All-in-one security systems to watch your home 24/7 (part 1)

All-in-one security systems only require minimal installation. That is different from and more convenient than home security systems with multiple accessories. With high-definition live streaming cameras, arming and disarming functionality, integrated sirens, and motion sensors, each device of an all-in-one security system functions as a self-contained home security system.

These systems can work particularly well for watching even the smallest rental properties because they cover a single room or entry point and you can install or uninstall them in just a few minutes.

Here are some options for you to choose.

1. Abode Iota

Price: $249

The Iota is the latest home security device of Abode. Although it is a self-contained product with a camera and siren, it is also scalable. It comes with a door or window sensor along with a key fob. The door or window sensor will chirp whenever someone opens the door/window and then send an alert to your phone. The key fob goes on your keychain, making it simpler to arm or disarm your system quickly without having to use your phone.

2. Canary All-in-One

Price: $169

Canary All-in-One was launched on Indiegogo back in 2013, raising about $2 million with the original funding goal of $100,000. The all-in-one Canary device offers 1080p HD live streaming video, humidity, and air quality sensors, and motion detection and temperature. Besides, it has an integrated 90-decibel siren and arm or disarm capabilities to become a self-contained home security system that is as much as a standalone security camera.

3. Canary View

Price: $99

Inspired by its All-in-One Smart Home Security system, Canary’s View camera ($150 at Amazon) is available at a more affordable price. Although it retains a lot of the same specs as the original such as 1080p HD live streaming, night vision, and motion alerts, the View has fewer advanced features such as a siren, temperature, humidity sensors, or an Ethernet port. However, you can arm or disarm the View camera and use voice assistants like the Canary app to check in on your camera 24/7.

How to Choose a Fire Alarm System for Your Business (part 2)

 

Choosing the most appropriate alarm system to protect the people on site

The most important element of a fire alarm system is to guarantee that it can alert all people on your premises to danger. It is your responsibility to protect all people on site, therefore, your business’s alarm system must consider the potential requirements of them.

If there are a number of people on your premises, you will need to directly communicate with them. In this case, a fire alarm system with a public address system built in is the most appropriate because it helps you give specific evacuation instructions as well as reassure people.

There may also be people who are hard of hearing or vulnerable people on site. In these cases, you have to ensure that your alarm system takes into account their safety needs. Moreover, special fire alarms which can send radio wave signals to pager devices may be required for people with hearing difficulties.

Is it necessary to have a fire alarm system which allows two-way communications?

In fact, two-way communications are necessary to provide communication between people on site and people outside of a burning building. It is appropriate in particularly dangerous situations or for the buildings having delayed evacuation procedure.

Special requirements for fire alarm systems

In some situations, it is necessary to use very early warning smoke detectors to detect a fire right the moment it starts so that the evacuation can begin immediately. This may be used in places like the concert, theatres, and entertainment venues with a lot of people gathering in a small space.

Museums or listed buildings may require wireless fire alarms because there are less upheaval and damage caused by having to lay physical cabling that may spoil the building.

Contact a professional specialist for installation and maintenance

It is advisable to consult the advice of a professional fire alarm specialist about how to best protect your business from fire.

How to Choose a Fire Alarm System for Your Business (part 1)

It is proven that fire alarm is one of the most important investments which your business can make to help save lives. It is legally required to have a Fire Risk Assessment that defines the requirements for a fire alarm system to be installed on any commercial premise and that it is regularly tested.

When it comes to selecting a fire alarm system, don’t just consider the cheapest option. The most deciding factor should be how effectively the alarm can alert people to danger and protect their safety on your premises.

Identify all of the fire threats to your business

When choosing a fire alarm system, the first stage is to define the fire risks to your business. This should be included in your fire risk assessment to set out potential hazards which could result in a fire and areas of the higher risk. From knowing how, where, and what types of fires can start, you can set up a combating strategy for the fire threat to your business.

