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Construction security cameras: everything you need to know to choose the right system

Construction sites are high-risk workplaces; falling objects, dangerous machinery and electrical hazards can threaten the safety of employees and members of the public who might wander on site. In addition to risks of on-site injury, managers must be constantly vigilant about protecting a site from theft, vandalism and intruders. In such a high-risk workplace, choosing the right security system can mean the difference between being able to deliver a project on time and on budget, without injuries, major delays or expenses to recover assets.

Considering how much is at stake for a high-value construction site, choosing the right security system can feel overwhelming. The following questions will help identify the most important considerations when choosing the right security system for a site.

Does the system need grid power?

Many traditional security systems rely on access to grid power, meaning that they are unable to operate in remote or temporary locations.

But because grid-powered cameras need to be near a power source, they have limited options for placement around a site and are easily compromised by power interruption. As a result, managers often have no choice but to accept that certain areas of the sites will be unmonitored and vulnerable to theft or vandalism.

In contrast, unwired systems offer flexible placement around a site. Because these cameras don’t need to be placed near a power connection, they can monitor areas of a site which would be challenging – even unfeasible – for grid-powered cameras. They can also be moved quickly and easily as construction progresses. 

Operating through self-contained solar power, Spectur cameras can protect remote and temporary sites without needing access to grid power or the internet. These cameras include in-built 3G/4G modems, meaning they can operate independently and aren’t susceptible to wired internet or power connection disruptions.

Spectur cameras can be placed on the perimeter of a site, providing a clear record of all comings and goings, and keeping track of people and equipment. Camera stations on the perimeter can act as a digital fence, and with active lights and spoken warnings can be a visible and audible deterrent to stop potential intruders.

Will the system actively deter criminals?

Traditional security systems are reactive in nature, using cameras to simply record security breaches and retroactively provide evidence of the incident.

However, an active surveillance system with advanced intelligence can go a step beyond, responding to criminal activity in real-time with deterrence.

Paired with artificial intelligence, edge and cloud computing, Spectur’s security system is able to sense threats, analyse data to assess the situation, and actively deter the threat by responding with an appropriate action, such as triggering an alarm.

Alongside Spectur’s high-definition cameras, the system can collect inputs from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, which can detect a variety of data of interest, including, for example, changes in air quality, temperature, motion and vibration.

This data is linked to powerful AI processors, which interpret data and images (license plates, objects, machinery and humans) to distinguish between false alarms and real threats to the site. Through image analysis and motion sensors, the system can identify humans or vehicles approaching a site, and respond accordingly.

Once a risk is identified, the platform can take immediate appropriate action to reduce risk of damage to people or property. The system can broadcast a pre-recorded warning, flash bright lights to scare off potential criminals, while sending a notification and live feed of the site to your phone. The system can also set off alarms, send silent notifications, open communications with security personnel or first responders, and more.

How does the system store and manage data?

Cloud computing allows data to be shared and remotely accessed, providing users access to multiple devices and sites at once. The cloud expands storage capacities beyond that of a single device, and means that users don’t need extra local hardware to meet their requirements or endure the risks of local loss of data.

In contrast, edge computing stores and processes data locally, allowing for a faster response in real-time applications and reducing the consumption of data transmitted over wireless networks. Edge computing can store and selectively send sensitive data to the cloud, allowing it to continue to operate in areas with limited internet connectivity or where data costs are punitive.

When it comes to data processing and storage, Spectur’s system takes the best of both worlds, combining cloud and edge computing in optimised form, also called fog computing. The system uses edge devices to process and store high volumes of data, and transfer limited, curated information to the cloud for further processing and long-term storage.

What are the initial costs?

While grid-powered cameras often have associated costs of trenching or digging for cable installation, wireless cameras can completely eliminate these costs.

Because crimes can occur at any given time, 24/7 surveillance is ideal. But employing an on-site security guard can be expensive, and can cost a site $500 per night. In contrast, a user could have more than 30 independently operating Spectur systems on hire, or they could save even more in the long-term by purchasing outright.

Through deterrence and warning systems, including flashing lights, spoken warnings and sounds, Spectur cameras can give the impression that security personnel are on site, even if they are not physically present. New Spectur platforms also come with two-way communication capabilities allowing real-time human-to-human interactions as well. 

What are the operating costs?

Spectur’s systems are optimised for low power and data usage, and are designed to maximise the number of devices and computing power each unit can support. One platform can support up to four cameras, offering a 360-degree view of an area in 4K, high definition and thermal images. When fully charged, each station of four cameras can operate for up to five days of fully overcast conditions.

Spectur works with clients to create solutions that are customizable, and that can meet the unique demands of a construction site. The team offers support and customisation services through development, integration, installation, relocation and maintenance, ensuring that unnecessary operating costs can be avoided through each step, depending on the needs of the site.

Does the supplier offer installation and aftermarket services?

Partnering with a supplier that can offer repair, maintenance and installation services ensures that security systems are working to their fullest potential, providing the highest standard protections for a site.

With low-intrusion installation, Spectur offers ongoing services to suit the unique needs of the site, with flexible and customisable services that can adapt to your needs.

For more information on using Spectur’s solar-powered camera systems, call 1300 802 960 to find the right solution for your unique onsite challenges.