What is Video Guard?
Video Guard is a device for connecting a company’s electronic surveillance system to SIRA’s computer network. As you may know, SIRA is a government agency responsible for all things related to security within Dubai. SIRA has made the installation of Video Guard a compulsory requirement for companies working in some specific sectors in Dubai.
What does the Video Guard do?
Video Guard improves the overall quality and uptime of the customer’s surveillance system. It does this in the following three ways.
Firstly, it enables SIRA to monitor the customer’s video surveillance system remotely. Thus, SIRA can watch the video footage of the customer’s site in real-time.
Secondly, it helps SIRA to record a backup copy of the Customers’ surveillance video on its computer. Thus, even if a customer loses the video recording at his location, a remote copy is still available at SIRA.
Lastly, it sends out the alarm messages generated by the video recorders and the intruder alarm panels. These alarm messages not only go to SIRA but also to the customer and the security service provider. Due to this, the service provider can attend to the problems quickly and resolve them.
Video Guard sends alarm notifications for the following events:
- loss of video due to failure of one or more cameras
- failure of a hard disk in a video recorder
- failure of a video recorder
- its disconnection from the network
- intrusion detection alarms (if the customer also has an alarm system connected)
What Type of Sites Require Video Guard Installation?
SIRA requires Video Guard installation at the following types of sites:
- Shopping Malls
- Hotels and Furnished Apartments
- Money Exchanges
- Manufacturers of Precious Metal and Stone Jewelry
- Shops Selling Precious Metal and Stone Jewelry
- Internet Service Shops
- SIM Card Trading Companies
- Self-Storage Facilities
- Import Complexes
- Warehouses Storing Hazardous Chemicals
- Recreation and Amusement Parks
- Sports Clubs
- Art Galleries
- Workers Housing
- Residential Buildings with more than 50 flats
- Multi-Tenant Commercial cum Residential buildings
Are there different Video Guard Models?
Currently, there are three different models available from SIRA. The entry model is a 4-port device. The other two models are available in 8-port and 14-port configurations. Up to four video recorders can connect to the 4-port device. Similarly, the other two models offer connectivity for up to eight and fourteen recorders, respectively.
How can Customers Get THE DEVICE?
SIRA sells Video Guard devices only to its authorized service providers and they are also the ones permitted to install. Therefore, all end-users purchase these devices from a SIRA authorized service provider.
How do you Install Video Guard?
Installation of Video Guard requires physically connecting it to the video recorder(s) and the internet line. Therefore, it is best if you place this device near the video recorders. Because if it is near, then you can connect it to the video recorders through short length Cat.6 patch cords. To connect, plug one end into the LAN port of the recorders and the other into a Video Guard port. For internet connection, the device connects through its LAN port to a network switch or router.
SIRA permits connection to Video Guard of only those recorders which have its approval. The agency has certified several models of video recorders and maintains an approved recorders list on its portal. This list is dynamic because, as SIRA approves more video recorders, it adds them to this list.
If a customer installed an intruder alarm system to meet SIRA requirements, then it should also connect to Video Guard. This connection is through the IP module in the alarm system control panel.
Once the Service Provider has installed everything as above, he uploads the site drawings to the portal. He next creates an E-map by placing the cameras and recorders virtually on the uploaded layouts. The placement of the cameras and recorders is as per their actual physical locations.
Are SVG Drawings Necessary?
The site drawings uploaded to the Video Guard portal need to be in SVG (scalable vector graphics) format. It is an essential requirement of SIRA. One good thing about an SVG layout is that you can increase or decrease its size without losing clarity. Therefore, these SVG layouts enable the SIRA control room to monitor customers’ surveillance systems on large screens.
How to get the Installation Certificate From SIRA?
Once the service provider has completed the installation and configuration, it contacts SIRA for verification testing. Upon receiving this request, SIRA schedules a date for testing and verification.
At the appointed date and time, an auditor from SIRA’s verification team logs in to the customer’s portal account. After logging in, the auditor first checks the connectivity of the Customer’s Video Guard to SIRA’s computer network. The auditor then tests the device for correct reporting of the alarms generated by the connected recorders and alarm panels.
When the customer’s device passes all tests, SIRA issues a Video Guard connectivity certificate. This certificate is one of the essential requirements for obtaining an NOC from SIRA for a site.
The connectivity certificate is valid for one year from the date of its issue. SIRA requires that the connectivity of the Video Guard device should be verified every year. SIRA also requires re-verification if new video recorders are connected, or if there is a change in address.
To know more about the SIRA approval process in Dubai please visit this link