12 November 2011

Physical Security & Life Safety Solutions with Monitoring from AACI

American Alarm and Communications, Inc., (AACI) designs, installs, integrates, monitors and services security solutions for all types of commercial and institutional facilities as well as fire alarm and life safety systems in commercial and institutional facilities of every size and description. While every customer has different requirements and no two facilities alike, one factor remains constant in every system we integrate: that life safety is absolutely assured through the intelligent application of appropriate technology.  Beyond life safety we offer intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance systems and networking to cover all your security needs. A fully-integrated security/life safety technology strategy confers many potential benefits, including: improved safety for your people and data; reduced inventory losses; lower insurance rates; reduced manpower requirements; and compliance with industry standards.

AACI Applications – Physical Security
Different organizations face different security threats. In addition to intrusion and unauthorized access, organizations may have special concerns with vandalism, shoplifting, child abduction, data or inventory theft by employees or outsiders, and fraudulent liability claims and workers compensation incidents. Security systems can also be used to monitor internal processes and to guard against environmental hazards such as flood, high temp, freezing, and boiler malfunction.

Intrusion Detection Systems – Physical Security
Intrusion detection often serves as the foundation of a basic security system, but can also be integrated into more comprehensive security regimes. Door and window contacts, glass-break sensors, and motion detectors alert on-site personnel or emergency responders to break-in attempts via local alarms or our own UL central station reporting. Such systems can be hard-wired on dedicated low-voltage wiring, or may share wired or wireless Ethernet with other security and data communications functions. Fixed-station and wireless personal panic alert buttons can be part of the system, and the whole can be integrated with the facility’s access control structure.

Access Control/Visitor Management – Physical Security
Most organizations need to restrict access to specific areas. Visitors and employees may be granted or denied access to data centers, laboratories, or whole floors or buildings depending upon internal policies, and permitted access may change with the time of day, the date (for example, weekends or holidays), or depending upon who else is in the restricted area. Modern access control systems are capable of assigning multiple, visitor management and situation-sensitive levels of access based on the organization’s security needs. AACI provides a full range of access control devices, including keypads, door intercom/buzzer systems, badges or cards with barcode or embedded radio-frequency (RF) technology. Another option is biometric devices that digitally scan the individual’s hand- or thumbprint, face, or iris, and compare the results with data stored in a database.

We also provide the equipment and software to produce and manage photo-ID RF badges, and to control all aspects of access. From a single or multiple locations, permissions can be modified at any time without access to the badge itself, and personnel data and levels of access can be stored in an ODBC-compliant database for efficient, secure sharing with HR and other departments, as needed – for example, to facilitate the use of “smart card” badges as library or meal cards. Access control software also permits facilities management functions such as mustering, roll-calling and occupancy counting, and to set timed non-pass-back restrictions. Access privileges can be automatically adjusted by threat level and overridden manually.

Video Systems & Surveillance – Physical Security
AACI has decades of experience installing and integrating both analog and IP video and closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems for surveillance and access control. Video systems can be used in combination with audio as part of door intercom systems. They can be used to record security events and business processes on a 24/7 basis, and they enable a single individual to maintain surveillance across multiple large properties and building areas. Modern megapixel cameras, available with resolution up to the high-definition range, can monitor especially wide areas compared to older analog devices, making it possible to create full-coverage networks with fewer cameras and better video quality. Low-light cameras and infrared cameras used in combination with IR illumination can record in apparent darkness.

AACI combines video with alarm and access control systems for fully-integrated security solutions. Cameras with motion-detection capabilities can function as sensor devices in intrusion-detection systems, and systems can be programmed so that user-defined security events elsewhere on the network will turn cameras on, increase their frame rate, and control pan, tilt and other telemetry. AACI can even provide video analytics to automate much of the work of surveillance. Software can pick out specific objects of interest in a video image, (such as left-behind bags in transportation terminals), recognize vehicles, identify fire and smoke signatures, count people, and read license plates. These capabilities enable a smaller staff to maintain a higher level of vigilance over larger areas, and to effectively monitor multiple issues simultaneously.

Critical Audio Communications – Physical Security
AACI understands the vital importance of security and communication, whether the solution is an analog intercom or notification system or today’s new critical communications over internet protocol (CCoIP), we can provide the systems and the integration from a single talk thru glass solutions to IP server and server-less systems, audio analytics and integration with other subsystems such as PBXs, IP telephones, IP DECT handsets, PCs and PDAs. AACI can integrate all elements of the security network – intrusion, audio, access control, and video –into a single monitoring, reporting, and storage solution. A wide range of user-definable trigger events can automatically pop up a window on the user’s control monitor showing dynamic floor plan graphics, video, and text identification of the event. The system can be programmed for automatic responses to defined threats and threat levels: for example, to impose access control restrictions or automatic lockdown. Users may also be allowed full manual control over portal access, cameras, and audio announcement or alarms. Browser-based controls permit actions from any location worldwide, and all activities and access events can be logged, stored, and post-analyzed.

