions to have a similar ease of use and ease of installation. Geofencing in commercial applications The quality of video that people are seeing at home is motivating some legacy commercial customers to finally move to IP video from lower resolution analog cameras. A higher percentage of commercial customers use cellphone applications to view integrated video and access control data. People’s experience with smart thermostats has them asking for geofencing in some commercial applications. In short, advances in the home market are increasing customers’ expectations as well as adoption of newer technologies. Read part two of our smart home mini series here.
Future residents at Kebbell Homes’ new prestigious development, Wintersbrooke will be able to receive and answer door entry requests via cellphone or Amazon Alexa voice control, thanks to Comelit’s WIFI connected monitors. Set in Ascot, Berkshire, Wintersbrooke is a grand, new gated community featuring just six spacious and exclusive 2-3 bedroom apartments within mature, secluded communal gardens. Kebbell Homes has used Comelit’s specification team on previous developments and again called upon its services, together with chosen installers R&M Bailey, from the initial design process, through the work’s program to project completion. Door entry, via Comelit’s mini handsfree WIFI monitors, will enable new residents to respond to door entry requests from their cellphone, and also integrates with Amazon Alexa for voice announcements and control of the gate/front door to the block. Facial recognition technology The monitors provide facial recognition technology for authorized guests to gain access and video memory, to record any missed calls. Says Andrea Fawell, Sales and Marketing Director at Kebbell Homes: “With high expectations for Wintersbrooke’s indulgent design to deliver gracious living for our discerning buyers, every element had to be considered to offer the highest level of luxury and specification. And to ensure all feels safe and secure.” All the smart home security systems installed had to be equally stylish and futureproof" “We had worked previously with Comelit and knew its systems were able to achieve the level of style intended to complement Wintersbrooke’s dignified presence. The additional benefits of WIFI connected monitors provide our soon to be residents with latest integrated smart security technology, seamlessly installed, enabling them to instantly respond to door entry requests, at their choice and from wherever they are.” Smart home security systems Mat Bailey, Director from R&M Bailey added: “Wintersbrooke has the look and feel of a private country home, which epitomizes Kebbell Homes’ well-known flair for grand architecture. All the smart home security systems installed had to be equally stylish and futureproof. Comelit’s Mini Handsfree WIFI was the natural choice for door entry, easy to install via wireless technology and simple to integrate. Just the one solution presents future homeowners with user friendly bespoke options that can connect seamlessly with their home security, and be controlled by cellphone and Amazon Alexa, at their own choice.” Each home at Wintersbrooke has been fitted with a Mini Handsfree monitor complete with integrated WIFI, operating through Comelit’s renowned Simplebus 2 wire. At the striking gates to the development is Comelit’s premium stainless steel flush mounted, 316 Sense digital entrance panel. Door entry system Up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WIFI monitor The system enables new residents to grant access through the vehicle gates or adjacent pedestrian gate using the internal monitor or a dedicated mobile app. A second is fitted on the front door of the development itself. Up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WIFI monitor. Daniel Wood, Southern Sales Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “Once again, it was a pleasure for Comelit to work closely with Kebbell Homes to ensure the complete door entry system installed at Wintersbrooke, achieved the desired balance between timeless style and latest technology." Alexa voice control "From the gated entry using our Sense panel, which at only 3 mm thin, blends in with any building due to the panel's slim profile, to the chic WIFI monitors, the combined solution, provides aspiring residents with a powerful door entry system and the convenience of audio and visual communication, together with ease of use via mobile or Alexa voice control in everyday life.” Comelit’s official website can be visited for more information on Comelit’s ViP System, Mini handsfree WIFI Monitor Door Entry Solutions or range of products.
