Welcome to the Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. blog! This blog has been started in an effort to educate and inform. It is meant to cover a broad range of security system related topics. We hope you enjoy the topics presented and we welcome any feedback.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Your Security System Holiday Checklist

With Christmas and New Year’s quickly approaching have you thought about your security system setup?

You will want to make sure company shut down days are designated as holidays in your security system programming, so as to avoid doors unlocking on your access control system or your intrusion alarm system disarming (for those systems programmed to automatically arm and disarm based on a schedule).

Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. customers:

Access Control System: You can program your holiday schedules directly via the access control system software. If you have any questions regarding this please contact our office.

Intrusion Alarm System: For our scheduled alarm system customers please provide our office with an updated holiday list if this has changed from the dates provided earlier this year. We will update the holiday schedule in your alarm panel at no charge as part of our service.

Alarm System Notification: Will your responsible party (call list) personnel be in town to respond to alarm calls or are they travelling for the holidays?

You may want to check with your responsible party personnel as to their holiday plans and if necessary update your Responsible Party list.

You can download the alarm system update forms from our website. Here is the link for the Control Center update form and the Alarm Panel update form: http://www.protectionplussecurity.com/support/PPSS_support.htm

Have a wonderful holiday season!

We at Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. look forward to serving you in 2011!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Community Policing to the Next Level

The City of San Jose has been recognized for years as being one of the safest cities in the nation yet with that stated in 2009 it reported over 3,400 violent crimes and nearly 28,000 property crimes. All would agree that anything we can do to help reduce these numbers will further help our community.

CrimeReports.com an online crime reporting website provides information on police activity, calls for service from both citizens and police officers, as well as the location of registered sex offenders. The San Jose Police Department is one of more than a dozen police departments nationwide that provides Computer Aided Dispatch information directly to CrimeReports.com for mapping and analysis. SJPD has been working with CrimeReports.com since 2007. The CrimeReports.com website allows the citizens of San Jose to view police activity in their neighborhood; everything from traffic violations, assaults, homicides, domestic abuse, to the identification and location of the nearest registered sexual offender.

This year CrimeReports.com released its Neighborhood Central application. Neighborhood Central incorporates social networking into its website with tight integration with Facebook and Twitter. Allowing Facebook users the ability to share, link, and discuss criminal activities in their neighborhood. Neighborhood Central helps creates a virtual neighborhood watch group.

One of the interesting features available with CrimeReports.com Neighborhood Central software is the ability for individuals to identify any public facing video surveillance cameras they may have deployed at their homes or businesses. This information could be of real value to SJPD when investigating crimes or suspicious activities.

Video surveillance systems are an integral part of most business security measures and have become more and more common place for residential applications. Since these system are not public systems they are typically not known to the police department; providing this information could make for a powerful tool.

For more information check out the following websites:

http://www.crimereports.com/

http://www.sjpd.org/

Monday, September 13, 2010

Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Intrusion (Burglar) Alarm Systems: Part 2 Detection Devices

This is the second blog in a series of blogs to provide a comprehensive guide to designing and selecting the intrusion alarm system that is right for your organization. I have tried to keep this as brand generic as possible. This blog will cover the most common type of detectors that are typically used for an intrusion alarm system.

There are many different types of detectors that can be used with an intrusion alarm system. This blog we will concentrate the discussion on the most common type of detectors used with most systems today; door and window contacts, motion detectors, and glassbreaks detectors.


Door and Window Contacts


Recessed Door Contact
These devices are the first line of defense. When protecting your building all the accessible openings should be contacted. There are a number of different manufacturer’s producing contacts. These units are a magnetic contact and when the door or window is opened an alarm is triggered. They produce contacts that are recessed mounted or surface mounted. They make contacts that are designed for monitoring man doors, rollup doors, windows, roof hatches, safe doors, just about any opening you can think of can be contacted. For high security applications they make biased contact switches that are very difficult to defeat.

