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Closed Circuit Television System.


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  CCTV systems are used for everything from personnel and asset protection to management control. Select from the following articles to learn more about CCTV.

Everyone's Out to Get Me!--Liability claims against businesses are on the rise. Find out the ways CCTV can help protect your company against lawsuits.

The Slip and Fall Security System--Did somebody really slip and fall in your business or did he or she just discover a way to bilk your company out of thousands of dollars? CCTV can help protect your business against fraudulent claims.

Playground Security--Playgrounds can be dangerous places. They should be monitored on an on-going basis to ensure that the equipment is in good shape and being used properly. CCTV can be the playground monitor.

Today's Applications for Yesterday's Security Equipment--CCTV and other electronic security equipment are now being used to perform a whole new level of responsibilities for people and their businesses. Discover how CCTV is reducing liability, increasing efficiency, and supplementing manpower.

The Newest Partner on the Police Force--The Kings Lynn, England police department installed 60+ CCTV cameras in strategic locations around the town. The cameras have been responsible for a substantial curbing of crime. Read more about how CCTV can be used by police to stop criminal activity.

From Traffic Congestion to the Coroner's Office--The U.S. government has driven the development of CCTV. Learn the many ways local and federal government agencies are using CCTV.

Eliminating One of the Biggest Fears--Many employees feel most vulnerable in parking lots. Learn how CCTV can to used to secure your lots.

Security Equipment as a Management Tool--CCTV goes beyond security. Read about how CCTV can be used to increase productivity, improve customer service, and protect employees that work with dangerous equipment.

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  No, you're not paranoid, you're realistic. In an age where inmates sue prisons, attorneys sue attorneys, and the victims are businesses that become suspects it's easy to believe that everyone's out to get you.

  At the heart of the matter are several simple questions, none of which have simple answers. What's reasonable? A seven-year-old girl is raped in her hospital room. Is it reasonable to sue the hospital? A gang member is murdered by another gang member in an apartment complex. Is it reasonable to sue the owner of the complex for lack of security?

  Can you provide security while still preserving privacy? What about the man who was beaten and robbed in the restroom of a public office building and subsequently sued the city?

  Is business responsible for compensating (in numerous ways) for what society has failed to handle? Should it be necessary to form crime commissions to sponsor security, education, and crisis-management programs for owners of small businesses?

  Reasonable or not, fraudulent or not, liability claims against businesses are clearly on the rise. Crime cannot be completely eradicated. Furthermore, liability is not a game of numbers: every incident counts. So the bottom line seems to be that businesses can be found liable if they fail to provide adequate protection or take reasonable precautions.

  Hospitals report a 60% increase in full time security employees. Metal detectors are being installed with the result being more confiscated weapons. One hospital confiscated 20 weapons in a year versus three or four in the past. Many hospitals require ID badging for everyone on the premises. And infant abduction systems to prevent the average 15 to 18 infant abductions per year are routinely being installed in hospital maternity wards.

  A number of CCTV systems are being installed in corporate office buildings as a supplementary system for security guards. The obvious reason, more security, is just part of it. In some places, the current state of the law is that a security officer's liability is coextensive with a landowner's. CCTV verifies the actions of the security guard.

  Liability for purse snatching and auto theft in outdoor and indoor parking garages is minimized with the wireless emergency call box systems that are being installed in outdoor and indoor parking garages. Used in conjunction with CCTV, security personnel can actually hear and see what occurs. This protects visitors to the parking garage and it insures that the owner is taking every possible precaution.

  It used to be that compliance with appropriate statues for safety and security was enough to establish that "adequate protection" had been achieved. The outcome of a number of recent lawsuits now disputes this, successfully arguing that the statues merely set a "floor" of due care. Hotels and motels are particularly vulnerable. Thus, more smoke detectors, more CCTV cameras (particularly in elevators), access control systems for rooms, and ID badges for employees.

  Smart businesses are training employees to be more security-conscious. They are taught what to watch for, what equipment has been installed, and they learn what to do in which circumstances. Training not only reduces the risk of an incident, but it is a statement of reasonable precautionary measure.

  It may be that not everybody is out to get you. But it can take only one liability lawsuit, fraudulent or not, large or small, to have a serious financial impact on your business. Electronic security equipment will help balance the scales in your favor.

