Adequate control room staffing and propper design essential.

August '99 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Organisations demand too much of their control room staff, expecting them to manage too many monitors without sufficient breaks during their shifts.

This is according to Gary Davids, Sales and Marketing Director for AV Electronics, who explains that people's attention span cannot last much more than 45 min, after which they need to have a rest.

"Most companies expect one guard to monitor an entire bank of screens for a full shift on the trot," he adds. "Research has shown that one person cannot concentrate on more than four monitors at a time."

Davids advises that the best solution to these problems is to have monitoring centralised on one screen, making use of multiplexing technology.

Operations Director Mike Philip says that the control room at the Tyger Valley Shopping Centre in Cape Town is an example of a good system.

"The room is well-designed. In addition, there are a sufficient number of people in the room. This set-up has led to a significant decrease in the number of vehicle break-ins in the car park."

Davids says that another concern is the design of control rooms. "You need different designs for different industries," he explains. "However, the best design is a horseshoe shape because the guard can scan several screens without having to turn his head too much."

His final advice? "Remember that cheap is expensive in the long run. Companies need good quality electronic equipment which, although expensive initially, will stand them in good stead when they really need it. And do not forget to budget for maintenance!"

For details, contact AV Electronics on telephone (011) 453 8663 or fax (011) 453 3283.

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