Rollup Door Contact

Surface Mount Contact

These devices are typically programmed as either a perimeter point or an entry exit point. When programmed as a perimeter point anytime the door or window is opened with the alarm system active an alarm will be generated immediately. When programmed as an entry exit point a delay is provided to allow for entry in or exit out of the door for disarming or arming purposes.


Glassbreak Detectors

When using glassbreak sensors to protect an occupied building it is very important you select a glassbreak detector proven for this application. Not all detectors are equal. The wrong detector will provide ongoing alarm issues.

Glassbreak detectors are used to provide perimeter protection of a building. They detect an intruder the moment glass is broken. These units are designed to sense the breaking of glass and to trigger an alarm condition. For the majority of applications an acoustic glassbreak sensor is what is mostly used today. These sensors listen for the high frequency of breaking glass and trigger an alarm.


ShatterPro II 5812AW
There are two types of units we typically recommend. For quiet spaces we will use an acoustic sensor such as the GE Security / Sentrol 5812AW (ShatterPro II). This unit can be wall or ceiling mounted and provides up to a 25’ radius of detection. This unit can detect through blinds and light drapes.


ShatterPro Plus
For louder areas (break rooms, entry doors, etc.) we will use the GE Security / Sentrol 5885 (ShatterPro Plus) unit. This dual technology unit is equipped with the acoustical glassbreak sensor as well as an infrared detector. It is designed and rated for occupied space. This unit works as an acoustical glassbreak detector except when it senses the interior presence (infrared detector) of a person then it shunts the glassbreak sensor thus avoiding any interior generated alarms.

We have successfully deployed thousands of these units for the Integrated Perimeter Alarm System as I defined it in Part 1 of this discussion.

The glassbreak detectors are typically programmed as a perimeter point; anytime these units sense glass breaking they go into alarm.

Motion Detectors

Choose your motion detector carefully; quality and reliability do matter. A cheap inexpensive passive infrared detector has a greater likelihood of creating false alarms than does a more expensive dual technology detector.

There are two major classes of motion detectors; the passive infrared detector and the dual technology detector.

The passive infrared looks for a change in heat (infrared) within the field of the detector. The dual technology detector looks for motion (microwave) and heat (infrared) both must be present in order to trigger an alarm condition.

Dual Technology
Motion Detector
These detectors are designed for a specific coverage pattern. Make sure the coverage pattern is adequate for the area you are trying to cover. Installing a 35’ x 30’ unit in a warehouse is not going to provide much coverage. Installing a 90’x70’ will provide much better coverage. Keep in mind that the coverage pattern is clear line of site. These units cannot provide the coverage if they are blocked.

These units are typically programmed at interior followers or perimeter points. An interior follow will allow for a delay if an entry exit delay is first present otherwise it goes straight into alarm. The perimeter detector goes straight into alarm.

Next blog we will discuss outdoor and environmental detectors.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Intrusion (Burglar) Alarm Systems: Part 1

This is the first of a series of blogs in an effort to provide a comprehensive guide to designing and selecting the intrusion alarm system that is right for your organization. I have tired to keep this as brand generic as possible. This blog will cover the conceptual part of designing your security system.


Intrusion alarm systems are the first line of defense for protecting your business and its assets, followed by an access control system and video surveillance system. The intrusion alarm system is typically the least expensive of these three systems.

The intrusion alarm system is designed to detect an intruder and alert the authorities.

How do you want the alarm system to function?

 
The answer to this question will vary depending on the size of your organization, the size of the facility you are trying to protect, the organization’s culture, operations, and areas of control.

The larger your organization the more likely you are to want this system to be as automated as possible with only a few individuals being responsible for the system.

For small organizations it is easy to assign an alarm code to every individual (or use a common alarm code for all) and train the employees on how to arm and disarm the intrusion alarm system. “First one in disarms the alarm system last one out arms the system.” The larger the organization the less likely the alarm system will be managed in this fashion.

