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BUILDING INTEGRATION

Posts Tagged ‘Fire Monitoring’

Will 2018 be the year artificial intelligence makes a big impact on your business?

As 2017 winds down, trend watchers are looking ahead to 2018 and thinking about the trends taking shape. Artificial Intelligence is top of mind for many.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and what is the difference between AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning? According to techopedia, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.” AI computers might be used for speech recognition, learning, planning and problem solving.

Machine Learning takes AI a step further, allowing computers to be challenged by and learn from new scenarios for testing and adaptation. The goal is for the machines to use pattern recognition and trend detection to “learn” so that it can make independent decisions about similar situations in the future.

Deep Learning collects what Machine Learning computers have learned and uses those algorithms to develop larger networks that mimic the high-powered decision-making capability of the human brain.

AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning all have significant potential for real-world application, particularly in video security.

The boom in digital video means a voluminous amount of data is available to analyze. Couple that data with more data available via API – weather data, financial data, etc. – and the possibilities for pulling together patterns and making predictions is nearly endless.

“While the technologies aren’t particularly new, this year they have more than ever captured the attention of the market due to various factors: an increase in data that’s available for meaningful analysis, the emergence of hardware devices with high computing power, as well as the maturity of networking infrastructure for both landline and wireless transmissions,” wrote William Pao of a&s International in a recent post on asmag.com.

Some are predicting a boom in AI-driven analysis. “The next step in video analytics is to dive deeper to gain very specific insights into video content, including analyzing human behavior through the use of neural network video analysis. Video will not only be used to track the usual movement of cars and people or detect items left behind, but will also be relied on more frequently to bring behaviors of interest to the attention of security personnel,” said Jammy DeSousa, Senior Product Manager for Security Products for Building Technologies and Solutions at Johnson Controls in the post.

Others are slightly more conservative in their outlook. “Machine or deep-learning is mostly used for video analytics, but I expect the technology will be an important component in many different applications and products in the future. Over time it will become a common tool for software engineers and will be included in many different environments and devices,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications in the post. “However, the surveillance industry has a history of sometimes over-promising with video analytics, and we are especially conscious of that when it comes to deep learning. We think deep learning has to mature further before it is ready for market in a broader perspective.”

Interested in learning more about new products and integrations on the horizon for 2018? Contact us at (502) 632-4322.

5 tips to get your facility ready for fall

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Even with record-setting high temps dogging us well into November, fall and winter weather are bound to arrive in the Ohio Valley sometime soon. Is your facility ready?

Here’s how you can prepare:

 

Check your lighting. Even if it never cools off, the sun is setting earlier each day, and the time will change on Nov. 6. That “fall back” will cost us an hour of daylight in the evening. Be sure to adjust timers which automatically turn lights on and off.
Reassess security systems. Changes in daylight may also mean changes to safety and security threats. Will customers or staff members be entering or exiting your building when it is dark? Now is the time to walk through and around facilities and note any new or shifting risks.
Service your HVAC system. Clean and/or replace filters, and clean out duct work to reduce allergens and ensure peak efficiency. Have your entire heating system inspected by a qualified professional.
Check windows and doors. Inspect all windows and doors to make sure they are operating properly and the seals are tight.
Start coordinating holiday travel schedules. With the holidays approaching, key staff members may plan to take time off or travel. Don’t wait until the last minute to hand off duties, login information, vendor contacts and other key details. For more, check out our earlier post outlining key steps for planning around vacations.

Four steps for dousing fire risks

On a cold night in mid-February, a piece of Kentucky history went up in flames.

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Rabbit Hash General Store, a landmark clapboard store that stood on Lower River Road in Boone County for more than 185 years, was decimated by a fast-moving fire. The family that owns the store, and the community that loves it, have vowed to rebuild on the same spot.

While you can’t prevent every disaster, you can mitigate risk. Some ideas for protecting property and people:

Inspect fire protection systems quarterly. Test alarms and systems regularly, and perform any required maintenance promptly. Questions about inspections? Contact Tom Barrett at (502) 632-4322.

