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Case Studies

Accrington and Rossendale College

The Client

Accrington and Rossendale College

Accrington and Rossendale College has been providing award-winning education and training to the people of Hyndburn, Rossendale and the Ribble Valley in East Lancashire for over 50 years.

The college underwent a £16 million refurbishment project and opened its new look Broad Oak Campus in September 2007, offering students the opportunity to study at one of the area’s most state-of-the-art facilities.

The £16 million refurbishment project signifies the biggest transformation in the College's 50-year history and one of the biggest investments in Hyndburn’s history.

This investment was a massive commitment by the College to ensure that Hyndburn & Rossendale students have a campus fit for the 21st century.

The Situation

Following the refurbishment, Accrington and Rossendale College recognised the need to replace its outdated security system that comprised various manufacturers’ intruder control panels that operated independently of each other and had proven to be unreliable, with false alarms occurring on a weekly basis.

Due to the financial penalties imposed for unnecessary emergency service responses to false alarms, the College did not have police response. Therefore, in the event of an alarm, security personnel were obliged to investigate it putting both the site and security staff at risk.

The solution was to install a new intruder and access control system integrated on one platform across three buildings - the Coppice Centre, the multi-million pound Hameldon Centre - home of the award-winning Construction & Technology Departments, and the Broad Oak Centre.

Accrington and Rossendale College’s top priority was to provide a safe and secure environment for staff and students by securing the three building site particularly after hours when the College is unlit and more vulnerable to intruders.

The legacy system did not allow the campus to be locked down and completely secured after hours, and when daily classes finish at 6pm the campus buildings remain open for students and staff until 10pm.

Although the College employs manned guarding services, the size of the campus meant that the security guards could not monitor all activity to and from the buildings.

Staff and student safety was a real concern as anyone could walk into the unsecured campus buildings. As a result, the new system would require integrated access control functionality to manage after hours activity.

The College also specified an enhanced level of access control using existing ID swipe cards, previously used by staff and students for ID purposes only, plus a thumb print verification to ensure only authorised personnel could access the campus. The thumb print verification solution will be implemented later this year.

This combination will prevent unauthorised access, even if a swipe card was lost or stolen.

Additional security system requirements included: 3G, Smartphone and web control of the system; the ability to send specific alarm notifications depending on which users were onsite at any given time; the integration of emergency lighting control that could be monitored and tested in accordance with the College’s Health

The Solution

System integrator 4i Security was selected by Accrington and Rossendale College to install a modern and user-friendly security management system that would offer simplicity in both operation and maintenance, yet deliver the extensive specifications required by the College.

After visiting and evaluating the Accrington and Rossendale site, 4i Security designed a complex and intelligent custom security system that would fulfil the customer’s needs by providing an integrated intruder and access control system, that could be centrally managed on the College’s Apple Mac platform with the ability to automate and remotely operate the security of the three campus buildings.

Haydn Gordon, Facilities Manager of Accrington and Rossendale College said: “We selected 4i Security to install our integrated intruder and access control system because they were the only installation company that fully understood all our needs.”

“They had the technological expertise and experience to deliver a solution that met all of our requirements and then some.”

4i Security achieved this through Honeywell’s Galaxy Dimension integrated intruder and access control system, Honeywell’s remote servicing and user management suite software in conjunction with 4i Security’s advanced proprietary software and Online Management Console (OMC) tool.

“The OMC is an online portal allowing clients to interact with 4i and have full access to all information from their security systems on or off site in a control centre or via smartphone around the clock. This software platform gives 4i security a unique position in the security market.

“The final system also included three hundred DT7550UK2 Dual Technology motion detectors with MaskalertTM and some DT8M wireless DUAL TEC® motion sensors, which proved key to eliminating false alarms.

“The system’s Galaxy door control modules and Mifare readers facilitate access to the buildings. Finally, the DET8M wireless flood and temperature sensor was installed in the server rooms which host the College's computer system.

Matthew Brough, Head of IT and Technology at 4i Security saidL "We chose the Galaxy Dimension platform for three key reasons: The ability to get data out of the control panel via the remote servicing suite (RSS) software; its ability to handle large scale installations and finally the reliability and stability that it offers."

“The new Accrington and Rossendale College security system covers a vast site comprising over 490 zones and therefore required a large yet robust solution that could deliver the high level of security that was crucial for the College. The flexibility of the Galaxy technology combined with 4i Security’s knowledge and expertise in installing systems in similar environments, were key factors in delivering the finished solution.

The Benefits

The powerful combination of Honeywell’s Galaxy Remote Servicing Software (RSS) and 4i Security’s propriety Online Management Console (OMC) software tool brought a number of key benefits to the end user:

System control via smartphone or web: Allowing system monitoring and remote operation from an offsite control centre or on the move by the security personnel enabling most issues to be dealt with instantaneously. Remote servicing technology saves both time and money as it significantly reduces the number of unnecessary site visits by engineers. 4i’s monthly analysis indicates that by using remote servicing the carbon footprint can be halved as 92% of issues can be dealt with remotely.

Swift response to potential security breaches: The combination of technologies also allows specific alarm notifications to be sent to on duty security personnel to alert them to potential security breaches. This enables them to take swift action to ensure the ongoing safety of staff and students.

System automation, maintenance and monitoring can be easily managed. For example, to comply with the College’s Health and Safety rules, mandatory maintenance can be scheduled to test emergency lighting. Users can also be monitored using the swipe card system to set/unset the system identifying potential staff time management issues and capturing data on classroom usage patterns so that the college can plan and use their resources efficiently and effectively.

The access control system ensures only authorised personnel have access to the campus buildings after hours, and if access is required by anyone without a swipe card, the security staff can grant them access by releasing the relevant door controlled through the Galaxy control panel, after first verifying the person’s identity over a video door intercom system.

With the new system in place false alarms have been eliminated due predominantly to Honeywell's reliable DUAL TEC® Motion sensors which trigger only genuine alarms, and the College can now also benefit from Police response as any alarm can now be treated as a genuine security breach.

The use of Honeywell's wireless flood and temperature detector in the new system brings an additional benefit to the College. By installing these sensors in server rooms which host the College's computer system, the room temperature is monitored and an alarm triggered by the sensor if the temperature rises above a predetermined level, alerting staff to a potential issue which can be quickly investigated and resolved.

The strength in combining the Galaxy Dimension system with 4i Security’s software and installation expertise is truly a winning combination delivering a reliable, robust and secure intruder and access control system which reflects the state-of the-art facilities that Accrington and Rossendale College is very proud to offer its staff, students and community.

“4i Security is a very forward thinking company with regards to automation and we use the Galaxy panel in many areas including health and safety, and have created new markets with it,” said Mark Slater, 4i Security managing director.

“I feel we have demonstrated innovation that is light years ahead of any installation company and achieved functionality with Galaxy Dimension that no one else has been able to do. Most of this is not available with the standard off the shelf product and 4i has invested circa £500k in software and hardware development to enable us to take the Galaxy product and our security systems to another level.”