If you have a large facility or if the layout to that facility is segmented this will impact how you want the system to function. The larger the facility or the more complex the layout the less likely an employee getting ready to leave at the end of the day is going to arm the intrusion alarm system. If an employee has to walk a 100,000 square foot facility to make sure no one is in it prior to activating the alarm system it is doubtful your average employee is going to do this; unless they are specifically tasked and responsible for doing this. They may activate the alarm without walking the facility, not realizing someone is still working in their office or they may just not worry about it at all leaving the business unprotected. Likewise if the layout of the building is very complex requiring them to scour the entire building prior to activating the alarm the less likely the alarm is going to be activated.

An organization’s culture plays a role in whether the system will be activated or not. Those organizations that recognize and understand the importance of the security system and making sure it is activated will get this done consistently. If there is accountability for not activating the system then it will get done. If it is viewed as just a good idea and no one enforces a policy of making sure it gets activated then it may or may not get done. I can tell you from personal experience I have seen companies spend thousands of dollars on an intrusion alarm system to not activate it once. This is not an isolated incident; I have seen this occur at several organizations. For these organizations the system is counter to their culture.

How does your organization operate? Do you have a very strict schedule or do employees come and go as dictated by their work load or projects they may be working on? Do you always have someone in the building? With most or our customer’s being located in the Silicon Valley we have seen it all and we have developed and adapted our security systems to provide the best coverage possible based on the different operational needs of our customers. This is some of the knowledge I wish to share with you in this series.

Are there areas of the facility you want to operate independent of each other? Most intrusion alarm systems control the entire building as one area or partition. However, there are applications in which you may want to control specific areas independent of the main building. Some examples are a high value area, cash room, network room, office area, shop, pharmacy, etc. It is possible to control multiple areas independently as separate systems.

 
Big Picture – Types of Systems

Standard Intrusion Alarm System – This system typically consists of keypads at the main entry points of the building for activating and deactivating the system. The alarm system is manually armed and disarmed by entering a code into the keypad. Disarm the system upon first entry; arm the system at the end of the day last one out. The system will consist typically of door contacts, motion detectors, glassbreak sensors, interior sirens and an outside bell.

 
Integrated Alarm System - This type of system integrates the intrusion alarm system with the access control system. This integration can take place several ways depending on the capabilities of the access control system.


  •  Integrated Perimeter Alarm System – This type of integration can apply to any access control system. It consists of protecting the perimeter of the building utilizing door contacts and glassbreak detectors. Installing local door alarms at the perimeter access controlled doors; allowing card holders to enter and exit through these doors after hours without having to arm and disarm the alarm system. Programming the alarm panel to automatically arm and disarm based on a schedule and supervising these armings and disarming via the monitoring station.

  • S2 Security - Alarm System Integration – This type of integration applies to the S2 Security access control system when integrated with the intrusion alarm system. With this integration the S2 Security system controls the arming and disarming of the alarm system. The system is armed based on a schedule and based on there being no faults on the alarm system. If the alarm system is faulted then the S2 Security system delays the arming for a programmed period of time and will activate the alarm system once the system is normal and ready to arm state. Disarm takes place when the first authorized person presents their access control to gain entry into the building – if the alarm system is armed it will disarm prior to letting the person into the building. 

This concludes the first part of this series. Next blog we will review and discuss the types of detectors that are available for these systems.

 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dummy Cameras – To Use or Not

Recently one of my customers invited me to look at adding cameras to their existing video surveillance system, a system that we installed about a year ago. The surveillance system monitors key areas of a newly constructed building on their campus. This particular customer has been experiencing problems with thieves breaking into vehicles in their parking lot.

After reviewing the cost to add an additional camera to their system my customer asked if we provided dummy cameras. A dummy camera is a fake camera that looks like a real camera but does not contain any of the electronics and is not connected to the video surveillance system.

My response was this is something we don’t install and I sent the customer a link to an article about dummy cameras. This article highlighted the advantages of such cameras; cost and the deterrent effect of having these units in place. It also revealed the disadvantage; false sense of security and no video images that can be used as evidence.

I echoed the reasoning in the article and advised they consult their attorney before deploying such a system. To my surprise my customer responded that it was the local police department that recommended the deployment of the dummy cameras.

