six months of renovation and systems upgrading, the new Security
Center has been carefully designed to make centralized surveillance
and monitoring of fire detection and other building systems more
effective, and emergency responses more efficient.
Although the old surveillance
system served the University well, it had been in service since
UST opened in 1991. Commenting on this, Mr Michael Choi, the Estate
Management Office (EMO)'s Head of Security said: "We formerly
used a number of outdated and inefficient 9-inch black and white
CCTV monitors which took up most of the space in the center. It
was time for a revamp as the old system was probably a bit too outdated
for a world-renowned university famous for its scientific research."
feature of the new center is the computerized security control console,
similar versions of which are being used by the Hong Kong Airport
Authority and TVB. The console system, imported from Canada, is
believed to be the most sophisticated among the eight tertiary institutions
in Hong Kong.
Mounted on the wall are two 42-inch plasma video display
units, which show real-time images fed from the 160 closed circuit
surveillance cameras installed all over campus. With a keyboard stroke or mouse
click, duty officers in the center are able to divide the video
wall into 16 screens that can be watched simultaneously, and remotely
control the surveillance cameras to give enlarged images if they
detect something that appears to need further investigation. In
an amazing leap of storage technology, the video signals from all
160 closed circuit cameras will be archived in a Central Storage
Device for up to 30 days, meaning that even if a crime was to go
unnoticed for a few days, clues could still be sought.
All of UST's
13 monitoring and alarm systems are connected to the central console
device, through which the duty officers are able to monitor closely
all 32 lifts and 12 escalators on campus, as well as fire detection
alarms and door-locks to important facilities and premises such
as the Library, computer barns and laboratories.
Another benefit of the new system arises due to UST's status as a
research university: experiments, sometimes risky ones, are
carried out in campus laboratories from time to time and poisonous
gases may occasionally be involved. Because of this, safeguards
against gas leaks are obviously essential. Reassuringly, the new
central security system is even better equipped to serve the critical
functions of speedy detection and monitoring for such leaks, promoting
faster response times to emergency situations.
"With improvements like this and the new full
color video units, the safety of everyone at UST will be greatly
enhanced," concluded Mr Christopher Tso, Senior Technician
in EMO's Security Unit.