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Mario Kluge

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Added security for places where children play and learn

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"I'm a firefighter." Or "I'm a police officer." Children love pretend play. But sometimes the innocent role-playing alludes to real-world security threats as a recent spate of kindergarten break-ins shows. A regional association of the charitable organization Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e. V., based in North Rhine-Westphalia, is now reviewing security standards at its daycare facilities. And it has already improved standards at several of its daycare locations – with assistance from Deutsche Telekom and its partner Kentix. 

Picture shows children play

Little rascals need safe environments for play and learning.

North Rhine-Westphalia's police statistics for 2019 list 69,064 incidents involving break-ins. While break-ins at daycare facilities are not listed as a separate category in those statistics, information about such incidents is readily available online. Some of the recent headlines in NRW: "Growing numbers of break-ins at daycare facilities." "Arrest following a break-in." "Burglars steal fire extinguishers and speakers from a daycare facility." "Woman observes two burglars breaking into a daycare facility." Burglars commonly damage doors and windows while breaking in. When they also commit acts of vandalism, they cause disruption at daycare facilities that lasts for days. 

The Aachen-Düren-Heinsberg regional association of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe has decided it is high time to address this issue. With burglar-resistant doors, motion detectors and smart smoke detectors that communicate with each other – in the Internet of Things. The alarm control units for the new systems can send text messages (SMS) when they detect incidents. When system sensors report unusual activity, the alarm is raised immediately with the daycare facility's management. Or the local police or fire department directly. The modules for the solution are produced by Kentix. Deutsche Telekom is managing the project and providing the necessary stable network connections. 

No entry for you

Two daycare facilities within the Johanniter organization have just commissioned the new system. The enhanced security measures it offers include digital door knobs and door handles that are activated via RFID chip, thereby doing away with conventional keys. Each staff person – including new daycare personnel – is issued a radio chip for door access. The facilities' managers simply define each user's access rights – to specific rooms, for example – on the computer. The system is administered via the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), a technology for managing devices in the Internet of Things. LDAP enables customers to manage authorizations themselves within their own active directories, making it convenient and easy to use.  

The fire alarm sounds before any fire can start

Thanks to multi-purpose sensor technology, the system's threat protection is not limited to break-ins. Its multi-purpose sensors also detect fire threats much more quickly than conventional smoke detectors can. In addition to temperature and humidity, for example, they also constantly monitor the ambient air for any carbon-dioxide concentrations that would point to fire threats. Fires sometimes develop over periods of hours without being detected - the new system can raise the alarm before they burst into flames. And it can alert the previously defined responders.  Smart sensors, easy handling, smart security. 

In the nick of time

The new system has passed its first real test with flying colors. On a recent night, just two days after the system had been installed in a certain daycare facility, the facility's motion sensor sounded an alarm. A group of teenagers had entered the facility's outdoor grounds. But they left as soon as they realized they had been detected. Maybe they just wanted to play. 

Further information: Magenta services for municipalities

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