Dahua Technology, a globally renowned video-centric provider of smart IoT solutions, has announced the launch of SafetyTemp (DHI-ASI7213X-T1), a thermal temperature monitoring station. This easy-to-deploy solution quickly measures skin temperature without the need for personal contact and provides an accurate temperature reading to help businesses and schools assess employees, customers, students and other visitors for elevated body temperature. SafetyTemp thermal temperature monitoring statio...
On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), Genetec, together with Université Laval, one of the top research universities in Canada, and Axis communications will host a webinar that will look at: The importance of on-campus video surveillance and current trends in the education industry The areas of interest within a school setting that require surveillance and the considerations schools must take when implementing solutions Analytics, hardware, and software t...
Now that Europe is taking the first steps towards economic and social recovery after the COVID-19 crisis, it is also time to rethink the future. European politicians and institutions are now joining forces to present a recovery plan that builds on existing plans and ambitions to make the society healthier, more environmentally friendly, more energy efficient and safer. Euralarm calls on policymakers to take measures to increase the security of renovated buildings and to strengthen the cohesion...
Covid-19 can be stopped right at the entrance to office buildings, schools, hospitals, factories and in public transportation using the hi-tech infection control products launched by Gunnebo, the Swedish global provider of smart access control solutions. The new family of access control solutions supports the smooth return to a safe working environment by providing automated infection prevention through contactless processes, maximized social distancing, and enforcement of body temperature and...
A thermal imaging camera is an effective screening device for detecting individuals with elevated skin temperature. This type of monitoring can provide a rapid screening approach at high-traffic areas, like airports, hospitals, office buildings, and other areas where people congregate, to help identify those whose body temperature is elevated. Non-contact screening of EST Using a non-contact screening solution is one of the current measures to discover quickly individuals with elevated skin t...
St Albans based Sandringham School has recently spent nearly £8m in new build and renovation of existing accommodation to create a world class learning campus. As an outstanding rated school, its aim is to become a world class educational facility where students receive the best possible education. Amthal partners Sandringham school to maintain its high profile intruder alarm systems and secure the entire campus site. Former pupil Luke Allam, is now responsible for his old school to carry...
Drones are commonly known for flying in the sky, but a new breed is rolling around on the ground and swimming in the ocean. Now, in an alliance straight out of science fiction, two CT-based drone companies are joining forces to take on the task of protecting our planet using both airborne and amphibious drones by automating operations in security, environmental and even military fronts, globally. Harford based Aquiline Drones (AD), a premiere Cloud and drone solutions company, will be powering GuardBot's spherical and amphibious robotic vehicles via the AD Cloud (or ADC). Like Amazon's AWS, ADC is quickly becoming the industry Gold Standard for all Unmanned Vehicle (UV) operations, taking full advantage of its capacity, modularity and truly salient features for autonomous assignments, operations and quests. Advanced AI for complicated missions “Our new alliance with Aquiline Drones now gives us the ability to program our bots with advanced AI for complicated missions in surveillance, security and detection. And with AD’s focus on US supply chain manufacturing, this is truly pioneering a new direction for drone technology in the US,” noted Peter Muhlrad, President of GuardBot. "GuardBot was initially conceived for a planetary mission on Mars. As such, our robots can traverse all terrains, including paved roads, dirt paths, dunes, snowy fields, sloped mountains, or even water surfaces. GuardBot spherical robots can even navigate upstream,” said Muhlrad. “And with the right sensor, camera and/or acoustic package, the use cases are endless,” Muhlrad notes. “Our new collaboration with Aquiline Drones couldn’t be timelier! The first batch of GuardBots will be manufactured at AD’s downtown Hartford facility starting in May,” added Muhlrad. Interchangeable sensors Each GuardBot is equipped with pods on its right and left sides that contains interchangeable sensors GuardBot’s circular drones range from 6.5 inches to 7 feet in diameter and move using a patented drive-mechanism that allows it to easily provide forward and backward motion as well as make 360-degree turns. They can operate continuously for up to 25 hours on one charge and reach speeds of up to 12 mph on land and 3 mph in water. Each GuardBot is equipped with pods on its right and left sides that contains interchangeable sensors, such as video cameras, thermal, infrared, microphones GPS and audio for continuous content gathering, transmission of data and constant communication with command control. AI and IoT infrastructure management “In the coming months, ADC will undergo rigorous testing, hosting and management trials with GuardBot’s proprietary software application. ADC’s highly modular AI architecture is suitable for crucial customization of solutions typically not available in the open marketplace. And, as an unmanned vehicle cloud, no other cloud platform provides the same level of robustness and salient features that enable complex mission planning scenarios, autonomous flight and ground operations powered by AI and IoT infrastructure management,” said Barry Alexander, Founder and CEO of Aquiline Drones and AD Cloud Services. “We eagerly anticipate integrating GuardBot’s entire network of all-terrain drones into our cloud to provide enterprise asset management (EAM) services, including data gathering, analytics, modeling and storage capabilities,” Alexander added. "Additionally, the timing of this hi-tech endeavor could not be more opportune - not just for Connecticut, which is quickly becoming the drone capital, but for our entire nation!" Advocates workforce development Admittedly, drone technology is exciting, ushering in a plethora of opportunity industry wide" "Admittedly, drone technology is exciting, ushering in a plethora of opportunity industry wide. AD strongly advocates workforce development and intends on using the burgeoning AD brand to further expand the industry, thus creating opportunity for all interested,” Alexander continued. "Given the abundance of use cases in our defense department and other government agencies, AD is particularly pleased with the opportunity it delivers to our veterans,” Alexander added. “Not only is GuardBot useful technology, but it is truly thrilling,” said Alexander. "Civic unions are born out of compatibility, and business is no different. Can’t think of a better way to describe the exciting collaboration between Aquiline and GuardBot,” Alexander added. “GuardBot dovetails nicely into our business model and complements our mission of pioneering a new direction in the UAV/S industry where safety comes first,” Alexander concluded. Audio/visual sensors As GuardBot’s amphibious and land-based drones can be outfitted to carry payloads, such as audio/visual sensors, fire retardant liquids and ground penetrating radar, Muhlrad and Alexander both emphasize that the collaboration of their companies will produce a variety of new and powerful capabilities for drone systems, including: Aquatic Military Missions Forest Fire Mitigation Security Monitoring (home, construction and commercial endeavors) Beach Patrol and Harbor Security School Safety Identification and Detection of Explosive Materials Ecologic and Geologic Testing (of volcanoes, mountains and other land structures to detect and warn of natural disasters) Parking Garage/Lot Surveillance Homeland Security Amphibious Surveillance Broadcasting and Multi-Venue Live Sportscasting Monitoring Hazardous Materials Spills and Environmental damage Safety Monitoring of Dangerous Weather Conditions Detection of Hazardous Chemicals Strict safety standards Further, through cloud-based transmitters, AD’s aerial hardware will be able to deploy and communicate with GuardBot’s ground-based vehicles for a seamless unmanned system that works together in solving potential life-threatening issues like fires, theft, vandalism and violent attacks. “Being pilot-owned and boasting more than 200 years of collective experience in the aviation industry, Aquiline Drones understands and adheres to the strict safety standards of the Federal Aviation Administration,” adds Alexander. “In addition, as one of only four drone airline companies in the United States holding an FAA 135 Air Carrier Certificate, we offer future operational flexibility to facilitate approvals and exemptions on non-traditional, augmented and unique UAV operations such as the GuardBot collaboration.”
