• Risk and Vulnerability Assessments: Day vs. Night

  • Chuck McCormick, PSP, CAHSO | ESCO Solutions Engineer

    Part of the methodology that I prescribe to for Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (RVA) breaks down: Objectives, Detection, Delay(s) and Event Triggers / Communications. The focus of today falls under the detection category, and even more so about lighting. Lighting is the act of igniting or illuminating an area, where the arrangement of lights is to achieve a particular effect. There are several effects lighting can achieve – some desired, and some un-desired (hot spots, glare and back light.)

    One of the desired results is a good Color Rendering Index or CRI. With a desired result, color at night would be the same if viewed in the daytime. In some instances the type of lighting can impact the CRI in a negative manner. The photo below is an example of poor color rendering. If you are using surveillance video in a forensic capacity, CRI can provide additional details necessary to complete an investigation by having colors appear realistic or natural. When performing an RVA are you provided the necessary data to select the most cost effective mitigation technique?

    In addition to CRI, there are illumination levels developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Photometrics can be requested if a new design is being laid out; however, many during an RVA are well after the fact. Whomever is providing the RVA should have the means to lend contextual data in a photometric style information again in order to apply the best risk mitigation strategy in the environment in which it will be performing. Even luminescence is another big factor – the human eye can adjust to lighting levels better than what cameras can in many cases. While there are many advances in surveillance technology when a camera goes into day/night mode or black and white, the CRI is non-existent. In addition, there are other influences to contextual lighting levels such as moon phases, weather and reflectance values. The following photo is an example of poor lighting and landscaping next to parking areas.

    Landscaping can also be supportive of security measures. Landscaping at night can create hiding areas especially when coupled with poor lighting. In accordance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) landscaping shrubbery should not exceed 30 inches in height and tree limbs seven to seven and a half feet above grade to allow natural surveillance.

    When RVA’s are done only at daytime, one might see something similar to the below photo.

    And then under night time conditions, something like this photo:

    If your security team would like support in performing an RVA especially when it comes to night time assessing and ensuring the data collected includes all the variables to make the best decisions possible reach out to your ESCO Account Executive and see how we can help.

    Chuck McCormick has 31+ years in the life-safety and physical security arena in regard to assessments, designing, estimating, implementing, managing projects, program development and program management (for Fortune 50, 100 and 500 companies), and providing consultative engineering and sales support. He is on the Board of Directors as Chair for ASIS International Indianapolis Chapter 045 and the Assistant Coordinator with the Sector Chief program/Indiana InfraGard Member Alliance a member of ASIS International, International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety and the NFPA.

    In addition, Chuck is a Board Certified PSP, and has also obtained his certification with the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) as an Advanced Security Officer, CVI number with DHS, a member of InfraGard and trained with the TSA as a First Observer (FO) and a Certified Trainer with the A.L.I.C.E., program. He has held licenses to install and inspect fire alarm systems for the states of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia and was a state certified firefighter for the State of Kentucky.