THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING UP CCTV CAMERAS AND ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR A BUILDING IN KENYA
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING UP CCTV CAMERAS AND ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR A BUILDING.
The installation of CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems has been on rise in the recent past. Their use range from use in banks, companies’ buildings, hospitals, airports, schools and institutions, government protected areas, on roads and major highways to use even in people’s homes. The rise in the use of CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems has been due to the need for security and monitoring as crimes and other incidents are on increase. These systems are being increasingly promoted for their deterrent value, their ability to promote public safety, detection enhancement capabilities and their usefulness in decreasing police response times.
Kenya as a country has suffered crimes and incidents e.g. Monica who was found dead in her house in Kilimani and the other incident that occurred in KCB branch in Thika. These crimes and incidents can be eliminated, minimized or controlled by the use of CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems. The setting up of the CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems to be efficient and effective to meet the goal intended has to be done in consideration of certain things. This article gives guidelines on the things to consider when setting up CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems for a building. The article articles also discusses the different types of Access control Systems. In addition, the article also gives author’s conclusion on the whole idea of setting up and use of CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems.
CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) camera refers to electronic monitoring systems which make use of video cameras, connected by means of a closed (or non-broadcast) circuit, to capture, collect, record, and /or relay visual information about the event-status of a given space over time (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2003: 7).According to International Journal of Law and policy by Kithinji Brenda Ntinyari and Margaret Nguyo CCTV Camera is a number of video cameras used to transmit a signal to a particular place on a specific set of monitors. According to this article, CCTV camera refers to self-contained surveillance system comprising of cameras, recorders and displays for monitoring activities in and around a building.
Access Control System refers to a system that controls who or what can view or use certain resources in a computing environment.
Access Control Systems are divided into two types:
1. Logical Access Control Systems. These are Systems which limit connection to computer networks, system files or data.
2. Physical Access Control Systems. These are systems which limit physical access to buildings, rooms, campuses, or physical access to ICT assets.
According to this article, Access Control System is a system that manages and controls who or what is allowed into a building. Identities are granted access to the controlled building based on the validity of their credentials.
Access Control Systems Identify, Authenticate and authorize an entity. A user supplies the system with their credentials which could be: fingerprint, password, PIN or other credentials. The credential is matched with those of Authorized users within the system and if they match, the user is allowed into the building. Multi-factor authentication which require more than one credential for a specific user to be allowed into the building has been introduced to increase the security of the Access Control Systems.
The goal of Access Control System is to minimize the risk of unauthorized access and the system involves identity and access management. The systems provide Access Control Software, user database and management tools for access control policies, auditing and enforcement.
To increase the efficiency of Access Control Systems, they are used together with CCTV cameras to monitor intrusion. The systems may also be attached to an alarm system to report any acts of intrusion.
A. CCTV CAMERAS
Purpose of the CCTV cameras.
The purposes for installation of CCTV cameras in building vary. The purpose of CCTV camera installation has evolved from deterring criminals from breaking into a buildings to helping police solve crimes. CCTV cameras can be installed in a building for: Event recording, Process Control, Crime prevention, Industrial monitoring, management tool, after hours’ monitoring, address antisocial activities or Access Control. The purpose for which the CCTV cameras are been installed for determines the type of the cameras to be used, the position the cameras will be mounted and the accessories needed.
The amount of money earmarked for CCTV cameras installation play a crucial role in determining the cameras to be used, the accessories to be used, the connection to be used whether wired or wireless, the size of storage to be used. The more money is allocated for the setting up the better CCTV camera system is installed in a building.
CCTV cameras consume power during their operation. The availability of power during required times of operation is a factor that should be considered during the setting up of the cameras in a building. The position of the power sockets also determine the camera positioning. The size of the PSU determine the number of cameras to be installed. The use UPS can be considered in case of a power blackout.
Lighting in the building.
The amount of light during the day and night determine the type of camera iris to be used. Varying lighting conditions requires that camera iris which can adjust with the amount of light. Too much light wash image and little light makes the images dark thus it is important to have camera iris suited for the amount of lighting in the building. The type of light source in a building that is: fluorescent, incandescent, tungsten, sunlight, moonlight, starlight, halogen or mercury vapor also determine the type of cameras to be used and their positioning and direction in a building.
Manned or unmanned CCTV cameras.
Analog cameras require the presence of a staff to change the tapes. PTZ cameras require an operator to be totally effective
Transmission of the video signal.
Video signals in CCTV cameras can be transmitted via twisted pair, fiber optic or wireless. The type of transmission of the video signals in the building should be considered. The mode to be used is determined by the distance of the signal transmission and the obstacles present which could be sharp bends, high voltage equipment and the number of rooms or building the signals are to be transmitted. The obstacles also determine the positioning of the cables if wired because they can interfere with the signals quality and lead to their distortion.
CCTV cameras of a building are both indoors and outdoors. The place where the cameras are installed should be considered. Outdoor cameras should be resistant to sun and made of materials which are not highly corrosive. They may also need a wiper and a housing.
