We were hosted by Hot91.9fm in April.
When selecting a new or evaluating an existing armed response contract – follow these simple rules to make sure you are getting what you are expecting and paying for
- You must get a free Security Officer in an event of a break in for that shift – security and Security Officering is a very personal thing and therefore minimum standards should at the very least be met.
- Your security company’s officers should respond within the minimum SAIDSA response times which are the industry standard.
- Armed response is all about getting to you QUICKLY when you need it most. That is why there must be a low client to vehicle ratio in your area.
- PSIRA compliant, trained, registered, remunerated – it may seem obvious but being registered at the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) is not the same as being
compliant. Many security companies register but fail to:
- Train their Security Officers according to PSIRA regulations
- Comply with PSIRA requirements
- To remunerate their Security Officers according to PSIRA minimum standards
Some security companies don’t even register and therefore fall completely outside all the
protection that PSIRA provides you as a client. In fact – it is illegal to hire a security company who is not PSIRA registered. If you do, you’ll be held fully responsible when things go wrong. Here is a list of minimum requirements you can enquire about before hiring a security company
- The company must be PSIRA registered
- Current status with PSIRA must be registered and up to date
- The company must pay minimum Grade D PSIRA rates for Area 1
- The company must pay time and half on Saturdays
- The company must pay double time on Sundays
- The company must carry the sick leave provision as per the labour relations act
- The company must pay a night shift allowance per shift
- Does the Security Officer receive a detailed payslip for the client and Security Officer to confirm shifts worked and rates?
- Does the company offer a dedicated area manager?
- Does the company offer multiple Supervisors per shift to the Security Officer?
- Does the company offer a Security Officer “alert module” to prevent sleeping on duty and to stay in touch throughout the shift?
- Does the company have a GPS – Security Officer Patrol Management System?
- Does the company offer private investigations for all incidents?
- A reputable security company will do a professional investigation, risk assessment and written report after every incident so that you can have peace of mind.
- A dedicated armed response vehicle in your suburb with a low client to vehicle ratio. This allows for quick response times and giving you the confidence in emergency situations.
- Alarm equipment repairs must be attended to and if your alarm is not in working order, then a solid security company should provide you with a portable panic solution for a few days
until your repairs are done. Equipment owned by the security company must be kept in good working order for your site to be monitored properly.
- The armed reaction security company must do more to be proactive and take a crime prevention stance. Therefore, free unlimited risk assessments upon your request should be done because that is the expertise you need to ensure you have done what you can to protect your property.
After seeing many poor quality CCTV installations I would like to take this opportunity to save you a lot of time and money by sharing with you a few of my golden rules for a successful CCTV installation.
Rule 1: DVR’s – Digital video recorders
This is the heart and soul of your system.
Ensure that you understand what benefits you will receive from the equipment you are going to purchase.
What are your expectations?
- Offsite control centre monitoring.
- On site recording of events.
- Virtual guarding patrols.
- Remote viewing
- Smart phone access
- Would you like to connect the DVR to your LAN for other members of your staff to see images? If so ensure you have this facility.
Choose the correct DVR and do not base your decision on price but on quality and functionality.
Remote monitoring software
Ensure that you find out what is the back up service the supplier offers in the event of lightning damage or a warranty claim. Bear in mind that most of these units are manufactured in the East and do not have proper support or service exchange units.
HDD. (Hard Disk Drives.)
Every DVR records onto an HDD choose the correct size drive for your application. I am able to offer you some rule of thumb applications for 100FPS frame per second recorders, if you purchase a DVR that over 16 channels records at 400 FPS (real Time you will need to quadruple the estimate Real time recording is at 25fps (frames per second)
4 Channel DVRs: min of 500 GB HDD
8 Channel DVRs: min of 1 TB HDD (terabit hard drive)
16 Channel DVR: min of 2 TB HDD (terabit hard drive)
Another decision to make, is where do you want to see the images? Usually a computer SVGA screen is placed at the DVR.
Sometimes small spot screens are placed near intercom handsets so that video is added to the intercom audio and you may require large screen functionality or linking into your DSTV network.
