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Posts Tagged ‘Security camera’

Security video can help improve retail sales

For most bricks and mortar retailers, ‘tis the season for high-volumes of foot traffic through stores. The last two months of the year are make-or-break, and understanding how customers are moving through retail space, where they are stopping to look, how long they are waiting for help or waiting in line are all key to maximizing sales.

Did you know that security video systems can do double-duty as merchandising analytics tools?

It’s possible using Bosch Security Systems’ In Store Analytics. The cloud-based service uses position data generated by its cameras to provide detail on how shoppers move through a retail space.

Bosch panoramic IP cameras are installed and positioned to take in as much of the retail floor space as possible, so the maximum amount of data can be captured. Shopper position data is captured and transmitted to the cloud, where it is further analyzed and delivered back to merchandising managers for review via a customized dashboard. The interface is designed to be easy to use, and doesn’t require any advanced query or data mining capabilities on the part of the user.
From the position data, merchandising managers can see how shoppers are moving through the retail space. They can see which displays are attracting shoppers, at which are not. They can identify peak times of day for traffic down to the display level, and position staff appropriately. The data also reveals how long shoppers linger in different areas, and how strongly they are engaged with merchandise or sales personnel. The intelligence gathered can be used to reposition displays or personnel to maximize sales.

In Store Analytics may be just the tool bricks and mortar retailers need to better compete with online retailers. Online retailers have the distinct advantage of being able to collect large amounts of significant customer data, including the purchasing journey. Bricks and mortar retailers often miss that piece, and have difficultly pinning down just how customers move through the process to purchase. In Store Analytics can help close that gap by providing actionable insights on customer flow and helping identify missed opportunities.

The In Store Analytics platform is suitable for large footprint retail spaces and scalable across multiple sites. Bosch also plans to roll out In Store Analytics dashboards for operations and loss prevention managers.

Is “reducing false alarms” on your radar?

… It’s on Axis’ radar, too.

The network video leader recently rolled out a new offering: motion-detecting radar.

The Axis D2050-VE uses radar technology to minimize false alarms triggered by spiders, small animals, shadows and light reflections. Once motion is detected, the device can trigger camera recording and/or activate a horn or lights to deter unauthorized access to property or a facility. The radar can be used alongside cameras with video motion detection, and can be used to track movement with PTZ cameras.

Reducing false alarms is key to good security. Not only are false alarms annoying, they impact operational readiness. Repeated false alarms fatigue personnel, and can make it possible for more credible threats to be disregarded.

“Radar closes a gap as it offers good area coverage, detects movement with high accuracy, and reduces false alarms,” explained Andres Vigren, Global Product Manager, Axis Communications, in a press release. “Compared to simple motion detectors, AXIS D2050-VE provides additional information of detected objects which allows for auto tracking with Axis PTZ cameras. Customers can now easily add proven radar technology to their existing or new surveillance systems to protect their premises.”

The radar detector was designed to be used in medium industrial installations. While its effectiveness is maximized when part of a complete surveillance system, it can also be used as a standalone tool. It integrates with other Axis products, including cameras and management software, and is also compatible with other systems thanks to its open interface design.

The Axis D2050-VE Network Radar Detector is wall mounted detector and designed for outdoor use. It offers detection coverage of 120 degrees and 164 feet, and is powered by Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+). The Axis D2050-VE has IP66, IK08 and NEMA 4X ratings for tough environments, and can be operated in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 60°C (-40 to 140°F), well within the typical temperature range for the Ohio Valley.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team at (502) 632-4322 for more information about Axis products.

Are active shooters a threat to hospitals?

For several deadly, terrifying moments, a place of comfort and care became a scene of death and chaos.

An active shooter recently rampaged through a New York City hospital, wounding six and killing one before taking his own life. The shooter, a former doctor at the facility, deliberately targeted medical staff at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. He took the life of a fellow doctor, and seriously wounded several doctors and medical students.
According to Becker Hospital Review, shootings in hospital are rare, with an average of only 14 per year. Most of the shootings – 33 percent – were the result of “grudges” according to the same study.

Revenge seems to be what motivated Dr. Henry Bello, the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center shooter. The former doctor resigned under pressure from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in 2015 after being accused of sexually harassing a co-worker according to a story in the New York Times. The incident was part of pattern of troubling behavior that riddled the doctor’s life.

Workplace shootings are actually on the rise, and revenge by disgruntled former employees is often the motivation. According to the most recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The most recent records by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace shootings increased by 15 percent to 354 in 2015, the first such increase since 2012.

What should employers do to protect workers, customers and others from disgruntled former employees bent on revenge?

Pay attention to patterns of disturbing behavior. Consider tracking workers who have been suspended or terminated.

Make active shooter training a part of regular safety and emergency planning.
Consider upgrading security options to include an active shooter detection system. The Guardian shot detection system by Shooter Detection Systems automatically detects when shots are fired and responds by alerting authorities, significantly reducing response time. The system can be integrated with other systems to lock doors, send messages and more.
Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.

Protect your facility from not-so-peaceful protests

Peaceful assembly is a time-honored and Constitutionally-protected right in the United States, and many Americans have exercised that right in recent weeks.

