Security integration for smart estates

Residential Security Handbook 2021: SMART Estate Living Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry)

Any security solution will comprise of a combination of people, technology and processes, and must be suitable, sustainable and sufficient to cater for the prevailing risks based on available resources and budgets. These often present the proverbial irreconcilable trinity with unavoidable trade-offs being accepted. Providing a suitable solution starts with understanding what you have and how well your requirements are catered for.

A comprehensive audit should focus on security service providers. Their standard operating procedures (SOPs), service level agreements (SLAs) and how they are supported by available technologies, will give an indication of where you stand. Understand your environment and whom you are protecting.

Start at the beginning

The most basic needs start with entry control and perimeter management. Technology often supplements manpower and automated gates and entry systems that can be managed by residents via GSM based intercoms with pre-programmed users who directly permit entry to their visitors. Communication is critical and often simply knowing and engaging with neighbours supports a safer environment. CCTV and perimeter alarm systems can be configured to directly alert households and individuals using either mobile or hard-connected screens within households.

Integrated solutions allow for automated triggers between systems in response to events. Intelligent analytics can reduce false alarms and initiate predetermined responses. These may also be linked to cloud solutions, however, cost models must be clearly understood in regard to their recurring nature and intended usage. Remote monitoring services are also available and can act on your behalf.

Technologies ranging from infrared point beam detectors, which are able to cover long fence lines, to volumetric outdoor passives can supplement electric fence systems and CCTV cameras with intrusion analytics, and are becoming more economical. Retrofitting fibre infrastructure on an estate can be costly, but wireless technologies offer possible alternates. In new developments, integrated infrastructure or at least wire-ways must be provided around perimeters and within service roads in order to support future growth.

Integrating the people aspect

Your system should provide early reliable detection, acting as visible, audible and physical deterrents that delay any transgressors. Provide a clear mandate and parameters for response staff and empower their execution of responsibilities, considering how they are expected to respond directly to issues around residential units.

Engage with local police and community forums to stay updated of risks and trends in the area and engage with your security staff to adjust operating procedure to incorporate responses to threats.

Compliance is a critical factor that is often neglected and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) stipulates the rules relating to capture, storage and utilisation of information of persons whose details may need to be held for any reason. Contactors and tenants should be properly vetted and apprised of special requirements for them in order to reduce entry delays.

The need for management and control of visitors in more complex environments has supported the development of visitor management systems that range from pre-booking, code-based access, vehicle and registration scanning systems, to more complex integrated applications that facilitate integrated COVID screening, tracing and permission management. A policy must be implemented to ensure the processes and systems are aligned with POPIA.

Integrating various identification solutions

More complex access control systems can operate with proximity cards, RF tags, mobile device based credentials, fingerprint or even facial recognition access devices or a combination of these, each with varying levels of cost, security and administration considerations. Traditionally, more strict security protocols result in greater delays.

Beware of untested technologies and risks associated with ‘easy’ access solutions. Number plates can be cloned, facial recognition technologies may be unreliable in variable outdoor light and many cards can be easily copied. Run equipment trials within your environment if possible, especially before purchasing new or untested technologies that come at a premium, and especially when they are cheap. You definitely get what you pay for and you should avoid costly lessons and having to redo installations because of errors of judgement.

All equipment that requires power must be deployed with lightning surge protection and provision for backup operations, especially amid the unreliable supply of municipal power. Fibre and network infrastructure require uninterrupted operation. Photovoltaic solar panels, battery and inverter sets or generators and UPS systems can also be used to ensure continued supply. These systems should be continuously online in order to avoid interruptions in operation that may result in security breaches or unwanted damage to equipment.

In all these instances appropriate power and battery calculations along with suitable surplus safety factors should be considered. Charge cycles of different types of batteries many need long periods to recharge as compared with the operating cycles, so consecutive power failures may result in loss of your systems. Uptime of systems can be as important as security staff on the ground.

Many complex estates will incorporate multi-layered approaches with responders and technology deployed to cover risks from the perimeter inwards. Ultimately, security is everyone’s responsibility and systems should cater for inclusive participation of residents and security managers should facilitate compliance, and ensure the continuous review and maintenance of the operating procedures. These standard operating procedures should include measurable performance indicators for service providers and service level agreements should reflect performance expectations in line with the site security and safety plan.

For more information, contact ISF SFP, +27 11 247 7800, [email protected], www.sfp.co.za


Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Intrusion detection for wide areas
OPTEX Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Residential Estate (Industry)
Securing wide outdoor areas presents several challenges that differ significantly from those faced in smaller, more confined environments. The key to safeguarding these spaces is dependent on choosing the right intrusion detection technology.

Read more...
Natural catastrophes and fire risks top concerns
Security Services & Risk Management Asset Management Residential Estate (Industry)
Natural disasters are the highest risk in the real estate industry, followed by fire and explosions, and then business interruption. Estates must prioritise risk management and take proactive measures to safeguard their assets, employees, and reputation.

Read more...
New ransomware using BitLocker to encrypt data
Technews Publishing Information Security Residential Estate (Industry)
Kaspersky has identified ransomware attacks using Microsoft’s BitLocker to attempt encryption of corporate files. It can detect specific Windows versions and enable BitLocker according to those versions.

Read more...
Bespoke access for prime office space
Paxton Access Control & Identity Management Residential Estate (Industry)
Nicol Corner is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. It is also the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption.

Read more...
Building a solid foundation
Alwinco Security Services & Risk Management Asset Management Residential Estate (Industry)
Understanding the roles of a Risk Assessor and a Risk Manager is like building a solid and secure foundation in the security world. Andre Mundell makes it easy to understand.

Read more...
SMART Estate Security returns to KZN
Nemtek Electric Fencing Products Technews Publishing Axis Communications SA OneSpace Editor's Choice News & Events Integrated Solutions IoT & Automation
The second SMART Estate Security Conference of 2024 was held in May in KwaZulu-Natal at the Mount Edgecombe Estate Conference Centre, which is located on the Estate’s pristine golf course.

Read more...
Securing power for security
Power Management Residential Estate (Industry)
The electrical power grid is no longer reliable, so a backup system is essential to maintain the continuity of supply, and the reliable and uninterrupted functioning of security equipment.

Read more...
There’s no power, or there’s too much power …
Power Management Residential Estate (Industry)
South Africa is rated as one of the countries with very high lightning activity. In addition, we are also exposed to a high rate of switching transients exacerbated by an unstable power supply grid.

Read more...
Horn speakers from Sunell
Forbatt SA Products & Solutions Surveillance Residential Estate (Industry)
Horn speakers are an effective tool for actively deterring intruders from entering estates. By emitting loud, clear audio warnings, horn speakers can alert trespassers that they have been detected and are being monitored.

Read more...
Sunell’s range of thermal cameras
Forbatt SA Products & Solutions Surveillance Residential Estate (Industry)
Thermal cameras offer significant value to estate security. Their ability to provide reliable surveillance in all lighting and weather conditions ensures continuous monitoring, providing a constant sense of security and reducing the likelihood of security breaches.

Read more...