Reduce false alarms with verification

May 2017 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

False alarms mean that valuable resources, which should be available to tackle real crimes, are tied up in unnecessary and futile time-wasting exercises. The result is increased frustration levels, a possible delay in reacting to actual events and increased operational expenses. Hi-Tech Security Solutions chats to two video verification vendors about how this technology addresses these issues in a seamless and intelligent manner.

Rory Webber of Videofied explains that the company first pioneered video verification technology in 2001 and has continued to refine its product offering to cater for both indoor and outdoor applications. When a standard PIR activates an alarm, it automatically triggers a surveillance camera which records a 10-second video clip and sends it to a central monitoring station for action.

Webber points out that the company operates 150 control rooms countrywide, with each of the operational personnel trained to make an informed decision based on the video clip. The outcome of the video clip survey is that false alarms can be readily and quickly identified, thereby ensuring that appropriate armed response resources are allocated to an event when an alarm is verified as being genuine, or are instructed to stand down in the case of false alarms.

According to Webber, the popularity of video verification has not only grown at a rapid rate in South Africa, but more recently, cross-border clients are seeing the benefits attached to this technology. Video can be transmitted through a number of common avenues, including IP network routers and GPRS.

More than security

In addition to reducing the number of normal false alarm alerts, video verification is being increasingly used as a tool for fault finding in the manufacturing sector. By moving cameras and PIRs to areas where they are most functional in terms of determining issues, operators can uncover event trends and programme the system to activate a PIR each time a pre-selected event occurs. This results in decreased operational costs.

By integrating video verification into other technologies, controllers are equipped to make educated decisions. An example Webber cites is that of a perimeter fence equipped with a vibration sensor. When a person climbs onto the fence, an alert is sent to the control room. Traditionally, a security officer then has to walk along the fence line until he determines what has activated the sensor.

Integrating of an outdoor video surveillance camera with the vibration sensor means that the camera can be automatically activated to run a video clip and send it immediately to the control room when the sensor is activated. The operational personnel can then decide if the alarm is genuine or not and in instances where there is a breach in security, it will allow the controllers to determine the appropriate number of security personnel and the correct level of response, suitable in that scenario.

Once received and actioned in the control centre, the 10 second video clip can be sent to any valid email address. Webber adds that the low cost of data usage in the Videofied product range has always been the company’s strategic advantage. Videofied is fully secure with bi-directional communication and requires both a username and password.

Various solutions

Ruaan Fourie from Elvey says that the company’s Risco IP cameras are integrated with alarm systems in various types of systems. Firstly, there is PIR/camera integration, with a snapshot relayed to the control room, while another system allows the end user to view the camera images on a mobile or desktop device, with replication of the image occurring in a control room.

Fourie says that typically, video verification via the cameras entails the placement of the majority of the cameras on the perimeter of property, together with one or two cameras on the interior of buildings. The Risco IP cameras feature two-way audio. This is useful for control room personnel to audibly notify a perpetrator that, for example, an armed response unit is en route. Similarly, parents can communicate with their domestic workers or children from a remote workplace.

In all instances, permissions are set up in advance to allow control room personnel to access the camera feed when an alarm is triggered during an active armed phase, or by pressing a panic button on the premises. By limiting remote control room viewing to permissible events, homeowner privacy is ensured.

In addition, the homeowner can set up the system to allow the authorisation of specific parameters in terms of areas of coverage. For instance, any viewing of bedrooms and pool areas could be disallowed. “End users need to understand that there is the risk of privacy invasion and conversely, where zones are disallowed, there is the risk of a valid event not being adequately covered. It is therefore important to reach agreement on areas of compromise in terms of privacy versus and personal safety and security,” says Fourie.

Because all data is sent through a secure server hosted in the Cloud and then on to the control room, data security is ensured and is only accessible via end user permissions. The Risco cameras are integrated with building management systems and live viewing is firstly provided via Risco IP cameras using VUpoint, a Cloud-based platform that uses IP cameras to provide real-time video streaming in response to alarm triggers or on demand.

Video verification not only reduces costly false alarms, but provides for faster emergency response, enhances personal safety levels, provides more accurate confirmation of emergency status and has been proven to increase the apprehension of suspects.

For more information contact:

- Videofied:

- Elvey Security Technologies:


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