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Exclusive: Keeping businesses running with thermal technology

June 11, 2021


Thermal cameras from IDIS helped a property management company to introduce a range of COVID-safe precautions.

A leading British property management company needed effective, practical measures to keep buildings open and running safely during times of increased infection risk, such as the 2020 COVID pandemic. The company was determined to protect its commercial and residential tenants from the worst effects of the coronavirus and to safeguard employees and visitors to their premises. So, it looked to the South Korean video tech company, IDIS, to initially implement solutions at strategic, multi-tenanted facilities as part of enhanced protective measures.

It was vital to have an affordable solution that could be introduced quickly, that would be easy to use and would contribute to safer building use. With some questionable ‘quick-fixes’ on the market, the client also wanted to ensure genuine long-term value by investing in technology that would remain effective as risks changed and that could potentially be re-purposed too. Peoples’ reactions to COVID varied widely – some were cautious and reluctant to return to work, others did not follow guidelines strictly enough. Attitudes also changed over time. So, the property firm wanted to find a multi-pronged solution to all these challenges, to both reassure staff and visitors and remind them of the need for caution during times of heightened infection risk.

The projects were undertaken at high-end facilities in London. The property management company introduced a combination of COVID-safe precautions covering all entrances and lobbies to premises, including signage giving advice and instructions, sanitiser stations and fever detection measures. IDIS thermal cameras were set up to provide a warning if visitors have raised temperatures, which is one sign of possible infection.

Accurate and discrete

Each site visitor is asked to stand in front of the camera for five seconds and the system, which is accurate to within half a degree Celsius, automatically detects if they have an abnormally high skin temperature. This allows a secondary check to be made using a hand-held thermal thermometer. If a high reading is verified, the visitor is asked to wait for ten minutes before another check is made. If their temperature is still raised, they are asked not to enter the building and are encouraged to seek medical advice.

The IDIS thermal cameras are discretely mounted on tripods behind reception desks and linked to an IDIS NVR recorder and IDIS monitor, with one-click set-up making them quick to deploy during times of renewed infection risk. The solution does not require specialist calibration and is effective at a range of 1.5 to 2 metres. In full compliance with GDPR, no thermal biodata is recorded, or individual records or images stored.

The company’s Director of Technical Services said: “After successful pilot projects at two key locations, we’ve seen how positively building users and visitors respond. This multi-layered approach using IDIS technology is a neat way to reassure people, reduce risks and highlight the importance of hygiene and infection control.”

The easy-to-use IDIS thermal detection solution was 25% less expensive than similar options that were considered and blends discretely in with reception area aesthetics. It has been welcomed by site visitors, tenants and members of staff and allowed premises to be kept open with more confidence. Thermal detection capability provides a useful additional measure to reassure building occupants that infection control is being taken seriously and it re-enforces the need for visitors to take practical precautions, including social distancing and hand sanitising.

The tripod-mounted system is also very flexible. Beyond the COVID-era the thermal cameras can be easily moved and re-purposed, for example allowing continuous enhanced monitoring in areas such as server rooms or HVAC service areas where over-heating equipment can cause outage and impact business continuity if undetected. The solution now gives the property management company increased resilience to both current and future virus risks.

This article was originally published in the June edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital copy, visit:

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