This got me to thinking what is the real issue here? If the police department is recommending the use of these units, perhaps the deterrent value outweighs the possibility of a lawsuit.

I spent several hours researching this topic looking for articles in which lawsuits related to a false sense of security due to a camera (real or fake) being installed. I could not find anything. I reviewed a number of forums asking the same question; site the cases where this has been an issue?

I reviewed the website of a well known attorney specializing in the security systems industry, Ken Kirschenbaum. I could not find an article or case that directly relates to this issue. Almost every article I read says the same thing; don’t install them for fear of the liability associated with this “false sense of security”.

Yet if this fear is so prevalent why are there so many companies selling these cameras? A quick Google search reveals numerous companies willing to sell you a dummy security camera. These devices are really inexpensive. If there were so many suits taking place one would think there wouldn’t be any demand for these types of devices.

My conclusions:

Dummy cameras may be an effective tool for deterring an unsophisticated thief. Most professionals can easily identify a real camera from a fake one. The blinking LED is a sure give away.

Don’t post signage that states for your security, or for your safety, or some other phrasing that may give people the belief the cameras (real or fake) are being constantly monitored.

Consult your attorney for their opinion.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Integrating Your Access Control System with Your Intrusion Alarm System

I often get asked to integrate the alarm system with the access control system such that employees don’t have to arm and disarm the alarm system. They want this to be automated and they want their employees to be able enter and exit the facility as needed with their access control card.

This request can be driven by a number of factors. Sometimes it is the shear size and layout of the facility. If the facility is large or the layout is complex they find their employees unwilling to walk the facility prior to arming the alarm system, thus the employees either don’t activate the alarm system or they activate the alarm system with employees still in the facility.

Sometimes this is driven by the number of employees. The more employees the less likely the alarm system will be activated, unless you task this to a specific group of employees. If your policy is the last one out arm the alarm system; then the larger the organization the less likely this will get done. If your policy is the facilities (security, custodial, etc.) department to arm the alarm system then it is more likely to be accomplished.

The integration of these two systems starts with the system design. Depending on the products we are using we can accomplish this in two different ways.

Perimeter Alarm with Local Door Alarms

This method will work with any access control system. It requires an intrusion alarm system that can be programmed to automatically arm and disarm.

The alarm system is designed with perimeter protection only. All the perimeter doors are contacted and all the perimeter glass is monitored. The system is programmed to automatically arm and disarm based on a provided schedule.

At each of the perimeter access controlled doors we install a local door alarm. This local door alarm ties into the access control system and the intrusion alarm system. This unit allows employees to enter and to exit without triggering the alarm system. After-hours when the alarm system is active your employees can enter with their access control card and freely exit the building even when the alarm system is active.

The local door alarm serves a secondary purpose as well. It alerts employees of door prop open conditions prior to alarm activation. If the access control door is left in an open position the local door alarm will sound a pre-alarm warning. If the door is shut during this pre-alarm then no alarm is generated. However, if the door remains open for an extended period of time then an alarm will be generated at the local door alarm and if the building intrusion alarm system is active this same alarm will be transmitted to the monitoring station.

This is a great solution for companies that may have personnel working all hours of the day or night. We find this solution works well with our high tech customers that may have engineers or software development personnel that tend to work long hours or off hours.

The downside to this type of system is that it is providing only building perimeter protection. If an intruder can get inside your facility without forcing a door open or breaking the glass then they will be undetected.

S2 Security Access Control + Intrusion Alarm System

S2 Security has an innovative interface for integrating the intrusion alarm system with their access control system.

With the S2 Security system the access control system monitors the status of the intrusion alarm system and based on a schedule and the alarm system in a normal condition will activate the alarm system.

This allows for an intrusion alarm system that includes not only door contacts and glassbreak detectors but also interior motion detectors. Providing a greater level of security to the facility; the motion detectors are designed to detect the interior presence of an intruder.