Rule 2: Choose good quality cameras
When using analog cameras try and choose good quality cameras whereby you use a minimum of 480 TV lines and if possible for your application use cameras of high resolution above 600 TV lines. Analog cameras are much more cost effective than IP cameras which are fully digital and have a higher resolution which would allow you to zoom in on an image without loosing the pixel clarity.
All analog cameras that are connected to a DVR produce a digital image after passing through the DVR, I am sure you can now understand why it is so important to have good quality images entering the DVR.
Cameras have LUX ratings and thus indicate to you how much light is required to see an image clearly. You are able to get Infrared and low light cameras which are naturally of a newer generation and can function with less light.
Infra red or day night cameras are very popular as even in pitch black you are able to see the images; however you need to know what range you require on your Infrared.
Try to use Anti Vandal dome cameras and avoid the use of bullet style cameras, which can easily be push into another direction by criminals.
It is important to choose the correct field of view. Do you want to see facial features or just the general area, as cameras do not have the ability to change like the human eye does. Use vary focal cameras so you are able to zoom into the correct picture.
Even if you do have good lighting around your perimeter and in the offices infra red cameras are essential for when the power is off.
Rule 3: Cabling
- Plan your cabling so it is easy to replace after a few years, ensure that all cable is in conduit and truncking
- You have three main types of cable you can use.
- Cat5E, this cable is able to offer up to 300 meters runs very successfully without image quality loss. A baluns will be required to convert the signals and you will require battery back up packs at the junction boxes.
- Power Axel or RG59 co-axil cable is used for short runs of up to 200 meters and for cabling from the Baluns to the actual cameras.
- Fiber optic cable, this is the most resilient cable when lightning damage is a possibility but will cost more than the other types of cabling
- Under no circumstances allow under ground joins of any kind of cable unless in resin based join kits.
- Cable joins must be done in secure housings above the ground so as not to get moisture or be tampered with.
- All trenches must be a Minimum of 300 mm deep but 500 mm is recommended.
- On some installations it is possible to Minimize the cable and use larger vary focal lenses to allow the camera to zoom into the required field of view.
Rule 4: Back up power
Most installations now days ignore this fundamental point with the result that when a power failure occurs or the mains are switched off by criminals there are no available images or recording during this time.
- Ensure you have a back up plan for power on your DVR and if you are using power packs on the site for them as well.
- UPS and longer-term inverters or generators are essential to ensure at least 12 hours back up preferably 24 hours.
- Lock your DVR into a secure housing or better yet a SAFE
- Choose night vision or infrared cameras that can operate in the pitch dark.
- Power packs should be using at least 18 AH batteries and not the usual small 7 AH back up battery as a minimum.
Rule 5: Lightning protection
Lightning protection is another area where often due to cost it is being neglected.
- South Africa has one of the highest and strongest lightning intensity areas in the world.
- It is very expensive to replace this equipment and after 1 or 2 lightning strikes insurance companies are not replacing the equipment.
- The downtime spent waiting to repair cameras and DVR’s is excessive as they often come from the East.
- Ensure your main electrical distribution board has got lightning protection on it.
- Telephone and network cables can be more susceptible to lightning that even the 220Volt mains ensure you have Ethernet lightning protectors.
- Have a surge protector on the 220Volt socket outlet to your DVR and or power packs.
- Place a lightning protector at the camera as well as at the DVR video input.
- Ensure your building and electrical system is properly earthed.
Rule 6: Maintenance
All too often after installing a system like an electric fence or CCTV system we forget about it and slowly it stops working.
- I recommend the use of a professional company and the use of an on site maintenance plan.
- You need to test your DVR is recording.
- Confirm your back ups are working.
- Confirm you have sufficient hard disk space.
- Confirm the cameras are functioning.
- Confirm that the camera is still holding the correct field of view
- Have the lenses cleaned
Plan your maintenance so as to avoid unnecessary surprises and malfunctions.
Rule 7: Dial up connections
With band width coming down in cost and better coverage more and more people are starting to use the facilities of the DVR’s which will include remote access and viewing of your images. The DVR is now a very powerful business tool and can confirm events and occurrences as well as confirm time and attendance of staff.
