Monday, May 18, 2015

Perimeter Fence Alarm Systems

When it comes to a perimeter fence that surrounds your business premises, the alarm system you choose for its protection against intrusion is crucial. Criminals will often try to scale a fence or cut through it so it's important to detect any such attempt as quickly as possible.

Fence alarm options vary enormously from what I've read both in type and quality and it's important to get it right first time if you are serious about your perimeter fence protection.

One of the most proven and popular types of fence alarm is a cable type system where a special high quality cable is discreetly installed on the inside of the fence. Special analysers come as part of the package. Their purpose is to detect any signals emitted by the special cable. Signals can vary indicating the type of attack or intrusion attempt and the analyser works this out. You can even modify the detection criteria for attempts at climbing and cutting the fence.

A fence alarm of this nature has other benefits too.
  1. It can be attached to an existing or a new fence. 
  2. It has no moving parts so is stable and reliable in bad weather. 
  3. It has an audio listen in facility. 
  4. It has a proven high detection rate record.
One of the longest established fence alarm systems on the market comes from a British manufacturer with its manufacturing base and HO in Scotland. Their fence alarm product is called Flexiguard and, according to their claims, currently protects a multitude of outdoor perimeter fences across the globe - even including the Pyramids in Egypt! You can find more detailed information here.

There are lots of stories on the web featuring perimeter fence attacks. One notable one in London was when would-be diamond thieves smashed through a perimeter fence close to the O2 arena - using mechanical diggers of all things! You can read more in this article about some of the most famous British 'heists' ever attempted.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A to Z Of Perimeter Intrusion Detection

When it comes to perimeter protection of outdoor sites the list of potential applications is truly staggering. Initially, things like industrial sites come to mind (construction sitesetc) but then you realize there are lots of commercial sites that need pids protection. Then there are public sector and tourist facilities, not forgetting military and government sites. So I decided to conduct a quick A-Z study of uses for perimeter intrusion detection systems.

I came up with the following which might surprise many who think they know a lot about perimeter security. I have also provided links to posts I've previously written which go into more detail.

A
Automotive storage, auction houses, manufacturers
Auto salvage yards
Airports

B
Banks
Beverage & Food Producers
Breweries

C
Car parks (public)
Cell towers
Chemical plants
Churches
Construction Site Security

D
Distribution depots
DIY Store Perimeters

E
Embassies

G
Gas Production/Handling plants
Government buildings

H
Hazardous Industries
Historical & Ancient Sites
Homes (private residential & complexes)

M
Manufacturing
Military bases
Museums

O
Oil Refinery companies

P
Palaces
Petrochemical plants
Pharmaceutical plants
Pipelines
Police compounds
Power Generation plants
Prison facilities

R
Railways
Reservoirs
Road haulage operators

S
Schools
Salvage Yards
Shipping companies
Solar Parks
Storage Depot Perimeters

T
Transport networks

U
Underground transportation
Utility companies

W
Warehouses
Wildlife parks

What's more there are manufacturers of perimeter protection systems that not only list the many uses of pids systems but they give details of what makes each application different from another. They even sometimes quote the type of pids system they have supplied and where. Reading this type of page, I learned that the same problem on 2 different sites might be solved by the installation of a different system. Let me give you an example.

You have one site with an existing perimeter fence and another site with no fence.

Perimeter Fence (pd image courtesy Wikipedia)
The former would be best suited to a fence detection alarm system, something like this perimeter detection technology, which can be fitted to the fence and then monitored from a central location. The latter might benefit from using microwave technology, which I touched on in a previous post called Electric Fencing To Microwaves, and would not require a fence to be installed. The two systems offer very different technology but they provide the same effect.

I found this exercise a worthwhile read because I now understand better just how complex perimeter intrusion detection can get. Conversely I also know know how readily a solution for perimeter intrusion detection can be found, particularly if you approach a manufacturer because they can always look at a bespoke solution if you need one. That, plus the fact that their after-sales and technical support is much more likely to be of premier quality and quality, at the end of the day, is incredibly important when it comes to security.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Get It Right With A Good PIDS System

Get a good PIDS system is a phrase that echoes seemingly more and more across the world. From scrap metal yards to prisons to warehouses, car parks and even ancient monuments, they all need effective perimeter intrusion detection.

You only have to look at the latest statistics on theft and vandalism to know that the world is facing something of a crisis when it comes to detecting and deterring unwanted intruders and the trouble they can bring. Let's face it if the last intrusion problem at the White House could happen as readily as it did, then what chance do commercial sites have with their lesser budgets?

The answer is simple. Don't jut go to a dealer for your security - see if you can find a manufacturer to talk to directly. Sure, they may put you in touch with one of their distributors but if you can get their manufacturing insight on your side you have a much better chance of knowing what system or product to invest your money in.

This may seem a simple idea but it's really like anything else. Dealers may know the product and have access to technical information but only a manufacturer can answer best when it comes to the more complex questions. Security is a subject that is often complex, especially on outdoor sites that need protecting and monitoring and are sometimes in a location that is prone to extreme temperatures.

The only way to find out if my theory is worth anything of course is to try it for yourself. Just go Google a search for perimeter security manufacturer, select one of the results and call them. Then Google a search for perimeter security dealer, select one and then call them asking them the same questions. See if I'm right!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Correctional Facility Security Spending

Crime rates and correctional facilities are a regular feature of the news in the security industry. Whether it's the need for better perimeter security systems to protect business and homes from theft and vandalism or improving correctional facility security to ensure that those incarcerated for crime cannot break out.

