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February 3, 2010 -
When thinking about maintaining good indoor air quality in your facility, it's important to take a holistic view regarding the factors that can affect the indoor air and the tools available to help protect it. For example, consider how it's helpful to look at the building's air intake vents with a security mindset.
These vents can be tampered with if a person were to approach them from the outside and release a toxin into the ventilation system. In addition, outdoor contamination, such as toxic fumes from an idling truck, can enter a building through these vents.
One tool from the security desk available to protect the indoor air quality is video analytics, which can be used to detect unwanted activity located near a building's air intake vents. Security cameras aimed at the vents could use video analytics not only to detect the presence of a person near the vents, but also the presence of heat plumes, as from a nearby idling truck.
As only thermal cameras can be used in this way, it's an expensive tool, but perhaps one to consider the next time upgrades are planned. In addition, thermal cameras could be integrated with the building automation system so that the vents could be automatically shut when such threats are detected.