Towards Total Operational Security for Parking Facilities

Towards Total Operational Security for Parking Facilities

Amidst increasing safety concerns, security and emergency critical communication is gaining in importance in parking operations. The emerging paradigm shift in the parking business has prompted new communication solutions like Commend’s Total Operational Security solution that covers a wide spectrum of security-relevant scenarios, as showcased at this year’s Intertraffic.

With the troubling staccato of tragic events on the news these days, the resulting insecurity has also reached the parking business and spurred a veritable paradigm shift of sorts. Traditionally, the focus has been on cost-efficiency (access and revenue control) and customer convenience. Now, heightened concerns about the safety of patrons and assets are raising the stakes, prompting a growing number of managers and security officers in parking operations to take action.

The benefits of foresight

Preparedness is crucial, as is the ability to respond properly in any security relevant situation. This is where Incident Reaction Management (IRM) comes in, a concept for successfully de-escalating critical situations at a car park that was showcased by security communication specialist Commend at this year’s Intertraffic. The principle behind it is not new and has been used routinely, for example, in providing remote assistance to patrons over intercom connections. However, as Wolfgang Pekárek, Parking Segment Manager at Commend, explains, “With the raised level of security requirements, the focus is clearly shifting.”

In dealing with incidents, staff are required to run the gamut of possible security-relevant situations, not all of them equally urgent or serious. Typically, these include, in rising order of severity,

  • Exceptions: these include typical everyday hiccups that have a minor business impact, such as patrons needing assistance at a gate or pay-on-foot machine; these situations are resolved routinely via intercom connections between patrons at a communication point and staff in a control room.
  • Events: these constitute a sizeable impairment of business operations and entail a certain risk of personal injury, such as acts of vandalism; here the focus is on protecting individuals and assets, e.g., by using automated alerts based on audio or motion sensors, pre-recorded or live public address announcements, etc.
  • Emergencies: these are incidents on the highest severity level, such as medical situations, bomb threats, active shooters or terrorist attacks; they require control room staff to initiate an immediate, coordinated de-escalation response: actions must be well-coordinated and frictionless, and communication must follow a strict workflow pattern to protect lives and assets; as car park operators are liable for the ensuing events, they have to ensure situational awareness and communication with patrons, staff and rescue services, including proper documentation of every step being taken.

 

Total Operational Security: Communication is Key

When it comes to maintaining command, response and recovery, a secure, unified means of communication is crucial. Commend has addressed this need with a “Total Operational Security” solution, which turned more than a few heads at this year’s Intertraffic. In case of an emergency, it provides the vital communication backbone for coordinating rescue activities based on the IRM model. As such, it must be absolutely fail-safe, which is achieved by mechanisms such as self-monitoring of all components.

It all comes in modular units, so parking operators can build on and expand their existing communication system and expand it in stages to cover their required situational spectrum. Existing technologies such as intercom lines, public address systems or alarms provide the basis. These can then be combined with latest sensor and detection methods, such as CO detectors or “Audio Monitoring”, a specially developed feature that listens for unusual sound events caused, e.g., by disruptive behaviour: a scream or other noise fitting an acoustic distress pattern will trigger an automatic alert call to staff so they can take instant corrective action. All communication devices, detectors, building controls and other third-party security systems can be centralised and operated from a single point in the control room.

The whole concept was featured at this year’s Intertraffic. “It was fascinating to see visitors appreciating the concept and spontaneously coming up with all sorts of use cases where they see a real benefit for their business,” says Pekárek. What makes the solution particularly attractive for operators is that it is maintenance-free and supports the reuse of existing wiring so previous investments are not lost. And to save on operational expenses in multi-facility operations, the control rooms of local facilities can be networked to an overarching con-trol centre.
There you have it: affordable operational car park security all the way.

For more details see the Commend web site at www.commend.com or contact j.weisser@commend.com.

About CommendCommend logo

Commend is one of the world’s largest providers of high-end Security Communication systems. A member of worldwide security solution provider THK Group, Commend International was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria.

With app. 160 employees at its headquarters, Commend is well integrated into THK Group’s 4.800 worldwide staff and also maintains an international partner network of more than 400 people (spanning more than 40 countries ). The corporate culture has a strong focus on people and cooperative partnerships to ensure outstanding user value with systems known for their superior reliability, convenience and voice intelligibility / clarity of voice transmission.

Commend Control Desks and Intercom Stations for security communication solutions incorporate speech, video, data and third-party equipment control. They embrace the most useful networking and mobile technologies and serve millions of users every day, for example in the German automobile industry, at public transport services such as the London Underground, as well as numerous buildings, road traffic and parking facilities the world over.

Commend offers dedicated turnkey solutions for Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Parking, Lifts, Prisons, Police, Heavy Industry, Airport, Rail and Transport infrastructure, Military and many other Top Security communication applications.

For more information, visit www.commend.com.

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