Office park security

February 2011 Integrated Solutions

By virtue of their complex nature, office parks require complex security solutions.

Encompassing multiple offices and parking areas, which are accessed by a variety of pedestrian and vehicles every day, office parks cannot be secured by a one-size-fits-all solution, says Zane Greeff, technical director for Elvey Security Technologies.

“In this day and age, where the growth of business robberies is still on the rise, albeit at a slower rate than a couple of years ago, business stakeholders have to take responsibility for the security of their properties and personnel,” he maintains.

For those wanting an effective office park security system, he urges them to opt for a customised system that encompasses four critical aspects: boundary security, access control, monitoring and CCTV. The answer to the challenge of how best to secure such a complex environment lies in a multifaceted combination of technology and professional manpower that will be able to distinguish between those coming to work or to meetings and those with criminal intentions.

Ins and outs

While a boundary wall or fence is usually considered the first line of defence in a security system, Greeff puts access control ahead of the obvious when it comes to securing an office park. “An access control system has readers that can be placed in every conceivable area of risk, from entrances, doorways and turnstiles to storage sheds and car parks. This makes it possible to restrict people’s access to specified or unauthorised areas and even prevent employees, through the use of time zones, from accessing the premises after hours, on weekends or during holidays.”

Operating off a centralised computer which contains a database with the names of every employee on the site, the system can also prevent the costly practice of buddy clocking, he adds.

Criminals who are undeterred at finding an impenetrable main entrance will move to the boundary wall to seek out another point of entry, even if it means scaling a wall, says Greeff. The implementation of a boundary protection system is therefore high on his priority list.

To each an alarm

Regardless of the sophistication of its overall technology, each office within the park should have its own alarm system to warn of an intrusion, recommends Greeff. The central monitoring station will then be able to dispatch a guard to the scene of the disturbance while simultaneously directing the PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) CCTV cameras to focus on the area and obtain video footage of the prowler.

Adds Valerie Bingham, product manager for Elvey: “While the conventional method of sending signals via telephone line remains in wide use, more and more control rooms are embracing the technological advances that allow for signals to be received via the Internet as opposed to circuit-switched phone services.”

IP, she continues, delivers enormous benefits including a higher level of line security and faster data transmission than conventional dial-up panels, reduced costs and immediate notification of line interruptions at both the central station and the protected premises.

Watching and analysing

Video analytics, the result of gigantic developmental strides within the 50-year-old CCTV sector, is also playing a major and growing role in crime prevention, says Ingo Mutinelli, Elvey’s national sales manager. He says its ability to quickly and accurately analyse video footage for specific data is obviating the need for human operators, whose efficacy has been reported to drop to as little as 5% within 20 min of screen monitoring. As a result of the dependable, unfaltering monitoring ability of video analytics, businesses throughout the world are reporting impressive results with regard to shrinkage, robbery and burglary as well as workplace violence and bullying.

Using a combination of algorithms, intelligent software and IP-based video surveillance technology, video analytics is able to identify behaviour patterns, track movement, pick up perimeter violations, count people and recognise licence plates, he tells. It also allows for the dispatch and viewing of digitised audiovisual streams anywhere in the world. Able to adjust automatically to lighting and other challenges, the cherry on the top is that today’s systems are surprisingly simple to install.

For more information contact Elvey Security Technologies, +27 (0)11 401 6700,,


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