How to Redefine Security in Outdoor Spaces

How to Redefine Security in Outdoor Spaces

The IX Series, Aiphone's audio-video IP (internet protocol) intercom system, helps create a safe environment in outdoor spaces where security is often an area of concern, effectively delivering a multifaceted security strategy that prepares for a multitude of scenarios to protect the general public.

Compared to indoor spaces, creating a safe and secure environment in outdoor spaces can be more difficult due to several factors, such as extensive coverage areas and the overall limited control that security systems can have. Considering that outdoor spaces have a vast number of entry points that are easily accessible, implementing standard indoor security solutions like locks, access control, and intrusion alarms has little to no impact.

To effectively evaluate the security measures needed, it is essential to apply criteria that account for the unique conditions of outdoor spaces. Given that deploying a singular solution like an outdoor intercom or a one-size-fits-all approach would be ineffective, a multi-layered, comprehensive security plan that anticipates several potential scenarios should be implemented instead.

What to Consider for Outdoor Spaces

When it comes to security and countermeasures, outdoor spaces differ significantly from indoor spaces, especially in regard to the solutions utilized. For instance, security patrolling, video surveillance operators, or even passersby can quickly identify and respond to emergencies in indoor spaces like a shopping mall. Meanwhile, in outdoor areas like parks, responding appropriately to emergencies is difficult as there is a general need for more staff and surveillance due to the open environment.

In addition to the differences in technology used, the type of outdoor space is also a significant consideration, as the varying environments present unique challenges. Indoor spaces are enclosed, and a standard security system can be generally applied, whereas outdoor spaces present unpredictable factors.

With the type of solution and outdoor environment in mind, the following are a few examples of what involved parties should consider when developing outdoor security plans:

Parking Lots and Garages

Large parking lots in open air

Large parking lots present a challenge due to their many blind spots, which require significant amounts of manpower to effectively patrol the space. Although installing surveillance cameras can improve crime prevention to a certain degree, the issue of many blind spots remains challenging. A system that can be promptly alerted in case of an emergency would bolster crime prevention capabilities.

Outdoor Facilities

People are running and walking in a large park during the day

This category refers to areas like large parks and similar spaces, including outdoor spaces attached to buildings and walking paths. Although town parks are generally seen as a place where people come to relax and spend time in a healthy way, there are still several associated risks. A security intercom system is still necessary due to dangers such as health-related emergencies or even the potential for illegal activity in the immediate vicinity of the area.

Business Districts and Urban Campuses

Urban campus area with green

These areas usually have high foot traffic, which presents immediate security and communication challenges. Implementing an outdoor intercom system would help streamline information flow and centralize it to an operations center for better security. This is especially useful at universities, high schools, and public facilities (government offices, libraries, hospitals).

Surrounding Neighborhoods

Sidewalk along with a office building at night

While not an immediate security concern, these outdoor areas are still necessary considerations when developing a comprehensive security plan. The security strategy should take into account specific factors, such as foot traffic patterns in settings like office areas at night or residential areas with low daytime populations.

It is essential to note that while there are fundamental differences between indoor and outdoor spaces, there can also be an overlap between technology and approaches deployed. Security systems used for indoor spaces can be adapted for outdoor spaces, but appropriate modifications must first be made in consideration of outdoor conditions.

Securing Outdoor Spaces: A Multi-Layered Security Plan

To ensure the safety of people in vast outdoor spaces, a comprehensive and multi-layered security plan that integrates various devices is needed. Several devices can be integrated with each solution fulfilling a specific function and acting as an important layer of security. These solutions include video security systems utilizing security cameras/surveillance cameras, audio communication, and access control, to name a few. Generally, these layers of security can be divided into the following categories: video surveillance, prominent signage, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), and emergency towers and call boxes.

Image of multi-layered security

Video Surveillance

Close up of surveillance camera

Provides a real-time view of outdoor areas, enables 24/7 monitoring, and deters criminal activity. In addition, in the event of an incident or accident, video footage can aid investigations and can help identify potential causes and perpetrators. Video surveillance can be an effective security tool for preventing crimes, securing evidence, and apprehending criminals. Given these advantages, video surveillance should be installed throughout different areas of outdoor spaces (i.e., parking lots and garages, high foot traffic paths, remote areas, building perimeters, and outdoor spaces).