Access control manufacturer Inner Range has released a new update for its entry-level product Inception, allowing operators to set automated actions in response to specific user numbers. Automated actions based on user-count triggers include being able to change heating and air conditioning depending on the number of people on site, or in a particular area, showing messages about parking availability for drivers as they enter car parks, depending on how many other vehicles are there or automatic alarm-setting as people leave the site. Entry-level access control system Tim Northwood, General Manager of Inner Range, said: “This is about making life better and easier for users and security managers alike. By automating some building and facilities functions, security managers can free up their time to deal with the most important matters. It’s another great feature for Inception, adding to the system’s power and flexibility while still retaining a budget-friendly price tag.” Inception is Inner Range’s award-winning entry-level access control and security alarm system. It is simple to install, offers any time anywhere web browser access without the need for additional software and can integrate with CCTV and some building automation functions to ease access and ensure security for single sites. Another feature in the latest update allows security managers to export encrypted CSV files of user-names and passwords from one Inception system to another, which helps organizations such as schools that may have staff moving between sites. Intelligent security solutions Inner Range has been a renowned provider of the design and manufacture of intelligent security solutions since it was established in 1988. More than 150,000 Inner Range systems have been installed in over 30 countries. Customers include hospitals and high-security units, colleges, distribution centers and pharmaceutical companies, government and critical national infrastructure. The update is available now for new and existing customers.
Aeroturn LLC, a turnstile manufacturer that offers 100% Made In The USA turnstiles, announced that the company is currently manufacturing multiple types of turnstile lanes - all ADA compliant- for five different GSA sites on the northeast, west and east coasts. Businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions can obtain a GSA Schedule Contract to sell products and services to government customers and helps streamline the process. Aeroturn is currently a national preferred manufacturer and installer of turnstiles for multiple federal and state agencies due to past & current performance as well as the company’s long-term success with many integrators, contractors and end users. The government sector is a huge focus for Aeroturn with turnstiles installed at government sites nationwide dating back to October 2004. Physical and cyber Security The current GSA projects will be completed by the successful long-term teamwork of eVigilant & Aeroturn With turnstiles still in operation daily with no preventative maintenance program or service required; government agencies can rely on Aeroturn for all their perimeter protection needs. eVigilant Security, a nationwide security provider that specializes in physical and cyber security for Government clients, chose Aeroturn products for the GSA sites due to their past relationship dating all the way back to 2008. Both companies joined forces to implement turnstiles for several Presidential Transition office locations and knew that it was a powerful partnership. Federal protection services security forces Aeroturn was able to design and deploy fixed units via modules that can be placed in each location "4 years" apart and stored at various locations under the USSS guidance. “eVigilant was instrumental in the GSA process due to their relationship and corporate structure with several of the federal protection services security forces,” states Michael Stoll, Aeroturn’s VP of Technical Sales & Marketing. “Once we were able to present our products and past performance with the USSS Technical Services Division; it was an easy decision for the DOJ leased professional space decision makers to choose Aeroturn.” The company works with integrators and end user building security personnel nationwide" The current GSA projects will be completed by the successful long-term teamwork of eVigilant & Aeroturn. “Working with Aeroturn over the past decade has proven to be a powerful collaboration,” states David Einsig, VP of Sales at eVigilant. “We look forward to continuing our combined efforts to help keep government facilities safe and secure.” High level of security required As part of the bid process, Aeroturn provided drawings and renderings prior to being awarded the GSA contracts. Each GSA location has its very own unique security safety requirements and needed a manufacturer who could adhere to the strict compliance guidelines. Aeroturn has performed recent site evaluations and investigations regarding infrastructure at the multiple GSA sites and will also assist with future security plans. All work at each location must be performed during off-hours or weekends due to the high level of security required to secure each lobby/door. Aeroturn is extremely flexible and continues to outperform its peers in the industry by staying on time and on budget upon project completion. There are many options out there for turnstiles, but none can compete with Aeroturn’s process of product-layout-finish, approvals/PO issuance, site preparedness, and delivery & installation. The company works with integrators and end user building security personnel nationwide to ensure sites are 100% ready for the arrival of product, thus minimizing costs and disruptions.
Infusion Direct Marketing, a public relations firm specializing in the security industry, announced that the company has kicked off 2020 with a new sales representative agreement in the Florida territory with Security Network Associates (SNA) of Colorado. In this new sales role, Infusion Direct will be responsible for supporting SNA’s sales efforts for IPVideo Corporation’s HALO IOT Smart Sensor in the state of Florida. HALO has taken off this year in response to the nationwide youth vaping epidemic. It is the only product to detect vaping with Nicotine or Marijuana (THC oil). Vape and smoke detection In addition to vape and smoke detection, HALO offers several safety features including abnormal sound detection, chemical detection and air quality monitoring. The product has been exceptional at helping schools across the country combat vaping with sales in over 1000 schools in the US and has recently expanded into international markets. Over the past twelve years, Infusion Direct has made a huge impact on the security industry by handling public relations and media planning for a wide variety of clients nationwide ranging from high profile security manufacturers to security system integrators. Infusion Direct has represented IPVideo Corp as its public relations arm for many years" “Infusion Direct has represented IPVideo Corp as its public relations arm for many years. They know the security industry well and we are looking forward to them leveraging that knowledge to support the dealers in Florida,” states Rick Cadiz, IPVideo’s VP of Sales & Marketing. Extensive industry knowledge With its corporate office located at the W Executive Suites in Port St. Lucie, Florida and extensive industry knowledge, Infusion Direct was the perfect choice to help increase HALO’s brand exposure in the Florida territory. “As managing director for Security Network Associates (SNA), I am pleased to announce a new partnership with Monique Merhige and Infusion Direct to support our growing sales efforts in the state of Florida,” states Michael Davis, SNA’s Managing Director. “We are all well aware of the exceptional track record Infusion has had partnering with industry leading technology manufacturers”, says Davis. Now we are happy to bring that same drive and excellence to help us support sales of IP Video's HALO Smart Sensor in the Florida market.” Improve school safety Infusion Direct continues to stand out from the “typical” public relations firms out there and offers clients an expertise in the security industry that is second to none. “We are proud to join forces with such prestigious companies as SNA and IPVideo Corporation to help facilitate the growth of HALO in the Florida market,” states Monique Merhige, Infusion’s President. “Our goal is to help schools across Florida combat the vaping epidemic and also improve school safety with this innovative security technology.”
Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, announced the newest version of its video management software, Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 7.4, which incorporates artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition technology. The new “appearance alerts” capability will help commercial organizations, such as educational institutions and hospitals, accelerate response times by identifying people of interest in enterprise settings. For example, the technology can alert the security team at a local high school when a banned or flagged individual has entered the campus. People of interest are identified based on a secure, controlled watch list created and maintained by authorized users at the commercial organization. For organizations that use the new ACC software and licence their Avigilon cameras for facial recognition, cameras will seek to identify potential matches based on the watch list. If a potential match is found, the user is alerted within the ACC software, and security personnel can then determine whether further investigation or action is necessary. Facial recognition technology It’s important to note that we view facial recognition as an aid that can improve the decision-making of the user" “Our latest ACC software delivers substantial benefits to our commercial customers by offering facial recognition technology in a secure and controlled manner,” said John Kedzierski, Senior Vice President, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “The appearance alerts capability enables our customers to move from a reactive approach – staring at a wall of video feeds where critical information can be easily missed – to a proactive approach that brings important information directly to authorized users so they can make better-informed decisions.” “It’s important to note that we view facial recognition as an aid that can improve the decision-making of the user – it does not make consequential decisions or initiate actions on its own. We refer to this approach as ‘human in the loop,’ and it is foundational to the way we apply AI,” added Kedzierski. Responsible use of artificial intelligence ACC’s new facial recognition capabilities reflect Motorola Solutions’ commitment to the responsible use of artificial intelligence as well as individual privacy rights. Data stewardship is integral to these new capabilities, and we build compliance controls into our products to support this. For example, user authentication is required for these capabilities, audit logs of user actions are generated, data retention periods for the watch list can be specified within the application, and records can be expunged or deleted on demand as well as verified through auditing and reporting. Data is locally hosted, owned and controlled by the business or school. The data used to train the AI algorithms is also thoroughly evaluated, ensuring sufficient quantity, quality and diversity to ensure high accuracy and consistent performance.
In large-scene applications, it is difficult for a panoramic surveillance equipment to acquire real-time round-the-clock data due to a lot of factors such as blind spots, aperture limitation, fixed monitoring scene, etc. Aiming to solve these common problems that most general panoramic equipment are facing, Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, launches its new Hunter SDT5X Series Camera to bring more benefits to its users. Featuring smart tracking, perimeter protection, video metadata, face recognition and many other intelligent functions, the Dahua Hunter Series Camera integrates both advantages of panoramic camera and PTZ camera to provide a flexible solution for multi-scene surveillance needs. In addition to the ability to provide wider range of panoramic coverage and real-time detail capture in ultra-high-definition scenes, it also allows multi-scene monitoring based on customized time schedule, as well as auto-calibration, clear imaging and intelligent applications under complex lighting conditions. Powerful Dual-PTZ Design The operator can even schedule time slots according to different monitoring needs The Dahua Hunter Series Camera adopts a powerful dual-PTZ system to achieve double performance. With panoramic lens above and detail capture lens below, it can meet various monitoring needs with just one camera. Both lens can be horizontally and vertically controlled, enabling monitoring and smart tracking within a wider range. At the same time, it supports simultaneous monitoring of multiple scenes to guarantee all-round security. The operator can even schedule time slots according to different monitoring needs. For instance: at day time, the camera can be utilized to monitor main roads to obtain structured data of people, vehicles, and non-motor vehicles; while at night, the camera can be set to monitor small path for perimeter protection. This ensures an all-day and all-round security. Innovative PFA+ Autofocus Technology The camera utilizes Dahua self-developed PFA+ autofocus technology to achieve simultaneous video focusing and zooming, which greatly shortens the focusing time. Additionally, the camera also supports Dahua Starlight+ Technology which achieves ultra-clear image quality, as well as intelligent identification of vehicles, non-motor vehicles, people, and other structured targets, not only maximizing monitoring effectiveness but also providing high-quality data for back-end business applications. Another outstanding feature of Dahua Hunter Series Camera is its quick installation and debugging. With a lightweight structure, the camera only requires one person to complete the installation by directly replacing the original installation point with the new one, eliminating inconvenience of construction and debugging, greatly improving efficiency and reducing additional costs. Compared to the fixed lens of general panoramic surveillance equipment, the panoramic lens of Dahua Hunter Series Camera is adjustable and can be remotely controlled, ensuring better face image capture. Multi-target face detection Dahua Technology will adhere to its core value of “customer-centered” to provide excellent quality and service Thanks to the Dahua self-developed Prediction Exposure Algorithm (PEA) and AE2.0 Algorithm, the exposure can be completed once the scene is rotated to the correct position, providing more calculation time for autofocus and intelligent algorithm. At the same time, it makes the debugging process smooth and stable, and realizes regular exposure during video capturing. Boasting full-scene coverage, all-weather structured capturing, multi-target face detection and other capabilities, the Dahua Hunter Series Camera supports the customization needs of multiple scenes. Combined with Dahua Technology's various industry application solutions, the camera is suitable for school gates, hospital entrances, crosswalks, underpass crossings, city intersections, as well as open and large scenes such as squares and scenic spots, achieving 24/7 perimeter protection. Excellent quality and service Committed to the mission of “Enabling a safer society and smarter living,” Dahua Technology will adhere to its core value of “customer-centered” in order to provide the market with excellent quality and service, to create more value for customers, and make unremitting efforts to build a safe, intelligent, convenient and efficient society.
