In recent decades, information technology has been one of the key driving forces behind a revolutionary improvement in the capabilities of advanced fire and security systems. As the performance and functionality of individual technology types has improved, so too has their capability to operate in unison with one another. By harnessing this potential for connectivity between devices, the industry has been able to develop a more 'joined up' or 'holistic' approach to building protection which can be summarized by the term 'fire and security integration'.
This can be as basic as using a simple I/O (Input/Output) interface between two separate devices to enable them to trigger an action from one another if a predetermined event is detected, for example when someone tries to use a banned access control card it activates the local alarm system. At the other end of the spectrum, complex integrated systems typically use an IP-CAN (Internet Protocol Connectivity Access Network) which allows any number of individual components to communicate. This can deliver a highly sophisticated and responsive fire, security or comprehensive building management system which can be designed and controlled via a single control centre.
Regardless of where your own requirements lie within this range, the extent to which fire and security integration can be used to deliver optimised protection for your premises cannot be overstated. Some of the key benefits are as follows:
Improved System Control
By implementing an integrated approach to the fire protection and security systems on your premises which utilizes appropriate technology, it is possible to monitor and manage the entire system from a single location. Users are able to control not just how devices operate individually, but also how they interact with one another.
For example, in retail ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology can be programmed to synchronise with barrier systems during periods of restricted site access. This particular connection can then deactivate to allow customers to use parking facilities during trading hours, while continuing to record data for security purposes.
In addition to providing optimised performance, taking steps to fully integrate a fire protection or security system can yield substantial long term financial savings. For example, using a single control centre (possibly across multiple sites) will save money on running and staffing costs.
Also, security cameras can be programmed to switch to lower or higher resolution images based on data sourced from other devices, or using facial recognition software or other advanced technology. This enables the system to operate more efficiently and increases its overall capacity, enabling it to accommodate changing security and fire protection requirements without the need for any additional financial outlay.
Having an intelligent system could reduce “boots on the ground” security personnel due to a more proactive system highlighting events to the onsite control room or offsite monitoring station.
The average cost of one security guard 24hrs a day/ 365 days a year is around £100,000.00 per year!
Install an intelligent security system as a one off capital expenditure and save £1000’s per year!
Fewer False Alarms
Another key benefit of fire and security integration is the substantial reduction in false alarms it can deliver. By sharing data and operating harmoniously with one another as part of an integrated system, your security and fire protection devices will be able to identify emergency situations more effectively. This will not only prevent false alarms, but also ensure that any fire related incident or security breach is far less likely to go undetected.
The integration of fire protection and security equipment has not just improved the efficiency and effectiveness with which they operate but has actually given rise to entirely new functional capabilities. In effect, an integrated system is a single multifaceted device with a whole range of complementary components, albeit one which is distributed throughout the site which it is intended to protect. This means, for example, that a primarily image-based device such as a security camera can be used alongside sound recording technology, providing both audio and video footage of any potentially problematic event.
There really is no limit to what can be achieved, especially as emerging technology advances towards integrating fire and security technology with HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. As building management moves further in this direction, the role fire and security integration play in achieving optimal safety can only increase.
As a highly established company with over 37 years of experience in the industry, Contact Fire & Security is exceptionally well placed to help your business or organisation to take full advantage of the incredible potential of integrated fire and security technology.
The integrated systems we design and install suit our customers' needs precisely. We can also update existing systems to meet current standards, as well as providing a maintenance service you can depend on. With our help, your business or organisation can benefit from a fully integrated, 360 degree fire protection and security system which leaves nothing to chance and can be adapted as and when required.
To learn more about exactly what can be achieved for your business or organisation by investing in fire protection and security technology integration, simply book an appointment with one of our team of experts. They can visit you on site to assess your premises, existing equipment, work practices and requirements ALL FOR NO COST. Once your requirements have been assessed fully, we can begin designing your ideal fire and security solution.