Video and other data storage may be on-site in the form of a NVR, network hard drive, or virtually any type of high-volume video or data storage system.   AACI can also provide video alarm verification thru our Central Station, reducing your false alarms. AACI works with your security, IT, facilities and HR people to assess your security objectives. 

The systems we install and integrate will accommodate change and growth as your needs evolve. We provide training, software upgrades, remote programming and video management, central station monitoring, repairs, maintenance, and annual inspection services. Regional offices remain on 24-hour call to respond promptly to every need throughout New England and across America.

AACI Applications – Life Safety
No matter what type of facility you need to protect, AACI has the experience to integrate a cost-effective solution that meets your current and foreseeable needs. We protect small and large commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities; high-rises; campus complexes; and organizations with multiple locations. Different building functions require different approaches to life safety. AACI has engineered and installed systems that meet all functional and regulatory requirements in hospitals and other healthcare facilities; grade schools and universities; government facilities; data centers; and a wide variety of industrial environments.

Detection and Initiation – Life Safety
Detection of a fire signature is the first link in a chain of events, followed by initiation of the alarm system’s response and notification of emergency personnel and building occupants. AACI works with all proven detection technologies to provide optimum protection in every building environment. These include heat sensors, smoke detectors (ionization and photoelectric), laser-based air samplers, and multi-sensor devices. Digital detectors can report temperature, rate of rise, maintenance status and more. Special video cameras with built-in smoke- and flame-detection algorithms can provide unmatched early detection in high-volume spaces such as sports arenas, and can serve double-duty for motion detection and general security monitoring.

Depending upon the facility, AACI may use advanced detection systems to provide very-early warning in critical or sensitive areas such as data centers and clean environments, or false-alarm-resistant devices in industrial settings that are environmentally hostile or highly variable.  For larger-scale enterprise fire and life safety systems, our Advanced Signal division is an authorized Engineered Systems Distributor (ESD) for Notifier by Honeywell. By supporting architects during the design process, electrical contractors during construction, or making the job of facilities managers easier through superior test, inspection and customer service, Advanced Signal has been a partner of choice for business fire alarm and life safety systems for more than 30 years. The control system must lend itself to ease of use while reliably reporting and controlling a variety of functions. Control systems run the gamut from alphanumeric display panels, to PC workstations, to web-based servers.

Control Systems – Life Safety
Today’s systems have impressive capabilities to monitor, evaluate, and rapidly report their own status and that of every device on the network; to record events for documentation and review; and to allow automated control of critical functions such as elevators, emergency power shut-down, smoke control, and fire-suppression systems of all types. Annunciators throughout a facility can give emergency responders varying levels of reporting and control. UL-listed central-station monitoring is a given, but some systems have the added capability to send text messages, detailed email alerts, or real-time video to your smart phone or PDA.
In designing a system for your facility, AACI will identify technology that meets current and future technical needs and regulatory requirements, and the objectives of your IT, safety, and facilities personnel. We can offer simple controls that require essentially no day-to-day management, controls that enable personnel to quickly react to changing circumstances, and controls that give personnel extensive enterprise-wide control over life safety, security, and communications systems from a single desktop or with distributed intelligence across a campus or around the world.

Service - Life Safety 

Life safety is not just a system we sell – it’s a commitment we make to our customers. AACI is a full-service fire protection provider, working with you in an ongoing relationship to ensure the safety of your people and assets. We work with your safety, IT, and facilities people to analyze your needs and objectives, and confer with local authorities to establish compliance. We provide training, software upgrades, remote programming, central station monitoring, repairs, maintenance, and annual inspection/certification services.

Business Fire Alarm Monitoring – Life Safety
Our 24-Hour Security Command Center monitors every element of your fire alarm systems, including sprinklers, with trained staff ready to react to any trouble at your organization.

Fire Alarm Testing and Inspection Services – Life Safety
We also offer comprehensive test and inspection services, as well as remote electronic daily testing to make sure your life/safety fire alarm system is in full working order and providing your business the fire alarm protection that is necessary for proper safety.

Cost Savings with a UL Certified and Accredited Fire Alarm Provider – Life Safety
Our customers also realize insurance cost savings that is available only to companies whose security system and business fire alarm provider are UL certified and accredited, like American Alarm. 

Networking – Life Safety and Physical Security
AACI is an expert at security, life safety and network technologies, from twisted-pair wiring to wireless IP networks. We can provide full LAN or WAN networking of multiple building monitoring systems, including legacy systems installed by others.

Monitoring – Life Safety and Physical Security
Our 24-hour Security Command Center manages a full range of security services only for American Alarm customers since 1971. Our services are designed to help make sure your home or business security system is ready when needed, able to adapt when your needs change, and always supported by a team of licensed and trained professionals who count customer satisfaction as their most important goal. To learn more about how you or your organization can benefit from our solutions, services and experience contact me directly at Jmcdonald@americanalarm.com or call me at 508-962-9927.

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