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Wivenhoe Management Group were contacted by a leading developer of Senior Living facilities in Texas to provide security consulting services for a new senior living facility comprising a nine story Independent Living (IL), and a five story Assisted Living (AI), and Memory Care (MC) facility. The client had searched for security consultants with exceptional expertise and significant experience in security systems and measures concerning IL, AL and MC facilities.

They had been recommended to contact Wivenhoe Management Group.

First Steps in Design:

Prior to commencing the security design for the complex, the consultant team carried out an SVA (Security Vulnerability Assessment) and determined that the primary 8 Threat Scenarios were as follows:

  • External Intruder – Perimeter Area

Three main scenarios were identified that included breaking into vehicles parked outside the garage area, actual motor vehicle theft and possible robbery and/or assault of individuals in the perimeter area.

  • External Intruder – Garage Area

Four primary threat scenarios were identified in the basement/garage area that included gaining access with the intent of breaking into resident vehicles for the purpose of theft, actual motor theft, robbery and/or assault of residents of residents leaving or entering their vehicles, etc., and entering the basement area in order to gain access to various floors both high value equipment and residential apartments.

  • External Intruder – Main Building

In this case, one or more intruders gain access to the main building in order to then reach specific apartments or more likely random apartments for the purpose of burglary, intimidation, robbery and/or assault of apartment residents.

  • Internal Threat – Disgruntled Employee

There were three main threat scenarios identified which included an employee upset with property management commences various forms of sabotage to the apartment complex, an employee enters the building with a weapon intent on serious or fatal injury to another staff member or supervisor, spouse or close friend of an employee enters the complex with a weapon intent on revenge against the respective employee.

  • Internal Threat – Theft/Assault by Employee or Caregiver

In this situation, an employee, or caretaker, given the opportunity might steal one or more items from a resident’s apartment. Additionally, they could assault the resident.

  • Internal Threat – Theft/Assault by Relative or Property Resident

In this case and given the opportunity, a relative or another resident might steal items from a resident’s apartment and/or assault the resident.

  • Internal Threat – Missing or Confused Memory Care Resident

A very real threat is a resident with dementia type ailment wanders away from apartment without an escort and gains access to outer perimeter of AS/MC Building where they then gain access to roadway, etc., and are unable to remember their way back to apartment complex and become lost and vulnerable. With the resident having wandered off, and the apartment open, there is a further threat of theft to the apartment.

  • Mass Casualty Threat

With respect to a Mass Casualty (formerly active shooter) threat, there were two primary concerns as follows:

Senior living developments in the U.S. have been targeted by State Sponsored Terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab (militant group), Boko Haram, Taliban, Sipah Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to name a few. While it is unlikely that the Texas complex would ever experience such an event, security should be cognizant and prepared for such an event.

As has been shown via a myriad of mass casualty events throughout the U.S., including a recent situation in Minnesota at a senior living facility, nowhere is considered immune to one or more persons entering a property with the intent of killing as many people as possible. Accordingly, security at the Texas complex should be prepared such circumstances.

Design Considerations:

Based on the primary threats identified above and from experience in securing senior living facilities throughout the U.S. the consultant team commenced with a security design comprising a fully Integrated Security System that would address all vulnerabilities identified above.

In addition, a fully integrated security system would also address a major problem with such facilities where residents have a well-meaning tendency to allow strangers and unauthorized individuals into the building.

By integrating the opening of an exterior or interior door with one or more nearby cameras which then display full screen on a video monitor at the concierge desks, or on computer-based devices such as authorized smart phones, iPads, etc., it is then possible to see what is happening and take appropriate action.

The fully integrated security system comprised a leading VMS (Video Management System) acting as the Hub for almost three hundred (300) cameras with nine different types including the ability to read vehicle license plates, a security intercom system, an electronic proximity access control system, an intruder alarm system, and an apartment WiFi locking system.

In summary, the integrated security system was to provide the senior living complex with a more than adequate level of protection for all residents, staff members, visitors, and associated caregivers and all infrastructure.

The Integrated Security System also incorporated specific measures to significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to any part of the property, ensure safe and secure conditions, prevent any form of violence where possible, or at the least, contain such incidents, protect employee and resident vehicle parking, and in the event of an active shooter (mass fatality) incident, contain and rapidly neutralize such a situation.

Design Specifics:

Garage/Basement Level:

Video Surveillance – The security design for the basement area utilized seven different types of cameras that included single, dual, multi-sensor, elevator cabin and 360-degree models. The multi-sensor units (four camera sensors in a single dome housing) provided significant flexibility in positioning as well as being cost effective. (four camera sensors at a cost of slightly more than two single cameras and requiring one install as opposed to four).

The design also incorporated compact cameras inside all elevator cabins, 360-degree cameras covering the elevator lobbies and corridors, long range cameras covering the long parking aisles and a dual camera LPR (License Plate Reader) unit. Parking in the garage area was restricted to residents only.

Access Control:

Stairwell exit doors from the basement employed electronic access control compliant with local fire jurisdiction requirements with camera coverage and full security integration that allowed the concierge desks to view opening of doors.

Entry into and from the garage area was via a ramp from the 1st Floor Ground Level. Vehicle entry is restricted to residents only controlled by electronic access and camera surveillance.
The majority of secured non-apartment interior and exterior doors are secured by a separate electronic access control system utilizing proximity reader technology. Both the intelligent WiFi Locking system and the electronic access control system are integrated via the VMS (Video Management System).

Network-Video Intercom:

An audio-video intercom system allows individuals at certain exterior and interior doors to communicate with authorized staff for the purpose of gaining access to the respective door. The intercom provides local video storage and is fully integrated within the main integrated security system.

Exterior Perimeter

The perimeter is protected by four different types of IP exterior surveillance cameras utilizing both video motion and video analytics coupled to integration with the VMS Hub System.
All exterior doors are secured and alarmed and covered by surveillance cameras.

First Floor Level:

More than eighty (80) cameras, comprising eight different types are deployed throughout the 1st Floor Level encompassing the IL, AS and MC areas.

Two concierge desks, one at the main entrance to the IL Section and one at the main entrance to the AL/MC Section monitor all security systems via the VMS network, including full integration with all security systems.

All exterior doors are alarmed and/or secured and integrated via the VMS system, together with video surveillance providing priority alarms allowing concierge staff and security personnel to see what is happening at a particular door/access incident.

Second Floor Through Ninth Floor:

Throughout the entire area, there is extensive video surveillance, albeit discreet coverage for corridors, dining areas, game rooms, theater, kitchens, fitness areas, pool area, offices, medical areas, elevator cabins and elevator lobby areas, general meeting areas, etc.

There is electronic access control securing server rooms, medical areas, storage rooms, electrical rooms, supply rooms and other essential areas and rooms.

In addition, apartment doors and select other internal doors utilize an Intelligent WiFi IP Enabled Wireless Integrated Card Reader Mortise Lock Technology System to ensure advanced security and safety for all residents.

It is anticipated that the security systems and technology in this senior living complex will become standard for both existing structures owned by the client and future complexes (three of which are already under consideration).

Wivenhoe Management Group were also asked to complete a commissioning assignment ensuring that all security systems and procedures were fully operational and functioning according to design specifications.

The completed complex is not only an exceptional Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care facility but also a very safe and secure one.

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