02 April 2008

Elvey’s integrated solution for safer golf estates

Golf is more than just a sport – it is a growing international lifestyle in many parts of the world and South Africa is quickly catching green fever. The country’s idyllic climate offers a welcome respite from the pressures of modern day living and with lush fairways under the bright African sun; golfers here are spoiled for choice.

As a result, golf estates are mushrooming across the country, offering residents the lure of wide-open spaces. This unfortunately also attracts the criminal element. According to Francois Smuts, CCTV Product Manager for Elvey Security Technologies (Elvey), burglaries due to unscreened access by workers such as building contractors, caddies and domestic workers is the primary security risk associated with golf estates.

“Elvey provides an integrated security solution for golf estates in the form of access control, alarm monitoring and perimeter protection,“ Smuts states. ”We offer alarm systems that concentrates on perimeter protection (residences and estate) notifying the occupants and central monitoring operators before the intruder gains access to the premises or estate.”

“In addition to our perimeter protection implements, we also provide CCTV systems that include video verification and central monitoring operators to identify intruders and movement on a real time basis, as well as hindsight investigation.The purpose of access control systems at golf estate entrances is to restrict access within the estate area by providing a certain amount of control over who is and who isn’t allowed entry into the premises. The intercom system for access verification between estate entrance and residences is also useful in this regard.”

Great products means improved safety

Rudi Kuhn, Elvey Bloemfontein Branch Manager, explains the difference between passive and active infrared technology with regards to perimeter protection solutions. “Full on active infrared systems involves digital infrared transmission between two static points, with a maximum distance of 200m per unit. This forms a box around the premises. Comparatively, passive infrared relies on body temperature and covers an area of 100m.”

While this system is more expensive that traditional perimeter protection systems, the passive infrared option provides improved accuracy in early intruder detection. This also presents the opportunity for ‘active fencing’. Once the system is installed on the fence, it is able to detect movement at any point along the fence boundary, offering added protection. Therefore, crime doesn’t have to be a handicap when Elvey is on the fairway.

GSC Systems (Pty) Ltd partnered with Elvey to operate as the sole distributor for its locally produced access control products. The ProxLock, KeyProx and ProxNetrange, which provides access controls systems for single door, two door and up to 254 doors respectively, has evolved into a tried and tested brand over the years.

"We have known Elvey for many years,” says Marketing Director, Erich Glatz. “We used to sell directly throughout Southern Africa, but as a manufacturer, our strength is not marketing and selling. Elvey however has a national and dedicated sales force, which is why we made the decision to partner with – I dare say – the biggest and best security distributor in Southern Africa.”

Glatz’s statement of trust bares testament to Elvey’s respected standing in the market. “Over the years, we have built a reputation of providing relevant and reliable products that provide a sense of relief among increasingly security conscious citizens,” comments Elvey CEO, Jack Edery. “Due to the strong partnerships that we maintain with product suppliers, we are able to offer creative solutions to suit most unique applications, such as golf estates.”

“Customers appreciate Elvey’s security expertise, which leverages off past experience, product knowledge, and keen insight into local and international market trends to provide expert installation advice and vast product selection,” he adds.

According to Glatz, it has never been the company’s aim to supply the top system in the niche market, because these systems require top engineers to support it. “Our objective was to develop systems that distributors can understand, support and maintain, and basically sell with confidence. The main aspect of the products that we manufacture and distribute through Elvey’s phenomenal network is competitive prices and simplicity of installation and control.”

Teeing off in safety Neil Mckenzie, Managing Director of Centrix Technologies (Pty Ltd) has benefited from the valuable assistance of Elvey’s experienced sales staff first hand, as his company recently partnered with the company in tailoring a solution for the Eagle Canyon Golf Estate based in Johannesburg. “We recently completed the 15 month project, which involved an overhaul of the existing system,” says Mckenzie.

“The previous system was running on a fibre optic backbone, but the infrastructure was damaged so badly that it was more cost effective and flexible to re-architecture the whole system onto an Internet Protocol (IP) based wireless video surveillance solution.”

Smuts explains the main benefits that result from the increased'networkability of an access control system', which is able to control and monitor the access control system over an intranet, internet or TCP/IP facility.“TCP/IP provides for stand alone systems of corporates with multiple buildings staggered all over South Africa to combine databases and other recourses, making it easier to manage and control multiple sites.”

“Most large scale electronic security systems still function on a standalone basis with local operating personnel. Although the alarm signals are relayed back to a central control room system via a one way point-to-point radio link, the alarm signals alone are not enough to gain information for a full evaluation of the situation on the site. In addition, most alarm radio links are not only limited to general information, such as confirmation of alarm or panic conditions on site, but the signal is also dependant on ambient RF noise (other simultaneous broadcasts) to get through to the control room.”

Furthermore, in the event of the alarm signal getting through, telephones are used to confirm the validity of the alarm, as well as to obtain more details about the actual remote site by contacting responsible persons. TCP/IP communication via the internet therefore made it possible to reliably communicate detailed alarm condition information (such as how, where, when and what does the situation look like) to response units instantaneously.TCP/IP therefore provides cost effective two-way communication, between any two points, anywhere in the world – and in itself compensated for the inherent shortcomings of one-way radio transmission by allowing communication via network status monitoring.

As a case in point, Centrix Technologies, in conjunction with products and service advice offered by Elvey, provided a comprehensive system integration to achieve a complete IP based surveillance network over broadband wireless system equipment for the Eagle Canyon Golf Estate. Over 50 Samsung SCC-B2307’s day/night cameras were installed as part of the CCTV monitoring system, integrated with DSC’s Sur-Gard System single-line IP receiver. The monitoring and recording of these static cameras, positioned according to unique golf estate requirements, was converted into IP digital over a broadband wireless solution, together with the access control system.

“This is one of the few installations of this size in the country, to our knowledge, with a pure wireless backbone through IP technology,” Mckenzie comments. “The solution was devised and provided on the advice of Elvey consultants Jason De Freitas and Peter Van Blerk. Since the primary security risks associated with golf estates are intruder detection and controlling access of visitors and residents to the estate, monitoring and recording of number plates can be tricky, especially at night. On request, Elvey advised us to utilise the Samsung cameras, which offer a wide dynamic range, enabling the viewing of the number plates even with bright lights shining in the camera.”

The advantages that this type of system provides for the homeowners and estate management are visitor and resident flow control, intruder deterrents, video verification and hindsight information. Video intercoms allows for verification of vehicle occupants that request access, thereby eliminating the chances for criminals that may otherwise attempt to gain access to the estate by falsely identifying himself to the security personnel at the entrance.

“On a golf estate, you will have to deal with the constant movement of people. This security risk then is similar to the problems encountered at a townhouse complex, although on a bigger scale,” says Kuhn. “So golf estate owners need to provide a comprehensive security system that monitors access control, as it is difficult to decipher who is a valid visitor or resident and who isn’t, as well as provide perimeter protection that acts as a strong deterrent to would be intruders, as well as individual alarm monitoring for residents’ individual units.”

Over the years, Elvey has proven its capability to provide a comprehensive range of products that is suitable for all customers needs. Small to medium installers can enjoy the benefits of access to user friendly entry level products, while bigger corporates who require high end sophisticated security equipment can rest easy in the knowledge that Elvey supplies the best that leading security brands have to offer.

Elvey Marketing