For example, if materials that are stored on your premises would produce much smoke when being burned, smoke detectors would be most appropriate in this case. If materials produce much heat as well as relatively little smoke when being burned, heat detectors would be more suitable. Using this method of understanding fire threats helps provide a better choice to protect your business.

Consider the size and layout of your premises

The size and layout of your premises is another key consideration when choosing the alarm system to offer complete fire protection. Smaller commercial properties are likely to be more suitable for conventional fire alarms, consisting of detectors and call points which can be activated automatically or manually to raise the alarm. These alarm systems can identify which zone the alarm has been triggered by using the basic fire detection zones when they are wired back to a central control panel.

The larger business premises usually require more sophisticated alarm systems. Buildings with multiple floors will require at least one fire detector on each level and even each room in some case.

 

 

Three Pillars of Sports Venue Security (part 2)

 

Improving Identification

Most stadiums restrict access to some areas of the venue such as player entrances, press boxes, VIP suites, catering kitchens, locker rooms, etc. Network cameras play an important role in deterring unauthorized people from going to the areas that they shouldn’t. Some stadiums integrate their access control systems with cameras to verify that the person who uses the badge or key card matches with the face in the database. Moreover, the cameras have a great role in detecting people attempting to gain entrance by going through the checkpoint on an authorized person’s close tail.

Using video analytics helps stadium security in spotting people who are wearing the wrong credential badge for the areas and sending staff to detain or remove them. In fact, some stadiums used their video systems’ sophisticated search algorithms to locate missing children so that be able to reunite them with their parents. In addition, camera operators sweep the area continuously for any activity outside the norm, therefore, search algorithms can also help them spot lost objects and suspicious packages then trace them back to whom left them.

Improving Operations

From an operation standpoint, surveillance cameras can provide a big source of information to limit the stadium’s liability and improve the venue management. For example, camera data can be used to challenge the erroneous fall and slip claims or to arbitrate the disputes. To illustrate the latter case, during a game, there was an altercation in the seats and one fan insisted that another was ejected from the premises. The patron lodging the complaint asserted that the guest services had failed to correctly handle the situation and demanded that the employee is fired. When the stadium security reviewed the video of the incident, it showed an entirely different story. As the patron was confronted with the video evidence, the complaint was rescinded and no one was fired.

When it comes to the kitchen, video cameras can help assure that the staff follows safety protocols and proper health when handling and preparing food. On the other hand, cameras monitoring retail shops and merchandise kiosks can help deter pilfering and unsanctioned giveaways as well as provide forensic evidence for prosecution if needed.

 

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 4)

 

Supervisory and Notification Devices

Many supervisory and notification devices can be linked to the fire alarm control panel. For example, a tamper switch can be put on the water control valves of the automatic sprinkler systems. If this water control valve is closed by an unauthorized person, the tamper switch will immediately send a signal to the control panel to alert your people about the problem. Supervisory devices are available for various applications.

There are two types of systems: addressable or nonaddressable.

  • In the addressable type, every system’s detector has a unique digital identifier. The fire alarm control panel can individually communicate with each device. In the non-addressable type, the system’s detectors may be divided into zones, but the control panel can’t determine any individual detector’s

Addressable systems have some advantages. Firstly, in case of fire, it can give a specific location indication of activation. This specific location indication is also a part of the second advantage of the addressable systems: trouble signals can identify specifically the component with a problem. If a single detector fails, an addressable system will be able to provide a trouble signal which indicates the specific detector.

  • In the non-addressable type, although the zone will be identified, a repair person still has to check each detector to determine which one is going wrong.

Notification appliances are the visual, audible, and other devices which are located throughout the facility warning people when the system detects a fire. Strobes, horns, bells, and combination units are examples of these devices. Fire alarm control panels usually have the features which are available to allow alarms to be activated in selected locations. For example, we can use this feature to permit staged evacuations.