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While the majority of protests have been peaceful, some have attracted participation by a few violent outliers. The activities of these few have disrupted otherwise peaceful actions, threatened public safety and resulted in property damage.

What can you do to keep your facility, staff and customers safe in the event of a public protest? Here are a few steps you can take:

Review emergency plans. You’ve probably got plans in place for tornados, fires and active shooters, but do you have a plan in place for protests? Plans should include key staff members, emergency exit routes, communication channels and more. Local law enforcement and insurance carriers are good resources for developing plans.

Review your insurance coverage.  Does your coverage extend beyond property damage? Do you need a rider to cover damage to special features like plate glass? Does your coverage include business interruption? Nailing down these details now, especially if your facility or one nearby is likely to be the object of a protest, could potentially save you a lot of headaches and expense later.

Review security equipment and systems.  Do security cameras cover all building access points? Are they vulnerable to tampering? Does your system allow secure remote access and monitoring? Are storage systems adequate? Keep in mind that you may not lose access to your facility, and may not regain access for some time. Being able to keep an eye on activity remotely and capture data might be essential.

Review social media and news coverage.  Maintain situational awareness online. Follow protest hashtags, and watch conversations for indications that protests may shift from peaceful to violent. Know how you can contact law enforcement quickly in event of an emergency.

Church Shootings

Last week, the trial of the man who admitted to shooting and killing nine people at a church got underway.


When confessed killer Dylann Roof set out to kill black people in an attempt to spark a race war, he specifically chose the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. as the location for his horrific crime in part because he thought it would be an easy target. He counted on attendees to be meet, and resistance to be minimal.

Sadly, the June 2015 shootings at Mother Emanuel were not the first time a house of worship was attacked by a madman with an agenda. In 2012, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was targeted and six worshippers were killed;  a grandfather and grandson attending an activity at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, Kansas were gunned down in 2014; seven attendees at a youth rally were killed at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999.

Add to that the dozens of other types of deadly incidents that occur on properties of faith-based organizations each year, and it is clear that churches, synagogues, temples and other sacred spaces are at risk.

What makes them vulnerable? The reasons are varied.

Faith communities may be targeted for their beliefs, ethnic or religious makeup, as in the case of the Charleston shooting. Faith-based gathering places also tend to be open and welcoming by design, so it is not difficult to gain access. Troubled people also tend to seek out help from religious leaders, and incidents sparked by mental health, domestic violence and issues may erupt on church property. Faith-based organizations are also often employers, and are not immune from workplace violence.

What can houses of worship do to reduce risk? Resources are available from a variety of sources. Most major church insurers offer comprehensive guidebooks and training (see here and here), as do many denominational organizations. Houses of worship should also work with local law enforcement agencies for advice and training.

Houses of worship may also consider enhancements to facilities by adding security features such as video surveillance and gunshot detection, both of which are offered by ECT Services.

The Guardian gunshot detection system developed by Shooter Detection Systems, which works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately. Warnings are also instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.

Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.

Louisville on track for deadliest year

Gunfire cast a deadly pall over a local Thanksgiving tradition last week, when shots were fired near the fields where hundreds – including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer – were gathered to watch the Juice Bowl at Shawnee Park.

Two men were killed and several others were injured. It was the second time this year that gunfire has marred a public event; two teens were injured earlier this year in an exchange downtown at the Pegasus Parade.
The deaths last Thursday marked the 111th and 112th homicides in the city this year, the deadliest year in decades.
Community leaders are scrambling for solutions. Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad has reorganized police units, and the city recently announced plans to purchase and install an outdoor automatic gunshot detection system.
The outdoor system is similar to the gunshot detection system designed for indoor use offered by ECT Services. Guardian by Shooter Detection Systems works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and warnings are instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Authorities are also alerted immediately. Guardian can also be integrated with other building systems like door locks and video surveillance. This video shows how Guardian works.
The city plans to place the outdoor detection system in areas plagued by high reports of shots fired and violent crime. Similar to Guardian, the outdoor system will detect shots fired, triangulate automatically, and provide instant, accurate information to law enforcement. Officials hope the system will speed response time to victims and also lead to quick arrests.
It doesn’t seem unreasonable to fear that violence spill over into the city’s schools, workplaces or other public areas. How can you protect yourself, and the people who visit your facility?
First, become familiar with the Department of Homeland Security’s Run, Hide, Fight protocol.
Second, learn more about gunshot detection and how it can speed response time.

Safety and Security on Election Day

Election Day is just weeks away, and many churches, schools and community centers will be opening their doors as polling places.

