How AI-powered Video Analytics Helps with Security Staffing Shortages
The pandemic has caused a major disruption in the world’s labor force. Staffing shortages have affected many industries and physical security is no exception. Maintaining safety and security amid guard shortages has become challenging for companies that started to recover from the pandemic, retailers that reopened their stores, and airports with millions of travelers setting off on holidays. It has forced organizations to look for technology solutions to close this gap. Many businesses have turned to artificial intelligence to get more from their existing video surveillance systems. Let’s explore how smart cameras powered by AI analytics can help address staff shortages.
When it comes to physical security, staffing is a particular problem. Ensuring that people and other assets are well secured is critical for the long-term future of every business. An exodus of employees has created an acute problem for business owners who struggle to find the security professionals they need. Many companies do not have enough operators to watch surveillance monitors in real-time as well as on-site guards to make regular rounds. Despite premium salaries and other incentives that business owners offer to attract workers, the problem remains unsettled.
Another problem arises from the fact that understaffed security teams are forced to do more with fewer people. According to the SHRM survey, 52% of employees who chose to stay at their jobs have taken on more responsibilities. For security guards, that means increased fatigue and, as a result, reduced productivity. It adversely affects situational awareness and translates into a risk of missing critical events. In addition to being overloaded at work, security professionals say they work under constant stress, realizing that a single mistake can lead to serious consequences.
Artificial intelligence can help organizations meet these challenges while increasing safety and security on their premises. Integrating advanced AI-powered solutions into existing video surveillance systems allows security staff to keep watch over the premises 24/7 without having to be glued to monitors all the time.
Smart software analyses video from multiple cameras placed across the facility and detects threats, such as intrusions, fire, slip and fall accidents, fights, and any other suspicious activity. The benefit is that the system alerts security immediately as the threat is identified so that they can instantly respond to the situation. It looks only for genuine threats, filtering out false alarms.
The ability to set the parameters for detection of various threats or abnormal events can greatly reduce the need for personnel to monitor multiple live camera feeds. This reduces the workload on security staff while allowing them to focus on what really matters.
AI video analytics integrated with drones can be a feasible solution to help understaffed guards carry out patrol rounds. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it requires approximately one million person-hours for night patrols alone in the USA. AI-powered drones can do those tedious and repetitive tasks instead of humans. They can effectively monitor large areas - even remote or hard to access ones – providing visibility and detecting threats. The security team can watch stream live video to assess potentially dangerous situations and respond to them respectively.
Organizations can cut back on security personnel by utilizing AI technologies for access control. It’s much more cost-effective and efficient. This minimizes the hassle of monitoring and significantly increases the level of security. Utilizing AI-powered face recognition technology, the access control system screens employees and visitors and checks their authentication, allowing access only to approved people. Cloud-based access control solutions give the opportunity to manage access control remotely, permitting or denying access to each visitor automatically according to the level of their access.
AI video analytics software is highly efficient for people search. Reviewing videos recorded with a video surveillance system is a long and fatiguing process. It may take security staff hours and give no results. AI-powered software takes only a few seconds to find and detect a missing person from thousands on the video feed and even trace their movement inside the facility or the surrounding area across the connected cameras. If facial recognition is utilized, the system can automatically detect BOLO people, or those included in the watchlist to deny them access to the secured area. The system can operate in real life or forensically. By speeding up the search process, AI video analytics saves time and reduces the workload on the staff.
During the pandemic, security guards also have the responsibility of ensuring that employees and visitors comply with guidelines around social distancing and wearing masks. AI analytics can take this task off their shoulders by identifying violations remotely and automatically. An alert is sent to the personnel only in the event of non- compliance so that they can take action.
In industrial settings, AI-powered solutions can help monitor wearing hard hats and other protective equipment in real time. Additionally, AI analytics can be used to implement remote and non-disruptive monitoring of hazardous industrial equipment. With thermal screening, AI provides a fast and reliable way to identify equipment overheating, allowing an early response to anomalies and reducing the risk of injury and property damage.
Nearly half of all workplace accidents occur in unsupervised areas. Automated detection and instant alerts sent to security increase situational awareness and help improve workplace safety and save lives during an emergency situation. AI video analytics can be effectively used to detect slips and falls as they occur, or smoke and fire hazards to provide proper response and the necessary help, reducing the possibility of severe consequences.
Many organizations are now considering integrating AI-powered solutions into their existing camera networks to address staffing shortages. Artificial intelligence offers powerful capabilities and is an effective tool, enabling security personnel to do more with less. Automatization of monotonous tasks, accurate real-time detection, and alerts to various threats and anomalies reduce the workload on security staff while making them more efficient and proactive. Organizations not only get the chance to solve staffing issues but also increase overall safety and security at their sites.
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