Recycling Lives is a very special business. Ostensibly a recycling and waste management operation, they actually use this commercial element to support and sustain charity programs for offender rehabilitation, residential support and food redistribution. It’s a genuinely effective approach to social aid, and one that has earned four prestigious Queens Awards and numerous admirers, including Andy Moore, managing director of security and fire experts ADJ Fire & Security Limited. ADJ works with Recycling Lives to provide technology-based solutions to minimize risk at its sites. Residential accommodation “The whole company’s called Recycling Lives, because that’s what it does,” Moore explains. “It gives people a second chance, people who have come out of prison or who are homeless, and they help them back into society. It’s providing help to people who really need it, by giving them jobs and if necessary rehoming them if they need somewhere to stay until they get their own place. They’re a special company, definitely. ADJ is extremely proud to be associated with a company like Recycling Lives.” Recycling Lives has sites across the UK was founded, and is run, by second generation recyclers, time-served experts with a wealth of industry knowledge, insight and contacts. Their charity and social enterprise teams provide residential accommodation for the homeless, help to reduce reoffending and redistribute food, directly supported by recycling, recruitment, compliance and waste management businesses. As a result, they create more than just environmental and financial value from their activities: they provide significant social value too. Thermal imaging technology Specialist cameras are designed to detect even minor changes in temperature using thermal imaging technology At the Recycling Lives site in Preston, on Longridge Road, ADJ was asked to help devise a solution which could help the Recycling Lives staff prevent and detect fires on-site during and out of office hours, explains Moore. “These fires can happen within waste piles on site, and can end up burning inside without any notification,” he says. “They can seriously flare up when the pile is disturbed. There are batteries stored on site from depolluted cars and these can also be a serious fire hazard if ignited.” ADJ Fire & Security is a Hikvision Gold VASP partner, and works closely with Hikvision to devise intelligent and efficient smart technology-driven solutions for its clients. In this case, ADJ, Hikvision and Recycling Lives collaborated on the development of the ideal system for Recycling Lives’ specific requirements. ADJ recommended the use of Hikvision’s Thermometric thermal bullet cameras, specifically the DS-2TD2136T-15 model. These specialist cameras are designed to detect even minor changes in temperature using thermal imaging technology. Fire detection and alarm function The camera uses cutting edge image processing technology, including Adaptive Automatic Gain Control, Digital Detail Enhancement, 3D Dynamic Noise Reduction, and a Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference of less than < 40mk. The thermal imaging module provides 384 x 288 resolution, a high sensitivity sensor, and supports contrast adjustment Its powerful behavior analysis algorithm enables automatic smart detection including Line Crossing, Intrusion, and Region Entrance & Exit, and it also provides a reliable temperature exception alarm function and advanced fire detection algorithm. Temperature measurement range is -20℃ to 550℃ with ±2℃ accuracy. The thermal imaging module provides 384 x 288 resolution, a high sensitivity sensor, and supports contrast adjustment and shutter adjustment in various modes. There are 15 palettes of adjustable color available, and because this is a thermal imaging camera rather than a conventional CCTV device, there’s no need for additional lighting. Nineteen thermometric cameras were installed initially at the Preston site, with more set to be added in future. Prevention and early detection of fire “Cameras are located in the high-risk areas where fires could break out such as the plant rooms and stockpiles, shredder, and depollution areas,” Moore says. “When the cameras detect an increase in temperature that signifies a potential fire risk, they automatically raise an alarm and alert the client to the issue. That allows them to take action much more quickly than relying on traditional video or other forms of fire detection – they can react immediately even to the risk of fire breaking out.” Recycling Lives compliance manager Dave Gallagher says: “The prevention of fire, and early detection of any fire that may break out, is of critical importance to protecting our people, infrastructure and the local environment. While our risk controls have proved effective year after year, the opportunity to invest in new technology that enhances our ability to react fast in the event of an emerging fire hazard was one that was not to be missed.” Commercial properties fire safety The results have been tangible, Moore says, and have impressed some influential people. “Recycling Lives recently had a visit from the Environmental Agency as part of a routine inspection,” he says. “The EA were impressed with the standard of risk management and controls on the site, including the recent investment in fire detection technology. As a result, the EA Director of Regulated Industry was invited to site to view the systems in place.” The success of the Preston solution has prompted Recycling Lives to engage ADJ to implement similar systems, over time, at all their other sites across the country. Dave Gallagher says: “We’ve been impressed with how ADJ Fire & Security Ltd and Hikvision have worked collaboratively with us to identify how the technology can best be employed to reduce risk and look forward to the enhanced protection the system provides. ADJ Fire and Security Ltd are adaptable, commercially aware and completely comprehend the commercial realities of the scrap metal industry. They are reputable, reliable and respected by local authorities and institutions and moreover, they are a pleasure to work with.”
A private residence and its grounds comprises a variety of different perimeters including fences, bushes and walls with large areas of vegetation and pets roaming around freely. The home-owner sought to protect his property from intrusion using a discreet early-warning detection technology linked to a networked CCTV system. The system had to provide 100% ground coverage in a precise detection pattern and be immune to false activations by the home-owner’s pets and vegetation. Precise intrusion detection Other solutions were deemed unsuitable for the task: it was difficult to set the detection areas of a PIR or a microwave detector precisely enough; Video Analysis is expensive and could be affected by environmental conditions, such as light and shadows; and a buried cable sensor would have been costly and disruptive to install. Redscan was chosen because it was easy and quick to install and possible to set up a precise detection area easily, which would not be affected by the type of the boundary or the environment with very low false alarms. Optex made an installation of 17 Redscan RLS-3060SH Class-1 Laser Detectors to protect perimeter and integrate with cameras.
