Security Case Studies

The Reserve of Clarendon Hills Security Case Studies

The Reserve of Clarendon Hills is a fifty five unit residential subdivision consisting of 14 buildings. We were hired as their fire alarm testing and maintenance provider in 2002. Their existing fire alarm system would need to be repaired every time an electrical storm was in their area. One evening several years ago, the electrical storm caused damage to the fire alarm systems in all of their buildings. At this point we suggested that all panels be replaced with a different manufacturer, and that the cabling between buildings be replaced with state of the art fiber optic cable to help eliminate the power surges caused by the electrical storms from damaging their fire alarm equipment. We designed a fire alarm system that was addressable and now not only reported the building, but also the unit number of the device that caused the alarm.

It has been several years now, and we have not had a single piece of equipment damaged by a power surge, or electrical storm. We also have been able to reduce their annual operating expenses since the new fire alarm equipment is easier to test and provides dynamic supervision of all of its components.

Valley Fastner Group Security Case Studies

We bid to install a camera system for Valley Fastner Group. The project was competitively bid, and cameras were to be installed per the design parameters set forth in the bid documents. We were the sucessful bidders, and installed their camera system. Eventually, there was a theft incident and when they went to review the camera recording, they found the images were blurry and it was not possible to identify the perpetrators of the theft. When we were called in to explain why the image quality was not sufficient to make a positive identification, we explained that with the type of system that they had, analog cameras with a 720×240 display, the system was operating as designed and that it was difficult to cover wide areas and have the ability to zoom in on a person or object to make a positive identification.

We were asked to design and install a system that would be able to cover their facility and provide the resolution needed. We replaced the analog cameras with high resolution digital cameras, and replaced their old digital recorder (DVR) with a new state of the art Video Management System (VMS). Now one camera has the ability to cover the area that used to require several analog cameras, and provide High Definition Resolution. The new VMS platform also allows them to view both live and recorded images in real time on their smartphones, with the ability to zoom, capture and email images remotely. They were so pleased with the new system, we expanded it to cover their other locations, and all images from all locations can be viewed either locally on their office network, or remotely via the web client or on their smartphones. There have been incidents since they have installed the new system, and they were able to print out images with sufficient detail to identify what had happened and who was responsible.

I was also told that they use the remote smartphone viewing of the cameras in their production areas as sales tools to show their operation to perspective customers. A benefit they hadn’t originally considered from their security system.

NIST Educational Videos

Please feel free to view the two educational videos. These videos were furnished by NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The videos show how smoke and fire spread through the structures. NIST uses their Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and their Smoke View Visualization tool to help illustrate how quickly fire and toxic smoke can spread.

This helps explain why fire alarm systems, even if not required, are recommended as a means of rapidly notifying building occupants that there is a fire in the building and that they need to evacuate the structure quickly and safely in order to avoid danger.