Warehouses may not have the glamorous looks and location of new office blocks and apartments, nor the prestige of sites such as embassies or universities. But they serve a vital function for businesses and security is no less important to protect assets and safeguard people.
Inner Range recently provided an access control system for a large retailer in Europe and fresh from this experience, General Manager Tim Northwood shares his advice for warehouse security managers looking to improve access control and security on site.
1. Time-limited access
One key element from our recent warehouse security project was incorporating time-limited access to protect high value goods. The high value items are secured in cages and if cage doors are left open longer than the allotted time when employees deliver, retrieve or audit goods within the cage, an alarm is activated and relevant CCTV automatically appears for security managers. This means means security managers are instantly aware of both security issues, such as potential theft attempts, as well as health and safety situations, such as someone injuring themselves during delivery. They can then take appropriate and swift action.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition software is a great addition to a warehouse security management system. It can be integrated with an intelligent access control system to recognise delivery vehicles and allow access to delivery yards or depots. Our Enterprise product Integriti integrates with multiple ANPR options and offers features that can recognise vehicle colour, brand and model as well as number plates. The cameras can also provide full HD streaming for video surveillance too.
3. Asset tracking
Tracking goods being delivered, stored or leaving a warehouse is possible by integrating asset management software such as Ecotech, Paradox or Stanley. These use radio-frequency identification (RFID), Bluetooth or other radio frequencies to track or locate items.
Basic options allow you to add readers to doorways that trigger an alarm or alert if someone tries to move, or remove, items without correct permissions. However, more sophisticated options allow you to tag – and then identify – large numbers of diverse items, such as pallet deliveries. This helps reduce your time spent on inventories. It also means you can pinpoint items on site at any time. This is particularly useful for highlighting when you are running low on stock, or for very busy warehouses where space for new deliveries is constantly changing. Asset tracking can give you live updates to help you manage the logistics as well as the security of your site.
Integrating CCTV with an intelligent access control system is the most common integration and for good reason. Live CCTV helps you identify deliveries and employees as they arrive and move around the site. Protocols allow for cameras to come on precisely when and where they are needed, such as if a door is left open, or an alarm or alert is triggered, reducing the time you need for routine patrols or dealing with false alarms. Cameras can be included as part of a perimeter protection system if appropriate for your site and incorporate thermal as well as visual images.
5. Intruder detection
Protecting against intruders is the cornerstone of any security system. Inner Range products include fully integrated intruder detection systems certified to Grade 3, according to European Standard EN50131-1.
The grading system reflects how skilled and prepared intruders might be. Grade 3 (on an ascending risk scale from 1 to 4) assumes intruders will have some knowledge of an alarm system and a comprehensive range of tools and portable electronic equipment.
Many insurance companies will not provide business cover unless a Grade 3 alarm system is in place, so it’s important to consider this as you update or upgrade your system.
6. Cyber security
Keeping out cyber criminals is, of course, just as important. Secure communications are key, whether that’s via in-house private communication networks or between access control system controllers, servers and door modules, or when your core access control system integrates with third-party products, such as CCTV.
A robust level of end-to-end encryption across all these communications channels and interfaces is vital. Data encryption ensures secure LAN communications at all times and continuous monitoring will detect any fault or attempted module substitution.
Robust firewalls have a significant role to play and sandboxing could also be appropriate for warehouse sites. This software management strategy allows you to isolate your core access control system from integrated third-party systems, such as CCTV or ANPR. It means that even if one of the systems you are integrated with is hacked, your system won’t be compromised.
7. Remote access
Inner Range integrated access and security systems allow for remote access including via smartphone with full functionality. This means security managers can follow and manage situations even if they are not on site.
For more information or to speak to a member of our Inner Range sales team to see how our products could help you, please call 0845 470 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org