Over the course of the past few months, I have discussed a myriad of topics, from Big Data, the Internet of Things and emerging video surveillance-use cases, to analytics, storage complexities and IT technologies like virtualization and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). All of these trends have a significant effect on the security market, and in April they were highlighted in spades at ISC West. It’s great to talk about these trends but it’s far better to see how they are being leveraged in real-world applications. That’s really where we can all see the true value of new solutions and concepts. We’re lucky enough to work with some leading organizations that want others to benefit from their experience and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share two of these applications with you. Protecting Educational Facilities UCF has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment. Recent high-profile incidents emphasize these risks and magnify the vulnerabilities that educational facilities face. These incidents have led to more public demand for improved security solutions across campuses. The primary mission of these organizations is to deliver quality education to students, and they face the challenge of balancing between a highly secure facility and one that supports open interaction. The University of Central Florida is no different. This organization, one of the largest universities in the country, has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus. Active Shooter Incidents In March 2013, UCF faced an active shooter situation in which a former student planned to pull the fire alarm in a residence hall and then attack his classmates as the building was evacuated. However, the shooter’s gun jammed, and as officers were closing in on the gunman, he took his own life. During the university’s response to the incident, accessibility to critical video data was a major issue. Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment UCF had cameras in the area where the incident took place, but first responders had no way of viewing the footage without being at the physical location of the video recorder. At the time, UCF had a wide variety of standalone systems in place, including non-integrated video surveillance, access control and intrusion systems. As a result, there was no way to centralize video management, viewing and analysis. Upgrading From Analog Systems Altogether, its security system consisted of older analog platforms that were reaching end of life, 58 standalone servers, 12,000 access points and a wide variety of DVRs — all being managed in a siloed manner. UCF needed a solution that would allow officials to centralize system management, store video data more effectively and reliably, and enable the security team to deliver situational awareness to responders when needed. Security leaders sought a way to further modernize its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure The university deployed an HCI solution, one that is optimized for demanding, data-intensive workloads like video surveillance. Using standard off-the-shelf server hardware, the system aggregates the storage and compute resources from multiple servers into a single unified pool that all cameras can access, which maximizes performance and storage capacity utilization. The platform also hosts the university’s video management solution, which serves as a centralized source to manage video and effectively protect its security data. Because of the growing demand for video across UCF's campuses — for both safety and business purposes — the HCI solution’s ability to eliminate the opportunity for data loss and easily scale were key components in its selection. Protecting Air Travel And Airports In 2012, Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program. The $200 million initiative was designed to modernize and expand the facility to meet increased passenger demand. While the aesthetics and amenities of the airport were under construction, security leaders sought a way to further modernize its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure. The IT and security teams needed to address the challenges of their existing standalone server environment, which included siloed systems, management complexity and high administrative and equipment costs. Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program Considering the high value of the airport’s video, security and IT data, it required a solution that could deliver reliable data protection, system resiliency and fault tolerance. The airport is required to store video for 30 days, but it seeks to expand its retention time to 60 days. Therefore, technology that can scale simply was key in the selection process. Storage System Updates It also required a storage platform that could manage the demanding and write-intensive nature of its nearly 250 IP surveillance cameras — a challenging task for traditional video recorders. The airport deployed HCI appliances to better manage captured video data and expand its archive capability for video surveillance. Users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen - and this is essential in airports HCI surveillance solutions are designed to provide industry-leading resiliency. Even if multiple hardware failures occur, including an entire appliance, video management servers will remain online and recording, and any previously recorded video will continue to be protected and accessible. Reducing Expenses And Costs The solution also reduced total cost of operations by consolidating servers, storage and client workstations into one enterprise-class solution that is easily managed from a single user interface, without the need for specialized IT skills. These use cases demonstrate the value emerging technologies bring to these types of modern environments. And they show that solutions like HCI are no longer simply much-talked about technology trends. Video, IT and security data is critical to organizations of all types and they need to ensure their investment in capturing this data is protected. From a security standpoint, users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen. If that video data isn’t protected, they lose a very valuable investigative tool. That isn’t an option in today’s complex environment. That’s is why it is paramount to understand how new technologies can help expand current capabilities and evolve security operations. This can’t be left to chance.
After a lot of studying and getting ready for what seems like an endless stream of exams, teachers and students alike will enjoy having some much-needed time off — whether it’s just for a weekend, a break during the school year or the long summer holidays. Schools that are left empty for a sustained amount of time obviously increases the risk of arson attacks, thefts and vandalism. Staff members at an establishment should therefore work through this checklist before they leave the classroom on the last day of term — as well as throughout the new school year heading into weekends: Checks Around The School’s Perimeter Before looking at the school itself, there are a few aspects that should be checked around the perimeter of the education establishment. Report any large or overgrown trees or shrubbery both inside the school grounds and around the perimeter. These can make access to the grounds easier, as well as lead to unnecessary blind spots of CCTV coverage. Ensure all locks have also been checked to make sure they are still fit for purpose, as well as that the access control features on gates are functioning properly so that trespassers cannot gain easy access to a school’s grounds. It is wise to have a look that all of the fencing around a school is fully intact too, with no damage or footholds that allow for simple access into the grounds. Security Measures To Be Checked It is important to review a school’s maintenance programs to ensure everything is in working order before leaving an establishment empty. This will ensure that fire alarms, intruder alarms and sprinkler systems are all operating properly. Cloud CCTV means that a space can be monitored without the requirement of being on site at all times Are there any areas around the school which are in need of additional alarms or security? Look out for areas that do not have adequate surveillance currently but house many pieces of expensive equipment and technology. Cloud CCTV should also be considered when enhancing security, as it means that a space can be monitored without the requirement of being on site at all times. If set up in a school, make sure that security shutters and grills are operating correctly. Damage to the fixtures or bulbs of any external lights should be reported as soon as the issue is seen. So that they cannot be used as an accessory to gain access to a school, make sure that bins and skips are also stored within a secure part of the grounds and at least eight metres away from any building. Checks Inside The Classroom Before leaving a classroom at the beginning of a weekend or a school break, check to make sure that all windows have been closed and locked, and that all electronics have been switched off at the mains. Ensure all valuable equipment has been kept out of view, by locking it away in a secure place. Throughout the term, any breakage or deterioration to doors, windows, roofs, wall cladding, ceiling tiles, alarms and locks need to be reported upon being discovered. That way, there should be enough time to get them repaired before the weekend or holidays begin.
Increasing the quality of illumination with LED can help deter crime and improve the accuracy of video analytics One of the greatest challenges that indoor and outdoor security surveillance solutions face is lack of light. However, obtaining the proper amount of illumination for security goes beyond merely flooding a specific area with light. Without an adequate lighting source, video cameras are ineffective. When capturing only dark, blurry images and video, they can quickly become worthless to security staff or law enforcement personnel. On the other hand, too much of the wrong type of light can create issues like ‘hot spots’ and overheating, which can diminish crucial details and eventually cause irreversible camera damage. Fortunately, there has been a recent global shift that is sending users away from the old incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, and toward LED lighting. Regardless of the type of CCTV application, there are an abundance of reasons to stop using alternative types of illumination. Here are 3 of the most substantial. 1. Better Illumination And Clarity You would think it would be common knowledge by now that cameras need light to see, and well-lit areas provide less cover for criminals to commit crimes. However, it is still somewhat commonplace to have sites where either not enough lighting or the wrong kind of lighting is implemented. Increasing the quality of illumination in an area has the ability to deter crime, make other accompanying safety devices perform better and even improve the accuracy of video analytics. LED lamps are currently the only security lighting option that possesses a multitude of point sources, making it possible to aim your light Integrators need a lighting solution that consistently performs, and when it comes to supplying the best operation, price, and durability; external LED lighting is the only choice. One particular aspect of external LED lighting that makes optimum illumination possible is the strategic uniformity of its design. External LED lamps are currently the only security lighting option that possesses a multitude of point sources, making it possible to literally aim your light by situating individual diodes in a specific angle or position. This type of alignment offers a more consistent and predictable light source than anything else on the market, eliminating much of the uncertainty involved in installation. This allows you to light a larger area more effectively and efficiently with nearly zero effort. 2. Faster Start-up Time Whether you are talking about protecting a utilities facility, school campus or international border, it doesn’t take long for an incident to occur. Unlike traditional HID (high intensity discharge) lights, which can take up to a half an hour to reach full competency, LED’s spark up immediately. The colder the climate of the area, the more difficulty the HID bulbs have getting started and functioning properly. Given that there are many places in the United States alone where temperatures can sit at or below single digits, it seems almost absurd to consider anything else besides LED lighting. This sizable flaw can be especially detrimental if attempting to set up any kind of crime deterring, motion detection solution. One of the most crucial components of a sufficient response system is reaction time. Having a sluggish start up regarding any component is much like having a 15 year-old guard dog laying in your yard. By the time the security lights get up and running, the offender has already committed the crime and vacated the premises. And as dependable as the old boy may have been in the years past, he is now just too darn slow. And with an industry that is quickly moving toward more effective real-time, situational security solutions, a hesitated response is the last thing desired. Unlike traditional HID lights, which can take up to a half an hour to reach full competency, LED’s spark up immediately 3. Increased Life Span And Efficiency Organizations have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars each year in energy costs, while increasing site security by switching to LED based illuminators. LED’s provide the lowest running cost currently available, with less than 100 watts needed for the most powerful of units. Not to mention, the majority of additional wattage needed for other types of lighting units is generally burned off in the form of unwanted heat, decreasing both quality and length of life. How much longer LED’s lasts when compared to the alternative is astounding. For example, the average life span of an incandescent bulb is about 1,000 hours; fluorescent bulbs last for around 10,000 hours, while LED’s can shine bright up an impressive 100,000 hours. That is 100 times longer without changing a bulb. Furthermore, installing LED’s not only saves money in the form of lower energy and running costs, but also provides a very low rate of bulb malfunction or failure. This cuts down on maintenance fees as well as possible down time that could result in vulnerability. Inspections and servicing of lights alone can be very expensive and time consuming. LED’s radiate much less heat, reducing the chance of insect complications and helping prevent hot spot development, again saving you time, money and frustration at every camera site. Enhancing Overall Security Solution As time goes on, the importance of strategic lighting becomes more and more evident for the security industry. The continual growth of technologically advanced video solutions (biometrics, crowd detection, motion tracking, etc.) demands a level of clarity and consistency that can only obtained through proper lighting. LED’s not only yield a lower running cost and better performance, they provide an enhanced level of control. The most important benefit of a security tool is not always how it performs independently, but how it increases the effectiveness of the overall security solution it is a part of.