Alarms should be added with communications devices which help you provide the building occupants specific information and instructions. Because people usually don’t tend to respond as they should when there is a fire alarm, an emergency voice communications system can improve your occupants’ response.

Three Pillars of Sports Venue Security (p1)

Stadium security has gotten much more complicated than defusing confrontations, apprehending seat jumpers, and ejecting rowdy fans. Events of these days are all about the experience of the total fan  – the street vendors, the tailgating parties, the additional activities outside the gate. All these activities happening simultaneously stretches the security resources to the max. Therefore, it’s hard to find a spectator venue which doesn’t deploy network surveillance cameras like a force multiplier. Video systems provide the stadiums 3 important advantages: identification, situational awareness, and operational insight.

Improving Situational Awareness

Sports venue are like small cities. In addition to the retail shops, seating bowl, restaurants, and concession stands, there are escalators, elevators, parking garages and parking lots, ATMs for patron convenience, meeting rooms, first aid stations for medical emergencies. With various entry points, security needs to draw on full network cameras to improve situational awareness, resolve problems quickly, and protect public safety. By using network-based technology, it also helps in sharing situational awareness with local and state enforcement as well as first responders when needed.

Outside the venue. Network cameras which are mounted on the roof not only give a comprehensive view of the gate entrances and parking lots but also the surrounding thoroughfare. Using a mix of HD and PTZ cameras and megapixel fixed dome allows security to spot vehicles and capture critical details which could expedite criminal investigations and forestall liability claims. Adding video analytics like license plate recognition can provide one more layer of security.

 

Inside the venue. Because the lighting conditions are different throughout the venue, stadiums usually opt for wide dynamic range cameras which can provide more detail both in shadow and bright sunlight. They are especially useful in areas such as loading docks, where it is very important to verify what is being delivered. Another security strategy is to link the network cameras with panic buttons throughout the stadium to quickly assess the emergency’s nature and dispatch the suitable assistance to that location. 

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 3)

 

There various types of fire detectors. The major ones are smoke, heat, and flame detectors. Within each type are a lot of additional specific types. Here we are discussing the most popularly used for building fire detection and alarm activation.

Heat detectors are the most basic type of detectors. They are produced in several types which are divided into two main categories; line and spot. Line detectors provide a continuous detector through all areas of the coverage. Spot detectors are single units which are installed in single locations of the protected area. While spot detectors are more widely used, line detectors are usually reserved for special situations.

Spot detectors are most commonly rate-of-rise, fixed temperature, or a combination. Rate-of-rise detectors are activated based on the rise speed of the temperature, not a fixed point. Fixed temperature detectors operate at a specific temperature. These two types of detectors are most suitable for the areas which may get hot even under normal conditions, for example, detectors in a warehouse which is not temperature-controlled.

Smoke detectors are available in many types. Photoelectric smoke detectors are activated based upon light scattering within the detector’s detection chamber. Light is projected through the detector’s chamber and then will be scattered if striking smoke. This light is detected by a photocell.

Ionization smoke detectors are the most common in home use. They detect the particles in smoke. When smoke passes through the detector’s chamber, the particles are ionized. These particles may be detected later by the charged plates in the detector. There are smoke detectors combined with a heat detector. The beam detector operates when obscuring smoke between the laser receiver and emitter interrupts the beam. These detectors are often used in large open spaces.

The air sampling detection system uses the tubing which is placed throughout the protected area. The tubing has small holes that are spaced out along the tube’s length and the air is drawn constantly into the unit, which can detect low levels of combustion products.

 

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 2)

Where to Start When Choosing a System

You should choose the type of fire detection and alarm system which is suitable for your fire safety objectives that flow from a risk assessment of your operation and facility. Your risk tolerance and your afford to lose is the important parts of this process.

