31 Jul 2007

Located on the perimeter of Heathrow Airport, the Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel is a modern, elegant hotel.  One of the largest hotels in the UK, it offers a wide range of facilities including 649 comfortable bedrooms, a 28 room dedicated conference centre catering for up to 700 delegates, Business Centre, health club, brassiere restaurant and lounge bar.

Ensuring the smooth operation of the hotel’s day-to-day running requires a not insubstantial measure of professional management, and the Renaissance, part of the Marriott Group, proactively drives the sharing of experience and a team working culture that has led to the group’s acknowledged delivery of customer satisfaction on a worldwide scale.

Managing risk

Aram Dhaliwal, Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel’s Director of Loss Prevention joined the Renaissance Hotel in December 2002 with a priority objective to commence a thorough review of the hotel’s security arrangements.  Commenting on the hotel’s security and risk review process, Dhaliwal said, “Quite simply, I define risk as what can be seen to stand between you, and the fulfilment of the company’s prime business objectives.  To fulfil the successful management of risk, it is essential to clearly assess, measure and manage every aspect of risk.  Just as importantly, the communication of these measures should be delivered across the various departments and levels of staff.”

With previous experience of working with Chris Jackson, of Panasonic Premier Installer, Acctive Systems of Surrey, Dhaliwal drew on the assistance of both the installation company and the Heathrow Airport police, who were often recruited to join him for a ‘walk around’ the hotel, to add their input into the consultation review process. 

Detailed audit

Conducting the review over a period of three months, Dhaliwal surveyed every aspect of the site’s existing electronic security, undertaking a review of the hotel’s video surveillance and access control systems and operational practises, in order to identify and confirm a practical solution that would best fulfil his requirements.

Dhaliwal explained, “Due to the nature of the site, in particular we wanted to strike a balance with the CCTV upgrade’s aesthetics, neither having too much nor too little security on show.  A priority for the new system was to make our 650 space capacity car park even more secure.  After being highly impressed with Acctive’s demonstration of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), I opted for the new technology to be fitted to the car park’s entry and exits barriers.  Now, all vehicles entering the car park have their registration numbers logged and in the case of suspect vehicles, an alarm is generated to initiate a security response.“

Secure parking

Located in close proximity to Heathrow Airport’s runways, the hotel recognises its obligation to secure the use of its massive car park for the legitimate use of its guests.  Reflecting on the attack on the airport in 1994, when the IRA fired four mortar bombs at the runway (two bombs hit the runway but failed to detonate), from a car parked outside the perimeter fence.  With this in mind, Dhaliwal acknowledges his special relationship with the airport police, where their mutual security desires allow the police random access to patrol the hotel car park.  As Dhaliwal explained, the spin off being that since the implementation of the new security measures, the car park has suffered not one vehicle crime - a rewarding testament to the robust nature of the security measures that he has put into place.

Spearheading the new systems’ upgrade, the original control room has been re-located to a new site, and a separate control and monitoring facility provided for Dhaliwal’s office.  This re-location presented somewhat of an engineering challenge for Acctive, as the complex 300m route running through the ‘back of house’ involved cabling through busy offices and corridors.  To add to this, the installation had to be scheduled around the hotel’s busy conference bookings, to keep the impact of installation noise and disruption to hotel guests down to an absolute minimum.

Intelligent surveillance

The decision to invest in the upgrade of its security surveillance system looked to capitalise on the latest in video surveillance technology, to provide the hotel with a more effective security, health & safety and day-to-day operational management solution.

To meet with Dhaliwal’s requirement for ‘fully integrated systems, with instant access and retrieval of high-quality digital images from any camera source’, the In full compliance with current data protection legislation, a separate image download and archiving review suite has been built, to provide the right environment for correct system usage.

The supply of high-quality visual imaging throughout the hotels external day/night and internal mixed lighting conditions have been achieved by installing a combination of high-resolution colour static, and fully functional pan, tilt & zoom dome cameras, programmed with pre-set tours and alarm presets.  In addition to the Panasonic based system hardware, additional operational methods have also been introduced.  Implemented as a seamless programme of enhancement works, the security upgrade has been progressed with minimal disruption to the hotel’s business, and from start to finish within a time frame of just 5 months.  In order to maintain the continually smooth operation of the 24/7 security systems, their performance is now being monitored and logged by security staff on a daily basis.

Commenting on the system upgrade Dhaliwal said, “Panasonic’s system has provided us with a robust, seamless interface between cameras, recording, monitoring, and the control of CCTV coverage.  We now have a security surveillance and site management system that secures highly detailed colour images 24/7, helping us to protect our guests, staff, property and continuity of business. ”