Chubb integrates intelligent building solution SafeRise

30-year systems integration veteran says technology simplifies
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

LYNN, Mass.—Bob Sarsfield has been in the systems integration business for more than 30 years, beginning with Mosler Safe Company, and then Red Hawk, which was bought in 2006 by Chubb, a division of UTC Fire & Security. In that time and during that decades-long tenure, Sarsfield integrated a lot of intrusion, access control, video and other technologically advanced systems. His latest project is an installation of intelligent building solution provider FST21's SafeRise solution at a senior housing complex here.

"This clearly is, from an access control or entry standpoint, the latest and greatest technology that eliminates all the credential requirements that an end user would need—the pin pads, the fobs, the cards, the cost of those materials and the behind-the-scenes management of that—for access," Sarsfield said. "The hands-on for this is really just removals and ads of people—taking pictures for facial recognition and recording their voice for voice recognition." Security Systems News recently visited Sarsfield's SafeRise installation here and participated in a demonstration of how the system works.

When FST21 first expanded beyond its Israeli roots into the U.S., it billed itself as "the future of intelligent building safety and security solutions based on a fusion of second-generation video/voice biometrics and analytics." Rather than using an access control card or old-fashioned hard key, SafeRise uses advanced facial recognition combined with voice recognition, for access control.

Sarsfield said that although the SafeRise solution is more advanced from a software perspective than a typical access control installation, the installation process at Ocean Shores Apartments, located here, was no more complex than a typical access control install.

"We still have to deal with wiring and the physical installation of components—camera and intercom—we have to still work with door hardware like door strikes, door openers and other hardware," Sarsfield said. "The pieces we install, those that the customer interacts with, don't really change."

FST21 GM Avi Lupo said one thing that sets the SafeRise solution apart is its simplicity in terms of wiring.

"When it comes to the actual installation it's very simple because everything is POE (power-over-Ethernet), so the infrastructure is just CAT-5," Lupo said. "It's very simple, and it's the smart server that makes everything really intelligent."

The integration operation at Chubb has a geographic footprint that's international and a vertical footprint nearly as diverse. Sarsfield said the company liked being able to sell the ROI this kind of system provided.

"We're across the board—we do government, universities, high-tech, biotech, municipalities, banking—the one thing we don't do is residential," Sarsfield said. "When you look at ROI—all those costs for credentials and management—over a short period of time there's a return on your initial investment."