Amthal has worked closely with the management team and residents at Kenilworth Court to ensure fire and security upgrades on site occur without compromising on aesthetics of the Edwardian mansion blocks. Situated in Putney, Kenilworth Court consists of eight purpose-built Edwardian style blocks of flats, completed in 1904 – 1905. Featuring 150 portered flats, with a garden in the middle, it is now run by the controlling company, Kenilworth Court Co-ownership Housing Association Ltd. Upgrading door entry system The opportunity to upgrade door entry from audio to video capability saw the initial introduction of Amthal to the development. So successful in understanding the importance of keeping with original design features, working closely with the management team and residents, from initial specification through installation and project completion, Amthal now additionally maintains security gates and all fire requirements on site. Video security system at Kenilworth Court Steve Logie, General Manager at Kenilworth Court Co-Ownership Housing Association Ltd, said “With the historic significance of our development, and the pride of notable residents who have lived here, any upgrades, however small, must be carefully considered with regards to how it will impact on the aesthetics of the overall premises.” Steve adds, “Amthal understood this and worked closely with us and our residents, carefully taking in feedback to create bespoke video door entry solutions that blend with the grand entrances. Installation was sympathetic, always ensuring wiring was discreet and ‘boxed in’ where necessary.” He further said, “So impressed with their customer service and technical ability, we now consider them our preferred supplier for all fire and security maintenance.” CAME BPT brass entrance panel installed Based on resident feedback, Amthal created and installed a bespoke CAME BPT brass entrance panel for Kenilworth Court Based on resident feedback, Amthal created and installed a bespoke CAME BPT brass entrance panel for Kenilworth Court, allowing all homeowners to benefit from stylish video door entry technology. Residents and staff also benefit from an upgraded Paxton Net2 access control system, with dedicated fobs distributed to ensure safe and secure block entry. Phil Bryant, Amthal Strategic Accounts Team Manager added, “The key to our success with Kenilworth Court was taking the time initially to create an installation works program with video door entry systems that could blend in visually without disrupting the architectural aesthetic of the development.” Enhanced security system Phil adds, “We spoke with the management team and residents throughout the design process, bringing door entry styles and samples to ensure everyone was confident in the installed final solution.” He further said, “From this, our engineering team and customer service has built up a trusting relationship where residents understand our needs to operate internally, sometimes within apartments themselves and also through communal areas. And the management team has peace of mind that fire and security requirements will be maintained to exceed standards across the development.” Security solutions expert Independently owned, Amthal Fire & Security is dedicated to satisfying end user needs for security safety and convenience offering design, installation, service and remote monitoring of advanced electronic fire & security solutions, including intruder, fire, access and CCTV systems. Amthal Fire & Security is accredited by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).
In the emirate of Ajman, the real-estate developer is AQAAR. AQAAR’s construction projects represent 90% of all developments in the region, and include more than 200 towers and buildings, over 18,000 apartments, five hotels, two schools and a university. More buildings are still under construction. This burgeoning portfolio of buildings provides housing, work and recreation for some 120,000 people and counting. And AQAAR recognizes its duty to keep these locations safe. “Our aim is to become the safest community in the UAE,” says Ghaleb Jaber, Executive Director, AQAAR. Networked video security solution “We want to prevent crime, and to help people to continue to live and work peacefully in the buildings that we construct. To support this, we needed a specialized provider that was capable of delivering a cutting-edge, 24 hour networked video security solution featuring tens of thousands of cameras.” Hikvision products are excellent: the intelligent AI-based technology was exactly what we were looking for" During AQAAR’s search for an ideal video technology supplier, Hikvision stood out from all the rest. “Hikvision products are excellent: the intelligent AI-based technology was exactly what we were looking for,” says Ghaleb Jaber. “But just as importantly, Hikvision demonstrated excellent credibility in deploying large-scale video security projects of this type.” AI-Based video security solution Working with the AQAAR team, Hikvision and its partners designed a comprehensive AI-based video security solution comprising different types of cameras. The majority of these are Hikvision 2MP IP cameras. These AI-enabled cameras offer a wealth of intelligent functionality, such as perimeter protection, and are being installed throughout all public areas and buildings. They are also installed at construction sites to help prevent theft of expensive building materials. The AQAAR solution also features Hikvision ANPR IP Cameras installed at the entrances to the parking lots of Ajman’s hotels. These use Automatic Number Plate Recognition to ‘read’ a car’s license plate, and will only lift the barrier to authorized vehicles. Centralized management system For added peace of mind, AQAAR chose to install a network of Hikvision Under Vehicle Surveillance Systems, for automatic security checks at key locations. Furthermore, the AQAAR team chose the Hikvision 16 Channel NVR for video recording, coupled with the Hikvision iVMS-5200E Centralized Management System in the control center. “For public security installations such as this, we always adopt a multi-phase approach," explains Mohammed Barakat, Account Manager for Hikvision MENA. This will unlock their intelligent features such as intrusion detection and facial recognition" “The first phase is the hardware installation. Phase two involves setting up the Centralized Management System, and creating one main control room that unites all video feeds. Then at phase three, we will switch on the AI capabilities of the cameras. This will unlock their intelligent features such as intrusion detection and facial recognition.” Intelligent parking management “Some of this, such as the intelligent parking management, has already been enabled. But which other capabilities AQAAR chooses has yet to be decided; it will depend on the needs of the urban planning and its residents as the project unfolds,” Mohammed explains. With the end of the installation now in sight, Ghaleb Jaber at AQAAR is eager to test the full potential of Hikvision’s proactive, comprehensive security solution. “We look forward to exploring how all elements can work in harmony together, to help AQAAR ensure the safety of residents and workers as our development continues to grow.”
