Integrated security for hospital

March 2011 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

Security integration is a concept that has long been considered the proverbial pot of gold under the South African security industry’s rainbow.

The reality of the matter is that the local security sector has been lagging behind its international peers when it comes to integration. One of the main local determining factors is the consideration of monetary costs over the value added by a comprehensive, open architecture system that would allow for seamless integration between information, operational, procedural and response mechanisms.

The good news is that change is coming.

Nemtek, local innovator, manufacturer and distributor of electric fencing products to the South African and international market, realised that security paradigms are changing. A challenge like this fits in with Nemtek’s mantra of finding solutions.

A recent project concluded at Alexander Mental Hospital in the Western Cape, proved that local innovators such as Nemtek not only possess the ability to understand the needs of prospective customers, but are able to design and implement the required hardware and software solutions. The Alexander project required extensive monitoring and controlling of the institute’s three-kilometre-long perimeter, as well as the zoning of the perimeter electric fence. The hospital also required an effective way to monitor and control all the access points on site.

Historically the industry would have been driven by stovepipe logic, where proprietary, standalone systems would have been implemented, creating significant switching costs. Moreover, this would also have caused problems monitoring and managing the final product.

Open management software

Instead, Nemtek decided to implement the Cortech Developments Security and Control Management system, which allows for an extensive array of security mechanisms to be integrated, monitored and managed via a single computer-based software management system. This can include CCTV, access control, electric fencing, perimeter security, fire, building management, remote site control and monitoring, energy management, intruder alarms, to mention but a few. The Alexander project however, only called for integration of access control, electric fencing and perimeter security.

This means that every aspect of the hospital’s security can be controlled and monitored via a graphical interface, in this case a perimeter map, by a single authorised operator, recording every click or action to a detailed, auditable log. Levels of access can be predetermined, allowing varied access to program features, ranging from monitoring and acknowledgement of fence alarms, to opening and closing gates or, as a system administrator, setting and changing parameters.

In total, nine Merlin Stealth M28S electric fence energisers were installed at various predetermined points around the perimeter, effectively dividing the perimeter into 18 manageable zones.

The Nemtek Proxy system acts as interface and allows the energisers to be integrated into the Cortech management software, while Nemtek designed and manufactured project specific gate controllers to monitor and trigger gate motors and electric locks operating a mix of 13 pedestrian and sliding gates around the perimeter.

Post completion, the security of the hospital has the potential to rival any institution in the country and Nemtek claims it is a forerunner in the quest to make security work for customers, and not make customer slaves to their security systems.

For more information, contact Nemtek, +27 (0)11 462 8283, [email protected]


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