In just a few decades some US states have seen incarceration figures actually triple  That's a staggering rise in crime! In line with that, not surprisingly, many states have had to increase their expenditure on correctional facilities in their area, not just to accommodate the rising number of prisoners but to protect the local communities close to which prisons have been built.

With regard to the latter there are several different types of detection system that can be employed on prison perimeters from electric fence energizers to fence sensors and even microwave beams. This page on perimeter detection systems gives a simple but easy to follow summary of the current technologies available.

This may sound all very logical and sensible and there's no denying everyone wants to see criminals securely locked away but according to a report recently released, some US states are spending more on prisons than on education .... a LOT more! Click here to read the full detail of the statistics.

There is naturally a lot of heated debate currently going on about these findings with some arguing that if more was spent on better education particularly in the poorer sectors of society, then there would be fewer kids turning to crime as they grow up. A fair point but not one I think that will turn the tide of the current spending levels on correctional facility institutions.

Putting this debate to one side but staying on the subject of prison security, here's a question you are not likely to know the answer to:

How many people in the USA are currently on probation, on parole or in prison?

Answer: 7 million!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Perimeter Intrusion Problems At The White House

When it comes to perimeter intrusion problems, one of the last places you might expect to see in the news is the White House but that's exactly what happened recently.

A man apparently jumped over the main perimeter fence, ran over 100 yards and, ignoring verbal commands from security officers, actually made his way into the main building as far as the East Room before being apprehended.


Understandably, the first reaction of the White House security management team was to increase all aspects of security including 'additional surveillance resources' (which we take to mean perimeter intrusion detection systems) as well as more foot patrols on the perimeter and more barriers outside the main gates. More on this story here

Another recent and similar story springs to mind - that of how 2 kayakers breached the perimeter of JFK airport without being detected. Their intrusion was apparently accidental after losing 2 of their paddles. Sounds reasonably possible ... but given that the perimeter intrusion detection system in place at the airport is believed to have cost USD 300 million, it takes some believing that such a loophole could exist! More on this story here.

Such embarrassing episodes as these show how no establishment, business or organisation can afford to rest on its laurels when it comes to security; perimeter security measures should be under regular review and not just discussed with the established suppliers. New technologies and security assessment procedures are being developed all the time so it would be naive to think they should not be given the chance to be considered.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Market Expansion For Perimeter Detection & Security Products

If you read regular news articles about perimeter security it can be quite demanding. First of all, you have to sift through the 50% of items which are about IT related perimeter intrusion stories and products. Then when you get to the remaining articles which are about physical outdoor security you can be bowled over by the detail of the information and statistics.

Here is an example. I saw an article today with a report about how the perimeter security market is expected to reach $17.7 Billion by 2018. That is a simply staggering statistic. We all realise that business, industry and commerce has to be protected against intrusion, theft etc but to such an extent is shocking. Don't get me wrong, it's all good news for the suppliers of perimeter security systems and intrusion detection equipment. It's just a mind boggling amount of money that is expected to be spent.

I did some more reading to see if I could find out why. It appears the general concensus of opinion is that there are several driving factors for such a high level of sales, as follows:

Bigger demand due to increased threats, theft and vandalism
Increased demand from expanding economies (Brazil, Russia, China, India*)
New and stricter government regulations
Desire to reduce the cost of manpower
More advanced technological developments

* The expanding economy of India makes for fascinating reading. Click here for a detailed appraisal.

In summary, the world is becoming an increasingly less safe place in which to live. Also the potential cost in terms of lost business, serious disruption and even human life could be significant in some sectors such as power generation plants, nuclear plants, government buildings, military bases etc.

Of course the cost of providing effective intrusion detection and deterrent systems does not stop at the cost of the equipment itself. There is a plethera of other associated services such as video surveillance options, existing system integration analysis, consulting, risk assessment, maintenance and technical support. When you start to think about the size of the market that supports the security sector even $17.7 Billion doesn't sound a lot. In some ways, it might not be enough!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Remote Perimeter Management

PIDS, as already explained in previous articles, offers many options for perimeter security management. Security systems vary enormously and for different reasons and one of the more interesting perimeter management challenges I've read about is that of sites in remote locations or where the number of sites in need of monitoring is too large to be done individually. This is where a remote management system comes in.

Before looking at examples of remote monitoring and management, let's try and understand some of the basics in terms of technology used.

Remote monitoring and control is essentially 'industrial automation' where devices in different locations can be monitored and their functionality measured from one single location (aka network operations centre) with wireless sensors playing a key role. Supervisory control and data acquisition (aka SCADA) was one of the first recognised types of industrial control system but wireless technology has seen the concept move on to new and wider fields of application including pipeline monitoring and health monitoring.

Now let's look back at where I've mentioned remote monitoring before in the context of PIDS security systems. These 3 posts are good examples:

Scrap metal yard security

Security for food and drink producers

Rooftop security


It is surprising how fast the technology has grown in this particular field and I went searching for what's available and, more importantly, what sounds most credible. Many companies it seems make claims but when you read the detail it's clear not all enjoy the same level of credibility. Amongst the range available from pids systems suppliers I found one called Multiview which, it's claimed, was developed in-house by its parent company's R&D dept to work with another of their products and specifically offers effective remote perimeter monitoring of outdoor sites.When you read the client portfolio and case studies list they certainly appear to have international credibility but I suppose in order to test the theory of what I've come up with when reading about this, you would have to contact them and get a quote for a remote monitoring system. First you might want to read this remote monitoring system pdf. If anyone reads this post and does that I'd be interested to know how they get on! For now, however, I'm happy to stick to the theory idea but will certainly be researching and reading up more on the subject.