A Comprehensive Nationwide Solution

A Comprehensive Nationwide Solution

Across the United States, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, truck yards, parking lots and car dealerships all have a common concern. They are targets for catalytic converters. In nearly every region, cases of catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported an increase of more than 300% in claims related to catalytic converters in a single year (2019 - 2020), and The Justice Department announced a “takedown [of a] nationwide catalytic converter theft ring” in November 2022.

Why is this happening? To put it simply, catalytic converters are relatively easy to steal, and the value of the metals has increased. Once removed, it can leave any vehicle owner shocked and with an unexpected bill for replacement. For the businesses, industries and areas previously mentioned – with numerous if not hundreds of vehicles at a single location – that worry multiplies along with associated costs.

Outside Looking In
Addressing this issue and many others starts from the outside looking in. In other words – the perimeter. Securing a perimeter, whether there is a physical boundary or not, requires an end-to-end solution. It is something that has the ability to deter criminal behaviors like theft, detect suspicious actions, record the activity and instantly notify a user or location when an event triggers. For perimeters, the technologies available are uniquely capable of doing this seamlessly, but that is not widely known, or understood. We can break it down by individual components, but the imperative part to remember is that perimeter protection (and security in general) is about connection between elements. 

When you look at equipment specifically, a perimeter is typically going to require a camera with a panoramic view or even complete 360 degrees. That sounds like multiple cameras, but there are singular options that provide ultra-wide fields of view, flexibility and software features customized to a location. Not only are these cameras extremely effective, but one device can perform the same work of many cameras, making them cost-efficient and less labor intensive.

Selecting the right camera for a perimeter includes deciding whether that camera has a single sensor or multiple sensors. Often a wider area will need a multi-sensor camera for complete coverage. These sensors can trigger a multitude of accessories for detecting motion, including illuminators like IR for recording, white lights to serve as a deterrent or speakers with voice-down capabilities.

Going beyond motion, IP cameras with intelligent video analytics have even greater detection capabilities and environmental analysis. Whether an intruder crosses an actual boundary (a fence) or a virtual tripwire (a laser), a camera can detect and classify a person or vehicle in real-time. For perimeters and other areas, the possibilities for detecting unwanted behaviors can become even more precise. For example, capture and be alerted to a removed object from a zone, know if a person or object is approaching the monitored zone even if it has not been crossed, or detect a person or object entering an area from a set direction. IVA and the enacted rules mean reduced false alarms and accurate reporting of true events to a user.

Recording an Event
It is a concurrent operation – detection, initiation of an event’s recording, and instant notice to a user on a single mobile device or an entire monitoring center. Therefore, the video management solution is crucial to making it a smooth application, end-to-end. A video management solution should be scalable, provide accurate storage and fail-over actions, and allow management of the events and rules. It should simply provide real-time alerts, log files, live video, and recorded footage for review.

When integrated with specific products, the video analysis side can expand or include advanced AI at the server level to improve the detection of perimeter crossings. As this is the main interface for most end-users, it is essential that it is user-friendly across industries.

There is not always a positive connotation surrounding the topic of perimeter security. It is possible that it evokes the concerns of thefts and intrusions, especially for those who have or could be impacted by catalytic converter thefts. However, it is also possible that the reaction comes from the unknown; thinking that a perimeter system may sound complex or unattainable in certain industries or markets. That is certainly not the case.

It starts by learning that the right solution is more than one application. It is how components synchronize, scale and integrate with other parts. If a perimeter alarm occurs, there should be an instant ability to detect motion, light the scene, and quickly view the location. Sending an automatic and accurate notification provides quick results and action at a site. Perimeter protection, and many other forms of security, bring multiple technologies and software together. They function as one in a powerful and cohesive system that is excellent for any industry’s peace of mind.

This article originally appeared in the March / April 2023 issue of Security Today.

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