Security Business

FEB 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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February 2019 / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com / Security Business 49 has worked with about 10 facilities in southeastern Virginia. “We try to keep the security as light as possible,” Chandegra says. “We don’t want residents feeling like they live in a prison; but, the level of security does gets tighter as you mine down from independent living, to assisted living, to skilled nursing and then, finally, to memory care.” Access Control Security begins at the perimeter with gated vehicular entries. Many independent living residents have their own apartments or villas and still drive. An RFID tag-based system communicates between a vehicle and the access control system to open the barriers. Access control readers and/or keypads are also found throughout a community. Chandegra typically equips residential units with wireless locks communicating directly to the access system through a series of nodes running down a hallway, much like Wi-Fi. Proximity cards can also be used for point of sale transactions at on-site spas, hair salons, dining rooms and gift shops. The system’s audit trail is frequently used to convince older residents that misplaced items have not been stolen. “We can show them no one came into their unit and that helps us to close many investigations,” Chandegra explains. Video Surveillance Video also plays a major role, with cameras installed around the perimeter and in common areas including lobbies, hallways, exterior doors and stairwells. Pharmacies, executive offices, nurses’ stations and medical records and equipment rooms are also monitored and likely include intrusion sensors. Most states have laws preventing cameras in residential rooms. Chandegra says the use of cameras has exploded over the past 10 years. “(At first), the price for an average system was about $25,000 to $50,000; now it is not unusual for larger communities to have systems topping $1 million,” he says. When pressed to prove return on investment, Chandegra says he shows customers how additional cameras result in fewer liability and theft claims, reduced workman’s compensation injuries and increased staff productivity. Memory care sections are the most secure areas in assisted care communities. Many of these residents suffer from dementia and may wander if given the chance. Doors in and out of these sectors are locked at all times; staff members and regular visitors are provided with PINs to enter or leave the area; and residents wear Bluetooth pendants or bracelets that communicate with door-mounted readers. If the patient (and pendant) pass through the door, the system initiates an alert at the nurses’ station. Zautke says memory care sector escapes are one of the biggest fears. “Systems do fail, and if the nearest nurse is a floor away when an alarm goes off, it might take 30 seconds to get to the door,” he explains. “That is a long time for a confused senior to be outside. You need cameras trained on the entries to help staff quickly locate a wandering resident.” Other Technology Solutions Video intercom systems are often installed at the vehicular and other entries and in common areas, enabling two-way communication between residents and staff. From a security operations center, guards can use the intercoms to remotely open a gate or door for approved visitors. Netardus says he prefers to integrate patient wandering systems, temperature and water sensors and other You need a maintenance agreement to be able to provide the almost instant service these facilities require." — Nathan Zautcke, Security 101 Detroit Look for devices that benefit multiple departments, such as maintenance, HR, legal and the medical staff, and get them to contribute funding." – Matt Netardus, Security 101 Hampton Roads (Va.)

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