Access control systems are electronic security solutions that allow you to manage the flow of people into, out of and around a building or buildings.

Basic access control systems are generally installed to protect a single door – for example, front or rear doors to small offices, offices without a reception desk, blocks of flats and schools. They consist of video entry systems, audio entry systems, or keypad and PIN devices.

Standalone access control systems consist of a small network of card readers controlled by local door controllers. They are generally used for one- or two-door installations in small offices, retail units, schools, etc.

Networked access control systems consist of a front-end PC connected to a network of door controllers and card readers. They are generally used for multiple doors or sites, as in the case of large offices, warehouses, industrial units, hospitals, and larger educational establishments.

Access control systems allow you to monitor where people go within a building, to control access by individuals, and to ensure that access is granted to the right individual to an appropriate area at the correct times.

IP Based CCTV in Ireland – The security and surveillance world is moving from analogue to IP (Internet Protocol) video. More and more, people and organisations are looking for an IP-based solution. The benefits include higher-resolution video, greater intelligence and more flexibility. And the system is relatively easy to install.

With network video, there is almost no limit to where video can be captured or watched. IP video can be easily integrated into existing IT and communication infrastructures. That means you can use available networks, as well as hardware and software. In brief, both live and recorded video footage can be delivered whenever and wherever you want it.

What’s the difference between an addressable and a non-addressable fire alarm system?

A standard non-addressable fire alarm system usually includes a fire alarm control panel (FACP). This receives information from devices throughout the property that detect changes associated with fire, such as smoke. Generally a map of the building, placed at a strategic location, shows zones and indicators that illuminate when there is a fire in a particular zone.

An addressable fire alarm system is much more advanced. It has more programming flexibility and single-point detection. Common programming features are fire-door release, signalling to other types of fire equipment such as sprinkler systems, door access control override to assist evacuation, phased evacuation for multi-level buildings, smoke damper shutdown, and monitoring station alert.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) security cameras are used by most business owners to ensure the security of their properties and their lives. As well as protecting business properties, employees and customers, they are also used to monitor activities in and around the business premises.

CCTV security cameras can help to:

  • Prevent or detect shoplifting and vandalism, stealing of office supplies or products, or important or confidential information, and loitering by would-be thieves
  • Keep track of all people who enter or leave a premises
  • Monitor activities on a construction site
  • Deter fraud
  • Discourage workplace violence
  • Deter or reveal false accident claims
  • Help protect customers and employees
  • Save time by using intelligent video surveillance search tools

If a thief or any kind of perpetrator is caught on camera, evidence can be provided to the gardaí.

In a word, yes! You wisely invested in a burglar or intruder alarm system to protect your business or your home. If you want to ensure that it keeps on providing the security and protection you need or desire, it’s important to keep it in good working order:

  • Regular servicing ensures the reliability and durability of your security system, and helps to ensure that it performs optimally
  • It costs less to get regular alarm servicing than to have to pay for breakdown repairs
  • Most insurance companies demand evidence of security system installation and maintenance by an approved company

It is best to have your system serviced at least once a year.

A survey by Zurich Insurance found that one-third of people ignore ringing home alarms. They are not bothered, or they assume that someone else will deal with the problem.

With a monitored alarm, if your alarm is triggered, the monitoring system gets an instant message from your security system. Depending on the monitoring option you have chosen, you, your nominated keyholders and/or the emergency services will be contacted immediately.

Garda response to alarms: Under the Garda’s Intruder Alarm Policy, the gardaí will not attend in the case of alarms from non-monitored systems unless there is first-hand evidence of a crime, whether this comes from an owner or a member of the public.

Alost 50% of Irish homeowners do not have a burglar alarm, according to a survey.

The survey of 900 people by insurance company 123.ie also found that 25% of homeowners leave spare keys in obvious places outside their home. Yet another 25% would not trust their neighbour with a key, while 14% would not even trust a close friend with their key!

CSO figures show that, between January and September 2013, there were almost 26,000 burglary offences.

According to an AA survey in 2013, burglaries were on the increase in Ireland in general, with nearly one-third of Irish homes having been the victim of some form of break-in (28.5%).

County Meath suffered a bigger surge in burglaries than anywhere else in the commuter belt – a 40% increase over eight years, or a steady growth of 5% per annum. Counties Laois, Kildare, Louth and Offaly also saw marked increases in break-in rates.

The AA reported: “With entire neighbourhoods left abandoned five days per week, burglars can pick out their targets and do as they please with very little chance of getting caught.”

In Connaught, each county reported an increase in burglaries. Although Co Donegal has the lowest burglary rate in the Republic of Ireland, more than one in 10 homes had been burgled.

The AA also reported that 14% of burglars gained access to a home through an open door or window. More than twice as many (31%) got in through a locked door. The AA noted: “Such statistics highlight the need for a working home security system as a well locked-up home acts as scant deterrent to a determined criminal.”

Dublin is, not surprisingly, the burglary capital of Ireland, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (2013).

The three garda stations in Ireland with the highest reported burglary rates over the previous year were Tallaght (956), Blanchardstown (781) and Dundrum (579).

Outside Dublin, Waterford garda station had the most recorded burglaries (488). Drogheda was not far behind (484), while Dundalk had also had a high number of reported break-ins (383). Also in Leinster, Bray garda station in Co Wicklow had 366 burglaries reported in the year.

The commuter belt surrounding the Greater Dublin area – stretching mainly into Cos Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow – have been hard hit in recent years. Gangs are targeting the commuter belt while residents are at work.

Outside Leinster, three garda stations received 300+ burglary reports: two in Limerick City (334 and 313), and one in
Galway city (375).

Don’t forget, though, that an estimated 75% of burglaries are not detected by the Garda Síochána, so the CSO figures greatly underestimate the total number of burglaries in Ireland.

A good-quality burglar alarm, also called an intruder alarm, is the single best way of reducing your risk of being burgled.

In a survey, 82 imprisoned burglars were interviewed about the kind of security that deterred them. The main deterrent factors were:

  • Belief that the house is occupied deterred 84% of the burglars
  • Presence of alarms outside property – 84%
  • Presence of CCTV/camera nearby property – 82%
  • Apparent strength of doors/window locks – 55%

So 84% of the burglars said they would not willingly enter a building fitted with a working alarm.

Homes with poor security are 10 times more likely to be burgled than homes with good, visible security, which includes the bell box of a working alarm system.