Monitoring and recording location.
CCTV cameras have a monitoring and recording location. Their location in a building should be central to cut down long cable runs. The location should also have a sufficient power supply available throughout. It should be well secured to prevent access and tampering with by unauthorized persons and the space should be sufficient for the equipment. Use of reflective lighting with dimming control to prevent monitor glare and ensuring no more than five monitors per operator for convenience.
Position of the CCTV cameras
The cameras should be placed at eye level so that people’s faces will be clearly captured for their facial recognition. The cameras should be away from obstructions, sunlight and anything that can block the cameras motion detection capability range. The cameras should be placed at hidden doors/windows, front doors, poorly lit entrances, and first floor entrances and also at exits to monitor people who enter or exit the building or may try to intrude through such areas.
Latest CCTV camera technologies should be considered for better performance and advanced features. This saves on operation and maintenance costs of the CCTV cameras as maintaining of the old technology cameras and operating them can be costly.
Type of the Mounting
Different locations may require different mounting options. The options range from use of poles, wall mounting, and ceiling mounting to corner mounting. The cameras’ mounting method should be the best one that ensures their effectiveness and efficiency.
Video management and storage requirements.
The size of the building and the population that uses the building determines the size of storage needed. The storage should be enough to store adequate footage. The need of back up media should be considered in case of hard drive failure.
The areas that are vulnerable in the building should be determined. This helps to determine the number and type of cameras to be used. This also determines whether to wireless or wired transmission. However, CCTV cameras should never be installed in private areas like: changing rooms, wash rooms and toilets. This is because this could be a bleach of people’s privacy. The distance from the camera to the subject should not be long for clarity and the angle of view should also be considered to ensure that the images captured are cleared and can easily be recognized.
The existing CCTV cameras.
The building in which CCTV cameras are been installed could have already existing CCTV system. The new CCTV cameras been installed should fit with the already existing components. This would help in cutting down costs.
To deliver desirable results, CCTV cameras should record quality videos (HD videos). The CCTV should also allow remote access to ensure monitoring and controlling even when one is not within the building premises. The additional equipment that may be required for setting up CCTV cameras should be considered also.
The CCTV cameras should capture the property that only belongs to the owner of the building alone. Capturing other people’s property could be a breach of their privacy
B. ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS.
Most of the factors to consider when setting up Access Control systems are similar to those to be considered when installing CCTV cameras. This part of the article will focus mainly on the things which are primarily for Access Control Systems.
The major things to consider in setting an Access Control System in building are the purpose of the system and the size of the system which is determined by the building and the population that will be using the system. The purpose of Access Control System could be security reason that is limiting access to restricted areas/assets of a building or even manage people as they access the areas of the building or checking attendance to know the people who are present within the building and determining when they enter and leave the premises of the building. After determining the purpose and the size of the Access Control System, the other things to consider in setting up the systems are:
Ease of use by the target group
The access control system should be convenient to the target group. The worst thing that can happen is setting a system that is complex to the authorized persons and making them stranded when they need access to a building. This can be done by conducting an audit of those who will be accessing the system to determine their needs and the type of Access Control System that best suits them.
Ability to be remotely accessed.
The system to be installed in a building should be able to be accessed remotely to promote monitoring and controlling of the system even when one is not within the building premises.
Product updates and compatibility between the old and new Access Control System.
The access control system software should be up to date this ensures better performance and security. In case there is existing Access Control System, the new system should fit in the existing system, this cuts down costs.
Schedules, Notifications and reporting capabilities.
The Access Control System should be able to pass notifications to the users. The system should generate both standard and custom reports that can easily be interpreted by the users. The method the notifications and reports are passed to the users should be determined.
Information backup and restore.
The Access Control System should have an automatic backup and restore in case of an incident. This will ensure continued use of the system in case of an incident or quick recovery to normal operations of the system.
The access levels should be determined this is because not everyone needs to access to every area of the building. Look at the building and determine what areas need different levels of access.
User management and accessibility.
The system should offer tiered administration and can be accessed and managed by multiple users simultaneously. The method to achieve this in the setting up the Access Control System should be determined before the installation of the system.
CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems setting up in buildings is of great importance. The installation of the CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems has enhanced management of people, checking of attendance in companies and enhanced security of people and Information Technology assets of companies. Security of people and IT assets should not be weighed against the cost of installation of CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems. The implications of poor CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems could be adverse compared to the cost of setting up high quality systems. The source of power for these systems should be electricity as it is stable. Solar power cannot adequately provide adequate power as these systems consume a lot of power. The use of generator power is not advisable because the voltage is variable and this can affect the efficiency of the systems.
In addition, the CCTV cameras and Access Control Systems equipment should be purchased from vendors and manufactures who are reputable in producing high quality equipment and accessories. The systems should be current and for the software should be up to date.
The target group for CCTV cameras should be informed of the presence of CCTV cameras by use of labels written “This building is under CCTV surveillance” and the owners of the building should obtain permission to install CCTV cameras where applicable as their use has drawn legal issues in the past.