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Specifically Speaking with Steven DeArruda

Specifically Speaking with Steven DeArruda Senior security system designer for Business Protection Specialists

What does BPS specialize in and what's your role in the consulting process? 

We specialize in a suite of comprehensive security consulting services that generally start with some type of security assessment or regulatory compliance assessment. In many cases I am involved in those assessments from the standpoint of evaluating the technical systems and door hardware components for our clients. Those assessments yield a set of recommendations, which provide countermeasures to mitigate the findings of the assessment. Some projects simply start with the need to secure a facility or with upgrades to existing systems. An assessment can develop into a design project, which is where my role is most prominent. I work with the recommendations and apply mitigation strategies and elements to address the recommendations. For nearly all projects I work on, I also develop cost of construction estimates and Division 28 specifications. Additionally, I develop our more complex access control, video management system and network riser diagrams, equipment rack and panel elevation details, as well as circuit board level equipment layouts for security equipment enclosures. I also oversee the entire design process and perform all the reviews required as the AutoCAD drawing work is developed and perform the bid tender for our clients. This includes vetting bidders, conducting the pre-bid meeting and walkthrough, review of the bids and making bid recommendations to our clients. The final stage in our consulting services is construction administration, where we oversee the installation of the system, perform construction site reviews, commission the installation and ensure that a proper close-out package is delivered to the client.

How does your background in electrical engineering, installation and project management and as a licensed electrician influence your work as a consultant? 

From a very young age working with my father (a master electrician), he taught me, among other things, proper work ethic, customer service skills and how to read and interpret the National Electrical Code (NEC). Having studied the NEC for many years has given me the ability to utilize the language structure to heavily influence our specifications. Applying the circuit theory and mechanical aptitude learned from performing electrical installations allowed a seamless transition to security installations. Having performed physical installations for more than 20 years allows me to know if an installation is being installed properly and to quality standards. It also allows me to speak the same language as the installation personnel.

What do you think about multi-megapixel cameras? Do you specify them often? 

Multi-megapixels are almost always part of a BPS video management system design. These cameras have come a long way in recent years in that they are better at handling low light conditions. This is still an issue for the higher multi-megapixel cameras, so care must be taken when selecting cameras for low light applications. When one of our clients wishes to have a live demo of cameras, we run demos in an outdoor environment from daylight to dusk and darkness so that the client can see how well, or not, the camera can transition during these varying lighting conditions and in the darkest of conditions the camera will be operating.

Are there any that you specify? Which ones and for what type of applications? 

We use 1- to 2 megapixel cameras regularly and 5 megapixel for applications where currency is being handled. We are also using multi-sensor, multi-megapixel cameras for 90-, 180-, 270- and 360 degree coverage applications.


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