This system does not require the local door alarms, because it is never active when employees are inside the facility, unlike the perimeter alarm system. Based on a schedule and when there a no faults on the alarm system the S2 Security system will arm the intrusion alarm system. Once armed the first authorized employee to present their access control card will disarm the system prior to gaining entry into the facility.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

exacqVision Network Video Recorders

Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. is proud to offer the exacq Technologies exacqVision Network Video Recording systems. exacqVision offers a versatile lineup of IP based recording software and servers. The exacqVision system integrates with a number of access control systems to include PCSC and S2 Security.

The product matrix consists of the VMS (video management software), the exacqVision EL entry level hybrid network video recorder, the exacqVision Hybrid NVR servers, and the exacqVision IP Camera servers.

VMS Software

The exacqVision video management software (VMS) allows for viewing and recording of the network based IP cameras on the system. This software is designed to run on a Windows or Linux server with the clients running on Windows, Linux, or Mac. Multiple exacqVision servers can be managed and viewed from the VMS platform.

This system supports up to 255 network based IP cameras. It supports standard CIF, 2CIF, 4CIF recordings as well as megapixel recordings and it supports MJPEG, MPEG-4, and H.264 compression formats. The software is easy to use and easy to configure. User permissions and privileges can be configured allowing the administrator to restrict individual user rights.

The VMS software is licensed by camera at a cost of $150 per camera.

exacqVision EL

The exacqVision EL is exacq Technologies entry level hybrid network video recorder. This system allows for up to 16 analog cameras and up to 24 IP cameras to be connected to the server. It is available with storage capacities ranging from 160GB to 2TB and recording speeds of 120 images per second (IPS) or 480 IPS. The system runs on a Linux operating system. It is equipped with a DVD/CR-RW and USB for archiving images. This system is designed to be exacqVision’s entry level network video recorder and is ideal for customers with an existing 16 camera analog recording system (DVR or VCR) that want to transition into the higher quality megapixel cameras.

The exacqVision EL cost ranges from $3,890-$6,500 with each IP camera license costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.


exacqVision Hybrid NVR Servers

The exacqVision Hybrid NVR server comes in three different models; the desktop, the 2U Rackmount, and the 4U Rackmount. This system allows for connection of 4 to 64 analog cameras (model dependant) and up to 64 IP cameras.

Desktop

The desktop model allows for either 4 or 16 analog camera inputs and includes 8 IP camera licenses (expandable to 64 IP cameras). It is available with storage capacities ranging from 160GB to 2TB with system recording speeds of 120 IPS or 480 IPS.

The Desktop Hybrid NVR server cost ranges from $3,700-$7,505 with each IP camera, beyond the first eight, costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.

2U Rackmount

The 2U Rackmount model allows for either 16 or 32 analog camera inputs and includes 8 IP camera licenses (expandable to 64 IP cameras). It is available with storage capacities ranging from 320GB to 6TB with system recording speeds of 120, 240, 480, or 960 IPS.

The 2U Rackmount Hybrid NVR server cost ranges from $5,770 -$15,265 with each IP camera, beyond the first eight, costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.

4U Rackmount

The 4U Rackmount model allows for 16, 32, 48, or 64 analog camera inputs and includes 8 IP camera licenses (expandable to 64 IP cameras). It is available with storage capacities ranging from 1.5TB to 16TB and with system recording speeds of 240, 480, 960, 1440, or 1920 IPS. This unit is also available in a Raid 5 configuration.

The 4U Rackmount Hybrid NVR server cost ranges from $10,125-$34,800 with each IP camera, beyond the first eight, costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.


exacqVision IP Servers

The exacqVision IP server comes in three different models; the desktop, the 2U Rackmount, and the 4U Rackmount. This system allows for connection of up to 64 IP cameras.

Desktop

The desktop model is available with storage capacities ranging from 160GB to 2TB.

The Desktop IP server cost ranges from $2,190- $4,030 with each IP camera license costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.

2U Rackmount

The 2U Rackmount model is available with storage capacities ranging from 320GB to 6TB.

The 2U Rackmount IP server cost ranges from $2,660-$8,340 with each IP camera license costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.

