Technology in the home has an incredible power to deliver peace of mind to its residents. Outside of the usual home theater and lighting installs, a comprehensive surveillance system is perhaps one of the most rewarding additions to a home for clients, and that’s exactly the case for those living at Marguerite’s Place, a transitional housing space for domestic abuse victims and their children in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Consisting of 10 apartments furnished by donations and split across two buildings, Marguerite’s Place offers a place of respite for families as mothers seek out more permanent living situations, with the option to take the furnishings with them when they do eventually move. The buildings also hold office space and a fully licensed childcare operation that is open to the public.
Originally, local integrator Telephone Network Technologies (TNT), had plans to replace the existing security camera system at Marguerite’s Place because it used old technology and had become unreliable. They proposed a budget-conscious Axis Communications’ solution which would address the financial limitations of the non-profit organization.
At the same time, this need for an upgrade caught the attention of two Axis employees based out of the company’s Chelmsford, Massachusetts location, not far from Nashua. Jim Murray and Joe Thistle had both heard about the project through their own personal association with Marguerite’s Place, with Murray being a volunteer in the organization, and Thistle having a friend on the board of directors.
Installation Begins, But COVID-19 Raises a Roadblock
Immediately, both Murray and Thistle stepped in to facilitate the project with the partner and regional sales manager. Murray recommended several high-quality cameras with internal SD cards for recording, removing the need for an associated cloud server for storage, and a high-performance video server for constant, reliable monitoring.
“It’s extremely important to secure these transitional housing units,” says Ted Wilkinson, director, channel partners and end customers, Americas for Axis Communications. “Marguerite’s Place strives to provide a safe haven for the families and to allay their concerns about their personal safety. To that end, providing exterior building visibility in all lighting conditions is essential. Additionally, it was critical that the system gives staff remote access to see what is happening on the property at any given time.”
“The main challenge of this installation was the coordination of equipment and labor and integration during the COVID-19 pandemic,” recalls Wilkinson.
“TNT streamlined the process by preconfiguring and testing all the equipment at their facility in Hookset, New Hampshire before bringing it to the site. They were also able to save costs by reusing some of the old cabling from the previous system.”
Despite the challenges, though, Marguerite’s Place has been very pleased with the results. Marguerite’s Place staff can access the relevant video as needed to share with authorities or to alleviate any anxiety residents might have about unknown individuals approaching the building or knocking on doors.
“This was particularly valuable during the pandemic when they wanted to limit the amount of time on-site while still providing the needed level of security. Additionally, the system provides peace of mind for residents and has resulted in fewer calls to police,” he adds.
Leaving Room to Grow as Needs Arise
In all, the equipment provided by the teams include:
- 14 AXIS M2026 high resolution network cameras which include IR (Infrared) illuminators, which help light up the night vision without introducing added light pollution for residents.
- An AXIS S1132 video server that supports up to 32 cameras and can be expanded to support more with additional licenses. The server has pre-installed Axis Camera Station video management system software.
- An AXIS 16-port Power over ethernet (POE) switch to power the cameras and provide connectivity over a single cable.
There is also infrastructure in place that would allow for additional functionality to be added in over time, such as an AXIS A1601 door access control unit to provide networked access control to parts of the facility. Audio for broadcasting live or recorded messages, are also potential upgrades Marguerite’s Place can pursue if they so choose.
Additional equipment provided by TNT includes HP Procurve Ethernet and a new router to allow remote access from offsite.