Inspect property for fire risks. Fires need ignition and fuel. Are sources of ignition and fuel present? Look for frayed electrical cords or other spark risks, and repair or replace when necessary. Be sure fuel sources like papers or chemicals or any other combustible materials are properly stored. Check out this list from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for more ideas to reduce risk.

Review your emergency action plans. Be sure your plan includes: a plan for reporting, an evacuation plan for employees and guests that includes floor plans and maps, procedures for employees who must remain in place to perform critical operations, and rescue and medical duties for designated employees. Use this guide to create or review your plans.

Plan a drill. Plan and execute fire evacuation and other safety drills at least once a year.

Active Shooter Situations: Workplace

Every active shooter situation makes our hearts break. Our thoughts immediately go to the victims involved and we cannot help but think about the fact that these events can happen anywhere at any time. We’re then moved to think about our family, friends, coworkers and loved ones.

It seems that there is a shooter situation in the news every week because these events are becoming more and more prevalent. Last Friday, only 45% of students attended school because of an unknown threat that was made against Jefferson County Schools.

In Louisville, we recall 25 years ago, one of what would be the first of many mass workplace shootings. It doesn’t take much time to search for similar workplace events. Just yesterday, there was a shooting at local business, Cardinal Kitchens Inc. Although we don’t know most of the details that happened, we do know that it must have been very stressful for those involved.

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Photo via WLKY News

In a crisis situation, panic can cloud judgment, and the very real threat of physical danger may prevent people from assessing, gathering accurate information and alerting authorities to respond.

We hope that you are never involved in a crisis situation like this. As people, we start to think that if something like this happens at the place where we work, how would we respond and what would we do?

So how can you possibly plan to have an appropriate response to something as severe and terrifying as an active shooter situation in your school, warehouse or office complex? Planning for appropriate response actions and timeframes means simplifying the number of variables in a situation of panic and minimizing human reliance to increase speed of response.

In an active shooter incident, every second counts and acting quickly can help save lives. An Active Shooter Detection system takes out the human reaction time and uses technology to detect if an active shooter is present and can automatically notify authorities.

The Active Shooter Detection system scans an environment and uses infrared and acoustic sensors to analyze the sounds coming from that environment, searching specifically for the unique signatures that indicate active gunfire. Once the system has identified the source of the gunshot, indicator panels track that source as it moves throughout a building and alerts local police and emergency departments immediately. When first responders arrive, they can use the display panels to quickly and accurately pinpoint the location of the shooter in the building. Thanks to the unique combination of infrared and acoustic sensing technology, this system returns virtually zero false positive alarms.

Although having a detection system in place does not prevent a crisis from happening, it does allow your business to be best prepared if one does. We hope that your business never experiences an emergency like this, but we come to work every day to help you be as best prepared as you can be.

New service announcement – and it’s on fire!

Throughout the years, our temperature control and security clients have requested us to service their fire systems, and we regretfully could not. However, we listened to what our customers needed; we researched and invested in this area and now we are excited to announce that we have added this long-requested service to our portfolio. We debuted this service about a year ago and have spent the time since perfecting our skills in order to bring the best fire detection service to our customers.

 

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The ECT Services Team consists of experienced, certified individuals who design, develop, install, and service our state-of-the-art fire alarm systems. We test and inspect each system we install annually, and our clients can expect the best troubleshooting support and 24/7 monitoring. In addition, our fire detection and alert systems integrate completely with other building systems.

As CEO Jeff Murphy stated, “We are providing exactly what is needed and not upselling our customers. Our years of relationship building are important to our company, and we want the customers to have just what they need. There is a lot of integration in all of our services, because our knowledge about security and temperature controls can directly impact the type of fire system a building requires – and we know how to link them together.”

It is important to note that ECT offers fire detection and alarm services only. We do not currently offer suppression systems such as sprinklers.