Increasingly, high-end residential estates are offering comprehensive smart security systems for the peace of mind of residents. In many cases, those investing in luxury properties demand such measures, underlining the importance of security as a perceived benefit for homeowners. To ensure a higher level of flexibility, the management of Izinga Estate created a solution based on a VMS platform.
It is often said the hardest market to target for the sales of security systems is the residential sector. Security is seen as a grudge purchase, few homeowners value what it offers, and when an investment is made it is typically for the cheapest option available. Despite such opinions being obvious is the security market for many years, the reality is actually very different.
Many years ago a report was issued which looked at buying trends for new developments in the UK residential sector. Estate agents stated that new developments which included a variety of security options such as intruder alarms, video surveillance, visitor management systems and vehicular access control, were significantly easier to sell.
Indeed, it was widely accepted in the construction sector that these were essential elements when creating a prestigious development. Buyers actively sought the peace of mind which security systems offered, and consistently rated developments with security measures over those which lacked the systems.
In recent years, the inclusion of security has become significantly more important if appealing to discerning buyers. As the perceived value of a development increases, so the need for sophisticated security becomes more relevant. Buyer’s don’t just want the security elements to be in place; they expect a degree of smart integration to add value.
Security has actually become a prestigious feature when selecting a residence, especially on modern developments where the emphasis is on buyer satisfaction. When selecting properties, the inclusion of smart integrated security is seen as an essential benefit, and adds value for the developer.
However, this doesn’t mean integrators and installers can see increased sales by simply targeting developments with standard security products. Increasingly, buyer demands are for well-considered systems which bring together a range of technologies to deliver enhanced benefits.
The power of VMS
When considering residential applications, the first consideration is usually intruder detection systems. Whether the focus is internal detection to generate alarms when an intruder makes an unauthorised entry, or external detection to deliver an early warning of intrusion, intruder detection is a ‘go-to’ technology. However, when considering the protection of a residential development, while intruder detection is still an essential part of the overall security strategy, an integrated approach can add increased value.
It is important not to think of VMS software purely in terms of video management. While that remains the core strength of the technology, the reality is many of the leading packages can integrate with a wide range of other technologies, delivering enhanced security alongside site management benefits.
Linking video surveillance with access control for visitor management and vehicular control, along with detection both for security purposes and for site management tasks such as to switch lighting or provide other peripheral benefits, ensures both the developer and the homeowner enjoy a more secure and safer environment.
The use of Rules-based logic allows advanced event/action scenarios to be catered for. These could be for security purposes, for example detecting unauthorised motion and alerting security operatives, while also sending a push notification to residents.
Alternatively, the technology can be deployed to enhance resident satisfaction, such as using ANPR to identify a homeowner’s car, automatically opening the main gates to the site as well as access to their private parking area, whilst also switching on lighting specifically targeted at their driveway.
The flexibility of a modern Rules engine elevates the VMS from being a video surveillance tool to the central management element of a multi-discipline system. An example of this is evident from the advanced security solution implemented at Izinga Estate in South Africa.
The prestigious residential development comprises four separate gated communities, aimed at discerning buyers looking for luxurious coastal living. It has become one of the most sought-after residential estates in the region. The estate makes use of a fully integrated security management system based on the Premium edition of CathexisVision.
The requirement was to design an integrated solution to ensure the safety and security of the residents and estate staff. It also had to enhance the operational processes of the site. To achieve this, the solution was based on a fully integrated VMS to support the surveillance and third-party security systems for the entire estate, including management of multiple entry and exit points and the full perimeter of the site.
The VMS not only offers an extensive range of sophisticated surveillance functionality to satisfy management requirements, but also provides a level of scalability which ensures that future requirements can be accommodated by the system.
The VMS is compatible with numerous cameras and third party systems to deliver a range of pre-determined actions, based on alarm triggers. These increase accelerate operator efficiency and allow for quick reactions to events.
Fence-mounted thermal imaging cameras are deployed to protect the perimeter, and these make use of CathexisVision video analytics algorithms, including dynamic background modelling which reduces false alarms by learning the environment.
Additional video cameras, including PTZ units, are installed at critical locations. Several of the cameras also have video analytics implemented.
ANPR cameras have been installed at various points on the estate, enabling operators to flag suspicious vehicle activity and create blacklist and/or whitelist groups, as well as providing number plate-based forensic search capabilities.
The control room includes multiple operator workstations and a video wall with automated switching on event, an alarm management gateway and integrated maps.
The system also makes use of the CathexisVision adjacent camera mapping feature. This enables operators to easily track objects or people across the site, even if they don’t have a full knowledge of the site layout or camera locations. The operators also make use of smart search functionality to quickly retrieve footage of specific incidents to assess events or provide evidence following an alarm.
The VMS includes a full integration with the Impro access control and visitor management system. This allows the VMS to make use of transactions and other data from specific access control events either as actions for rules, or to link with associated video footage. The resultant database can then be ‘mined’ for forensic analysis, enhancing security and adding further benefits in terms of site management.
Another valuable integration is with the OPTEX Redwall infrared detection solution, which provides a tracking capability when used in conjunction with cameras on site.
The flexibility of the VMS ensures data from a wide range of sources can be used to increase security, simplify the management of the system for operators and deliver advanced benefits which increase the return on investment for the development management team.
Residential estates present integrators and installers with a number of challenges that can complicate the security system, but the flexible and intuitive characteristics of a professional VMS system can enhance the solution on offer.
While intruder detection remains an essential element for the protection of individual residences, a VMS can enhance integration possibilities for the total site.