Reports of perimeter intrusions are on the rise, particularly at large area facilities with remote locations. It’s easy to have a false sense of security by thinking that as long as your buildings are secure, the exposure of the exterior portions of your compound aren’t a problem, but the truth is that perimeter intrusion can be extremely costly. Whether intruders are committing acts of vandalism, stealing equipment and materials, or even creating hazards for employees, keeping these kinds of risks at bay is extremely important.

Your facility’s first line of defense is the perimeter or boundary of your compound, and depending on your site, the effectiveness and efficiency of your perimeter monitoring system could be one of the most important parts of your facility’s security system design.

Large Areas Pose Unique Hurdles for Perimeter Surveillance

Every facility has its own security challenges. That’s why the most adept and efficient perimeter defense solutions are custom designed for the facility by experienced professionals who can use their expertise to address the issues that are specific to that facility, integrating multiple diverse technologies for the purpose of providing the utmost perimeter intrusion detection while also minimizing or eliminating false alarms. This ensures phenomenal boundary protection, minimal staffing, and unique problem-solving applications, making it cost effective.

You may already be familiar with some or all of the problems and issues that come into play with perimeter monitoring, especially if the boundary of the facility you monitor is large in size. Large area perimeter monitoring can be extremely challenging! Most perimeter monitoring systems rely heavily on one or two types of intruder detection components and security personnel patrols. These efforts are great, but balancing the utilization of technology with the correct level of staffing can be difficult.

For example, these large area facilities such as shipyards, museums, manufacturing plants, animal parks, industrial parks, etc., commonly have issues with overnight perimeter intruder detection due to a lack of light. Standard video surveillance systems can’t serve as an intrusion detection device without light, and let’s face it: darkness lurks behind every bush and in the shadow of every piece of equipment across your compound. What kind of solutions are available for this problem?

Photoelectric Beams for Large Area Perimeter Monitoring

The most common way to combat low-light and no-light situations is through the use of photoelectric beam detectors, which can be installed at common access points or paths. They detect intruders by activating an alarm when the invisible infrared beam between the receiver and the transmitter is broken, which is caused by a solid mass being in the direct line-of-site.

The problem with photoelectric beams, of course, is that sometimes the wind blows a plastic bag or a piece of cardboard between the transmitter and receiver, breaking the infrared beam and causing a false alarm. In addition to debris, false alarms can also be triggered by stray animals or extremely dense atmospheric conditions such as fog, steam, or heavy rain. Also, active beams could prevent the ideal coverage area of roaming security personnel, as patrol sectors would need to be designed so as not to trigger them.

Thermal Imaging for Large Area Perimeter Monitoring

An alternative remedy for low-light and no-light environments is CCTV video surveillance systems with thermal imaging. While it might seem that night vision is a better option, as it’s certainly more prevalent, night vision works best across short distances. The long-distance range of detection required by large facilities precludes the use of night vision exclusively, since long-range night vision technology is best suited to personal applications due to its high cost and finicky nature. Thermal detection works across longer distances, increasing the range of detection substantially, and can eliminate the possibility of false alarms from debris and atmospheric conditions, since heat isn’t a factor there. Used in conjunction with surveillance video analytics systems, it can even eliminate false alarms from stray animals by precisely measuring and recognizing the heat signature of a human.

But thermal imaging isn’t without its downsides; some high-temperature machinery or equipment that is automated or continuous can resemble the heat signature of a human closely enough to trigger false alarms, and human heat signatures can be difficult to distinguish in hot climates, potentially causing intruders to go completely undetected. For some facilities, the sensitivity of the thermal sensor can be a disadvantage, as it can detect people through some barriers such as wooden privacy fences, which could cause a false alarm if the camera happens to be pointed towards a neighboring facility that has 24-hour operations.

Custom Perimeter Monitoring Solutions

Just from the two technologies listed above, it’s plain to see that every perimeter monitoring technology has its own set of pros and cons. What’s the right solution for YOUR facility? That’s where an expert, like our professionals at Life Safety Project, can help save you time, money, and stress. A custom solution is one where your facility’s unique challenges are met in the most cost-effective way after all possible options are considered, weighed on a cost-vs-value scale, and integrated into a sophisticated comprehensive plan.

Maybe the cost of more advanced beam detectors are worth the ability to discern the subtle differences between environmental conditions and an opaque intruder by perceiving the gradual signal loss caused by fog, dust, snow, rain, or steam.

Perhaps the value provided by of a cluster of several beams programmed to trigger a detection only when all beams are blocked would outweigh the cost of false alarms caused by smaller objects blocking a single beam.

Potentially, a well-thought-out video surveillance system of precise camera angles utilizing a mixture of night vision and thermal imaging aimed across varying distances of optimal range could allow for better coverage with fewer cameras.

All of these cost-saving opportunities, and hundreds more, are right at your fingertips. Give Life Safety Project a call today!



PHOTO CREDIT: Travis Saylor Cyclone Fence in Shallow Photography 951408 via Pexels (license)
PHOTO CREDIT: Samuel Wolfl Intermodal Container Stacked on Port 1427541 via Pexels (license)
PHOTO CREDIT: jdnx Bird’s Eye View via PhotoPin (license)