How can facilities managers work with election officials to make sure polling places remain safe and secure for voters? A few ideas:
Voting should be the focus of activity for the day. If possible, all other activities should be cancelled or moved to a different part of the facility.
Identify where voting will take place. The voting location should be of adequate size, and have its own entrance and exit. Restrooms should be adjacent to the polling area, so voters and poll workers don’t have to be directed to another part of the facility.
Parking should be convenient to the entrance of the polling place, clearly marked, and separate from other usage.
Poll workers should have access to communication tools like two-way radios and/or cell phones, so they can place calls for emergency assistance, if necessary. Outline safety and security plans, and make sure everyone who will be on site on election day – volunteers, workers, officials, facility personnel – understands what to do in the event of an emergency.
Facilities managers and election officials should walk through the facility together before Election Day, taking note of any safety issues that should be corrected. Pay attention to slip and fall hazards like curbs, potholes and handrails. Plan for adequate signage to direct voters where they need to be.
Facilities managers should walk through the entire facility – not just the polling area — throughout the day to make sure nothing is amiss. If the facility is equipped with video cameras, be sure cameras are directed to key locations, and monitors are adequately staffed.
Plans should be communicated to all facility stakeholders – staff, volunteers, parents, students, etc. – who may be present at the facility during polling, even if they are not directly involved.
For more on safety and security for polling places, visit the web site of the National School Safety and Security Services.
Campus Safety Magazine also recently hosted a webinar on the topic for schools.

‘Free’ could cost you when it comes to charging your phone

You know those free charging stations you see scattered about in airports, malls and other locations? The kind that allow you to plug in your phone or tablet using the USB cord that’s been so thoughtfully provided? Yeah, you might want to skip using those and let your phone go dead instead.

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A recent Krebs on Security report revealed that thieves can use those stations to capture video of every move you make on your device while it’s plugged in. How? Most smartphones and tablets have the ability to mirror their displays onto a larger screen, such as a television. Using the feature is a simple as connecting the device via a USB cable.

When you plug your device into the otherwise innocent-looking charging station, thieves capture every keystroke via video, playing it back later to look for passwords and other valuable and vulnerable data.

Krebs is the go-to source for scary stories about how thieves use technology to steal our identities and ruin nice things. Another recent report from Krebs detailed the hard-to-spot differences between a legitimate point of sale terminal and a compromised terminal capable of skimming card data. Another report demonstrated the extreme and obvious vulnerability of a stand-alone ATM machine at a busy grocery store in Northern Virgina.

Some takeaways for facility managers:
• Be careful connecting your device when out in public. Using public wifi – or even charging stations – could expose your data and open up your facility to risk.
• Be aware of potential security issues with any convenience service you provide, especially if it is provided by a third party. If customers’ data is compromised because they used the ATM kiosk inside your business, your name will be associated with the experience.
• Regularly audit your point of sale terminals and other devices that capture data. Keep an eye out for any physical evidence of tampering.

10 college campus safety tips

Photo by beholdereye.

College students are preparing to head back to campus in a few short weeks. For many, this will be the first time living away from home and outside the watchful eye of parents or guardians. Here are ten tips for campus safety:

Keep keys secure and quickly accessible. Fumbling for keys and the bottom of a purse or backpack can leave you vulnerable for a few critical moments. Use a clip, lanyard or wristband to keep keys within easy reach at all times.

Maintain situational awareness. Always know what’s going on around you. Stay on well-lit, well-travelled walkways. Don’t text and walk, and certainly don’t text and drive.

Lock every door, every time. Lock the door to your room, suite, apartment, home and/or vehicle. Don’t prop common area doors open, and don’t forget to secure windows, too.

Get to know the campus and surrounding neighborhood. Know where emergency call stations are located. Check with local police to see what kinds of crime are reported, and where.

Buddy up. Stick with a trusted friend, especially when out and about in the evening and after dark.

Don’t share passwords to debit or credit card accounts, social media accounts or other secure accounts. Don’t reuse passwords between accounts, either.

Make sure friends, roommates and family have a copy of your schedule, so that you can be located quickly in the event of an emergency.

Don’t overshare on social media. Be cautious about posting details about where you are, and with whom. Wait until after you are safely home before posting those kinds of details.

Take a personal safety or self-defense class. Most campus safety departments or other student advocacy groups offer training – often free – through the year.

If you see something, say something. Report anything suspicious – untended bags or packages, threatening language or behavior, etc. – to security immediately.

Photo by beholdereye.


The news this weekend was horrifyingly familiar.


A gunman opened fire in a popular Orlando, Fla. nightclub over the weekend, taking the lives of 50 patrons and wounding scores of others before he was finally gunned down by police.

According to a timeline of the shooting put together by CNN, the shooter entered the nightclub and began shooting at 2:02 a.m. Survivors say that the shooting went on as long as an entire song, perhaps three or four minutes. A uniformed police officer working extra duty at the club responded within the first moments. By 2:09 a.m., just seven minutes after the attack began, Pulse posted a message to Facebook advising patrons to get out of the club and keep running.

In just a few brief, terrifying moments of chaos, many innocent lives were taken, and many more lives were altered forever.

Perhaps the worst part is realizing it can happen again, and it probably will.

Community leaders and lawmakers will continue to grapple with solutions. In the meantime, business owners and building managers will do the best they can to reduce risks and protect employees and guests. Some ideas:

Plan an active shooter drill. Resources are available to help you start the conversation and identify steps.

Talk to children about gun violence.

Carefully consider automated detection, security and notification systems.