Atronic Alarms Blog

Category Archives: Camera Surveillance

Thermal Imaging Cameras Atronic Alarms

Thermal Cameras: The Good. The Deception. The Reality.

Thermal cameras: The Good. The Deception. The Reality.

How do I prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace? How do we stay safe as our businesses open back up?

In the wake of stay at home orders, business owners have had to make plans to reopen — safely — with no playbook. We’ve seen earnest efforts and investments into new technology in hopes of ensuring the safety of employees and customers. One tech “solution” proposed has been thermal cameras, advertised as “out-of-the-box” fever detectors. As your security experts, we want to step in and clear the air.

The advertisement claims these cameras can be used to get an early detection of someone’s skin temperature within .9 degrees Fahrenheit or better. This should allow for an early response and intervention of someone potentially with a fever at entry points of a business to stop and investigate further, thus helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace . . . right?

It’s just not that simple.

Used and deployed correctly, thermal imaging cameras can fully compliment a security solution. They are able to detect something putting off body heat (skin temperature) from a great distance. If detailed images of a subject is not needed, or detailed images are being picked up from another camera on the system using IR or Pan/Tilt/Zoom technology, thermal cameras can tell those cameras where to point, or alert the business owner that something may be out-of-place.

Here’s the problem . . . To make such a claim about fever detection or to be sold as a medical device, these cameras would require a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance. This requires testing and screening. However, in an effort to not prevent consumers from something potentially helpful during a serious health crisis, the FDA has not enforced or cracked down on these claims, even though testing and screening has not been completed. This has lead to thermal cameras flying off the shelves as desperate business owners strive to do the right thing and protect their employees and customers, all while misinformation continues to spread.

But DOES it work? Let’s expand on the idea of someone entering a building, with the understanding that these cameras read skin temperature.

What is the temperature outside? The sun heats the body starting with the skin. Once someone has traversed the parking lot and stepped inside, how long must they “cool down” before you could even get an accurate read of skin temperature? Could a business practically function if a thermal camera, used by itself, had staff and customers stopped at the door, huddled together, waiting for their body temperature to regulate? Seems like it would make matters worse. Additionally, what activities increase temperatures? Pushing a stroller, jogging through the parking lot, carrying laptop bag and books . . . well, you get the picture.

We aren’t saying thermal cameras are wrong for this application. We just want to remind business owners that expectations should be managed when deploying them for this purpose. There is much to consider and many questions that need to be asked because each business has their own unique environment and security needs.

Technology in our industry changes rapidly, and we believe we will see an increased focus from our trusted manufactures on research and development as it relates to disease spreading, touchless technology and sanitation.

Our commitment to you is to keep you informed as we discover new technology and trends in our industry and to give you a to-the-point, honest review from security experts.

Erik Andress, Sales Manager, Atronic Alarms, Inc.Erik Andress
Sales Manager
Atronic Alarms, Inc.

Erik has spent the last decade in the security industry diving into both IT and physical security. He enjoys problem solving and learning about new technology as it becomes available. He enjoys listening to people and their individual needs and then designing a custom security solution. He’s a Kansas City native, married to his wife, Britney, and enjoys exercise, online gaming and content creation.

Mandatory Surveillance for Hotels and Motels in Independence, Missouri

Surveillance Cameras Now Mandatory In Hotels and Motels in Independence, Missouri

Law enforcement in the area are noticing that outside video surveillance helps reduce crime. Recently, Independence, Missouri passed code revisions requiring hotels and motels to have surveillance cameras. The establishments have until July 1, 2018. For more information on how to get camera systems in your business, call us at 913.362.0000 and visit Video Surveillance and CCTV for your Office or Building.

Article in Security Info Watch

Nov. 18–On the heels of last year’s video surveillance requirement for convenience stores and tobacco stores, plus new requirements in June for hotels and motels, the city of Independence is adding what it hopes will be another crime-fighting tool.

Earlier this month, the City Council passed an ordinance adding hotels and motels to the types of businesses required to install and maintain video surveillance systems. Hotels and motels have until July 1, 2018, to install video surveillance that covers the parking lot entrances and maintains a seven-day library. Bed and breakfast establishments will not be affected.

Council Member Curt Dougherty said the ordinance is the next logical step after the previous hotel/motel changes and the video surveillance requirement for convenience stores, which was approved in November 2016.

“This is a success story we’ve had in fighting crime, and we’ve added to this,” he said.

The latest step is designed to curb thefts happening in the parking lots of lodging places. Police had identified hotels and motels with high service call volumes and noticed those places a large number of parking lot thefts often did not have a video surveillance system to monitor them. In addition, according to city documents, police also noted establishments that installed outside security systems had a large reduction in criminal activity.

The video surveillance systems can not only be a deterrent to, and help solve, on-site criminal activity, but they also can provide clues for crimes committed elsewhere.

“The video evidence these cameras provide can make or break a case, giving our officers the information they need to solve these crimes,” Independence Chief of Police Brad Halsey said in a release.

