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Network Monitoring Copper

protect your copper, a valuable metal that is worth a pretty penny

by Mac Smith

Copper theft is once again on the rise. With the value of copper rapidly approaching $4-per-pound, copper thieves are back in full force.

From the safety of your employees to the reliability for your customers, you have a duty to stop copper theft. The good news? A monitoring system will often pay for itself after preventing just once incident.

You can't predict copper theft, but you can protect yourself with monitoring gear. You need a system that alerts you immediately. That way, you can contact the police and catch the criminals in the act.

Diagram of a Good copper monitoring Solution

Copper Theft
In this copper theft monitoring system, door and motion sensors report to the local NetGuardian alarm remote, which then triggers image capturing from the SiteMon IP cameras. All alarms are reported to the T/Mon master console at your central office. You can also receive text messages or email alerts.

Motion and Door Sensors.

These sensors are your first line of defense. Inexpensive and easy to set up, you can install them in multiple locations within a site. When triggered, they latch a contact closure that's wired into a discrete input on the local NetGuardian remote.

IP Cameras (SiteMon IP).

IP cameras allow you to view the live status at your site. The better IP cameras will also capture images when a nearby motion, door, or other sensor is triggered. With a built-in LAN jack, the SiteMon IP provides a web browser interface and email notifications when operating in stand-alone mode. SiteMon IP is also available with an external housing that protects it from the elements. The use of a housing means that you only need one version of camera hardware - reducing hassles during purchasing and deployment.

Alarm Remote (NetGuardian 832A G5).

The local alarm remote at your site serves as a central aggregation point for your sensors and, for models equipped with a LAN switch/hub, your IP cameras. It maintains a connection to your central office for reporting intrusions. For smaller sites, your SiteMon IP cameras can perform this role themselves, collecting data from 2 sensors and reporting back to you via LAN. This makes simple surveillance possible at a lower cost. Like the SiteMon IP, most NetGuardian models include a web interface and email/text message notifications when operating in stand-alone mode.

Alarm Master Station (T/Mon).

If you have more than a few network sites, you should be using a master station already to monitor your network. It will provide an aggregated alarm display at your central office. In this case, it's best to tie your copper theft monitoring equipment into your existing network monitoring system. That way, your operators will have just one screen to look at for all network threats. It is possible to monitor alarm remotes directly via web browser interface over LAN, but this is not recommended for monitoring any more than a handful of sites.

The 3 Ways that Effective Copper Monitoring Will Protect You.

  1. Theft Deterrent: The best way to prevent copper theft is to stop it before it starts. Monitoring systems make potential thieves think twice about stealing your copper. A thief who spots your cameras may decide that it's simply not worth getting "caught on film." This is the best possible outcome. You're helping yourself, your customers, and the would-be thieves.
  2. Theft prevention: Eventually some thief will be brave enough to go after your copper. That's where your monitoring really starts paying for itself. You'll get an instant alert that you can pass on to law enforcement. This limits the time that thieves have to cause damage.
  3. Theft prosecution: Some sites are simply too remote - and some thieves are simply too fast - to be caught during the theft itself. That's where IP camera surveillance comes in. Cameras can pick up important details, like faces, body types, vehicles, license plate numbers, and theft tactics. All of these can be useful for law enforcement to track down and capture the criminals. Images captured by IP cameras are transmitted back to your central office for review and long-term storage. Image capture can even be "triggered" by a door alarm, motion sensor, or other event, ensuring that you get good surveillance even if you're not at your desk. In the courtroom, surveillance photos are particularly valuable evidence for your company to have.

What Should You Do Now?

Don't wait for copper thieves to strike in your network. The cost of just one incident will frequently pay for an effective monitoring system. It's much better to install a monitoring system on your own proactive schedule than to do it all in a frenzy after your copper does get stolen (and you'd better believe that we do get those calls). Call DPS today at 1-800-695-0351 to speak with a sales engineer about your sites.

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