4U Rackmount

The 4U Rackmount model is available with storage capacities ranging from 1.5TB to 16TB. This unit is also available in a Raid 5 configuration.

The 4U Rackmount IP server cost ranges from $4,995-$19,995 with each IP camera costing an additional $150 per camera.

This unit comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty.

Selecting the model that is right for you

There are several factors that will affect your selection of the correct network recording system; quantity of analog cameras, quantity of IP cameras, future expansion needs, archive time (30, 60, 90, 180 days), image recording rate, image recorded (CIF, 2CIF, 4CIF, D1, megapixel), and anticipated activity level in the field of the cameras to name a few variables. Calculations need to be done to make sure the NVR selected will meet your needs.

We at Protection Plus Security Services are experts in video surveillance systems and would welcome the opportunity to specify the video system that is right for you.

Please visit our website for product datasheets and links to the manufacturer’s website. www.protectionplussecurity.com

The pricing and model information are based on the latest information available at the time of this blog.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

S2 Security Releases 4.0 Software

S2 Security recently released the 4.0 software. The 4.0 software offers some real nice enhancements to the existing platform. The major enhancements include Layouts, Partitions, and new Network Video Recording integration.

With Layouts the user can now customize the look and feel of the software, allowing you to create a custom page for viewing the system events, cameras, and even other web pages.

Partitions allow for the creation of a subsystem within the larger system. This subsystem has independent control of its readers and doors. Ideal for multi-tenant buildings or for organizations in which each department or division needs independent control.

The exacqVision Network Video Recorders can now integrate with the S2 Security system. This integration allows for linking of video clips with card activities as well as viewing the cameras from the S2 software.

For current Netbox system users S2 will not be making any further advances in the 3.x software. The Netbox system software will not be developed beyond the 3.3 version. S2 will continue to offer patches for known issues, however, no new features will be added to this software.

Current users will need to upgrade their Netbox Controller to the Netbox Extreme, Enterprise, or Enterprise Ultra Controller in order to operate the 4.0 software. S2 offers a 50% credit for the existing Netbox software and Netbox Controller to be applied toward the purchase of the Netbox Extreme, Enterprise, or Enterprise Ultra Controller and 4.0 software.

The Netbox Extreme allows for 64 Network Nodes and up to 256 Portals (Readers) with up to 10 concurrent users. The Extreme Controller is eight times faster than the Netbox controller. This system can process 10 Events per Second

The Enterprise system allows for 64 Network Nodes and up to 896 Portals (Readers) with up to 25 concurrent users. This system can process 20 Events per Second.

The Enterprise Ultra system allows for up to 256 Network Nodes and up to 3,584 Portals (Readers) with up to 35 concurrent users. This system can process 30 Events per Second.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Videofied Wireless Video Alarm System

Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. is proud to offer the Videofied wireless video alarm system. The Videofied wireless video alarm system is a wireless battery operated security system that communicates alarm and video clips over the cellular data network to the Central Monitoring Station. This system provides a 10 second video clip for the Central Station operator to review and verify the presence of an intruder. The system is completely battery operated utilizing AA and D cell lithium batteries. The battery life is rated for up to four years, dependant on alarm activity. Two years is more likely. 

The system is supervised from the control panel to the device locations. Each device on the system is configured to check in every eight minutes. The devices connected to the system are supervised for state (armed / disarmed), tamper, and battery status. Each device transmits a unique secure identification code.

Since no electrical power or phone lines are required for this system it is ideal for applications where this is an issue, such as construction sites, equipment storage yards, vacant buildings, or remote buildings. As long as you have cellular signals this system can be deployed.

It is also ideal for deployments requiring alarm verification. With many of the police jurisdictions refusing to respond to unverified alarm signals this system allows the means of verifying the alarm. This system is very cost effective when compared to the costs of installing an alarm system plus a video surveillance system.

