Increased perimeter security for warehouses and distribution centres

Protecting the perimeter of warehouses and distributions centres and the approach to these facilities can be challenging, particularly with larger sites. However, as always – the earlier an intrusion can be detected, the better chance there is to deter crime and avoid any damages.

That is one of the reasons why LiDAR Technology from OPTEX has become an important tool in perimeter security applications all over the world.

Warehouses represent a critical part of any company’s business operation and assets. Although, their size, content and purpose can vary enormously, they all store goods of value either financially, or to keep a vital production line operational.

Similarly, but on an even greater scale, distribution centres represent huge logistical hubs, with fleets of vehicles often parked overnight, fully loaded and ready to depart the next morning.

Popular targets for criminals

Both warehouses and distribution centres alike face a significant number of security risks. First and foremost, as these environments are used to hold items and goods of value, they are popular targets for criminals. While the threat can sometimes come from within (referred to as ‘Shrinkage’), the greater danger and risk of damage is caused by external threats, for example individuals trespassing onto site to access parked vehicles, their fuel tank and loads, or to intrude the building itself to steal goods.

Early detection crucial

These common external threats are often planned and take place during holidays or weekends when there is less chance of being caught (at least in theory). But the sheer size of some of these facilities, and their 24/7 operation, means they are susceptible to attack any time of the day or night. Vandalism also represents another common risk, which can also cause great damage to the installations and have knock-on effects on revenue.

Protecting the perimeter and the approach to these facilities or high value targets can be challenging, particularly with larger sites, but the earlier an intrusion can be detected, the better chance there is to deter crime and avoid any damages.

Remote locations increase the risks

As e-commerce continues to grow, distribution centres are getting bigger and in many cases have perimeters the size of a small town!

Due to the sheer size of their buildings, they are often situated in remote locations, which presents an additional security challenge and makes the choice of an accurate detection system to avoid false alarms due to wildlife and weather changes critical. In many cases, these false alarms can lead to more thefts as the intruders may be aware the system often fails, and the company is likely to ignore some of the alarms. Fences and walls are the most common physical security solution, but are often not enough to deter an intrusion, as criminals can climb over or use unsecured gaps around the gated areas to access the site.

The perfect solution

REDSCAN LiDAR technology provides a perfect solution for a challenging perimeter security and has proved successful when accurate outdoor detection is required. Not affected by lighting and weather conditions, LiDAR has the ability to be mounted vertically and horizontally, protecting with an invisible laser wall or pane and can be used in a variety of applications: it can protect gated access to the perimeter ensuring there are no vulnerable gaps or access while vehicles are in and out; it can also be added to the fencing to ensure any attempts of climbing over the fence are not missed. LiDAR can be integrated with lights, audio warnings and CCTV which in most scenarios will deter the intrusion.

Not depending on lighting conditions

Restricted areas where vehicles are waiting to be loaded/unloaded can also be protected with laser virtual boundaries, whether they are open or fenced, and ensuring the access of people and vehicles is always via the access control point. Unlike cameras, LiDAR technology does not depend on an external light source and hence its detection will not be ‘confused’ by darkness or if it is exposed to bright sunlight. It can also be utilised to guide cameras, pointing accurately to the right location of the detection, feeding the X and Y coordinates so they can point to the exact location where the intruder, vehicle or object is detected and track across zones, allowing cameras to record any incidents and assisting in a faster response by the security staff.

Building protection

Since many distribution centres can be anything up to 18m in height and have numerous entry points, ramps, loading bays and doors, it can cause a real challenge and require the installation of numerous devices to protect the approach and total building façade. With only one REDSCAN LiDAR, facades of up to 20m high can be protected with a ‘virtual wall.’ Within the detection area different zones can be created allowing for different alarm outputs, for instance enabling a pre-warning zone by the entrance to the building and a high threat zone in the loading bays if they are not in operation.

Avoid false alarms

Mounted horizontally, REDSCAN can protect roof tops, skylights and open areas (sterile zones). As the target object can be defined by size and speed of movement, it is therefore easy to ignore most rodents or birds, which are a major cause of false alarms with other technologies. Inside the storage area, specific areas containing high value or restricted use goods can also be monitored by the use of LiDAR technology. It can be integrated with the CCTV and access control system and check if anyone in the restricted area is allowed to be there.

Highest level of detection accuracy

There is no single solution to prevent warehouse theft. It takes a combination of technologies and security systems. That said, by using versatile, integrated and flexible LiDAR technology such as OPTEX’s REDCAN Series that offers simultaneous location and mapping, as well as the highest level of detection accuracy, warehouse and logistics environments can increase their security and protect their assets.

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