Guard Tower® Intrusion Detection System solves challenges for port facility



Steve Kovacs, Director of Business Development, Zareba Security, Oakham, UK


Ports and terminals around the world are realising that protection of their perimeters deserve an increased priority and focus. The cost and consequences of a security breach as a result of theft or terrorist activity looking to inflict maximum harm, can be catastrophic. The typical chain link fence with razor wire is inadequate against these types of intruders.

The perimeter protection challenges at port facilities typically include:

• A large perimeter to protect, which can be difficult with staffing limitations. With a limited security force available to respond to alarms, knowing exactly where a perimeter breach is taking place will ensure a timely response while minimising the search area.

• A high volume of high value items moving through the port tends to attract thieves.

• A high volume of truck and train traffic with corresponding vibrations of the ground and vicinity, causing frequent nuisance alarms with motion sensing devices.

• The system must work as a stand-alone system as well as be able to integrate with existing barriers such as chain link, barrier walls, decorative fences, swing or slide gates, or roof tops.

• A false/nuisance alarm rate as close to zero as possible. The cost of responding to false and nuisance alarms can quickly reduce the benefit of having an intrusion detection system (IDS).

• The system must present an imposing message to wouldbe intruders, yet be aesthetically pleasing to the surrounding environment.

• Being near salt water, a system must withstand the corrosive environment at most sea ports.

• Given a limited, and in many cases over-burdened, maintenance staff the system must be easy to maintain and, if needed, be easily repaired.

• In most cases, the available budget and the level of security required are not compatible. The system must be affordable.

Case study

For this article, we will consider a large container terminal in North America, transferring about one million containers annually, where the Zareba Security Guard Tower® perimeter intrusion detection system was installed. There are several majorshipping lines and train lines that serve the port. The port covers approximately 22,000 acres. For security reasons, and at the request of our customers, Zareba Security will not disclose the name or location of the sites.

The Zareba Security Guard Tower® system consists of a vertical sensing post attached to a wire array. The sensing post can be mounted in a variety of heights and to a variety of supporting surfaces. Each sensing posts has a unique address location. When activated, the alarming post sends a signal to the head end control identifying itself, as well as the breach location. The sensing post monitors the movement of the wires in the wire array; any significant movement of the wire in any direction activates the alarm sensors.

In addition to the Guard Tower systems’ ability to be configured many different ways, the head end controls also offer different options, depending on the user requirements and budget.

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