Remote Video Monitoring

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Recently the British Institute of Facilities Management published their Research Project "Survey of Facilities Managers' Responsibilities" revealing that 70% of its members had direct responsibility for security. This function ranked as the fourth most significant activity under Facilities Management control, with the survey identifying total security spending amongst the Institutes members of £550 million.

It is recognised that Facilities Managers play a vital role in the procurement and management of security solutions; however it is evident that, despite the relative importance of security, many Facilities Managers have little knowledge of the possibilities afforded by electronic security systems and the tangible benefits that exist.

The complexities of such electronic security systems and lack of client knowledge makes those responsible for the selection of suitable contractors and award of such contracts, ideal targets for the unscrupulous elements within the industry. Sharp practice is regrettably rife and whilst one stop shopping often appears an attractive solution, there are inherent dangers in a single contractor becoming responsible for system design, installation, commissioning and maintenance. All too often such service providers see opportunities to over specify and under deliver, in the face of a poorly prepared client.

Farsight's experience has shown that remote video surveillance systems can achieve payback of the capital expenditure against manned guarding costs within the first year, delivering savings of up to 80% over five years. With the improved levels of security that such systems offer and the reduced management overhead, clearly there are significant financial savings to be made. Further topical drivers for the implementation of such systems are the working time directive, National insurance increases and regulatory changes all of which are combining to increase the cost of manned guarding still further.

The concept of remote video surveillance is relatively simple. The client premises are protected by detection devices, which are set to activate when an intruder is present. CCTV cameras are associated with the detection devices, and both cameras and detectors are linked to a transmission system, which is in turn connected by telephone line to a central receiving station. Upon activation of a detector, the image from the associated camera is compressed by the transmission system and transmitted electronically to the central station.

The central station is able to monitor activity on site with near real time video images. The ability of the central station to visually verify unauthorised activity is of enormous benefit to the police, who are called only to actual incidents as opposed to the "blind" events generated by standard intruder alarm systems. The addition of speak to site audio, giving the central station the ability to warn off potential intruders, provides a deterrent for the majority of incidents.

Whilst not always a panacea to the replacement of manned guards, remote video surveillance has the advantage of being able to monitor the entire site continually. Some transmission systems also benefit from hard disk storage of images, which can be accessed remotely by the central station to provide historic information of site activity. Using additional equipment, remote building management is possible, with the central station being able to open gates and barriers, switch on lighting and monitor internal intruder alarms and building management systems.

Farsight was established primarily as a high quality, remote video surveillance central station. Client demand, poor standards within the industry and the company's independence from installation and maintenance providers has however led to the development of a strong consultancy element to the business. Since commencing operations in July 1996 Farsight UK has grown rapidly, attracting a large number of blue chip clients. Farsight is well known for its high quality operation and the client base continues to expand almost entirely upon recommendation.

Operating from one of the largest BS5979 approved monitoring stations in Europe, we have BS 8418 and have achieved ISO9001/2000. The Station is also accredited by the BSIA, SIA, and SSAIB. Farsight is a recognised market leader in the provision of professional security services, software development and remote video surveillance. In particular we have invested in the opportunities now available through digital technology and the rollout of broadband communications to develop E-Surveillance, an effective Internet based monitoring platform.

The company has developed strong relationships with market leading manufacturers of remote video transmission systems and has been contracted to provide consultancy expertise and advice to the manufacturers of such products. This underlines Farsight's technical expertise and reputation within the industry.

Strategic relationships have been forged with insurance companies and other influential bodies and Farsight continues to work with such organisations to introduce standards and improve quality within the industry.

ISDN connections are managed on our own Unified front end monitoring platform and Adpro Video Central Gold. Both of these monitoring platforms are supported by a call routing system and provide a traditional proven monitoring solution.

TCP/IP connection is managed using the e-surveillance IP monitoring platform. The e-surveillance system has been developed to monitor event driven video and other building management alarms using broadband communications. The use of the Internet to transmit images provides reduced operational costs over telephony and very strong data security, networking and integration options. Farsight is the leading supplier of IP based monitoring software and offers planning and implementation support to customers selecting the deployment method.

Remote video monitoring offers a cost effective, reliable and proven high technology alternative to manned guarding. Flexible, tailor made solutions are available to suit the customer's requirements. Farsight works with and is approved by these product manufacturers: Sony, Vision Systems, Dedicated Micros, JVC, Axis, Optex, Panasonic, and AdPro. We have a proven track record with a vast range of blue chip clients.

The service provision includes:

  • Alarm interface monitoring to BS8418 Standard
  • Fault escalation to client/maintainer/network provider
  • Live time verification and recording of events
  • Personal attack assistance
  • Remote access control
  • Camera patrols
  • Remote entry/exit control speech system
  • Remote gate/barrier control
  • Remote set/unset of system
  • Video copy of incidents
  • Fire exit monitoring 24/7

"Of the 70,000 video calls per month, over 98% of calls routed connect first time (source: BT)."

"To date Farsight have achieved hundreds of arrests and saved three lives."

While Farsight does not provide installation and maintenance services itself, it will manage installers and maintenance staff for clients. Facilities managers need only deal with one point of contact ensuring that all work is carried out in accordance with regulations and that faults are attended to promptly.


E-Surveillance is Farsight's flagship monitoring solution. The company commissioned development of the system to overcome many of the inherent drawbacks of traditional ISDN-based monitoring solutions, and strongly recommend this platform for all customers.

Some of the advantages of the E-Surveillance system include:

  • A modern integrated solution which will take care of all your security device requirements through a single high-performance platform.
  • Reduced operating costs and increased performance through the use of IP networks over telephony.
  • Access to our unique customer web site. This will enable you to view your live cameras, watch recordings of all previous incidents and gain access to a wealth of real time management reports on the security of your site(s).

In addition to E-Surveillance, Farsight PLC support most other industry standard monitoring platforms, coupled with a flexible range of services.

If you would like to know more about how Remote Monitoring can help your company please contact us.