Protecting your assets – inside and outside – made easier

In today’s tech-driven world, it’s tempting to look for the one perfect, all-encompassing solution to your problems. After all, we live in times when cutting-edge technology is often worshipped as the one true faith of trouble-shooting, and many companies advertise their products as an all-in-one miracle elixir. However, the reality is that “silver bullet” solutions don’t exist, and this is especially true in the complex and ever-changing world of security systems.

The new Ironclad system by RBtec is a Plug & Play fence alarm system designed to provide uncompromising perimeter protection to various small to medium-sized sites. It is a perimeter security system that monitors the fence on which it is installed and detects any and all intrusion attempts. The new algorithm-based processing unit filters out any unharmful movements of the fence caused by weather, passers-by, or any other unharmful events and only triggers the alarm when a real threat is imminent. The Ironclad is ideal for small to medium-sized sites like solar parks, car dealerships, logistic/industrial parks, self-storage facilities, private residences, and more

When looking for a perimeter security solution, many business owners and managers find themselves in a difficult position. Many have recently suffered from repeated break-ins and are under enormous pressure to resolve the issue. For some, these losses constitute an existential threat to their livelihoods. For example, a self-storage facility exists to safeguard the customer’s property, and multiple thefts seriously undermine customer confidence in the business’s ability to do so.

The loss of dozens of catalytic converters, automobile parts, and even whole vehicles can represent a critical loss of capital for contractors, dealership or automotive garage, as does the loss of construction vehicles and equipment from construction sites, vehicle yards, and equipment dealers. Insurance may cover some losses, but the bottom line is that eliminating these losses can be a matter of life and death for a business.

Security installers therefore find themselves in a difficult position in their own right. They must sell a customer with little background knowledge and a critical need a simple solution to a complex problem. Complexity is not an easy sell, and it’s tempting for many to pitch the most generalised single-package solution, despite the drawbacks any one system will have, in order to not lose the customer. In the past, outdoor IR beams were the go-to for perimeter security.

However, these systems have often proved to be susceptible to false alarms caused by weather, vegetation, wildlife, and other environmental conditions, as well as limited functionality in poor visibility conditions as they are based on a line-of-sight detection. Finally, many have proven to be finicky and high-maintenance. In their place we increasingly see improved cameras combined with ever more capable analytics.

However, as with any system and despite the hype, cameras have problems of their own. First and foremost, cameras without analytics only serve as a forensic tool, offering no automated alert capability. Cameras with analytics, on the other hand, can also be susceptible to false alarms for camera systems as well. Testing has shown that snow and rain on the cameras, wildlife, and certain objects can result in false alarms, with analytical software falsely recognising parts of animals as human, or a dumpster as a vehicle, for example. Additionally, some systems can be duped by seemingly odd loopholes, like an intruder crawling, as this is not recognised by some systems as a human shape. Also, just as with beams, cameras are only effective under conditions in which line-of-site can be established. In poor weather, such as fog, or if visibility is blocked by objects, the cameras cannot acquire a full lock or observe the potential threat for a sufficient amount of time to identify it as an intruder. And to top it off, quality cameras and analytics command a hefty price and are fairly maintenance-intensive. To fully cover a perimeter, numerous cameras are needed, and the analytics are charged by the camera, per month. This can add up to a fairly high price tag, with a significant recurring expense.

Now we come to standalone perimeter security options such as electrified fences systems. Just as with cameras and motion sensors, these systems have good qualities for certain applications, but are costly, can be delicate, and have both legal implications and physical drawbacks. Fences must be marked as electrified, have a recharge time, and can easily be neutralised by gloves or other nonconductive items shielding a potential intruder from the current. Additionally, they can be costly and typically have an attached monthly service fee. Just as with beams and cameras, an elaborate electrified smart-fence won’t solve the problem by itself.

The true solution to security problems is a multi-layered system. Made up of several solutions used together, such a system is able to do what a more simplistic system cannot. A fence alarm system such as RBtec’s Ironclad is an excellent addition to use with cameras or other systems. Furthermore, while some businesses may not be able to afford an ideal solution in using multiple solutions together, fence alarm systems such as the Ironclad system will provide a first-rate all-around solution at an affordable price.

Often the best solution, or part of one, is the simplest. Every secure area has a fence, and every fence can easily and cheaply be equipped with a vibration sensor. Such a system is a simple and affordable way to shore up the inherent shortcomings of other systems. It can provide a perimeter with a 360-degree, first-line defence and notification system that’s complementary to existing or new camera systems. A great example for such a system is RBtec’s Ironclad Fence Alarm System. It can be tailored to provide 100% coverage of the perimeter, no matter the shape, and can function under any lighting or weather condition without tripping false alarms. These types of systems are essentially maintenance-free and very durable, often lasting 10+ years with no upkeep. Finally, systems such as the Ironclad are designed to easily integrate with any existing or additional system via dry contact relay.

In conjunction with the fence system cameras and motion sensors can be used to their fullest, covering key areas and providing defence-in-depth. Rather than relying on one good system to get everything right, a composite setup makes use of the strengths of each system while neutralising drawbacks. Vibration sensors are blind, but provide a reliable and affordable outer line around the entire perimeter. Motion sensors are finicky, but provide good coverage in sheltered areas/choke points and are fantastic indoors. Cameras and analytics are expensive and not as intelligent and all-seeing as advertised, but provide many benefits such as advanced detection, verification and additional data in the form of high-res footage, and can be monitored live in an emergency. In combination, these tools provide a more cost-effective and far more reliable security solution that really will stop the threat.

For real-life threats, it’s best to take a bunch of real bullets over a “silver bullet” any day. After all, one bullet might miss, and it’s cheaper, too.

For more information contact Khula Information Systems on Cell: 082 805 6420