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Integrating Systems Together

Westminster Abbey puts faith in new wireless integrated security management.

Westminster Abbey, London, the U.K.  (Photo by Chubb Electronic Security)

Westminster Abbey has become the first of the major heritage sites to opt for Monitor AFx Wireless Integrated Security Management (ISM) technology from Chubb Electronic Security (CES) -- a method of combining and controlling the data from two or more previously independent devices onto one software application, with one database, using an existing IT network as host.  Chubb Electronic Security is part of UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

It means that the Abbey is effectively replacing its existing hardwired control platform for its intruder system with a wireless technology that allows other intruder devices -- and indeed other buildings -- to be added at will, as well as the capability of controlling intruder, CCTV and access control technologies from the same front end at any time in the future.

“The previous system was a Chubb control panel installed more than 20 years ago, and in clear need of upgrading,explains Jim Vincent, Westminster Abbey’s Clerk of Works.  “Monitor AFx provides us with the level of control and reporting that we need, while also giving us the ability to expand or extend the installation in the future without having to run any more cables.

Monitor AFx has been specifically designed to integrate and manage a site’s entire electronic security system, including, in some cases, point monitoring of building management sensors.  All of this is performed via a front-end software package -- or graphical user interface -- from one platform, where previously each system required its own panel and cabling, operating in isolation.

Unlike traditional electronic security products this software program adds intelligence to, and simplifies the management of, the information received from the control panel.  The software combines the data from every device, sorts and interprets it and presents it to the user in a way that allows much greater efficiency.  As each device is connected using common protocols, not only can Jim remotely monitor the data that each device is collecting, but he can also perform a variety of administrative and maintenance functions without the need to be physically present at each location.

The Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, (it served as a cathedral from 1546-1556), in Westminster, London, the U.K., just to the west of the Palace of Westminster.  It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs.


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