The task of protecting shared spaces, such as offices and schools, has become increasingly complex, particularly with ever-rising political tensions and the difficulties of assessing threats for schools, workplaces and law enforcement. Given the randomness of when and where a violent person may strike, those who manage facilities need an emergency plan, as well as robust training, detection and awareness. To gain more insights into dealing with such threats, we interviewed John Torres, President of Security and Technology Consulting, Guidepost Solutions. Guidepost Solutions is a global team of investigators, security and technology consultants, and compliance and monitoring experts. They provide security design and consulting, investigations, and compliance and monitoring leadership for critical client needs. Torres has extensive investigative and security experience. Previously, he served as the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia. His background includes more than 27 years of experience providing investigative and security management for the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, including serving as the Acting Director and the Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Q: Why is it difficult for schools, workplaces and law enforcement to assess threats of violence? How can they differentiate between a threat and a non-threat? Torres: With mobile technology and social media, threats are more than just physical. Schools are often not screening student social media accounts and are restricted in what they can and cannot monitor due to privacy laws. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcement, providing training and increasing awareness of potential threats or abnormal behavior. Proactive business and educational institutions are working closely with law enforcementEmerging tools include software that allows monitoring of students’ school-issued email and file storage accounts. Communications software and apps provide real-time notification of emergency messages to students, parents, employees and the community to provide critical instructions during an emergency. The combination of training and new tools has enabled trends and threatening language to be identified and appropriate authorities notified. Q: What tools and/or insights can Guidepost Solutions add to the mix? What are the elements of a “comprehensive risk assessment?” Torres: Comprehensive risk assessments include adopting a tiered approach to assessing the school or office and the surrounding environment. A typical approach includes site perimeter review, identifying gates, fencing, vehicle barriers etc., the parking lot, building exterior, interior paths of travel and individual classroom measures. Review and observation of systems including mass notification, video surveillance, access control, intrusion and visitor management, etc. are critical to ensure that they are equipped to maintain functionality in the event of power loss etc. As an insight, always engage with people, they have the knowledge of each unique facility. Elements we can add to the mix include assessments, physical security improvements and mass notification systems, as well as emergency response training, operational policies and procedures, and behavior analysis. Q: How can the elements of a risk assessment be translated into recommendations of specific technologies or processes (such as video surveillance and/or access control)? Torres: Risk assessments often drive and identify the need for technologies to be implemented into the security programs of schools, business or places of mass gathering, such as stadiums, convention centers and houses of worship. Risk assessments often drive the need for technologies to be implemented into places of mass gatheringRisk assessments help identify weaknesses in security procedure and then often support phased security enhancement programs as funds become available for investment. Each entity is different, and stakeholders should be included. For example, video surveillance may be a priority at one location but controlling the main point of entry may be more important at another. Technology and process recommendations must meet the operational needs and support the goals of the security team and operational managers. Q: How can the risk of an incident be mitigated and lives protected? Torres: While multiple steps are helpful, all of them in combination are key to implementing a comprehensive security plan. They include: Assessments – physical, cyber and procedural Physical Security Improvements – visitor management, fencing and barriers, locks and cameras Emergency Response Training – law enforcement coordination; muscle memory response Mass Notification Systems – current software, clear concise directives, testing Operational Policies and Procedures – termination, evacuation, communication, intervention Behavioral Analysis. Q: What are the elements of behavior analysis? Torres: They include things like changes in appearance and behavior, including social media behavior, and isolation from family or friends. They also include studying or taking pictures of potential targets, and real or perceived bullying. An individual may advocate violence or hate, and/or consume violent extremist information/propaganda. He or she may talk about traveling to places that sound suspicious, and/or have an obsession with weapons. Q: What is the role of training? Torres: Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schools, be it a fire drill, earthquake, lockdown, active shooter situation, etc. Training and drills educate those present, including employees and staff, with information about actions that may save lives and reduce casualties in a real emergency. Training should hold people responsible and set standards for acceptable behavior. Training is critical regarding emergency situations in schoolsThere should be a plan that is implemented, including practice and drills. You should also provide training and communication skill building classes. Develop intervention strategies. Work with HR and legal (and others as appropriate). Finally, document everything. Q: What challenges still remain? Torres: Cultural and behavioral change remains at the forefront of schools and businesses when addressing safety and security measures. A large percentage of violent acts may be preventable if a bystander shares his/her concerns with the proper authorities. According to the FBI, perpetrators exhibited behavioral indicators in 93% of incidents. And bystanders had prior knowledge in 81% of school attack incidents and 80% of terrorist-inspired behaviors or activities before an attack. Q: What progress are you seeing? Torres: With each tragedy that occurs, leaders are engaging with safety and security head on. There is a shift in schools and businesses to engage with professionals that can help them understand what they do not know. Simple things such as improved communication and enforcement of policies and procedures can have a tremendous positive impact on an organization’s security posture. Assessments and technology upgrades are important and effective, but it all starts with acknowledging the need to provide and maintain safe and secure environments for students, employees and the community.
