Tiers of remote monitoring
April 2018, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Integrated Solutions
Remote monitoring is nothing new in the security market, alarm verification monitoring companies have been at it for years. Today, however, we have seen the remote-control room advance to offering a range of services apart from simple alarm monitoring and response though to a full remote CCTV surveillance operation.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Kevin Monk, MD of the electronic security division of Stallion Security to find out what the options are when retaining a third party, such as Stallion, as a remote monitoring service provider.
Traditionally, Stallion provided guards and armed response to customers throughout South Africa. Just over a year ago, the company sold its armed response function to 7Arrows and embarked on a new strategy. Part of this was the expansion of its electronic division in terms of remote monitoring services and technical integration services.
In explaining the various remote monitoring services provided by Stallion, Monk says there are different tiers of services available, third-tier service sees the control room monitoring customers’ alarms and making use of visual verification to provide a supervisory service for guards as well as an alarm verification service using Videofied.
This service sees the company installing a control unit and camera at the client’s premises, for example in the guardhouse. At random times during the guard shift, an alarm is sounded from the control box and the guard has a certain amount of time to register with the unit. If there is no response from the guard in this time, the system (using Videofied), takes a 10-second video clip and sends it to the control room to allow the operators to see what is going on and react according to the client’s operating procedures.
Monk says the same product is used for visual alarm verification. When an alarm is raised, a video clip is sent to the control room to allow the operators to determine if it is real alarm or a false alarm.
The second-tier service offers more as Stallion deploys a full CCTV installation at the client’s premises, including all the necessary communications infrastructure and so on. The service is driven by fixed alarm peripherals. When an alarm sounds, the control room calls up any of the cameras on the client’s site and verifies what the issue is. Once it has been determined that a real problem has occurred, the operators can contact the response company and the police if necessary.
The first-tier service is similar, but these incudes high-level systems that offer intelligent functionality to assist in driving the service. As an example, Monk says it could be perimeter detection system making use of video analytics on thermal cameras. Again, when an alarm is raised the operators follow the operating procedures set up with the client to respond to the situation.
He adds that thermal cameras on the perimeter are a popular option today as they cover more ground than optical cameras and are not handicapped by low light or mist etc. The company also uses optical cameras when required that are triggered by radar or other detection systems in the field.
As noted above, Stallion sold its armed response business to 7Arrows, but the two companies still work together when an armed reaction component is required. In areas where 7Arrows may not have a presence, Stallion will collaborate with a local company and set operating processes with them. Alternatively, if a customer has a specific response company it already has a relationship with, Stallion will work with them too. The result is a turnkey solution run by Stallion according to the processes it set up with the client.
Stallion also includes its special operations division for specific security requirements clients may have. Whether it is staff protection during periods of industrial unrest, individual protection, a chauffeur and close order protection, or crisis management in the face of an environmental threat to a company that is required, Stallion Special Operations’ employees have what it takes to handle the most adverse situations. The division consists of 300 personnel and ex-military vehicles equipped with CCTV and other security technology. They are trained to deal with these high-pressure situations while collecting evidence for later use.
The above is a brief glimpse into the various offerings from Stallion designed to provide different levels of remote monitoring services to clients. Remote monitoring does not have to be the traditional alarm-response solution of the past (although it can be if that is all that is required), nor does it have to be a full surveillance installation of cameras offering full access to the client’s premises. A remote monitoring service can be tailored to the requirements of the client, offering the security they require, which obviously means the costs can be tailored to meet the customer’s budget requirements without weakening their security posture.