Access control

What Are the Benefits of Access Control Systems

Electronic access control systems are increasingly common among South African businesses. This is unsurprising, considering the crime rate and the need of owners, tenants and employees to feel safe and secure in their workplace. But, you may be wondering, are these systems really beneficial? Do they really act as advertised? The answer is yes, and here are four reasons why.

Increase Control and Monitoring over Who Comes and Goes

The main advantage to access control is that you, as a business owner, and your staff has full control over who comes in and goes out, and when. The staff has the special authorisation that enables them to enter and exit in line with company regulations, while visitors need permission and sign-in procedures to gain access. A good access system, in combination with vigilant staff especially at reception, ensures that only the people you want on your premises are allowed in.

Deter Criminals

Effective and comprehensive access control turns your premises into a higher-risk prospect from a criminal’s point of view. Provided the system extends to back doors, fire escapes, garage doors, elevators and all other possible points of entry, criminals will find it difficult to gain entry without being detected, and so will look elsewhere. If your system is linked to an armed response service, then your business becomes even less of an attractive proposition for them.

Reduce Internal Theft

As much as you don’t like to think about it, the risk of theft by one of more of your staff members is something you always need to guard against. Electronic access gives you control over who is allowed into which areas of your premises. You can restrict access to valuable stock and equipment. You can then monitor these areas to see if anyone attempts to gain access.

Protect Your Data

While protecting your data online, you should also make sure that the physical heart of your IT system, your data and server rooms, are fully access controlled, so that only authorised staff can enter. In addition, to secure log-in procedures, firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-viruses, you should be able to keep your valuable data doubly protected.

TRSS are specialists in commercial security and armed response. Contact us now to find out how we can keep your business secure.

load shedding

How to Keep Your Business Secure During Load Shedding

Since mid-February, large parts of South Africa have experienced rolling blackouts. As one of the leading commercial security companies in the country, TRSS Security would like to warn clients, readers and citizens to make sure their businesses are secure when the power is off.

If your alarm system has been installed by a professional, correctly programmed and coupled to a battery system, it will continue to protect your property and premises – even if there is a blackout. To make sure that you, your staff and visitors to your offices and premises aren’t left unprotected, double-check the quality and power level of your backup batteries often. Another proactive step that business owners can take is to alert security guards when the power is off so that they can be extra vigilant. Train them to report any suspicious activity and to be particularly watchful of trespassers during rolling blackouts.

If your business premise is exposed to extended load shedding, be sure to check the alarm system every three or four hours. Other systems that should be checked include the fire systems as well as the batteries. Issue a communiqué to employees to avoid using gas and candles as this can increase the risk of fires. It is wise to install energy saving lights such as LEDs to reduce your demand on battery power during these times.

Another step that companies can take is to contact TRSS for armed response security systems and door access control systems. Not only can our guards be on call 24/7, but we can ensure that the right people get access to the right areas through our quality access control systems. Contact TRSS security for more information about commercial security companies in South Africa today.

wireless security system

Real-Time Offsite Monitoring And Remote Viewing Services For Your Business

With the steady rise in crime rates over the past few years, taking additional security measures have become crucial. TRSS, along with many other security companies in South Africa, has found that a wireless security camera system is one of the most effective security measures that a person or business can take to secure their homes or offices.

All types of property crimes, including break-ins and motor vehicle thefts and larceny-thefts, can be curbed and minimized with a high-quality video security system. If you live in Gauteng, then you are all too familiar with how common burglaries have become. To avoid incurring financial losses, you need to be proactive about the security measures in and around your property.

Here Are A Few Ways A Wireless Security Camera System Can Help:

Prevent Thefts:

When criminals become aware that a house or business is being watched, chances are they will leave the property alone. This is simply due to the fact that it is too high a risk to break into and enter a property where there will be recordings of their faces and their interactions with fellow burglars.

Instill A Sense Of Security:

Most people who have a video security system in their home and offices say that they feel more secure as a result of the added security.

Record Every Detail:

If you need to review a particular series of events, a video security system documents all the footage including the dates and times.

Enables Remote Monitoring:

Today’s state-of-the-art wireless security camera systems allow you to keep an eye on your home and business while you are not there.

Advanced Warning:

The latest video security systems will alert you to any suspicious activity that it captures.

Increased Professionalism:

Many companies have testified that a camera system increases professionalism at the workplace.

Are you ready to make your business more secure? Then get in touch with TRSS for wireless security camera systems and tactical reaction services today.

7 Golden Rules of armed reaction

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

  1. 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.
  2. Your security company’s officers should respond within the minimum SAIDSA response times which are the industry standard.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

7 Golden Rules of installing security CCTV

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
  • 8ta
  • Vodacom
  • Neotel
  • iBurst
  • 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.