01 February 2011

Office Park Security


By virtue of their complex nature, office parks require complex security solutions.


Encompassing multiple offices and parking areas, which are accessed by a variety of pedestrian and vehicle traffic every day, office parks cannot be effectively secured by a one-size-fits-all solution, says Zane Greeff, technical director for Elvey Security Technologies. 


“In this day and age, where the growth of business robberies is still on the rise, albeit at a far slower rate than a couple of years ago, business stakeholders have to take responsibility for the security of their properties and personnel,” he maintains. 


For those wanting an effective office park security system, he urges them to opt for a customized system that encompasses four critical aspects: boundary security, access control, monitoring and CCTV (closed circuit television).  “The answer to the challenge of how best to secure such a complex environment lies in a multi-faceted combination of cutting-edge technology and professional manpower that will be able to distinguish between those coming to work or to meetings and those with criminal intentions,” he says. 


Ins and outs

While a boundary wall or fence is usually considered the first line of defence in a security system, Greeff puts access control ahead of the obvious when it comes to securing an office park.  “An access control system has readers that can be placed in every conceivable area of risk, from entrances, doorways and turnstiles to storage sheds and car parks.  This makes it possible to restrict people’s access to specified or unauthorised areas and even prevent employees, through the use of time zones, from accessing the premises after hours, on weekends or during holidays.”


Operating off a centralised computer which contains a database with the names of every employee on the site, the system can also prevent the costly practice of buddy clocking, he adds. 


Capable of registering up to 25 000 readers and 20 000 card or tag users, Mr Greeff says there’s an access control system to suit any site, regardless of  size or complexity.  And for the techno-wary, he reassures that enrolment couldn’t be simpler.  All that’s required is for the template management software to be connected to the enrolment computer. 


The invisible wall


Criminals who are undeterred at finding an impenetrable main entrance will move to the boundary wall to seek out another point of entry, even if it means scaling a wall, says Mr Greeff.  The implementation of a boundary protection system such as the Optex AX-350/650TF series is therefore high on his priority list.  He explains: “Through the use of photo beam sensors which create an invisible fence, the Optex AX-350/650TF series is able to detect any attempt to breach a boundary and then immediately trigger an alarm.”


The Optex detectors, which boast dual beam, long-range sensors with external ranges of up to 200m and internal ranges of up to 400m, make them ideal for use in larger installations.  Offering four site-selectable frequencies that create a wall of coverage when stacked on top of each other, the beams have a fully adjustable interruption time suited to a wide range of applications.



To each an alarm


Regardless of the sophistication of its overall technology, each office within the park should have its own alarm system to warn of an intrusion, recommends Mr Greeff.  The central monitoring station will then be able to dispatch a guard to the scene of the disturbance while simultaneously directing the PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) CCTV cameras to focus on the area and obtain video footage of the prowler. 


According to Mr Greeff, the new Sur-Gard II receiver has been designed to enhance the monitoring and performance of emergency response stations – “the life blood of security firms wanting to provide high-end security solutions for their clients” – by providing remote IP (Internet Protocol) monitoring of fire and burglary systems. 


Adds Valerie Bingham, Product Manager for Elvey: “While the conventional method of sending signals via telephone line remains in wide use, more and more control rooms are embracing the technological advances that allow for signals to be received via the internet as opposed to circuit-switched phone services.”


IP, she continues, delivers enormous benefits including a higher level of line security and faster data transmission than conventional dial-up panels, reduced costs and immediate notification of line interruptions at both the central station and the protected premises.


Building on DSC’s lineage of trusted monitoring station receivers, she says the System II receiver is well-suited to proprietary applications such as office and business parks, colleges, university campuses, gated communities, townhouse complexes, and corporate and government entities. 



Watching and analysing

Video analytics, the result of gigantic developmental strides within the fifty-year-old CCTV sector, is also playing a major and growing role in crime prevention, says Ingo Mutinelli, Elvey’s national sales manager.  He says its ability to quickly and accurately analyse video footage for specific data is obviating the need for human operators, whose efficacy has been reported to drop to as little as 5% within twenty minutes of screen monitoring.  As a result of the dependable, unfaltering monitoring ability of video analytics, businesses throughout the world are reporting impressive results with regard to shrinkage, robbery and burglary as well as workplace violence and bullying.   


Using a combination of algorithms, intelligent software and IP-based video surveillance technology, video analytics is able to identify behaviour patterns, track movement, pick up perimeter violations, count people and recognise license plates, he tells.  It also allows for the dispatch and viewing of digitized audiovisual streams anywhere in the world.  Able to adjust automatically to lighting and other challenges, the cherry on the top is that today’s systems are surprisingly simple to install. 





Written and prepared by Priyesh Jagjivan

Elvey Security Technologies

Tel: (011) 401 6700



Elvey Marketing