Security innovations bring rewards – Part 1

Most commercial buildings will have independent control systems for HVAC, Lighting, Evacuation, Personal Address, Lifts, BMS, Fire and Security. Each system will have its own dedicated controllers, data servers and workstations where events are logged and reports generated.

Unless real planning has gone into the initial procurement, they are probably also from different vendors meaning there is little if any integration between systems.

Physical Security Information Management brings it all together

A new software application can provide a means of linking these disparate building control systems without throwing out what you have and starting again.  PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) is a generic industry term in much the same way as BMS is used in the controls industry. As the name suggests, it is an application that has evolved from the security industry where these applications are used to integrate a variety of systems and sensors into a centralised command and control system.

PSIM is now emerging as an application that can bring its unique benefits to the commercial property sector.  In the commercial space, PSIM is used to build relationships between building control systems and events in ways that have not previously been possible.

For example, a typical building alarm event might involve the activation of a high temperature sensor. In this instance, the event is caused by a key piece of control equipment being switched off when a contractor was granted access to a service riser.

Are three alarms efficient or even helpful?

This one event is likely to generate three different alarms – a riser alarm, a power fail alarm and the high temperature alarm. These alarm events while linked, will seem unrelated as they appear in the event logs within their respective control systems.  The critical event is the high-temperature alarm which is investigated as a high priority and attended to by maintenance staff.

PSIM is programmed to react the right way in different situations

In PSIM, a natural relationship is created between these events so that alerts can be generated as soon as it becomes clear that something that should not have happened has happened.  As events escalate, so can the actions of the PSIM with alerts to key personnel, public broadcast and even social media updates part of pre-programmable responses.

Instead of three unrelated events, PSIM knows that the events are one and the same meaning that a response can be managed in a far more logical and efficient manner.

PSIM can also incorporate standard operating procedures, policies and competencies (client specific) to form rules around alarm events and to aid in the enforcement a buildings risk management strategy.

PSIM brings control and savings

PSIM brings greater operational control and situational awareness to building management. These applications also provide opportunities for operational savings as building control can be simplified, monitoring and reporting streamlined and activities measured.

The opportunities for large commercial, retail and multi-site operations are extensive and will become more apparent as PSIM evolves from being a security application and finds its feet in the commercial property sector.

About the author

Luke Percy-Dove

Luke is one of the most respected and highly regarded Security Advisers and Security Design Consultants in Australia and has been a trusted key player in the security industry for more than two decades, delivering security solutions for hundreds of businesses and organisations nationally.