Physical Security Systems

A physical security system is a collection of equipment and software that provides security and safety. It can use a variety of network-attached devices as well as a number of software products that can be integrated to provide a unified solution.

Safety and Security banner
Safety and Security banner

To be more specific, the integration of the latest video management software (VMS), with door access control software, and emergency paging software along with IP cameras, IP sensors, IP door readers, and IP paging amplifiers can provide a very complete physical security system.  These IP based security systems provide similar capability to Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software at much less cost.

The convergence of IP technology has made it easy for the IT department to not only implement surveillance systems but to also provide complete safety and security systems. Here is an example of how to do it.

The Security and Safety System

The following diagram shows how alarms from an IP camera system, environmental system, IP door control system, and emergency buttons can be integrated into a sophisticated security management system. Everything attaches to the network and provides signals to the video management software (VMS) system.  An alarm control matrix in the software determines what should be done for each type of alarm.  For example, a specific alarm can cause the video to pop up on the security person’s screen. This makes them aware of a situation and allows them to react accordingly to each situation.

Security System with Alerts
Security System with Alerts

IP door access control software controls entry to the facility and connects to the VMS to provide alerts. Emergency paging software can also be added to automatically or manually create warning announcements that improve safety. Here is a summary of what can be done:

Video Management Software

Ocularis from OnSSi provides quite a lot of PSIM functionality.  Here are some of the things it can do:

  1. Provides an alarm screen that is automatically triggered when an alarm occurs
  2. Uses a variety of sensor inputs from devices that provide triggered outputs. These include sensors such as
    1. Over-temperature
    2. Under temperature
    3. Door open
    4. Window open
    5. Smoke detected
    6. Proximity detection
    7. Emergency button
  3. Uses analytic functions provided by sophisticated IP cameras such as
    1. Motion detection
    2. Line crossing
    3. Loud noise detection
    4. Object left behind
    5. Object removed
  4. Integrates with IP door access control
    1. The wrong badge used for entry
    2. Door left open
  5. Integrates with intercom systems
    1. Remote door control for visitors
    2. Two-way audio and door release

Access Control Systems and Software

IP Door Access Control System
IP Door Access Control System

The access control system controls who enters a facility. The database keeps track of who can enter when they can enter and which door they are authorized to use.  A sensor can be used on the door to assure that it is closed. The access control system can also notify the safety officer if someone who is not registered tries to enter. For example, he can be alerted if an ex-employee tries to use their credential.

An IP camera can be used to view who entered a specific door.  You can review if multiple people entered the door using only a single key, or determine if the door has been left open.

Intercoms and Paging

Network-attached audio systems can be added to create a more secure environment.

An intercom can be used at remote doors to control the entry of visitors.  There are a number of intercoms available that either connect directly to the network or connect through an IP camera.  The cameras and intercoms also include output signals that can be used to open an electric lock or interface directly to an IP door control reader.

PA over IP Campus
PA over IP for the Campus

The paging software also provides an easy way to automatically make an emergency page. A prerecorded message can be triggered by a button or contact closure from a sensor.  The IP paging system utilizes small network-attached amplifiers. Each of the small amplifiers can be uniquely addressed allowing for multiple zones. You can make a page to one room, one building, and one floor or to all buildings.

Pages can be made from the same computer that you use for monitoring the video system.  This provides a single point of control and management of all alarm conditions.


Network-attached cameras, IP door control readers, IP paging amplifier and speakers, and intercoms can be integrated to create a complete safety and security system.  Today’s network-attached devices make it simple to install, manage, and control.

The safety and security system can get complicated so please contact us for help defining and implementing the system that’s right for you.  We can be reached at 914-944-3425 or 800-431-1658 (in the USA), or just use our contact form.