In June, the City Council had passed series of code revisions for hotels and motels, which required tenants to produce valid personal identification when registering, as well as a major credit/debit card, made it unlawful to provide false ID information and required all establishments to keep and retain a guest registry for up to three years and limit an establishment to two rentals for a room in a 24-hour period.

Reposted from: http://www.securityinfowatch.com/news/12382490/surveillance-cameras-now-mandatory-in-hotels-and-motels-in-independence-missouri

c)2017 The Examiner, Independence, Mo. Visit The Examiner, Independence, Mo. at www.examiner.net Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

Atronic’s Favorite Mobile Apps

How many apps do you have downloaded on your iPhone, iPad, Droid or other Internet enabled smart phones? Which ones are your favorite? With thousands of Apps to choose from it might be a daunting task to start, so that is why we came up with a list of Apps we like here at the office.

Curtis Mayes, Installation Manager at Atronic Alarms, says his most valuable apps on his phone include Snaplink for his alarm system, Nviewer for his cameras, his Email app, and Facebook.  He also uses IP Cam Viewer to check his staff in the office when he is not there. His fun app? Drag Racing.

Rick Zink, Commercial Design Consultant, has over 582 apps on his iPhone, and says that he couldn’t live without Dropbox, a cloud-based app that allows him to access documents from multiple computers; Geomeasure, which gives him the ability to measure a building in seconds; iReconcile, a checkbook, accounting app and Redlazor, a barcode app. Then there is of course Google, which is pretty standard on most phones. (His fun app? Too many to list!)

Alysia LaRock, Marketing and Sales Support, said that she likes Facebook, PinInterest and Redbox, and also uses her Email App, Alarmnet and Total Connect for her home’s security.

Jason Rothrove, Design Consultant, says that his “must have” app is Email. He also likes Craigslist.

Other popular Apps for Atronic employees include IC Realtime, which allows you to access and control IC cameras from your iPad or iPhone, and the H@me app for the HAI Home Automation System. There is also Weatherbug, Google Sky, Pandora Radio, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Client Fights Vandalism with Video Analytics

Gardner Energy, an electric utility company serving the 18,000 plus residents of Gardner, Kansas, runs three energy substations within five miles of each other to power the entire community. After an episode where vandals entered the premises after hours and damaged the control boxes, Darrin McNew, electric operations supervisor, met with Wes Cowsert of Atronic Alarms.

As a six year design consultant for Atronic, Wes knew immediately that IP video analytics would be the perfect solution to their problem.

gardner-energy-kenny
Atronic Alarms’ installer mounts cameras on existing poll structures at the facility.

 

gardner-energy-footage
Actual footage of the site, with the blue and red boxes identifying between objects and people.

Video analytics are “smart” cameras that have the technology to distinguish between people, animals and vehicles which helps eliminate false alarms. About a third of the cost of a full-time guard service, video analytics provides 24-hour protection without hiring extra personnel or investing in recording equipment.

Atronic Alarms installed two wireless video analytic IP cameras at each substation which monitors all activity. Police are dispatched after verification that an intruder or vehicle may be trespassing.

Summer Safety for Kids

Most kids are excited to get out of school for the summer so they can sleep in, play video games, read books, play outdoors, invite friends over and duck the torment their parents give them about cleaning their room and doing chores.

It is important to remember that since children are home, safety dynamics have changed. More frequent running in and out of the house means you will probably arm and disarm your system differently. You may want to add different codes or users. If this is the case, please contactAtronic Alarms so we can let Alarm Central update their call and user list.

Most cell phones have the ability to turn on a GPS tracking system. This may come in handy during the summer months if your kids are old enough to drive. It is usually just an extra monthly charge from your mobile provider and can be used in case of an emergency.

If you work out of the home and your teens are in and out, you may want to think about investing in a economical video monitoring system that will allow you to keep track of them through mobile phone and computer video alerts. The system is perfect for those summer times where a little extra activity in the house doesn’t have to mean any less safety.

Atronic wishes everyone a safe summer.

 

Types of Cameras for Home or Business Surveillance

There are many camera types to consider for indoors and out for your home or business surveillance system. Below is an example of each.

Dome or Mini-Dome Cameras
Dome cameras are usually used when discreet applications are required. The actual lens is obscured from an onlooker’s view and is more tamper resistant than other cameras.

Bullet Cameras
Bullet cameras are NOT named “Bullet” because they are bullet proof. They are named “Bullet” because of their size. They are small and can be adjusted easily. Some come with infrared lighting, and they can be used indoors and out.

Box Cameras
Box cameras are comprised of the camera body, lens and power supply. Each can be custom designed to meet your needs. They can either be an IP camera or analog.

Pan/Tilt/Zoom Cameras (PTZ)
Pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras are very versatile. They can move left and right, tilt up and down, rotate 360 degrees, and zoom in or out to get the perfect view of the scene.PTZs are operated by the end user with a joystick or on the computer with navigation keys.