The Videofied system consists of the control panel and one wireless keypad. This system allows for up to 24 additional wireless devices to be connected to the system. It allows for up to 19 user codes, each user code can be 4 to 6 digits long. Devices include a wireless indoor motion detector with built-in camera, a wireless outdoor rated motion detector with built-in camera, a wireless door or window contact, a wireless interior siren, a wireless outdoor siren and strobe, a wireless unsupervised keyfob for limited system activation and panic alarm, and a wireless badge reader for arming and disarming the system with a proximity card.

The heart of the system is the wireless passive infrared motion detection cameras. Two models are available; an indoor rated unit and an outdoor rated unit.

This indoor unit consists of a digital camera and passive infrared detector. The digital camera is a black and white camera equipped with a wide angle lens (85 degrees). This camera provides a 320 x 240 pixel resolution picture. The unit is equipped with two infrared LED’s providing night time illumination of up to 14 feet. The passive infrared motion detector is rated for 40 feet at a 90 degree pattern. This unit is equipped with a tamper switch, once mounted if it should be removed it will trigger an alarm on the system. This unit is ideal for mounting in the corner of a room or for viewing a hallway or stairwell. When activated by motion the unit will trigger the alarm panel as well as transmit a 10 second video clip to the Central Monitoring Station.

The outdoor unit is very similar to the indoor unit except it is housed in an outdoor protective housing and the two infrared LED’s provide night time viewing with a range of up to 26 feet. This unit is ideal for monitoring an equipment yard, secured storage area, construction site, or fence perimeter.

Visit our website for product datasheets, links to the manufacturer’s website, and sample video clips. www.protectionplussecurity.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Megapixel Cameras

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year’s. I am looking forward to a fantastic 2010.

With the emergence of megapixel cameras and Network Video Recorders (NVR) capable of recording these cameras I get a lot of questions regarding the benefit and usefulness versus extra cost of deploying a megapixel camera system. The answer always seems to be: What level of detail do you require?

If the areas you are monitoring are all close to the camera and do not require fine detail then you may not require a megapixel camera system at all. However, if you are trying to monitor a parking lot, vehicle traffic, a warehouse, a high value area, drug dispensing area, cash registers, or any area requiring detailed images then megapixel cameras are your solution.

I compare megapixel video surveillance to your home theater system. When the home theater systems went from standard resolution to high definition it was a huge improvement to the picture quality. Particularly noticeable with sporting events you can now see the hockey puck – not just a blur. You can determine the brand of golf ball being played; see the blades of grass on the putting green. You can see the sweat dripping off the players. With high definition you can see details never noticeable before. You get the point.

The same has happened in the video surveillance world. You can now see details never available before, or only available with specialized well positioned and well focused cameras. With megapixel cameras you can make out vehicle license plates. Now you can clearly see what is being loaded or unloaded on that truck. You can clearly and positively identify a person. You are no longer limited to the 480 TV lines of resolution (.4 Megapixel) available on your analog digital recording system.

Cameras are available in 1, 2, 3, and 5 Megapixel versions. A 1.2 Megapixel camera will provide three times the resolution of your analog high resolution camera. The 2 Megapixel cameras will provide five times the resolution. With a 5 Megapixel camera providing twelve and a half times the resolution. As a further comparison, going back to our home theater example HDTV 720p is equivalent to .9 Megapixels and HDTV 1080p is equivalent to 2.1 Megapixel.

With these high resolution cameras and the NVR software you can digitally zoom deep into the recorded picture for better identification. A well positioned megapixel camera can replace several analog cameras viewing the same area, helping to offset the additional costs of the system.

A word of caution; these IP based network cameras transmit their video over your network or a separate video surveillance network, the larger the megapixel camera the more bandwidth required and the more storage required. We are no longer talking about gigabytes of storage; we are talking terabytes or more of storage needed for these network video recording systems. It can add up quickly.

The proper specification and deployment of these systems is critical to maximizing your return on investment. We at Protection Plus Security Services, Inc. are experts in video surveillance systems, both the analog / DVR systems and the IP network cameras / NVR systems. Let us help design and implement a video surveillance system that is right for you application and your budget.