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilizing so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilizing a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organization, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualization tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organizations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson soccer game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analyzing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organizational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand (as reported in Education Week). “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Role of early detection Early detection of weapons in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence Early detection of weapons – and their users – in the school environment can minimize the impact of school violence. For example, ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to detect weapons and recognize faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. Data capture form to appear here! An emerging tool in campus security is audio analytics: Aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the campus security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognizing duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification. Emergency response technology CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role. For example, physical security company Sielox has adapted the idea of using a color scheme to characterize an emergency situation into its electronic security system. CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution that uses a variety of colors to designate the emergency conditions in various parts of a school building – red to alert to a crisis condition and green to designate "safe/secure". Colors are displayed on a schematic of the building, and new colors have been added, too, such as yellow for “unaccounted individual", orange for “disturbance” and blue to designate a medical emergency. CLASS offers five different alert levels and eight different colors that are configurable to denote a wide variety of emergency or non-emergency situations (such as maintenance or homeroom check-in status). Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role Non-lethal methods to suppress active shooters in schools are also emerging. For example, one remotely deployed threat suppression system drenches a perpetrator with a repulsive water-based solution, thus impairing their ability to enact violence. The solution irritates eyes, throat, lungs and skin, but does not cause permanent injury. Cleanup is easy using water and detergent. The solution is manually deployed in predetermined zones, which limits the affected areas in a building. Touch-screen control enables rapid deployment, which can also be integrated with Threat Alert buttons and/or gunshot detection. ShotSpotter gunfire tracking Gun violence is also an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located Beyond the schools themselves, gun violence is an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located. ShotSpotter, Inc. released data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area. There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analyzed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays. On a positive note, awareness of high-profile school violence has prompted action. Schools and universities are most certainly safer than ever before. High-profile incidents, especially active shooters tragedies, have increased collective security awareness. Heightened awareness leads to safer practices, improved emergency preparedness and security technology innovations. Collaborative efforts that involve stakeholder groups, such as administrators, responders and students, are the key to a safer learning environment. Investing in technology advances in 1) access control (e.g. electronic access, visitor management) and 2) communications (e.g. duress capabilities, mass notification) is the most effective way to protect people.
Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, announced that Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD), one of the largest school districts in California, has strengthened its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that includes 1,250 Hanwha Techwin Q series cameras across 20 different locations. Anaheim Union High School District Located just outside of Los Angeles, AUHSD is a public-school district serving portions of the Orange County cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma and Stanton and has an estimated 2,900 employees in 20 different facilities. In total, it serves approximately 29,000 students from grades 7 to 12. Despite its size and expanse, the district was lacking a robust security camera system that could allow administrators to monitor or document incidents on campus. “Other than a few sites with some DVR-based systems, we did not have any security cameras,” explained Erik Greenwood, Chief Technology Officer for AUHSD. IP security cameras installed AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution Additionally, as the district continued to grow, so did the seriousness of some of its security issues. After several security incidents and school shootings at other campuses across the U.S., the district faced mounting concerns from the community. AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that would include IP security cameras at its center. AUHSD officials collaborated with school principals, administrative staff, and local police departments to identify key areas where cameras should be placed, such as gathering points for students and the buildings’ main entrances and exits, as well as what specifications the system should have to produce viable footage for law enforcement. Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras The district brought on CA-based integrator, HCI Systems Inc., which recommended Hanwha Techwin’s QNV-7080R 4MP Network IR Vandal-Resistant Cameras. The Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras enable high-resolution monitoring with clear images, and the innovative hallway view feature maximizes the area of surveillance in narrow locations, such as school corridors. In addition, these Q series cameras are equipped with IR function, enabling clear, sharp images in dimly lit environments and during the night. Robust set of technical specifications According to Greenwood, the Hanwha cameras were chosen as the key part of the system for several reasons. He said, “We had a very robust set of technical specifications in our RFP, and the image quality, frame rate and light specifications of the Hanwha cameras matched our requirements.” In addition to their rich feature set, the Hanwha camera configuration presented a streamlined solution. Greenwood further stated, “We didn't have a large quantity of different camera models which meant we didn’t need to keep stock of all sorts of lenses and other accessories. The committee liked that approach from a troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance standpoint.” Vandal resistance The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process since the camera domes can easily be cleaned or swapped without having to replace the entire camera. The Hanwha cameras were installed throughout the district in entrances, exits, exterior restroom doors, staff work areas and in general meeting areas. They are helping the district keep eyes on campus vandalism, graffiti, any other potential threats and, in some cases, even monitoring certain personnel issues, such as inappropriate use of school equipment. Campus surveillance When an incident is reported, administrators can quickly access and review the security footage to see what happened. In all, Greenwood said, “It's been a great project that involved everyone and the new cameras have some great qualities.” Now that the installation is complete, AUHSD is taking a closer look to see where there may still be some blind spots and exploring where they might benefit from potential expansion.
From simple thefts of copper wire from rooftop HVAC systems, to substantial damage and revenue loss at electrical substations, copper continues to be stolen from everywhere that it is readily available. Due to the high price of copper, a large electric power holding company in the Mid-West United States faced the growing issue of theft and damage at multiple sites. The few hundred dollars of copper that was being ripped out was causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, repairs, and down time, while creating unsafe grounding conditions for the electrical equipment. Electrical substations Changing site conditions, large perimeters and the inability to trench, and remote locations were all challenges that needed to be addressed when deciding on a solution. An integrator was selected who then teamed up with OPTEX to create a reliable, effective security solution. The team decided on protecting the existing perimeter fence and automatic gate systems using pairs of the SL-350QFRi housed in photoelectric beam towers. This offered a battery-powered, wireless 350ft. point-to-point perimeter solution and allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them, eliminating the need to trench or run cables. When a site plan is provided, OPTEX offers to custom build the towers and pre-install the photoelectric beams in them based on the job site specifications, all at no charge. Also, it will be shipped directly to the job site, labeled for position and ready to be installed. Rooftop and HVAC units When a high school in DeKalb County, Georgia began feeling the effects of copper theft, The DeKalb County School District turned to OPTEX to help protect their HVAC systems, rooftops and yards. Because of labor and cost associated with wiring, along with the difficulty bringing power to the rooftops, the Regional Sales Director for OPTEX recommended the iSeries battery-powered, wireless PIRs. The iSeries detectors offered spot protection for the HVAC units while covering all access points on the rooftop. Relocation of detectors Thefts have been eliminated and the end user can respond quickly before any damage is done The wireless feature also allows the integrator to relocate and easily adjust the detectors based on future security needs. With the system in place, copper and other related thefts have been eliminated and the end user can respond quickly before any damage is done. All of the battery-powered, wireless detectors from OPTEX come with an empty backbox and work with most manufacturers wireless transmitters. When one selects the iSeries version, OPTEX will pre-install the batteries and an Inovonics EN1941 wireless transmitter. One less time consuming step to do for the installer! Construction sites A New Mexico based construction contractor began having problems keeping thieves out of its construction sites during non-working hours. Unwatched construction sites are hot beds for a variety of thefts from copper pipes and wire to hand tools to heavy-duty machinery. Set-up was able to accommodate the frequently changing conditions of a construction site Sometimes workers would arrive to a site in the morning only to find materials, such as copper pipe, gone along with their tools. The result is the loss of a whole day and sometimes multiple days of work. On top of the lost time, the contractor had to cover the cost of replacing materials. An Albuquerque based integrator introduced the construction contractor to the idea of a flexible, reliable wireless solution that could continually monitor the entire site without the need to trench around the perimeter. OPTEX iSeries photo beams and PIR detectors A combination of OPTEX iSeries photo beams and PIR detectors were attached to freestanding steel posts with base plates and deployed throughout the job sites. This set-up was able to accommodate the frequently changing conditions of a construction site. For some sites, the integrator used as few as a dozen detectors, while others required as many as 30 or more. With the PIR and Photo beam solution specific to each site, the end user has seen zero thefts since installation.