This article was first published in Volume 4, Edition 1 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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  Risk management is difficult for many kinds of businesses. Among the worst: retail grocery stores. There are literally thousands of possibilities for accidents between food spills, running kids, frustrated adults. There's also thousands of possibilities for fraudulent claims.

  The Slip and Fall Security System was developed after one particular grocery retailer got so many claims from "hurt" patrons that they couldn't keep track of them all.

  The first task was to determine whether the claims were actually true. After a short time of monitoring one the the stores with a high number of alleged incidents it was determined that a vast majority of the claims were indeed fraudulent. (It was later discovered that because the company had a policy to trying to pay off these claims without spending the money on costly lawsuits they became a great target for fraudulent slip and fall lawsuits.)

  The solution was the Slip and Fall Security System. In the store that was monitored, CCTV cameras, multiplexors, and real-time 24 hour recorders were installed. Every inch of the retail space is monitored via the system. Cameras are placed in specific locations and the lenses and angles of each of the cameras is adjusted for continual store monitoring.

  The results? The company had a 66% overall reduction in claims in the first eight months. The savings in reduced claims has been $180,000 and $200,000 respectively. (That's a savings of claims not paid out.)

  There are Slip and Fall Security Systems in many types of businesses: grocery stores, nightclubs, bowling alleys, mall common areas and food courts, and industrial plants to name a few. If you're worried about the possibility of claims give us a call. This system can pay for itself in less than a year!

This article was first published in Volume 4, Edition 1 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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  Playgrounds can be dangerous places for kids. Loose chains on swings, bad connections on slides, and improper use of equipment all mean not only serious injuries to kids but also serious lawsuits against the facility responsible.

  Obviously, the equipment should be constructed properly. But it also must be monitored on an on-going basis. Impossible?

  Not with a CCTV system. The cameras are continually recording including date and time. Future playback will make it easy to spot wear and tear and improper use of equipment. The recordings are verification in case of fraudulent claims.

  Through electronic security it's possible to create a safe environment for kids and protect yourself as well.

This article was first published in Volume 4, Edition 1 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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  You should take a bow. Your ingenuity and your need to get more from what already exists has expanded the horizons and the technology of the electronic security industry.

  Electronic security equipment is now being used to perform a whole new level of responsibilities for people and their businesses.

  Liability is a good example. Hospitals can use CCTV cameras to closely monitor patients in intensive care. Every movement of the patient and the care providers is recorded. If there are any questions the answers will be on video tape.

  More students are suing schools for minor accidents or infringement of their rights due to disciplinary actions. As a result, classrooms in a number of schools are being monitored via CCTV. Not only is there less likelihood of lawsuit, but juries can actually see, via videotape, the shoe incident and make better judgments.

  Hotels, on the other had, are installing CCTV and access control systems to avoid litigation. If such systems are absent and an incident involving a visitor or guest occurs, the hotel can be accused of negligence.

  The trend for may businesses today is to look inside themselves to discover where their competitive strengths lie. One area that can help make or break a competitive position is that of operating efficiency. How many companies have multiple information sharing needs but utilize a number of separate databases? Duplication can cost in both people and dollar resources.

  It's much more efficient to operate as some universities are currently. They have a central system where students, faculty, and employees are all recorded just once. Cards are then issued primarily to grant access to buildings or offices, but purchases form the cafeteria, or the bookstore, or the library can also be conducted with the card as well. The result is more efficiency, a better use of resources.

  Security equipment is also added manpower. CCTV cameras monitor public locations, streets, and traffic in England and Scotland. California and Texas highway departments monitor traffic with CCTV. Manufacturing plants utilize CCTV to watch production lines for quality control.

  Liability, efficiency, increased manpower: today's applications for yesterdays security equipment. And as dreams explode into reality, who know what tomorrow's applications might be?

This article was first published in Volume 3, Edition 3 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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  You know when the popular television show 20/20 does a report on something it's hot news. The "Video Village," as it was dubbed on the September 8 newscast, is making headlines across the world for its use of CCTV c cameras to augment their police force.

  In 1992, the Kings Lynn, England police department installed CCTV in numerous public locations. The 60 plus cameras have been responsible for hundreds of arrests and a substantial curbing of crime.

  The town got the idea from the merchants of an office park located within the city limits. Vandalism and theft had become so bad that the merchants banded together and put tin their own CCTV system. They stopped crime in the office part--by 100%.

