A national power company was having considerable issues preventing the theft of copper from the bases of electrical pylons in a public reserve.
On regular occasions during the day and the night the copper earthing strips were being hacked off the pylons. The concern was not only the loss of the earthing strips but that the thieves were putting not only themselves at risk of electrocution but also there was the real danger that household appliances could also become dangerous in peoples homes.
The boldness of the attacks was evident as the pylons were outside the substation compound and therefore vulnerable to these attacks. This also meant that any security equipment fitted to the pylons could be damaged or vandalised during a theft and so prevent any alarm from activating. Furthermore there was no telephone or internet connection available as the whole substation was in the middle of a public reserve. This prevented the standard range of equipment unable to signal for help.
Because of these issues it was decide to utilise the latest in wireless technology detectors. It was impossible to see the device in situ and therefore vandalism concerns were no longer an issue.
The wireless security detector had the advantage of being small and discreet and needed no cabling. With a range of 300m to the wireless receiver, sited inside the compound, each device was fitted inside the protective cowling of the copper strip. If the cowling was removed, in trying to attack the copper earthing strip, this activated the wireless device.
The next problem to resolve was how to get an alarm signal to a monitoring centre as there were no phone lines available.
A high security transmitter was utilised which signalled over a wireless transmission system to be able to alert the monitoring centre. This also was able to carry out a self check to ensure any network failure alerted the monitoring centre.
The system was commissioned and tested and handed over to the client to enable them to protect the site.
Within seven days the first activation of the wireless security system occurred and a security guard was sent to site at around 10 am one weekday morning. What they discovered was an associated contractor of the client attempting to cut the copper strips from the pylons. The Police were called and the contractor taken to the Police Station.
The wireless system has been installed for nearly three years now and in that time there has never been another attempted theft of the copper strips. The system has proved highly reliable and has never generated a false call. Wireless alarm technology can often offer a solution to a problem when standard equipment has no options. It’s well worth considering.
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