February 2020

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Page 27 of 55

Atrium at the Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business building with prefabricated fire-rated panelling from Aluflam. 28 | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 Security & Life Safety Systems P H OTO G R A P H Y CO U RT E SY A LU F L A M N O RT H A M ER I C A In an increasingly connected world, smart security systems are more critical than ever by STACEY MCLACHLAN O ur digital and physical worlds are increasingly converging, but it may be in the landscape of security systems where this is felt most acutely. As secu- rity systems and automated building controls increasingly are tethered to the cloud, cyber- security is critical to a building's overall safety, too. With servers, cameras, access controls, RFID access and more utilizing wireless access, security systems are increasingly vulnerable to malicious actors – and as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes our new reality, weak points in a network are going to pop up more often. Future-proofing your security or building access system right from inception is crucial. FROM THE CLOUD TO REALIT Y Of course, theoretical digital threats and real-world danger are two different beasts, and a smart secu- rity plan covers all the bases. "The convergence of logical and physical security systems is a big focus," says Paul Maddox, director of technical sales for Houle. "Especially for enterprising customers." He points to an industry-wide surge in video analytics, which have become far more reliable and require less ongoing maintenance. Digital security systems and alarms have an impact on real-world safety, as we know from companies like Chubb that use tools like risk assess- ment, ULC monitoring, testing and system design as fire safety solution. Chubb's control panels act as "the brains" of the fire-detection and alarm system and perform preventive monitoring and alerts. Paladin, meanwhile, provides scalable, cloud- based security solutions, as well as on-the-ground guard services for what it calls "a truly integrated model." With this mix of offerings, customers get access to big-picture security integration alongside day-to-day support. "Information technology and networking are critical to today's security infra- structure," says the Paladin website. It's why the company offers more than just single-use burglar alarms and can provide whole systems that bring in CCT V, access control and more. MATERIAL MAT TERS Programming and analytics are one way of keeping a space protected, but technology can be used in other ways to improve safety, too … like Aluflam's prefab- ricated fire-rated panelling, that can be adapted and customized for almost any application. One of its recent projects, Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business building, required clear-anodized finish for its storefront framing, and a continuous 60-minute-rated wall surrounding a 36-inch diame- tre atrium. The company may have considered a combination of aluminum frames with fire-rated glazing impossible, but with this installation, Aluflam proved itself wrong, with factory-finished, pre-drilled, and ready-for-installation frames that meet strict fire standards. INTELLIGENT INTEGR ATION Assa Abloy's recent industry survey (done in con- junction with IFSEC global) found that integration is a concern for over 90 percent of industry pro- fessionals. From alarms, to lighting, to HVAC to CCT V, the pros are looking for products and sys- tems that play well together. Why? Fewer security interfaces are easier to support and so require less training, reports Assa Abloy: "Integration can also enhance the experience of building occupants; the same credential can be used for the garage, the office building, and to access laptops and buy lunch. Future-proofing is high on any list of procurement criteria. Accentra – Assa Abloy's cloud-based access control system for multi-family buildings – provides full control over information, centrally. A successful security system requires some seri- ous integration: a working knowledge of how the different technologies from different manufac- turers are expected to operate together. Vipond provides fire detection and suppression along with security systems as well, but these products have to work in harmony with other brands. "Managing dis- parate platforms and operating systems is becoming increasingly complex and most simply do not have the budget for a 'rip and replace' strategy," Vipond reports on its website. But successful integration requires more than just equipment: it needs a design team who can cus- tomize the right solution for a client's needs. "Access Control has become a standard in today's business environment," according to Vipond's marketing material. The popularity of this tool – though there are quite few duties currently involved with Access Control ID cards – will be in full force once other technologies can be combined and optimized. ALL-ACCESS PASS Wireless locks have truly been a game-changer for home security, extending the reach of access con- trol. As building security systems become smarter, electronic access control becomes a more critical piece of the security puzzle. "Wired access points Sound The Alarm

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