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Secure access in a nutshell

Secure access in a nutshell

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Article published in Hi-tech Security Solutions Magazine. Source:

The Helderberg Basin in the Western Cape has proven to be one of the busiest development nodes in South Africa. Acorn Creek is one of the new developments in the area.

With their experience in developing estates of this nature, MSP Developments recognised the value of security and the cost saving of getting it done right the first time round. From the start of the Acorn Creek Project, the developer appointed two security companies to form part of the design team. Security experts from Astrosec (independent monitoring and risk management specialist) and Fang Fences and Guards (security infrastructure specialists) were tasked to create a security solution that will effectively manage the estate’s security risks.

The design methodology and approach was to understand the vision of MSP Developments as the developer of the estate and then evaluate all the risk factors in line with this vision. The first step was to do an in-depth risk assessment to assess the various risk factors and identify high-risk areas and weak spots. The perimeter security system was then designed to mitigate specific risks.

With the main gate forming a pivotal role in the access control strategy, considerable time was spent in the design of the area to support the security function. A team of architects and urban planners from Dennis Moss Partnership together with estate risk management professionals form Astrosec visited a number of estates in the Western Cape. The aim of the visits was to understand how the design of the main gate could support or undermine the security systems and procedures.

Instead of building a small house with two sets of booms the design was created to support access control procedures and the security of the estate. The architects from Dennis Moss created a design to support every function, from the registration of contractors to searching of staff on exit. Not only does this increase the security of the estate but improve flow of traffic and the general experience of all who visit the estate. Every detail went into the design of this truly holistic security system. Everything from conduit size, to wheelchair accesses and the location of the ablutions for the security guards.

The end result of the project was a hybrid design incorporating onsite systems and response, supported by off-site monitoring and disaster recovery. The perimeter security system will include an electrified fence supported by thermal cameras with embedded video analytics, monitored remotely.

Biometric access control, lockout gates and full height turnstiles will control the access points of the estate. The security system will be connected on a dedicated fibre backbone with backup power generation. A single systems integrator will ensure quality and accountability throughout the lifespan of the system.

The design allows for maximum security while keeping the amount of guards to a minimum and thus keeping the levy low over the long term. Acorn Creek will truly be an estate designed to be secure.

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