Integrated ICT and infrastructure provider Vox has introduced an Internet of things (IoT) solution that helps better protect areas such as residential, commercial and industrial estates, by providing notifications when boundary fences have been cut or tampered with.
“The Vox Fence Tamper solution acts as an intelligent early-warning security system by alerting users to break-ins and can be used in conjunction with cameras and beams to create a multilayered security solution. However, it can also be used as a cost-effective alternative to protect vast areas, such as game parks,” said Rudi Potgieter, senior product manager for security at Vox.
Traditional security solutions are dependent on power and connectivity, whether radio, cellular, traditional LAN or Wi-Fi connectivity, and this is not feasible in large-scale deployments. Fence Tamper consists of battery-powered IoT devices that wirelessly transmit data via radio frequency or a LPWAN provider such as the Sigfox network, which has been purpose-built for IoT communications.
The devices are installed against fencing structures, such as palisade, prefabricated walls, welded mesh and more, to provide a reliable means of detecting intrusions — be it cutting of wires, or breaking through or climbing over or even burrowing under a fence section.
“In addition to monitoring for any motion along the installed surfaces, these intelligent devices can detect energy fluctuations, which could signal that fence wires have been stretched or loosened. Each IoT sensor runs its own detection algorithm, profiling possible intrusions for a specific section, helping increase effectiveness,” said Potgieter.
Devices are mounted to the fence upright, at around 6m intervals on prefabricated walls and at 15 metres for wire fences. Up to 64 devices can be connected wirelessly to a single standalone controller, which is powered by a 30W solar panel and batteries, requiring no additional infrastructure to be deployed. Alternatively, the solution could be used to protect a smaller critical area, such as cellular base station towers.
Alerts can be set up to monitor for intrusion, tampering and even low battery, while the solution can integrate with existing security systems to enable features such as automatic activation of perimeter lights.
False alarms are kept to a minimum, as the IoT devices are not affected by environmental conditions, such as rain, mist or wind, by the nearby movement of people, animals and other traffic, or even electrical fields or interference, meaning that they can be installed and used in high-static areas.
Additionally, the Fence Tamper solution can be combined with PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras located in strategic areas to provide users with a live video feed upon the triggering of an alarm, to provide further confirmation of an incident to users.
“These devices are easy to install and configure, and do not compromise the aesthetics of the fence as no wires or conduits are needed. Several of them can be installed at regular intervals providing users with continuous perimeter protection across long distances for a period of over four years, and at a very low operating cost,” said Potgieter.
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