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Security System For Non-Profit Keeps Unwelcomed Visitors At Bay

 

Challenge/Situation

Every Person Influences Children (EPIC), is a “Not For Profit” entity which provides parental counseling.  Most often, this counseling is court ordered, and one or both of the parents may not be inclined to cooperate fully resulting in an occasional “tense” and sometimes combative situation.  Further complicating their security needs is the in house day care center which has specific fire alarm detection and warning requirements.

Tara Burgess, the Facility Director, was dealing with a security provider that was unable to provide service to the security system and an integrated access control system that they had installed.  Additionally, they had a second security provider monitoring, testing and servicing their fire alarm system.  Because neither company was able to troubleshoot problems, the fire alarm system was frequently in  “trouble” status which means that it was not functioning. Both systems needed to be updated.

During Ms. Burgess’ initial inquiry into the security, fire alarm and access control systems, she found that the video surveillance system was also not operating properly, and the video was all but useless.  EPIC needed a reliable, cost effective, easy to use video surveillance system to record both the interior of the facility and the grounds around the building.

EPIC found itself in a very fortunate situation in that they had received a grant to upgrade their security.  Faced with the need to correct several deficiencies with a very limited budget, Burgess turned to the only two providers she was alarm of to get quotes on upgrading the systems.  Unfortunately, she was not happy with either of them!

Solution(s)

At the twelfth hour Ms. Burgess called SHIELD and after two short visits, was delivered a solution under budget that resolved her issues.

SHIELD replaced the combination security and access control system with a new Honeywell security control panel with an IP Communicator and a GSM/LTE Cellular Radio communicator.  This unit combined with SHIELD’s Total Connect Services allowed Ms. Burgess to control the security system remotely with her cell phone from anywhere she had cellular service.  

Because many, many people have keys, employees and counselors enter the building at unscheduled hours resulting in activations of the security system. Ms. Burgess can disarm, re-set and re-arm the system without driving from her home to do so.  SHIELD technicians correctly identified all of the existing detection equipment which had been lacking from the installing company.  Once the devices were properly identified, it was easy for the technicians to identify and replace the faulty sensors which were causing the false alarms.

Technical Specifics

Intrusion: 
SHIELD Security Systems recommended a Lynx Touch from Honeywell - a dynamic, all-in-one system that lets Tara control her security system from her mobile device. The Total Connect TM App allows Tara to remotely arm and disarm the system from her cell phone or key fob. This ease of control is an option that is important to someone like Tara, who is often away from the office.  One push of a button on her cell phone and the system is either activated or deactivated.  This technology allows Tara to manage her employees and office security from wherever she is.

Access Control: 
SHIELD installed a BOSCH “Access Easy” access control panel to replace the old system.  This unit is aptly called “Access Easy” because it is easy to administer using a PC on or off site.  When an employee leaves or loses their key fob, an administrator can remove the fob’s access to the building without having to contact SHIELD for service.  Conversely, adding new key fobs is easy to do as well.

Fire: 
The fire alarm system had similar issues to the security system.  The devices were not properly identified making it impossible to find the faulty detectors.  Once SHIELD technicians gained access to the system, the system was repaired and (in some cases) replaced. The system is now regularly tested and is monitored by SHIELD Central Operators.

CCTV: 
The video surveillance system was found to be completely out of date. The cameras were extremely low resolution, and the digital video recorder (DVR) was only able to record one camera at a time in a sequential order and only recorded in black and white.  SHIELD installed a new DVR and new cameras throughout the facility.  

The interior color dome cameras have low light capability, and the exterior color dome cameras are in vandal resistant domes that can withstand impact from a brick or even a sledgehammer.  The exterior cameras are IS 68 Weather Certified to withstand the harsh Buffalo winters.  Ms. Burgess can also view live and recorded video remotely using her cell phone or PC on or off site.

Key Results

Tara and the team at EPIC now feel the extra security that their update security, fire, access control and video surveillance systems provide. Since cameras were placed all around the outside of the building, Tara and her team members can see exactly what is happening outside the building at any time. They can take action as needed to keep EPIC safe.

"I've been completely thrilled with the work. ...SHIELD is made up of great people.  Joe, the head security system technician, is wonderful!” ... They deliver what they promise. They're respectful of our staff and visitors, and they are extremely knowledgeable and attentive to our needs."

Burgess continues,

“Most of the time when the alarm goes off, I get a call from a panicked staff member.  I log into my phone, and shut the alarm off for them - I can disarm the building from home!  It’s nice because I don’t have to come in [to the office]; I can do it from anywhere.  It really worked great when I was away on vacation, and I had to reset the alarm for one of my staff members.

Since the building is only fenced on three sides and vulnerable to trespassers, Ms. Burgess is also relieved to see clear, real-time video of who enters the parking lot. "... Now, I can see what is happening from the security cameras.  We always know what is going on outside.”