07/01/2003

New & Improved

Government Facility Updates Its Security System

 

Whoops!

Security systems aren’t always about identifying and responding to an emergency situation. Many times, in fact, they are about determining whether there is an emergency at all.

Such was the case recently in Westchester County, when a fire alarm led to the evacuation of the occupants from the main government building. Using a new security system, public safety officials checked the event video. Within seconds, they saw that an elderly woman had mistakenly pulled an alarm, thinking it was necessary to enter an adjacent restroom.

County officials were pleased with how the security system performed, and how quickly they were able to determine that this was a non-emergency. In addition, it gave them confidence that the system would perform just as well in a real emergency.

Westchester County, located just north of New York City, is home to nearly one million residents. Two years ago, the county began making plans to update and increase security at its main center in White Plains, NY, but the terrorist attacks on New York City changed the timetable.

“Even before September 11, we felt that as the operator of governmental buildings, we needed to improve the security in and around our facilities,” says Salvatore Carrera, director of economic development, Real Estate, Westchester, NY. “After September 11, we listened to the warnings from federal agencies and changed plans that were slated to be implemented within a few years and moved them to the forefront.”

The county turned to a White Plains, NY-based systems integrator, Antar-Com Incorporated (ACI), which oversaw the installation of electronic security equipment to protect two county buildings and an adjoining parking structure. The process took less than four months, and by May 2002, the system was fully operational.

The system includes video surveillance cameras, digital video recorders, barrier turnstiles, X-ray equipment, intercoms, and metal detectors – all integrated through a C•CURE® 800 access control system and NetVue video integration software by Lexington, MA-based Software House, part of Tyco International’s Fire & Security Division.

The system protects the Michaelian Office Building (MOB), a nine-story facility that houses numerous county offices. The building is open to the public on weekdays, and the access system is used to automatically lock and unlock the public entrance.

Visitors are required to show a picture identification card. A public safety officer uses a driver’s license scanner to create temporary ID badges that are automatically logged into the system. Visitors are directed through a metal detector, while personal items, such as purses, are examined by X-ray. A temporary barcode badge is issued. When ready to exit the building, visitors are required to swipe their badges, which activate the turnstiles. The badges are logged out of the security system and immediately invalidated.

Employees also are subject to security and access control processes. The county uses a badging system to produce photo IDs for employees. The access system permits a variety of time, day, and area restrictions for each badge. Currently, the county maintains about 25 different clearance codes.

Employees may enter the building through specific access points, each requiring that a valid ID badge be read by a proximity card reader for entry. The system also includes intercoms located within the facility’s parking garage so employees can contact security personnel.

From the security control room, officers monitor the intercoms, as well as the access and video surveillance systems, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 70 fixed and dome cameras monitor the entrances, hallways, parking areas, and ground-level airway vents. All video is recorded on Intellex’ digital video management systems from San Diego-based American Dynamics of Tyco’s Fire & Security Division.

Carrera is extremely pleased with the way the entire security system has functioned. The system is fantastic,” notes Carrera. “It is a major deterrent. It turned out to be a much more sophisticated system than we had originally anticipated needing. But I feel confident we have done the best we can to protect our employees and citizens.”

Paul Piccolomini is president at Lexington, MA-based Software House, a division of Tyco Fire & Security (www.tyco.com), which designs, markets, and supports integrated security management systems.

 

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Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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