A warehouse is the control centre of a manufacturing unit. It is the space where the raw materials and manufactured products are stored before the distribution process in the supply chain. A warehouse is mainly a place that stores all of the goods which have been produced as a result of hard work, a lot of precious resources, time and energy. So it would naturally be a shame if anything were to happen to a warehouse, wouldn’t it? From the copper wire robbery wherein; goods worth 70 Lakh INR were stolen at a Haryana warehouse to 17-member gang robberies in warehouses in the UAE, warehouse security must evolve with the times so that these thefts and break-ins can be eliminated or reduced to a certain extent.
Before we jump in, it’s important to understand the key challenges faced by warehouses. Since warehouses are so large, there are various locations within the warehouse that are remote and unmanned. This results in thefts of assets, commodities, and misplacement of items. Managing the materials also becomes a herculean task. Besides thefts and robberies, the physical safety of the structure must also be addressed. Large warehouses are susceptible to water leakages, toxic gases leakages, and even fires. Besides this, there is also the concern of pests such as mice and birds whose droppings may damage machinery, and they may unknowingly nibble through goods as well. Now, let us explore the various solutions on how you can keep a warehouse secure from all kinds of risks.
Intrusion system with CMS integration
These systems comprise of various alarms and sensors which are connected to a single panel. Intrusion systems are complete with sensors which pick up on vibrations, peculiar movement, glass shattering and even loud noises. If triggered, the sensors will push over to a central monitoring software where you can trigger sirens remotely. The age-old saying, “Prevention is better than cure”, may be applied in case of intrusion alarms which are integrated.
Biometric reporting over CMS
Biometric reporting systems are integrated with alarm panels so as to generate central monitoring of attendance. It records IN/OUT timings of staff members and is even integrated to set reminders on the central monitoring software. These systems also allow for two-way communication and are camera enabled so that the identity of the staff members can be verified. What these systems do is track the people entering and exiting the warehouse so that in case of an intrusion, one may easily check the individuals with access to the warehouse during the time of the incident. It also helps in increasing ownership and responsibility within the people who have access to the warehouses.
Shutter movement scheduling
These are OTP-based scheduling tools that enable the stakeholders to remotely control the opening and closing of shutters in the warehouse. This means that only a few will have access to the warehouse, and it also eliminates the fear of criminals simply breaking the archaic padlocks that were previously used to secure shutters. What’s more is that these shutters can also be integrated with intrusion panels, and one can even set a scheduling program. These devices also prompt an SMS message with a warning that the shutters have been opened or closed.
It’s important to control the temperatures, humidity, and other environmental factors so as to keep the goods in the warehouse in the best condition and prevent spoilage or damage. If temperatures soar too high in the hotter months, goods could get damaged. Similarly, water leakages can destroy a lot of goods, as would birds, insects and small rodents. In light of these issues, it’s best to include air quality sensors such as water leak sensors, humidity sensors and integrate them with the panels.
Fire and gas detectors and suppressors
Addressable panels which can not only detect fires but can also suppress them are extremely essential when it comes to keeping the warehouses safe from fires. These panels are multi-lingual, come with built-in GSM dialler reporting and can even send over data IP to central monitoring software, so one can pinpoint the exact location of the fire and save time. Along with smoke detectors, gas detectors are also important, especially the carbon monoxide detection systems since this is the most deadly and dangerous gas and is impossible to detect.
CCTV with two-way talk back
Your average CCTV cameras are not enough for the vast expanses of warehouses. High-pixel CCTV cameras with thermal vision options work the best, especially the systems which allow for two-way communication. This means that in case any intrusions, the criminals’ voices will also be recorded and catching the culprits based on that can be a whole lot easier.
Material movement monitoring
The unauthorized movement of materials is the first red flag. Using RFID tags which monitor and track materials, keeping track of material movement becomes easy. With such tags, the material placement is tracked and beam detectors trigger alarms for materials that are moved IN or OUT of restricted areas. All of this data can be collected in the central monitoring software for remote monitoring and control.
These are systems which monitor and regulate the environmental elements in an indoor space. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and takes care of all these factors so that thermal comfort and indoor air quality is maintained.
Video analytics and command centre
Cameras are not only used for detecting intrusions but can also be used to maintain a record of the health of various assets in the warehouse. Alerts can also be set based on a fixed asset position if this fixed position is for some reason changed. These are the ways in which video analytics can be used to trigger reports before the crime happens.
The small rodents and insects will have a field day with wiring, packaging, and anything else they may get too. If the warehouse is storing food items, then regular pest control must be done so that there are no losses to assets and materials within the warehouse.
It is important to integrate security so that it can be controlled remotely, especially in unmanned locations of the warehouse. These solutions will help keep even the largest warehouse safe and secure from human, environmental or accidental interferences and keep the goods in the warehouse safe.