The issues when considering the type of fire detection and alarm system for a hospital are not the same as they are for a warehouse. In a facility where human life safety is the main concern, like the hospitals where the patients mostly aren’t able to evacuate themselves, an early warning is necessary. Other facilities like hotels, dormitories where the occupants may be sleeping when a fire occurs also require an alarm system which provides more rapid notification.

Meanwhile, in a warehouse where the occupants are almost awake and aware and there are often fewer of them, the alarm system may not need to provide notice as early. In other facilities where life safety isn’t a major issue, the fire detection and alarm system can be slower.

When selecting a fire detection and alarm system, you also must consider the commitment which will be required over the system’s life. Requirements for these systems such as testing, inspection, and maintenance are extensive. Meeting these requirements over the system’s life will usually cost more than the original installation.

Initiating devices are the elements which originate the signal. This group of components also includes detectors, manual pull stations, and supervisory devices.

A manual pull station (Figure 1) may be just a switch which activates the alarm system when being operated by a building occupant. A manual pull station should be placed where it is easy for the building occupants to find. They are mostly located along travel routes which would be used while exiting the building.

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 1)

A fire detection system is the security system designed to discover fires at an early stage so that the time is available for the safe evacuation of occupants. It also plays an important role in keeping the emergency response personnel safe. Early fire detection helps to start control efforts while the fire is still small. Therefore, we can reduce the property loss and minimize the downtime for the operation.

Fire detection systems are mainly installed in buildings especially at risk like train stations, airports, universities, business and factory premises, homes for the elderly and hospitals. Detectors should be installed with alarms to provide notice to the building occupants and sometimes transmit the signal to a staffed monitoring station. In some cases, alarms send the signal directly to the fire department, although this isn’t the typical approach.

Although the fire detection and alarm systems have many advantages, they have one major limitation is that doing nothing to control the fire. Suppression systems like the automatic sprinklers can control the fire. They also provide notification to be able to do the role of a heat detection-based system if they are connected to the notification appliances throughout the buildings. However, they cannot operate as fast as a smoke detection system. This is the reason why facilities where rapid notice is necessary still need detection and alarm systems.

The most basic alarm system, which sounds only a local alarm with manual pull stations, does not include detection. It can cause a significant delay because of relying on an occupant to discover the fire. This type of alarm system is not typically used. If you want to be more quickly notified of the fire, you must install the more expensive system. The least expensive, which is also the slowest system to detect a fire, is a heat detector. Meanwhile, the system providing the most rapid indication of fire is the air-aspirating smoke detection system, which are five to ten times as expensive.

How to Use Your Commercial Security Cameras More Effectively

A security camera is one of the most important types of protection system for your company’s premises. Although almost commercial properties use security cameras, not every company uses their camera systems effectively and appropriately.

In order for your commercial security cameras to effectively detect, deter, and help prosecute crime, you need a comprehensive system that fits well your business hours and facility.

To use your commercial security cameras as effectively as possible, read through the following guide.

Choose a Reputable Monitoring Company to Work With

Choosing the monitoring company to work with is as important as choosing the high-quality cameras to the security of your commercial property. Because even the cameras that capture every movement can’t protect your business effectively if they are not well monitored. When installing a new security camera system, you should look for a camera supplier that also offers remote monitoring or video verification.

If you have an existing system, but it isn’t professionally monitored, you should partner with a reputable monitoring company. This ensures that you’re alerted exactly the moment a security breach occurs, instead of being notified after the tape is reviewed.

You may also need to hire onsite security employees to work during off-hours in order to observe the feed and respond to it all the time.

Choose the Right Camera Type

Security cameras are not one type fits all. Businessmen who choose the wrong camera type for their facility often end up with security systems that don’t make much improvement over their in-house security team.

Tell the security camera provider what you need from a security camera system. Have them evaluate your current system. You may need a low-light, fisheye, or other types of security camera.

Keep Your Camera System Current

Like any other tech devices, your security cameras only function well when their current software and firmware are well upgraded. If you don’t take this step, there will be gaps in your video surveillance.