Imagine a campus security installation so big that it will take years to complete all the work, and it also means installing solutions with the latest technology and significant impact on school security. This illustration is the kind of job an integrator can really sink their teeth into. It is the kind of solution that a manufacturer wants to keep on their to-do list. Houston Independent School District Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest school district in Texas and is the seventh-largest school district in the United States. The latest technology is about to make its debut in every one of HISD's campuses. HISD has built ten new schools within the district in 2018 and is expected to add another 10 to 12 this year, all of which will be brought on board with new cabling and IP cameras. In all, there are 280 schools in the district. IP network cameras installed We (Salient) have partnered with Houston ISD for their security needs for more than a decade" The change in security solutions would be significant as the district had already deployed upwards of 17,000 analog cameras at its schools with coax cable. As seen with many of the surrounding school districts, the time had come to retire the old system and make significant upgrades. "We (Salient) have partnered with Houston ISD for their security needs for more than a decade," said Paul Fisher, Vice President of Global Key and National Accounts at Salient Systems, adding "We have worked with other nearby school districts in the Houston area, including HISD. Our extensive experience will continue to guide HISD as they build new schools and refurbish other facilities in the district." Implementation of PowerUltra hardware Fisher said the most significant difference with the new IP security installations would be the implementation of Salient's PowerUltra hardware. This hardware will replace an obsolete Windows XP, which is no longer serviced by Microsoft. PowerUltra hardware is the new standard of storage from the IT perspective. "This hardware will allow HISD to grow over the next five years and give them twice as much horsepower than they currently need," Fisher said, adding "This is a major move to IP video surveillance, and each server will easily handle more than 200 IP cameras." IP video surveillance solution Building schools and refurbishing the current installed base at HISD is no easy task. The district covers territory in nine municipalities and some unincorporated areas in Greater Houston, including all of the cities of Bellaire, West University Place, Southside Place, and most of the area within the Houston city limits. HISD also takes students from the Harris County portion of Missouri City, a part of Jacinto City, a small portion of Hunters Creek Village, a small piece of Piney Point Village, and a small section of Pearland; Pearland annexed territory within HISD between 1998 and 2005. There are 209,000 students, speaking nearly 100 languages, nearly 12,000 teachers, and approximately 28,000 support staff. Enhanced safety and security Safety and security are part of the project scope for all recently completed schools" "Safety and security are part of the project scope for all recently completed schools and those currently under construction,” District officials said, adding "This includes the 40 schools that are part of the 2012 Bond Program, as well as seven more schools, either recently completed or under construction, that are not funded by the 2012 Bond." Additionally, the 2012 Bond Program includes a US$ 17.3 million line item dedicated to safety and security upgrades at schools district-wide. That focus was further strengthened in 2017 when the HISD Board of Education allocated an additional US$ 12.1 million for district-wide safety and security needs. Adopting a total IP solution "We are pleased to be a part of this safety and security upgrade at HISD. Using Salient technology at the head-end of the security systems says a lot about our open architecture, and the trust that the school district has placed in us," Fisher said. He adds, "As we help HISD move towards a total IP solution, we are also pleased to work with the HISD IT department and upgrade their network cabling." Security upgrades Not all HISD schools fall under the bond program. Many safety and security upgrades are made based on a review of assessed needs at various campuses. Most updates are at elementary and middle schools because so many high schools have been or will be replaced or rebuilt with the district-standard safety and security measures already incorporated. "The upgrades have been completed partially in-house and partially by contracting with construction, technology, and security vendors," district officials stated, adding "In regards to wire pulls, all new campuses have robust fiber optic and wire backbones, minimizing the need for new wire pulls. However, for upgrades at existing campuses, the amount of wiring needed and pull times will vary." Salient Systems VMS Salient System's VMS has been in place throughout their decades-long security contract While Salient System's VMS has been in place throughout their decades-long security contract, the company's technology unit has been working hand-in-hand with HISD's Information Technology division with the installation of the PowerUltra in new schools. All while security maintenance, a team under the purview of the business operations facilities and fleet services department, is overseeing server replacement in existing schools. Increased level of visibility "The leadership of HISD has taken safety and security to a new level with the highest quality of products and solutions, meeting the demands of installation at new schools and existing campuses," Fisher said. He adds, "Our goal has been to ensure that the software and storage systems we provide lend themselves to the overall health of the security system. The increased level of visibility in the 'live view mode' ensures that what an operator is looking at is viewed at the proper resolution." Increased coordination between SOC and security system Implementation of safety and security upgrades is currently underway. Once fully implemented, HISD expects to see a significant increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of communications, specifically, district officials will be able to see real-time 24/7 server monitoring, allowing for increased connections between the security operations center (SOC) and the security system. Technicians also will be able to troubleshoot remotely, increasing efficiency. "The SOC is manned 24/7," the district official said, adding "As servers are migrated to the PowerUltra, SOC will be monitoring them 24/7”. The official further stated, “Currently, a manual report is run each morning to determine what servers are down. Campuses also may call during the day to report if they are unable to view their cameras. Once an issue is identified, a technician is dispatched to the site to troubleshoot."
Established by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, ADA University is a state higher education institution engaged in the delivery of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in addition to research advancement. The university started the construction of a new teaching building in 2017. Its multimedia classroom required 40 square meters of LED screens to provide students with advanced and modern teaching equipment. Spread spectrum VFE technology 42 m2 PHSA1.6-MH indoor fine pixel LED screens from Dahua Technology were seamlessly spliced and installed at the multimedia classroom of ADA University. The solution features single control chip with only one IC. The product adopts spread spectrum VFE technology to achieve higher refresh rate, while its wide color range provides excellent high restoration and color uniformity. It can also achieve high contrast, low failure rate and low light reduction. The brightness of the LED screens can be adjusted within 50-800 nits without losing gray levels With wide current regulation technology, the brightness of the LED screens can be adjusted within 50-800 nits without losing gray levels, which is applicable in different environments. A centralized power supply was also deployed to lower power consumption. In addition to providing the devices, staff from Dahua Delivery Department were also responsible for on-site installation, offering operation and after-sales training to both distributor and staff of ADA University. First LED screen project The customer was very satisfied with the successful delivery of the project. The students of ADA University can now enjoy vivid and colorful videos and images through the LED screen, bringing a pleasant viewing experience for teachers and students. As the first LED screen project in Azerbaijan, Dahua Technology’s complete solution and excellent service from pre-sales to after-sales greatly impressed the customer, and they expressed their desire to choose Dahua Technology in their other similar projects in the future. “Dahua Technology has a professional technical team, which provides us with high-quality service. We are very satisfied with Dahua Technology’s products. The professional training provided to us is very helpful for our operation and maintenance. We believe that we will continue to cooperate with Dahua Technology in the future,” said Alekberov Mukhdar, Electrical Engineer of ADA University.