Prominent directional signage of

Having highly visible and prominent signage is crucial as it reminds everyone that they are under surveillance. The value of clear signage should not be underestimated, as it plays a critical role in enhancing security. For instance, it helps lost or confused drivers and pedestrians avoid becoming easy targets for criminals. Additionally, signage assists visitors in finding parking lots and other facilities. To effectively implement signage as a security layer, it is important to use easy-to-read fonts, maintain consistent messaging, and ensure high visibility.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

There is adequate lighting for optimal surveillance in night park.

CPTED refers to a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on using the design and organization of an environment to prevent crime and enhance security simultaneously. The concept emphasizes the idea that the physical environment of a space can influence human behavior and help reduce criminal activities. Some examples include proper fences and gates to create a secure perimeter or ensuring that there is adequate lighting for optimal surveillance. Other crime prevention designs that can be made include trimming the surrounding landscape and greenery along the perimeter, installing bollards or sturdy concrete blocks to act as barriers, and controlling foot traffic via proper fences and gates.

Emergency Towers and Stations

Blue Emergency tower with video door station of IX system and revolving light

To prevent accidents and the further escalation of dangerous incidents, it is important for any environment to have the ability to report emergency situations immediately.

Emergency towers have built-in intercom systems that enable two-way conversation, with the additional capability of real-time monitoring via video door phones. Further bolstering its ability to ensure public safety, emergency towers also have a bright blue light at the top of the structure so that it can be easily recognized and security personnel can be notified immediately.

Such a system is particularly effective due to the additional video information available through door stations and connected network cameras, as it will help dispatchers and first responders make an accurate assessment of the emergency at hand. The emergency stations can also be used for non-emergency purposes (e.g., customer inquiries through the outdoor intercom system at these towers, directions at large parks or amusement parks, etc.).

Overall, the nuances of these security measures clearly indicate the individual value that each layer brings as part of a comprehensive, multi-layer security plan in outdoor spaces. It is crucial to consider how these different security system layers can be integrated, which can be difficult as implementation will depend on size, location, and other factors.

The IX Series, Aiphone's audio-video IP (internet protocol) intercom system, can effectively integrate security layers and create synergy between video surveillance, CPTED, and emergency towers. For instance, the IX Series can link surveillance cameras across several outdoor spaces while simultaneously facilitating both conversation and camera image viewing/switching via master stations. As a security intercom system, the IX Series offers several important benefits like accessibility, user customization, and flexible implementation- making it the ideal integrator for security layers.

Video door station and Master station of Aiphone IX system

What to Expect in the Coming Years

The security industry is on the rise, with demand driven largely by increasing safety concerns, technological advancement, and a growing need for more effective security solutions. Many industries and businesses understand that increasing manpower for security is neither adequate nor sustainable as a long-term business expense.

Investing in outdoor security measures is crucial for businesses as trends indicate that consumers are now placing greater importance on security. More importantly, aside from ensuring the security of outdoor spaces, solutions like an outdoor intercom system can also be leveraged to create additional functionality on a day-to-day basis across different areas of outdoor spaces.

Specifically, the IX Series can be applied at parking lots and garages to enable two-way communication between customers and operators. Aside from utilizing an outdoor intercom for security purposes, emergencies, and potential equipment failure at ticket dispensaries and payment systems, it may also be used to improve customer service. In this context, an outdoor intercom can be used to request vehicle assistance, inquire about parking fees, and streamline entry and exit processes.

Businesses such as resort hotels and stadiums, which experience high volumes of vehicular traffic in their parking areas, should invest in an efficient outdoor intercom system to benefit customers and businesses alike. Similarly , an outdoor intercom system was also adapted for private toilet facilities at a large park. The installed outdoor intercom functioned as a bathroom call button, allowing users to make an emergency call-out. The added functionality improved public safety and utility, as it provided previously unseen convenience.

The innovation and benefit of seemingly simple technology-like an outdoor intercom-is a testament to technology's potential impact on security and related aspects. More importantly, it indicates an emerging trend of how businesses and industries will leverage the transformative value of intercom systems in the coming years.

Founded in 1948, Aiphone is an industry pioneer providing communication systems solutions to clients across the globe. With a strong presence in Asia (including Hong Kong, Indonesia), Australia, North America, and Europe (including the United Kingdom), Aiphone serves businesses across several sectors. Such experience has manifested in the versatile range of intercom solutions that can seamlessly integrate into various settings, such as apartment complexes, detached housing, and office buildings. Possessing over 70 years of industry expertise and over 30 standard communication system offerings, Aiphone services guarantee its customers' safety, security, and comfort.

Click hereto learn more about the IX Series and how you can integrate it with your existing devices to create a safer environment for your outdoor facilities. For inquiries, please contact our inquiry desk, which you can access here.

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