A security alarm is a system designed to detect intrusion – unauthorized entry – into a building or area. Security alarms are used in residential, commercial, industrial, and military properties for protection against burglary (theft) or property damage, as well as personal protection against intruders.
Although statistics show that burglary rates have been dropping, there are still a high percentage of properties that do not have adequate security measures in place. The best deterrent for burglars is an intruder alarm and it needn’t cost the earth to install an effective intruder alarm. Ultimately, an alarm system gives property owners the peace of mind they desire to protect their homes, families, businesses and assets.
Access control is way of limiting access to a system or to physical or virtual resources. In computing, access control is a process by which users are granted access and certain privileges to systems, resources or information.
In access control systems, users must present credentials before they can be granted access. In physical systems, these credentials may come in many forms, but credentials that can’t be transferred provide the most security.
Physical access control is a matter of who, where, and when. An access control system determines who is allowed to enter or exit, where they are allowed to exit or enter, and when they are allowed to enter or exit. Historically, this was partially accomplished through keys and locks. When a door is locked, only someone with a key can enter through the door, depending on how the lock is configured. Mechanical locks and keys do not allow restriction of the key holder to specific times or dates. Mechanical locks and keys do not provide records of the key used on any specific door, and the keys can be easily copied or transferred to an unauthorized person. When a mechanical key is lost or the key holder is no longer authorized to use the protected area, the locks must be re-keyed.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV), also known as video surveillance, is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point to point (P2P), point to multipoint, or mesh wireless links. Though almost all video cameras fit this definition, the term is most often applied to those used for surveillance in areas that may need monitoring such as banks, casinos, airports, military installations, and convenience stores. Videotelephony is seldom called “CCTV" but the use of video in distance education, where it is an important tool, is often so called.
In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room, for example when the environment is not suitable for humans. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event. A more advanced form of CCTV, utilizing digital video recorders (DVRs), provides recording for possibly many years, with a variety of quality and performance options and extra features (such as motion detection and email alerts). More recently, decentralized IP cameras, some equipped with megapixel sensors, support recording directly to network-attached storage devices, or internal flash for completely stand-alone operation. Surveillance of the public using CCTV is particularly common in many areas around the world. In recent years, the use of body worn video cameras has been introduced as a new form of surveillance.
A fire alarm system is number of devices working together to detect and warn people through visual and audio appliances when smoke, fire, carbon monoxide or other emergencies are present. These alarms may be activated from smoke detectors, and heat detectors. Alarms can be either motorised bells or wall mountable sounders or horns. They can also be speaker strobes which sound an alarm, followed by a voice evacuation message which usually state in the lines of “Attention, Attention. A fire emergency has been reported. Please leave the building via the nearest exit. DO NOT use elevators!" They may also be activated via Manual fire alarm activation devices such as manual call points or pull stations. Fire alarm sounders can be set to certain frequencies and different tones including low, medium and high depending on the country and manufacturer of the device. Most fire alarm systems in Australia sound like a siren with alternating frequencies. Fire alarm sounders in the United States can be either continuous or set to different codes such as Code 3. Fire alarm warning devices can also be set to different volume levels. Smaller buildings may have the alarm set to a lower volume and larger buildings may have alarms set to a higher level.
An intercom (intercommunication device), talkback or doorphone is a stand-alone voice communications system for use within a building or small collection of buildings, functioning independently of the public telephone network. Intercoms are generally mounted permanently in buildings and vehicles. Intercoms can incorporate connections to public address loudspeaker systems, walkie talkies, telephones, and to other intercom systems. Some intercom systems incorporate control of devices such as signal lights and door latches.
There are simple house intercoms and intercoms developed for collective apartments. Some are equipped with video, and its wiring (electrical installation), can be connected to the outside with few pairs (4-6 pairs) while controlling an electric strike. The last generations are even compatible with computers and some models include TCP/IP.
A guard tour patrol system is a system for logging the rounds of employees in a variety of situations such as security guards patrolling property, technicians monitoring climate-controlled environments, and correctional officers checking prisoner living areas. It helps ensure that the employee makes his or her appointed rounds at the correct intervals and can offer a record for legal or insurance reasons. Such systems have existed for many years using mechanical watchclock-based systems (watchman clocks/guard tour clocks/patrol clocks). Computerized systems were first introduced in Europe in the early 1980s, and in North America in 1986. Modern systems are based on handheld data loggers and RFID sensors. The system provides a means to record the time when the employee reaches certain points on their tour. Checkpoints or watchstations are commonly placed at the extreme ends of the tour route and at critical points such as vaults, specimen refrigerators, vital equipment, and access points. Some systems are set so that the interval between stations is timed so if the employee fails to reach each point within a set time, other staff are dispatched to ensure the employee’s well-being. An example of a modern set-up might work as follows: The employee carries a portable electronic sensor (PES) or electronic data collector which is activated at each checkpoint. Checkpoints can consist of iButton semiconductors, magnetic strips, proximity microchips such as RFIDs or NFC- or optical barcodes. The data collector stores the serial number of the checkpoint with the date and time. Later, the information is downloaded from the collector into a computer where the checkpoint’s serial number will have an assigned location (i.e. North Perimeter Fence, Cell Number 1, etc.). Data collectors can also be programmed to ignore duplicate checkpoint activations that occur sequentially or within a certain time period. Computer software used to compile the data from the collector can print out summaries that pinpoint missed checkpoints or patrols without the operator having to review all the data collected. Because devices can be subject to misuse, some have built-in microwave, g-force, and voltage detection.
Peninsula Fire & Security are Bureau monitored by Security Monitoring Services (also known as “SAMS) is a company that provides services to monitor burglar, fire and residential alarm systems. The Security Monitoring Station may also provide watchman and supervisory services.
Security Alarm Monitoring use special telephone and mobile lines, radio channels, computers, software and trained staff to monitor their customers’ security systems and call the appropriate authorities in the event an alarm signal is received. Typically, there is a fee for services rendered. Because quality and experience can vary greatly among alarm companies, prospective customers are well advised to do their own research before making a final choice. Not all alarm companies monitor the systems they install and may outsource these services to another company.
SAMS is certified by independent agencies. a leader in inspection and certification of central-stations. rules must be adhered to in order to maintain a issued certification listing. annual audits of these listed facilities to ensure compliance.
SAMS typically offer higher levels of service and reliability because they are mandated to follow certain regulations. Higher levels of service also include range of services, and a separation from companies with conflicts of interest who may be owned or operated by entities that in fact compete with the central station’s customers.