Arson attacks encourage orchard operators to seek expert security management
Sunfruit Orchards approached Diarmuid Ruddle from our New Zealand partner, Eastek, to ask for recommendations on security for their fruit packing operations.
The packing shed in Hastings, New Zealand, stores tonnes of product and expensive machinery. However, most worrying to the managers of the site is the fact that the wooden containers used to store the apples are highly flammable. Several arson attacks had been carried out at similar sites. These fires spread rapidly and caused an estimated $100,000 to £250,000 worth of damage at a single site.
Pictured: The wooden storage crates commonly used to store apples in coolstores and packing sheds.
In 2018, Sunfruit hit the headlines after packing a whopping 120 million apples in less than three months. The logistics of bringing this number of apples into the packing shed from the orchards, sorting, packing and distributing them is a huge challenge to security.
In particular, the size of Sunfruit’s operations result in two major security impacts:
- A busy site with lots of staff, farming machinery and delivery trucks moving around, into and out of the site continuously for over 12 hours per day,
- Hi-tech robotic sorting equipment that is expensive to replace if damaged in a malicious attack, and a target for theft.
Pictured: Sunfruit staff verify product quality after robotic equipment automatically sorts the fruit according to colour and quality.
Integrated Perimeter Intruder Detection System (PIDS) for 99.9% probability of detection
When Sunfruit first approached Diarmuid they weren’t sure of the current level of their security or the level that they needed. Therefore, they wanted to get a professional opinion to give them peace of mind.
Diarmuid attended the site to carry out a full security audit and highlighted a few weak areas across the site that Sunfruit had not previously noticed. It was decided that rather than upgrade spots across the site at huge expense to the company, the best method of protection was one full Perimeter Security System that would protect everything inside the perimeter.
Diarmuid said, “By implementing perimeter based security we are not only assured of 100% coverage, but we also have time to respond to alarms before the intruder reaches critical infrastructure.”
Diarmuid’s go-to solution for perimeter security is Sensurity’s HALO.
He explained, “No other intrusion detection device can do what HALO does. You’d need far too many CCTV cameras with alarms to cover the same amount of ground. Even then, you would still be left with blind spots. Cameras also cause all sorts of drama with false alarms, while HALO is very stable.”
Eastek integrated four perimeter protection products within Sunfruit’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS):
i) HALO as the primary method of intruder detection – Diarmuid strongly believes that nothing compares with HALO for reliable intruder detection. With back-to-back deployment on one pole, HALO also decreased the installation width of the system from up to ten metres (for competing radar detection products) down to just two metres. This ensured maximum useable ground was left within the site for storage and mobility.
ii) Perimeter access control – The HALO intruder alarm system is programmed to respond to Sunfruit’s existing perimeter access control system which consists of automatic gates and an ID card reader. When the first staff member swipes their ID card in the morning, the HALO system is deactivated for the day. When the last member of staff clocks out for the evening, the system is reactivated.
iii) Cameras for validation – Once a HALO alarm is triggered, nearby pan-tilt-zoom cameras move to the alarmed area and broadcast a live feed of this area to Eastek’s alarm monitoring
iv) Eastek alarm monitoring and alarm response manned patrols – If a cause for a false alarm can be confirmed on the live broadcast while simultaneously confirming no human intrusion, the alarm can be written off. If unauthorised intrusion is suspected or verified, Eastek’s on-the-road patrols in the area will be immediately dispatched to the site.
Installed over a year ago, with zero false alarms to date
“This is where the future is”, explains Diarmuid, “Two-way communication with the site from the monitoring station.
“Some of our customers had previously been paying $2000 per month to outsource manned patrols. Not only was this expensive; it wasn’t even effective. One person can only see so much of your site at a time.
“Change that mindset to one in which Eastek can remotely monitor dozens of sites from our monitoring station and respond with patrols that are already on the road nearby. Most importantly, thanks to HALO those patrols are going to exactly where they are needed, only when they are needed. We’re saving our customers thousands.”
Project consultation and installation by:
P: 06 871 5444
F: 06 871 5489
500 Karamu Road North, Hastings,
Postal: P O Box 8755, Havelock North