Swanshurst School is one of Birmingham’s most popular destinations for girls’ secondary education, with more than 1800 pupils aged 11 to 19. To maintain their outstanding OFSTED-inspection rating, the school’s leaders work hard to promote the highest standards of personal behavior and performance. Video monitoring The use of video monitoring is key to the efficient use of resources at the school. With such a busy site, the ability of senior staff to see who is entering or leaving, and to remotely monitor corridors and lobby areas, is seen as crucial to fostering a safe and welcoming learning environment. But the old video system at Swanshurst was proving difficult to use and unreliable, there were gaps in coverage and the cameras were struggling to deliver consistently high image quality. With budgets always tight, a more capable solution was needed. Comprehensive HD video coverage of school campus The new solution had to be installed quickly and it would need to provide comprehensive HD video coverage The new solution had to be installed quickly and it would need to provide comprehensive HD video coverage of corridors, key areas outside classrooms, parking spaces, the school grounds and entrances. For the schools’ Strategic Business Manager, Annette Tyler, the priority for the upgrade was not just price, but service and performance, because she knew that the right solution would be a deterrent to low-level disruptive incidents as well as reducing the more serious risks that schools face, including intrusion and fire. Use of video management software Time-stretched senior staff wanted to be able to use the video management software (VMS) without over-complex training, and to get best value, the new solution would need to be durable and easy to maintain going forward. To avoid a potentially costly mistake Annette Tyler researched what other schools had done, and looked for personal recommendations. After comparing the three final quotes the management team selected Unison Integrated Technology to implement an end-to-end IDIS solution. In fact, the proposal that Unison had come back with was much more impressive than the school had been expecting. Powerful HD cameras and video recorders deployed With full technical support and rapid stock delivery from IDIS, Unison Integrated Technology had just five weeks to complete this major upgrade. The new solution comprised close to 110 cameras. IDIS’s DC-D4213WRX vandal resistant full-HD IR domes proved to be the perfect units to provide coverage for most of the school’s internal areas and more than 70 were installed. Not only do they capture pin-sharp images in all lighting conditions, easily handling rapid variations in brightness and shade thanks to their true wide dynamic range (WDR), outstanding infra-red performance gives an impressive 30 metres range at night too. Powerful IR night vision, with low light enhancer technology, is also provided by the 27 IDIS DC-E3212WRX vandal resistant bullet cameras, which were installed to cover entrances and external areas. Allowing the installation team work more quickly, these cameras use Power over Ethernet (PoE) to eliminate the need for additional cabling, while the hierarchical connection between the cameras at the NVRs further guarantees the most efficient method of cabling. IDIS Network Video Recorders Impressive recording capability is provided by four IDIS NVRs (32-channel DR-6332PS-S recorders) Impressive recording capability is provided by four IDIS NVRs (32-channel DR-6332PS-S recorders), which achieve 370Mbps throughput to ensure no latency on live footage and image capture in full HD. IDIS dual codec performance means that all footage can be recorded in high-definition H.265 but still viewed on older H.264 tablets and other devices if HD monitors are not available, so there’s no need to upgrade until the user is ready. Built-in PoE switches save further on hardware and installation costs. In the event of a power failure or network instability, IDIS Smart Failover technology provides multi-layered protection against video data loss due and eliminates the risk of gaps in recordings. IDIS DirectIP With minimal training, authorized staff, including the head teacher, the safeguarding officer and reception staff are now able to use the intuitive IDIS Center VMS to live monitor internal and external areas, and quickly search recorded footage to find events of interest. This new capability is already proving to be a useful deterrent, confirms Annette Tyler, with pupils, parents and staff all appreciating the added protection that the new cameras gives. IDIS DirectIP guarantees a low total cost of ownership (TCO), with no additional fees for the IDIS Center VMS, plus the reassurance of easy adaptability in the future, thanks to the guaranteed forward and backward compatibility of IDIS tech. In addition, the industry’s longest warranty, the IDIS Ultimate Warranty, gives the best protection against equipment faults.
SMARTair® Wireless Online access management has proven a simple, school-wide electronic solution for greater control and security at Westbridge. Each staff member carries one RFID credential card programmed with access rights personalized to their individual role. In an emergency, the school can institute a complete lockdown via the centralized system. “Having a SMARTair® system in place has given us peace of mind. It’s quicker, it’s safer and it’s simple,” says Joanna Brunton, Executive Officer at Westbridge School. The school’s teaching, administration and residential buildings require multiple layers of access control, for both staff and students. The inflexibility of a legacy mechanical locking system had presented facility management and pupil safety challenges for years.“With over 50 staff, we needed more subtlety in assigning access permissions, which you simply can’t do with a bundle of metal keys,” explains Joanna Brunton, Westbridge School’s Executive Officer. New access system The system would need to be installed over the holidays for minimal disruption to the school’s busy calendar Beyond replacing and upgrading outmoded, inflexible mechanical key security, Westbridge had a number of requirements for its new access system. Devices in the new, unified system would replace piecemeal mechanical locking on 80+ doors around the site. School leaders wanted access control already proven in the field, with a track record of successful installations managing access in schools worldwide. New electronic locks must provide a real-time audit trail, so facility managers always know which doors are opened by which staff cards. The new system would also need to work within the school’s security budget — and be installed over the holidays, for minimal disruption to the school’s busy calendar. "We essentially had a safety and security need,” adds Joanna Brunton. “We needed to be able to discourage students from going where they didn’t need to be on site or redirect a student who was in a heightened state from re-entering a classroom and potentially disrupting the class or causing damage.” Wireless and battery operated SMARTair® solution has done everything we wanted it to do in terms of safety, security and monitoring" System administration is easy even for non-specialists. “I taught staff how to use the software and encode access cards,” says Kylie Bray, director at Western Lock Services, who have long managed hardware maintenance for Westbridge. “If a staff member loses their card, you can go straight in and delete it." The intuitive SMARTair® system software can open or secure individual zones, connecting to individual locks via a network of 9 hubs. “We now have the ability to set higher security for specific areas of our site, especially over the school holidays when students have gone home,” says Joanna Brunton. “Our regular maintenance contractors have their own access keys, so they just get straight on with their work without calling us to meet them for access. This keeps our time, and their costs, down. SMARTair® door devices are wireless and battery operated. Because there’s no need to run cabling to individual doors, installation was fast and cost-efficient. From a facilities management point of view, the solution has done everything we wanted it to do in terms of safety, security and monitoring,” adds Joanna.
Round table discussion
Securing large campus environments can be particularly demanding and requires a range of technology solutions. In effect, a campus may represent a dozen or more individual facilities to be secured, in addition to protecting the overall environment. Seeking more insight into the number and variety of needs of securing a campus, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting large campus environments?
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
Physical security technologies operate successfully in many different markets, but in which markets do they fall short? Physical security is a difficult challenge that can sometime defy the best efforts of manufacturers, integrators and end users. This is especially the case in some of the more problematic markets and applications where even the best technology has to offer may not be good enough, or could it be that the best technology has not been adequately applied? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on instances when the industry may fall short: Which segments of the physical security industry are most under-served and why?
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