Synectics has secured a multi-site protection contract for a customer whose infrastructure assets are considered critical to national security. Responsible for maintaining an energy network that supplies over 3.9 million homes and businesses, the customer required a centralized system to guard against both physical and cyber threats at five key sites – each recognized as a national asset with corresponding levels of access clearance. The Synectics solution, driven by its Synergy 3 command and control platform, integrates third-party sensors, analytics, cameras, systems, personnel databases, and edge devices. The resulting level of situational awareness gives the team – based at the customer’s state-of-the-art Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) – complete oversight and control of security, safety, and site-management systems at each facility. Electrified perimeter-fence systems As part of the contract, Synectics will also provide a redundant ARC solution for failover scenarios. The core integrations included as part of the project ensure alerts and responses are linked to, and can implement direct control of, door-access systems, intrusion-detection systems, intercom technology, and the electrified perimeter-fence systems deployed at each location. Synectics will conduct a complete system FAT, which includes all specified third-party software and hardware, at its dedicated UK testing facilities. Given the high-risk, high-security nature of the project, the provider’s ability to system-test at such scale was a crucial factor in the contract being awarded. The five locations to be monitored from the ARC are government-authorized to trigger armed response units to deal with imminent or actual threats. Command and control system In addition to meeting technical resiliency specifications, Synectics will be providing cybersecurity consultation The solution will, therefore, employ customized workflows to support incident (alarm) validation and protocol-compliant responsive action. The solution will also see each site equipped with its localised command and control system for on-site management, with the ability to manually and automatically escalate incidents to the ARC team as required. Cybersecurity was a specific focus of the brief. In addition to meeting technical resiliency specifications with authentication and encryption solutions, Synectics will be providing ongoing cybersecurity consultation, working in partnership with in-house specialists to ensure the continuous development of protective measures. Third-Party system Martin Bonfield, UK Sales Manager at Synectics, commented: “The perfect alignment between customer requirements and Synectics’ track record in CNI meant the lead integrator came directly to us with this exciting project. Our credentials and expert team, coupled with Synergy 3’s ability to remotely integrate and interoperate with any third-party system vital to effective operations, meant we ticked multiple boxes." "We are regarded in the industry as a safe pair of hands with the relevant experience, and an innovator with the forward-focused technology required to meet all aspects of the brief.”
Round table discussion
Delivering on customer expectations is a basic tenet of success in the physical security market. However, meeting expectations may be an elusive goal, whether because customer needs are not communicated effectively or because equipment doesn’t perform as promised. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what if a customer expects more than a security system can deliver?
Driven by technology developments such as voice recognition, smart devices and the Internet of Things, our homes are getting “smarter” all the time. Increasingly, we expect our residential environments to be responsive to our voice commands, whether we are adjusting a thermostat, turning on a light, or lowering the window shade. Smarter home integration yields new opportunities and challenges for home security, too, which contributes an element of safety and protection to the convenience aspects of smart homes. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are new smart home systems impacting security?
Our Expert Panel is an opinionated group on a wide variety of topics, and we are dedicated to providing a useful and flexible forum to share those opinions. This week, our panelists address a range of opinions about several self-selected topics, culled from the large number of Expert Panelist responses we have collected in the last year. In this Expert Panel Roundtable article, we will share these varied and insightful responses to ensure they are not lost to posterity!