In the wake of the recent security scare at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium on the final day of the Barclays Premier League season, a new smart phone application has been launched by Lodge Service to enable facilities managers and contractors to minimise lapses in security.
The Lodg:IC app boasts a ‘guard tour’ program with pre-set activity logs that on duty security officers must complete as they visit designated locations and undertake scheduled tasks on site, such as would be the case in a sports stadium, on a transport network or at a retail park.
Security staff visit pre-set fixed points on their rounds where they use a smart phone and the app to scan a QR bar code printed on a plaque, which can also be attached to items of equipment (whether a dummy bomb, safety apparatus or fire extinguishers, for example) for specific checking.
Remote monitoring of activity
At the Lodg:IC Control Centre based in Redditch, a duty manager remotely monitors activity that’s logged on all the apps in use and is then alerted if any task isn’t completed within pre-set time parameters. An automatic alert prompts Control Centre staff to contact a given security officer immediately and also notify other team members on site (including supervisory staff).
The app is also used to protect and support security officers, asserts Lodge Service, and particularly so lone workers operating at night or when there’s a heightened security risk. If an officer is incapacitated and in a prone position, this is duly identified by the app which will send a ‘man down’ alert to the Control Centre (together with details of the individual’s exact location) using the smart phone’s GPS system.
Security staff scan a QR bar code plaque at the beginning and end of each duty tour, and can receive an automated message every hour, for example, asking them to confirm that they’re OK. A simple tap on the phone screen is the only response needed, otherwise the duty manager is alerted.
‘SOS alert’ capability
The app includes an ‘SOS alert’ by the operator to the Control Centre, which is activated by pressing on the smart phone screen or a button on a connected Bluetooth device. This connects the officer to the Control Centre with two-way, hands-free voice communication.
The duty manager can confirm what has happened, and has pre-set instructions on escalating the alert for the attention of other staff, a supervisor or members of the police service with the precise location of the incident.
Other features of the app include a diary function such that staff at the Lodg:IC Control Centre can enter each officer’s work schedule and the timing of every guard tour for the day. The duty manager is able to follow staff movements on a remote basis, only needing to contact the operator if an appointment is overdue or there’s an emergency alert scenario.
Officers can log relevant notes on a tour, such as recording the presence of a broken fence or gate for the attention of a supervisor so that repairs can be carried out.