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  • Security System Overhaul

    Hello,

    I am a Sys Admin and I say that in order to establish that I am very technical with regards to technology. However, I am a complete n00b when it comes to Security Systems.

    I have a very sizable project that I have been put in charge of for a Non-Profit. The building that I am looking to secure is around 90K sqft, it has two entrances to the parking lot , 3 main entrances to the building, and 8 hallways that need surveillance as well.

    Currently there are four underspec'd and outdated cameras on the roof that yield unintelligible pictures and no sufficient interior surveillance. The doors to the facility are all keyed and there are too many people with keys to the facility. The alarm system is so outdated that there is no way to procure the data that gives entry and exit times and codes. The system needs a complete overhaul.

    I would like to attack this project in three stages:

    Stage 1: Provide interior video surveillance to the 3 entrances, and hallways.
    Stage 2: Provide exterior video surveillance
    Stage 3: Provide Keycard entry system for Security

    I have been doing my best to find information on systems that provide the best value at the lowest cost but I need help being pointed in the right direction. I am comfortable installing and maintaining the sytem myself but need to know which technologies provide the best value and what I should lookout for.

    Right now I'm considering Pelco for the Camera manufacturer, and Anixter and Emcor as potential Security system distributors.

  • #2
    First of all, I would recommend using a pro, a small to mid size local company, where you will get attention. Your job isn't that big really, though not small.

    Installing locks well is an art unto itself, the most difficult part of the job you describe. What exit devices will you need? It will effect life safety, so you want to make sure it's done right and to code.

    A good security integrator will be able to recommend equipment that works well for your needs. Distributors know whats on paper, and what the rep tells them. Some really know their stuff, but most are just good salesman.

    Pelco makes a fine product, but so do a lot of others, for less money. Would you use their power supplies? Why? Altronix makes them for nearly any security, access, fire or video application and they come with a lifetime warranty. BTW, I have no affiliation with Altronix, but I use their products all of the time.

    If you do want to go ahead with the installation yourself, I recommend you get a consultant to help determine what you need and recommend products.
    sigpic
    Rocket Science
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    • #3
      I completely concur with Integrator. And to expand just a little bit to give you a better understanding. Most code jursdictions have different requirements for electronic locks and access control systems. Some will not allow any magnetic style locks. Some will require fail safe locks (unlock during loss of power) or a keybox outside that unlocks all doors in the event of an emergency or fire. It can vary widely. I as well recommend getting someone local to give you a heads up on local codes. Most fire departments do have a liason for code enforcement, you may want to contact your local fire department and find out. If they do it can be a great benefit to talk to them.

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      • #4
        I think the key word here is Non Profit. This is probably an off-the-self, DIY project. There is money for hardware but not labor, right? What you need is the best, free advise you can get. Maybe you need someone to point you to reference material, maybe some place to borrow that material. What your mostly going to get on professional sites like this is businessmen telling you to hire a pro.

        I used to run a not for profit. I'd shop my questions around to all the local vendors till I found someone sympathetic that might talk you through the project, someone who would donate their time as a consultant for the community goodwill and the publicity. Buy your hardware from them.
        Booth

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        • #5
          Maybe not!

          Originally posted by mike booth View Post
          I think the key word here is Non Profit. This is probably an off-the-self, DIY project. There is money for hardware but not labor, right? What you need is the best, free advise you can get. Maybe you need someone to point you to reference material, maybe some place to borrow that material. What your mostly going to get on professional sites like this is businessmen telling you to hire a pro.

          I used to run a not for profit. I'd shop my questions around to all the local vendors till I found someone sympathetic that might talk you through the project, someone who would donate their time as a consultant for the community goodwill and the publicity. Buy your hardware from them.
          Mike, many non profits are sitting on piles of cash. I don't know the case here but let's assume they have some $$.

          ifeatu, As a system admin I am assuming you mean Network Admin of some sort. I would be looking at IP cameras that you are comfortable living with on your network.

          Look at POE options, most IP cameras support it. Also I would recommend using H.264 cameras, it will save you bandwidth while increasing quality. There is a lot of software out there for systems of your size.

          Unless you need a high level overview camera image, move the Exterior cameras down to the First level. I prefer to penetrate the builing above the first floor ceiling- it puts the camera out of reach of common vandals, gives a good image angle and is relatively easy to service.

          Regarding access control, look at the S2 Netbox (also available through IEI (and therefore Anixter I believe)). It is a network appliance- no server. I don't specify it often because it is available through distribution (no control over bidders) but in your case this will work out.

          The final task when adding access control to a door is changing the keys. As you noted, you have no idea how many keys are floating out there. Remember a person using a key looks like a forced door to the system.

          Use non fail safe locks wherever possible (impossible when the architect uses a fancy all glass door. For retrofits a good electric strike will work such as the Von Duprin 6110. If you are doing a new facility or adding a new door, go with electrified mortise locks with integral request to exit switches such as the Schlage 9080EU. Using an electric mortise will require that the door be cored from the center hinge to the mortise pocket and that a pass through electric hinge be used. I could go on for hours on hardware, so if you have any questions post away or PM me.

          John
          "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." G. Orwell

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