While protecting lives is paramount, it should not be the sole driver for modernising a company’s fire and security systems

The decision to accelerate change and embrace advancements in technology routinely pays dividends, helping organisations to save money, resources and reputational risk.

We delivered such a diversion in approach – and the resulting rewards – to operations at a Dublin based Logistics Park, a 150-acre development benefiting from excellent access to Ireland’s transport links.

Historically, the hub had relied predominantly on guards to man its entrances, monitor the heavy flow of transiting traffic and to manually check in, and out, vehicles. Although tried and tested, these processes were labour and time intensive and we quickly identified measures to lighten the load and lift the proverbial foot from the brakes.

Importantly, the introduction of a CCTV monitored system and a cloud-based Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system immediately removed all blind spots from the Logistics Park’s security picture.

Ideal for locations with multiple gateways, the hi-tech tool mitigated the need for traditional sentry points, instead placing the burden for vehicular vigilance on its all-seeing cameras and rapid processing.

Marshalling barriers, the system scans vehicles on entry and exit, automatically granting access to those who have previously provided their credentials – such as employees – and tracking visitors unfamiliar to its database. Those not recognised must use the installed intercom, which notifies our control room and ensures complete oversight and management of site entry.

Reacting faster than the human eye and brain, ANPR immediately flags suspicious vehicles or license plates and – with its data accessible both on site and at our remote-control room – affords 360 degree visibility and traceability when combined with CCTV. Hot lists of known suspicious or rogue vehicles can be created so that in the event of an unwanted or unexpected visitor, an alert is raised and a mobile patrol can be scrambled if required.

Such a feature and the accurate record of patterns of activity are especially useful in the event of a requirement to present evidence to the Gardaí.

The benefits of ANPR extend beyond just crime prevention and reporting though. Aside from reducing manning costs, it can arm business park owners or operators of enterprise-style sites with data detailing use on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. 

These statistics can be used to showcase the advantages and efficiencies of a location to current and prospective tenants and inform rent reviews.

It is a much-coined truism that having a head for numbers is crucial to success in business and those adopting ANPR technologies are recruiting a force multiplier – a system capable of processing number plates in a fraction of the time taken by a team of people. 

Where security is high on the agenda, the expenditure involved in the design and installation of a system that delivers peace of mind and reassurance really can represent value for money.