In order to benefit we need to understand a few points in order to link to the internet to get these benefits.
- You will require a modem to connect.
- You need to be aware of the DATA services available to you.
- ADSL lines
- GSM (cellular) and 3G data
- MTN, etc…
When you choose your modem it may be a…
- Single line modem
- Dual sim card modem, offering sim card redundancy and back up.
- Full dual system modem able to deal with ADSL as primary with 3G as a back up.
Be careful as CCTV can use a lot of data and out of bundle rates are very expensive. So dependent on how often you plan to view your cameras it may be a good idea to get uncapped data bundles.
If you reside in a suburban neighbourhood, and you are aware of local crime stats, reports and what to look out for, then you might have what it takes to set up one in your neighbourhood.
Not sure what it is?
For those that don’t know, a neighbourhood watch is an organised group of citizens devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a specific neighbourhood.
Usually the aim of a neighbourhood watch is to educate residents on security and safety, and achieving safe and secure neighbourhoods. Also, when criminal activity is suspected, members are encouraged to report to authorities, and not to intervene.
Here’s how to do it…
- Define your neighbourhood:
Identify the area your watch group will cover. Be careful when choosing to cover a large area- that means you’ll have to create a larger group.
- Have a meeting spot:
If the watch covers only the street, then a meeting at a member’s home will suffice. If your area is bigger, you may need to obtain permission to use a school or church in the area.
- Identify crime and weak spots in your area
There is no area that is completely free of crime and knowing just what crimes you are up against will greatly improve the chances of a successful watch.
- Involve law enforcement:
Make sure that you have a coordinator in the neighbourhood’s police or emergency services branch.
- Recruit neighbours:
The most effective way to get others involved is to convince them that there is a real need for a watch. Using your data on crime for your location, you can effectively convince your neighbours to participate.
TRSS Reaction is one of the country’s most revered security and safety companies. We pride ourselves on being respected 24 hour armed reaction specialists.
South Africa, being one of the most crime drenched countries in the world craves a system that is trustworthy, dependable and highly skilled. Criminals are always coming up with new ways in which to wreak havoc on others’ lives.
• Professional and dependable
We are a professional armed response company. We handle all of your distresses in complete professional fashion, thinking not only of your safety, but also the safety of those around you, also involved. You can always depend on our name and our services.
• Proficient and skilled
There is no one out there with more skilled staff than what we have. Our security professionals go through rigorous training where they learn how to cope in an extremely difficult and dangerous situation, as well as how to treat those involved.
• Principled and punctual
When you call, we’ll be there! You can trust that we will respond as soon as possible and that we will be 110% punctual to any emergency that needs assistance. We have a variety of in-house principles that are carried out to our staff, and practiced by them, and us, in all incidents.
• Proactive and progressive
We know that society is always changing. We keep up with the latest trends in the criminal and theft sphere and remain on top of these so as to eliminate them before they reach innocent individuals.
All in all we are a recognised industry leader constantly seeking out and eliminating any threats to society in this beautiful country.
Protect Your Home With Residential Security Services
It is unfortunate that crime in South Africa is a reality that we need to deal with. However, sticking our heads in the sand and pretending like it isn’t an issue will never do anyone any good. Instead, investing in residential security services can help you to protect your family, property and assets from opportunistic criminals that wish to do you harm.
Keep your home and family safe by partnering with leading residential security solutions that are able to offer you the protection you need. By displaying signage on your property that your home is protected by armed reaction services, it also acts as a dissuading barrier for potential criminals looking for an easy target.
What Are Some Of The Residential Security Solutions Available To You?
There are many options available to you. You can decide on a blend of the different services to create a bespoke solution that speaks to your needs. No two homes’ security needs are the same, so speak to a seasoned residential security expert to formulate a strategy that works for you.
Some of the many options available to you include:
- Access control equipment;
- Guarding and access control;
- Complex and home perimeter protection;
- Early warning detectors; and
- Patrolling guards.
These are only a few of the many residential security solutions and options available to you. Choose the options that best suit your needs and start protecting your home against opportunistic criminals out to cause destruction and harm to your family.