How to Augment Your Security With Mobile Video Surveillance
By Mike Dunn
Mobile surveillance units are a great add-on to blind spots or if you only need coverage for a short amount of time. A mobile solution can be quickly and easily deployed on your site. To give you an idea on speed, most mobile solutions can be set up on site and be ready to send the video feedback to your monitoring station in under an hour.
Most mobile solutions can be customized to your needs. Let’s say your distribution center needs added perimeter defense. You can set up thermal cameras and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras on your mobile setup. The thermal cameras will detect motion from afar, and the PTZ will let the guards zoom in remotely and identify that person.
If you need coverage in a parking lot or a wide area, you can add 360-degree cameras or multi-sensor cameras to your mobile surveillance unit, then use those wide-angle cameras to eliminate any existing blind spots you might have on your existing security system. A temporary, mobile solution is easy to install, and you can add four to six cameras that aren’t going to break the bank.
Using Mobile Surveillance With Event-Based Monitoring
To customize the mobile surveillance unit even further, you can add reaction devices to respond to alarms, such as speakers, sirens, or strobe lights. These devices can be triggered by a remote guard or as an automatic response to a live event.
Let’s say someone is coming to a restricted area. The security camera can send an automatic alarm to the guard, so they can pull up the video feed. While they are assessing the situation, the guard can send an alert to turn on the floodlights or LED’s on the unit. So now the person approaching the area will see really bright lights, which is a really good deterrent alone. As the guard is watching the person, who’s still going forward even with the lights on, the guard can either use a live talk-down speaker to communicate with the trespasser or trigger a siren and say that the police are on their way. Most people are going to be running the second they hear the siren.
Mobile surveillance units are available either as an add-on or a completely standalone solution. You don’t have to purchase all the equipment upfront. Many mobile surveillance units are usually available through short-term leases, making it easy for you to find a solution that fits your unique needs.
Powering Your Mobile Surveillance Unit
Mobile security units are traditionally powered with a 110-volt line: You get power from the building, a light pole or a nearby trailer, and you’re all set.
But if you are in a more remote area, you can go solar, which is a very reliable option today. It’s come a long way, both with efficiency in the solar cells and the price point. Costs have been coming down and down, even every month at this point.
Of course, solar panels require regular exposure to sunlight. So it’s really important to face the panels south or southwest to get sun most of the day. If it’s a parking lot or distribution center, it’s not too difficult to get them in the sun for most of the day. But sometimes it can be a little tricky with buildings and other obstructions that keep them in the shade. Solar has made amazing strides in the last few years, but they’re still not perfect. Solar batteries can get through a cloudy or rainy day, or even two or three, but not much more. It’s a great option to have in difficult areas, but it may take a little more planning.
Customizing Your Mobile Surveillance Unit
When we think about mobile surveillance solutions, we often think of outside applications, such as in a parking lot or outside a distribution center. But there are many ways it can be applied inside buildings as well. A temporary surveillance unit is a great way of adding video coverage to your security system without investing in a permanent solution you don’t need in the long run.
Mobile surveillance units can be integrated with your existing video management system (VMS). The best way to integrate your mobile solution to your VMS is by having them as separate hardline network drops. A wireless connection is possible, but not always simple. Once added to the VMS, the mobile surveillance unit can be managed just like any other camera in your system.
There is no one mobile solution that’s going to be perfect for everyone. So customize it and make it into something that works best for you. The flexibility of mobile surveillance makes customization much easier for your security teams.
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Mike Dunn is CTO of Prosegur USA, the American subsidiary of one of the largest security companies in the world. He works with all the divisions of Prosegur, leveraging technology to find innovative solutions for Prosegur as well as its customers. Mike also oversees Prosegur's Mobile Surveillance Division, IoT, End User Training and R&D. He works closely with various manufacturers and software companies to find new security solutions for retail, gaming, government, banking, transportation, and other industries.
Mike is a big believer in open platform approach to technology, and places great emphasis on partnering with best-in-class solution providers.
He has over 15 years of industry experience, encompassing computer technology, networking, IP video and access control. Prior to joining Prosegur USA, Mike was Vice President of Business Development at BSI, which was acquired by Prosegur. He also held previous positions with Axis and Honeywell. In addition to his duties at Prosegur, Mike also serves on the advisory boards of Visiontech Solutions Group, Compete Co. and SIA's Vertical Insights.