Security Options to Protect Your Campus Perimeter

An integrated security solution is one way to ensure your security personnel respond to emergencies more efficiently.

Perimeters of buildings and grounds can vary significantly, from suburban areas with open space surrounded only by trees and landscaping to schools with fences or to urban environments bordered by sidewalks, roadways and parking lots. Technology for protecting these facilities varies as widely as the perimeters themselves, but the key to detecting and stopping intruders before they gain entry is an integrated security solution.

The technology at the heart of an integrated security solution should be able to accept alarms from various devices – such as glassbreak and beam detectors, surveillance cameras and more – and use those alarms to trigger actions that focus the attention of security personnel or the central station monitoring the facility.

Some of the latest security control panels provide this level of integration, as well as advanced programming capabilities that enhance perimeter security. These control panels enable campuses to select customized perimeter security solutions for their facilities.

For high-security areas, the first line of perimeter defense is often photoelectric beam detectors installed to either surround the entire facility or to cover entry points, such as a gate that is closed and locked during off hours. These detectors serve as an early warning system, activating an alarm when an intruder passes within the direct line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, breaking the invisible infrared beam.

More sophisticated beam detectors will be able to discriminate environmental disturbances from actual intruders by monitoring the gradual loss of a signal due to dust, fog, rain or snow. Detectors with multiple beams can be configured to cause an alarm when all beams are blocked or when only some of the beams are blocked. This configuration helps in detecting smaller objects and eliminates the possibility of someone crawling through the beam.

Let’s delve deeper into some additional technology applications that are helping meet the security – and oftentimes the budgetary – needs of end-users.

Leveraging Integrated Cameras, Analytics
Video surveillance cameras are another key component of a perimeter protection system, and with an integrated system, security control panel events, such as an alarm triggered by a beam detector, can trigger camera actions. This includes sending video snapshots via E-mail from fixed cameras focused on the area or triggering a pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) camera to focus on the relevant area to verify the alarm and gain situational awareness.

Some control panels can perform this level of integration with no third-party server required; the control panel treats the camera as an integrated device and provides commands directly via a local area network. This eliminates the need for a third-party server, which can be a point of failure, and reduces costs.

RELATED: Rethinking the Possibilities of Perimeter Protection

In addition to panel events triggering camera actions, cameras can activate points on the control panel through video motion detection or video analytics. Some IP video surveillance cameras are equipped with analytics capabilities embedded in a processor dedicated for analytics. Referred to as edge analytics, there is no central server or other additional hardware required to process the video, as the IP cameras perform this action.

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