The advent of IoT has made security solutions more accessible. More people are investing in IoT and sensor-based surveillance systems for their homes and residents. But even with all the advances in security, technology still hasn’t replaced security personnel in protecting valuable assets. Even with all the tech, many organizations still need trained security personnel to protect their assets.
Here RFID presents a unique approach that combines the power of modern technology with the effectiveness of human security guards. By seamlessly monitoring the guards, the tech ensures maximum effectiveness for your security strategy.
Read on to learn more about RFID and how it can help you ensure the effectiveness of your security guards.
RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is a short-range communication technology often used to send a small amount of data over a short distance. The technology is similar to that of a barcode scanner; RFID tags containing information are attached to objects and by using a scanner, you can read the information. But unlike a bar code, you don’t have to hold the RFID scanner in front of the tag. In fact, the scanner doesn’t even have to be within line of sight of the tag; even if it’s in a box or sewn into clothing, the scanner can read it.
This is because an RFID tag sends back a signal in response to the reader. An RFID scanner constantly sends radio signals to power any tags nearby. The tags use this energy to send back the stored information to the reader. The tag doesn’t necessarily store a lot of information; in most cases, it’s just a serial number. While the general principle is similar, there are many implementations of RFID technology using different frequencies and applications.
Besides the passive RFID tags powered by the reader, there are also tags that are battery-powered. Active tags constantly send signals with the stored information even when there are no readers. There are also battery-powered passive tags that send signals when activated by a reader. These tags often have sleep and wake cycles or low power modes to conserve battery. They may also have other sensors such as temperature, humidity, etc. They are often used to track and monitor perishables during shipping and transporting.
RFID tags are often used in toll booths, tracking inventory, logistics, access management, and many other applications.
How can you use RFID for monitoring the patrol routes of security guards? When guarding a building or assets, security guards have designated routes to patrol. During their shift, they must be active, alert, and look out for any suspicious activities in this area. And if guards are not alert or if they’re not covering their route in designated intervals, it can significantly damage the security and the asset’s risk management.
While you can observe many cases in which guards appear to be not monitored, in high-risk scenarios, guards have to be monitored. And often this is done by reporting themselves or by clocking themselves at certain positions at regular intervals. Some use a watchman’s clock, which is essentially a small clock that notes the time when someone clicks a button on it.
But these systems have a lot of disadvantages.
An RFID security guard monitoring system replaces these rudimentary systems with an automated and streamlined approach. In this approach, RFID tags are placed along the patrol routes of the security guard. All the security guards carry an RFID reader when they are on duty. When a security guard patrols their designated route and reaches near an RFID tag, it sends a signal to the reader. And the patrol monitoring system takes this as evidence or proof of the guard’s presence at the location.
The security management team can also configure the system to raise an alarm in case a guard fails to reach a checkpoint on time.
With this system, all the stakeholders, that is the security company, the client, and the guards have an objective record of the guards’ performance. Clients can be assured that the guards are actually doing their job and that their risk management strategy is implemented properly. And as for the security company, they get better credibility in front of potential clients who will be assured of the quality of their services.
What are the benefits of using RFID for monitoring patrol routes of security guards? Most other guard monitoring systems are not as reliable or foolproof as an RFID system. For example, in the case of a watchman’s clock, the guard can simply click the clock at regular intervals even if they’re not patrolling a location. And even if we assume that guards won’t do that (which is a risky assumption), they may simply forget to mark their timings.
In some cases, guards report their status at regular intervals over the radio. This is a good technique, in that if a guard fails to report, it could mean they’re in trouble. And in some cases, guards may have to log their position manually at various checkpoints.
But once again, these are manual techniques.
The benefit of the RFID approach is that it ensures that guards are where they are supposed to be. It guarantees that they’re patrolling the route, that they’re on time, and that they’re alert. And the process is entirely automatic. Guards can be fully focused on their activities and the system will automatically monitor them. In case of any issues, if a guard fails to meet a checkpoint on time, the system will automatically alert the team who can then check in on the situation.
The system also provides a detailed log of the guard’s activities for analysis or performance reviews.
RFID systems can also be used to track equipment. In many vehicle assembly lines, manufacturers use RFID tags to track components.
RFID systems are also used to manage access to sensitive areas; employees or authorized personnel are issued cards with RFID tags which they can use to open doors or enter a restricted area.
You can also use RFID to monitor the maintenance status of equipment. Operators can use these tags to ensure that routine inspections are conducted and store equipment status in a centralized system.
TargPatrol supports using an RFID system to track and monitor cleaning and maintenance crews as well. For example, in the hotel and restaurant industry, tags can be attached to various laundry items to make sure they’re replaced and laundered regularly. They can also be used to ensure that cleaning crews in sports stadiums, auditoriums, and other public places cover all areas.