  The cameras are mounted, rather inconspicuously, in strategic location in city centers, parking lots, street, high-crime areas, churches, graveyards, alley ways...and their purpose is to expand an understaffed police force.

  The police station serves as the central monitoring station, and when the operator sees trouble, police are immediately dispatched. Everything is recorded so that even if the police don't arrive in time to actually catch the perpetrator in the act, the video can be played back to identify and prosecute. (A side affect has been that far fewer cases actually get to court. Once a person sees themselves on video, they usually admit to having committed the crime.)

  The success of the Kings Lynn video project is compelling. Glasgow, Scotland has had their own extensive system designed and installed. Over 300 other cities in Great Britain have installed or are preparing for their own video systems. And according to an American research firm, CCTV businesses will do an estimated $2.1 billion in 1995, up substantially form previous years.

  When fear, or crime, or both becomes bad enough, CCTV provides solutions hat are economically feasible and highly effective.

This article was first published in Volume 3, Edition 3 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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by Roger Speyer, President, PSA Security Network

  The U.S. government has been responsible for driving the development of some of the most progressive technologies that have been used in the electronic security industry, and CCTV is no exception. Protection and verification are two of the most common reasons for governmental entities to install CCTV systems. Therefore, the number of CCTV applications for police departments, U.S. customs, transportation departments, and other city, state, and county administrations is growing daily. Cameras are used to solve a myriad of problems; some very ordinary, and others a bit more unusual.

  Many of PSA's member/dealers install CCTV systems for governmental applications. For instance, one of the PSA California dealers was involved in a very large project where CCTV cameras were installed at freeway and street intersections. There were a variety of reasons for this undertaking, which is primarily used as a management tool. Congestion, accidents, and emergencies can be seen from the view of the cameras. Once a problem is observed and assessed, the on-line traffic control system can be used to alleviate it by reprogramming lights and through other control devices.

  The following are other examples from PSA dealers on CCTV applications for the government:

  Pete Carney of Argus Security Systems in McAllen, Texas: "We've done a number of Navy jobs in Kingsville and Corpus Christi, Texas. Some of these have been with daycare centers. Cameras are installed in every room and are constantly recording, so that if there is some question about what a teacher has or has not done, there is verification. The Navy was proactive in its approach, and wanted to reduce its liability. The cameras were installed way before the Oklahoma City bombing.

  "We also keep up with installations for the Border Patrol, particularly their checkpoints away from the border. Every stopping point has a camera, monitor, and recorder, and the cameras are continually recording. As with the daycare center, the cameras are in full view because they are, in part, a deterrent. They also verify who comes and goes. The same rationale is used by U.S. Customs. The cameras we've installed there are located not only at checkpoints as a deterrent to cheating the system, but also inside the warehouses and in the administrate offices as a visual check at access-controlled doors."

  Norm Amper of Amper Security in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: "The Allegheny County EPA wanted us to install cameras on the smokestack of a coke mill to monitor its emissions. The CCTV system we used is color because it monitors the color of the smoke being emitted. If it's any color other than white, there's a problem and the company (or the EPA) can immediately rectify the situation.

  "One of the more interesting projects we've done was for the Allegheny County Coroner's office, where we put in a CCTV identification system. In situations where relatives or friends are required to identify a body, they can now do so by looking at a video monitor rather than having to go through the trauma of having to actually view it up close. The coroner's office is very satisfied with this system--in fact, there was even television coverage on how it worked. The CCTV system in the coroners office is also used to identify and file pictures of all the bodies that come in. This used to be done with a regular camera, but after a while a hardcopy photo fades, whereas video pictures stored on a computer never disappear."

  Boyd Megginson of Security Equipment, Inc. in Mobile, Alabama: "We install CCTV cameras in paper mills to verify that EPA regulations are actually being met. Paper mills generate a lot of waste, and it all must be disposed of properly. The cameras are strategically placed to verify, should the need arise, that the company is not illegally dumping in the ocean or river. They serve another purpose, however, and that is to insure that no outside group or individual is trying to sabotage the compliance efforts of the paper mill. The cameras are continually running, with events monitored and recorded, so that there is full evidence of any wrongdoing, or lack thereof.

  "Not only do the cameras verify adherence to EPA regulations, they are also used in supporting OSHA requirements. OSHA dictates that the loading and/or unloading of hazardous chemicals be continually supervised during that process. We have installed color CCTV systems to allow the supervision to be performed by personnel in the control room, exactly where any corrective action would commence."

