Page 80 - Security Today, July/August 2018
P. 80

types of vandalism requires time, labor and money—which take away from a company’s bottom line.
Guards Can Be Effective, But Expensive
Security guards are one approach to perim- eter protection, but they may not be cost effective or practical in all locations. The advantage of having a security officer onsite is that their visible presence serves as a deter- rent to trespassers, thieves and vandals. On the other hand, employing guards is an add- ed expense, ranging from $10,000 to $13,000 per month, which not all commercial busi- nesses can afford.
In addition, sites in remote locations, cold weather climates, or those which are very large and distributed may be imprac- tical for effective on-site guarding. If the guard is forced to stay indoors, or required to regularly patrol a large site, they may not be able to react effectively to property threats.
Secure the Perimeter to Reduce Loss
The key to securing commercial properties is to implement a system that allows for proac- tive prevention, instead of reactive cleanup and investigation.
When evaluating the security needs of a commercial property, the focus is often on interior areas such as ingress and egress points as well as visitor management areas. However, facility managers and their sys- tems integrators should start by analyzing the property itself, particularly the perimeter. With a properly designed and installed sys- tem, intruders can be detected and engaged before they have damaged or stolen property.
Advancements in surveillance camera technologies like image sensors and embed- ded processors, coupled with video analytics and deep learning has created a new genera- tion of effective solutions for perimeter pro- tection. Reductions in both size and cost of these components have enabled the creation of smart cameras that can combine multiple technologies into sleek, cost-effective units, designed for perimeter protection and pro- tection of outdoor assets.
Thermal + Analytics, Cornerstone of Solution
Video analytics which can detect the pres- ence of people or vehicles (thieves and van- dals need to either walk or drive onto a prop- erty before they can cause damage) work best with high-contrast images. Thermal cameras naturally produce sharp, high-contrast im- ages that enable higher-performing analytics by making objects like people and vehicles stand out clearly and eliminate dependence on exterior lighting to get good contrast.
This results in reduced false alarm rates, as the analytics do not struggle to “see” the objects of interest, making the system a re- liable intruder detector. By using thermal technology with classification analytics, we can form the basis of a strong intrusion de- tection system, but there are additional fac- tors to consider.
Optical Camera + Lighting, Provides Enhanced Detail
While thermal cameras and analytics can tell you that an intruder has entered your prop- erty, they will not provide details like facial features or colors of clothing. For this task, we use optical cameras with supplemental lighting to get good images day or night.
When the thermal camera/analytics com- bo detects an intruder, the optical camera can be called into play to capture addition- al visual details of the event. This allows a guard or security operator to get maximum information about the intruder, with the greatest potential to spot them even in chal- lenging conditions.
Because optical cameras rely on capture light reflected from objects, instead of ra- diated heat as a thermal camera does, suf- ficient lighting must to be available at the scene. LEDs are a modern, efficient form of illumination for surveillance cameras. IR LEDs provide illumination that is discreet but will only allow the optical camera to produce black and white images. Visible- light LEDs provide illumination that is vis- ible and obvious to the intruder (which can act as a deterrent) and will enable the optical camera to capture color details. Ideally, an exterior surveillance strategy would employ both forms of illumination for maximum flexibility and effectiveness.
Virtual Guarding, Modern Approach to Prevention Being able to reliably detect intruders is one half of the solution, putting informa-
tion about those events in front of security personnel is the second half of a complete approach. With the proliferation of mobile devices and internet connectivity at practi- cally every business, onsite-guards are not re- quired to provide instant response and theft prevention.
A “virtual guard” can be an employee of the compact, such as a facilities manager, or a monitoring service that specializes in video verification and response. In most cases, the costs of employing a virtual guard through a monitoring company is less than one-tenth the cost of an on-site guard, yet it has simi- lar, or better, overall effectiveness.
The virtual guard can react immediately upon notification of an event, which includes a short video clip delivered with the notifica- tion as evidence of how and where the intru- sion occurred, and live video for an up-to- the-second assessment of what is currently happening.
Audio talk-down is the most common first response, and many facilities report that a customized message, directed spe- cifically to the intruder, their location on the property, and their actions provides strong encouragement for them to vacate the premises immediately. By using live au- dio instead of just pre-recorded sounds or messages, the intruder knows they are being observed live and that someone is aware of their presence.
Video Verification— Priority Police Response
When the audio talk-down is not fully effec- tive, the virtual or remote guard will often phone the local police department to report the incident and request an on-site response. Because the guard has both video of the event, and live video as well, they can con- firm to the police with absolute certainty that the alarm is valid and immediate on- site response will likely result in an arrest. In many cases, police departments prioritize response to these calls, as they are assured it is not just a false alarm or employee going back for a forgotten item that accidentally set off the alarm.
Property Loss
No Longer Tolerated
Smart business owners have learned that there are effective, affordable solutions to securing their outdoor assets, and they are working with security integrators
who can bring them these solutions daily.
John Distelzweig is the general manager and vice president of security at FLIR Systems.

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