Archive Monthly Archives: September 2018

What is License Plate Recognition?

License plate recognition (LPR) is a feature on software that involves the capturing, detecting, reading, and storing photographic video or images of license plates. The LPR is used mainly for traffic monitoring in parking lots and gated security entrances. The captured videos or images will be processed by a series of algorithms, which will then provide an alpha numeric conversion to make the captured license plate into a text entry.

How does it work?

License plate recognition captures a video or an image of a vehicle’s license plate, and then either stores it for later review or runs the image through software that analyses videos, or video analytics software like Avigilon, to compare it to other license plate numbers stored in a database.

If there is a match of the captured license plate and the license plate found in the database, the system can be set up to send alerts. Immediately notifying you wherever you may be, the alerts sent off by the system can be sent to your email or mobile phone for any unusual or suspicious activities.

Camera factors to consider for effective license plate recognition:

  1. Angle – the proper camera angle is essential in installing LPR; LPR cameras that are installed too high or too low will not see the license plate clearly and can therefore cause irregularities
  2. Distance – the distance from the camera to the vehicle should be considered despite the camera’s ability to zoom in; when the distance is too far, the result of the zoomed in image may be unclear
  3. Lighting – the lighting is particularly needed especially during the dark; it’s going to need additional lighting whether you have already installed lights or used the camera’s built-in IR

Additionally, the quality of the image or the videos should be taken in to consideration. Avigilon LPR analytics appliances can provide all of these with the best results to meet the standards set by your local law enforcement. When used as legal evidence, your equipment must be of good quality to ensure clarity.

How can this help your company?

Although the need for license plate recognition can be very specific, LPR is incredibly essential when it comes to:

  • The security of an area, such as military base or research facility
  • The monitoring of gated entrances and parking lot traffic
  • Tracking a known suspect’s vehicle
  • Tracking a stolen vehicle or a car involved in a crime
  • The enforcement of parking laws like time limits and reserved spaces

For more information on LPR or Avigilon products, contact us. South Bay is an authorized dealer for Avigilon and one of our security specialists will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Storm Alert Information

When a major storm approaches, your security system does have limited capabilities.  Security systems depend on power to stay functioning and communications channels for remote management and notifications.  If you lose either (power or communications), your security may be compromised which will require your intervention to help protect your property.

Anytime we are in a dangerous storm mode or a State of Emergency, our central stations may get saturated with a substantial amount of signals.  Low priority signals (low battery, power loss) will be logged accordingly to ensure higher priority signals are answered promptly and efficiently.  Those customers with remote services such as DMP Virtual keypad or the Honeywell TC2, will continue to get instant messaging of vital system resources, while the systems and cell towers are still functioning.

Here is helpful info as it pertains to your type of security system:

What happens if I lose power?

(Intrusion System, Fire System, Keyless Door Access System, Video Surveillance System)

Your systems need constant power.  One option may be to plug in all of our devices into temporary generators.  Because various power supplies are hard wired while some other devices may be plug-in style, you would have to ensure all components (controllers, power supplies, alarm system panels) and getting their power from your temporary generator source.

What happens during an extended power outage (many hours, days)?

(Intrusion System, Fire System, Keyless Door Access System, Video Surveillance System)

After a fixed amount of time your batteries will begin to expire.  Unless the power supplies for these devices are on a functional backup generator, your systems will eventually run out of battery power.

(Intrusion System, Fire System, Video Surveillance System)

Your systems will eventually shut down when the batteries deplete.  This means no more detection of any kind.

(Keyless Door Access System)

When door access systems run out of power, depending on the type of lock that you have, doors may begin to unlock & release.

Electric Door Strikes: If you have a door strike on a perimeter door, the odds are this design means the door is LOCKED without power.  If you have a door strike on an interior door, there are some designs whereby the electric strike will release without power.

Magnetic Locks: Magnetic locks are installed normally at the top of your door and they need power to remain locked.  If your building is equipped with magnetic locks and you are expecting an extended power outage, you may want to consider manually locking those doors.

Do I need to replace my batteries when power comes back up?

Most control systems are advanced enough to recharge depleted batteries.  In some cases, batteries may go into a deep discharge and are unable to be revived (after normal power is restored).  Rule of thumb is to allow about 24 hours for the batteries to charge.  If your system is still indicating a battery failure, that would be time to contact us for a service call.

We are a customer with a high-risk level, what do we do?

(Intrusion System, Fire System, Keyless Door Access System, Video Surveillance System)

Depending on your risk level, you may need to consider hiring a guard to stand watch, to man doors, provide building security, etc…   If your building has a required fire alarm, fire code requires “fire-watch” to manually staff your building in the event your main fire alarm system is out of service.

If our alarm trips, will it be responded to?

(Intrusion System, Fire System)

During emergency modes, as an alarm event occurs, the central station will filter and sort the signals based on priority.  Fire events have some of the highest priority while a/c loss, low battery and general trouble conditions have the lowest.  Once the central station reacts to a condition, if the condition warrants calling the local authorities, the decision to send (police or fire) response is up to the city as we cannot control the behavior of the dispatch.  You may want to contact your local city emergency dispatch center if you have questions as to how they will be reacting to alarm events during the storm crisis.  It is important to note that no security system replaces the need to carry adequate insurance.

What is the best method to setup a service call?

The quickest and most efficient method would be to send an email to us at: SERVICE@SOUTHBAYCOMM.COM   You can always call us with any questions at 757-523-9646.