  Chuck Olson of PSA Electronic Systems, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina: "When we arrived at the North Carolina National Guard Armory, they had a large field with a hangar facility at one end, a runway access ramp at the other, and 30 Apache helicopter nunships in the middle. Security consisted of a four-foot, chain-link fence. We started by installing 80 lighting poles around the perimeter (which had to meet FAA standards) and then added CCTV cameras tied to digital video motion detectors. When motion is detected, the matrix switcher rearranges the video displays, and all of the pan/tilts go to pre-positions, recording all activities. Only one guard is needed.

  "It is also common to install CCTV systems in jails for verification purposes. A couple of years ago, our company was asked to appear in court to explain evidence provided by surveillance tape recorded by the Lenoir County jail video monitoring system. As a result of this evidence, the U.S. Attorney General successfully prosecuted a very tough case."

  As these examples illustrate, the government is no different than other groups or companies; it depends on CCTV to oversee the well-being of people and property, thus ensuring peace of mind.

This article was first published in the July/August issue of CCTV magazine.

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by Roger Speyer, President, PSA Security Network

  One of my corporate customers did a quick survey and asked his employees where at work they felt the least safe and least secure. The resounding, number-one answer: the parking lots.

  Studies suggest that consumers are changing their buying habits as a result of concerns about being robbed or victimized in parking lots. Lawsuits are mounting, as well as millions of dollars in settlements and awards for businesses that fail to adequately secure parking areas.

  It is anticipated that sales of CCTV systems will increase by 22 percent in 1994, and sales of access control systems will increase by 16 percent. It is estimated that more than one-third of the sales increases in these areas will be responses to increased parking security.

  The type of the product depends on the site. Access control is, for instance, part of a powerful security package for industrial locations and corporate businesses. The perimeter of the parking area should be bounded by a fence or located in a garage that has few entrance and exit gates. Electronic card readers can be installed at every gate, allowing access to only those with authorized cards. For added security, a tracking system with proximity devices can be mounted on all authorized vehicles to "read" and validate both the card and the person wishing to enter or exit.

  If parking is a revenue source, or if a large population of customers use the lots, access control isn't as viable. Regardless of the site, however, CCTV is crucial to the success of security in parking lots and garages. If nothing else, the visibility of security in the form of cameras posted everywhere can help deter potential violators.

  CCTV cameras can be mounted individually in many locations in parking lots and garages. Several factors must be considered when purchasing CCTV security systems such as lighting, reflectivity and extreme weather and other conditions. Many good products are out on the market that will fulfill these and other special needs.

  For example, a new roving CCTV system is available which provides overall coverage to parking garages. The tilt and zoom cameras move on self-powered carriages attached to horizontal tracks which run the length and width of the garage. When a button is pushed in the monitoring station, a camera can be moved at up to 110-feet-per-second to the corresponding alarm site. There is no void--the cameras can literally see every location in the garage including between cars and in corners. One person can monitor all the cameras.

  Securing parking areas can be a real challenge. But it might be the one thing that determines whether someone buys or lodges at a business. It will also allow employees to feel more comfortable about coming to and leaving work. And the security might just save someone's life.

This article was originally was published in the August 1994 issue of CCTV Applications and Technology.

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by Roger Speyer, President, PSA Security Network

  The philosophy behind using security equipment to increase the productivity of employees is simple: those people making the critical decisions cannot be everywhere to see everything, much less remember and record it all to memory. Security equipment can be used to help the decision makers.

  Quality and quantity are imperative in manufacturing. Cameras located on the manufacturing line watch for bottlenecks and other problems. The line foreman watching the monitors can react more quickly and efficiently, perhaps avoiding costly malfunctions.

  How can a retail store give the best customer service? Many customers say that the answer for them is in shorter waiting lines. A CCTV camera posted above each waiting line monitors activity. When it's obvious that there are too many people waiting, the person watching the cameras can dispatch another clerk to help.

  Companies also have to be concerned about employees that work around dangerous equipment, especially if they're alone. A CCTV camera provides quick reaction time--it can immediately "see" if an employee gets hurt so that help can be sent quickly.

  Throughout all of these management functions, the cameras also serve to observe employee activity. Sometimes you are requiring too much of one employee--they need help , but won't tell their manager. Or sometimes it becomes apparent that three people to load and unload is inefficient and unnecessary. The third employee could be moved to another function, such as inventory control. The camera helps management "see."

  Security equipment is no longer just a function of "security." It's a management tool for making decisions.

This article was originally printed in the Intelligent Security newsletter.

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  Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have many uses and "see" many things. Select from the following articles to learn more:

  Digital Cameras. So What's the Big Deal?--The advantages of digital cameras over traditional analog cameras.

  Eyes--Various applications for CCTV cameras including their use in dangerous situations and covert surveillance.

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By Roger Speyer, President, PSA Security Network

  Remember what an improvement CCD cameras were over tube cameras? With the advent of digital cameras, the CCTV camera market is about to be revolutionized again.

  It's the job of all cameras to analyze, adjust and produce the best picture possible. Analog cameras have been doing a good job of this for many years. But the new digital counterpart is taking the picture analysis many steps forward.

  Unlike an analog camera, the digital camera can be programmed to "think." These thought processes, or "algorithms" allow the camera to adjust and maximize its performance based upon the task it is doing at any given second and the conditions of the scene being viewed. The type of pictures you can expect as a result are cleaner (especially helpful for night time viewing), have true color reproductions, and better picture definition.

  Analog cameras have many internal factory adjustments as well as field adjustments ranging from auto-iris to white balance. This can be a disadvantage for cameras located in hard-to-reach installations because the controls may drift due to harsh environmental conditions, or need adjustment to meet the needs of the scene being viewed. Any adjustment requires manual changes on-site. Digital cameras, on the other hand, have adjustments which are made and placed into each camera's memory, thus providing a high level of stability.

  This is just the beginning of an ever-growing technology. Digital zoom, enhanced sensitivity, and more intelligent cameras are coming soon.

  What's the best news about digital cameras? They're not expensive! Digital will outperform analog, at a cost that will make you smile!

This article was first published in Volume 5, Edition 1 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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By Roger Speyer, President, PSA Security Network

  You've got your basic CCTV camera. And at the risk of offending the manufacturers, there's nothing much exciting about the camera itself...they all look pretty much alike. The features are nice, but why jump up and down about them? Universally, the quality of all cameras has reached the point that they could be considered a commodity.

  But what about the problems these little (sometimes very little) commodities can solve for you and your business?

  They watch ugly business. Who is the person who makes sure the sewer pipes are running free and well, maybe not clear, but you know what we mean? There is no person--CCTV cameras are used. In fact, the cameras are used to check the flow of pipes carrying many substances, like oil or natural gas.

  They watch dangerous business. Dangerous, that is, for humans. You'll find CCTV cameras in furnaces where the temperatures run about 3,000 degrees F. You'll also find them in the middle of nuclear reactors, making sure that everything is running smoothly and functioning properly.

  They are "eyes" for people. Underground oil rigs need to be routinely maintained and sometimes cleaned. The water's too murky for a person to see. A camera located in the helmet of a crew member relays what it "sees" from the bottom and sends the information up for computer enhancement and relay back. Similarly, in the medical field, very tiny cameras are used in microsurgery. The camera is inserted in the body where the problem needs correcting. It transmits the information that it "sees" onto a large monitor and the doctors use the monitor to do the surgery.

  They keep people safe. Some of the most basic (and also most important) uses for CCTV cameras are to make sure that people's lives are protected. Places like parking garages where there aren't many people around and there are many places to hide. (CCTV cameras are even hooked on hidden tracks that monitor every part of a parking garage.)

  They watch actions. (Or maybe no action.) Did the surgeon really do something to warrant a malpractice suit? Did the person really slip and fall in aisle 10 of the grocery store? Did the employee actually hurt his back in the warehouse? CCTV cameras are there to continually monitor everyday operations and activities.

  They are undercover agents. Theft, burglaries, armed robberies...CCTV cameras see them all. These cameras can be placed in the most ingenious locations: inside clocks, TV sets, a box on a shelf, in lights. They are great for catching dishonest people "in the act."

  They are silent observers and reporters. One of the most powerful and informative forms of market research, particularly for retailers, is observation. CCTV cameras can easily be used to record the buying habits and, in many cases, the attitudes of customers.

  A CCTV camera can work magic for most problems. Call us to help you find solutions!

This article was first published in the February 1994 issue of CCTV Applications & Technology.

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