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Axis protects stone carvings of sacred mandirs

Axis protects stone carvings of sacred mandirs
Hindu faith organization BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha uses Axis cameras to guard intricate stone architecture of US worship centers.

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a worldwide Hindu faith organization dedicated to the spiritual, educational, and moral development of its members. With centers in a number of cities across the US, including Chino Hills, CA and Stafford, TX, it is also committed to providing charitable services to the community at large. The focal points of its centers are meticulously constructed places of worship called Mandirs. The Mandirs are built out of Turkish Limestone and Italian marble in Stafford, TX and pink sandstone in Chino Hills, CA. The buildings are decorated with intricate artwork hand-carved in India depicting scenes from Hindu scriptures.

Damage or harm to the buildings is a major concern because of their ornate construction. However, the original analog surveillance systems at both sites delivered poor image quality and lacked camera intelligence. Without reliable visual evidence, the system was a purely reactive, and often ineffective, tool. With the level of workmanship involved in crafting the stone pieces and the difficulties of transporting replacements from India, BAPS needed a proactive security solution to guard against damage to the buildings.

 Sadhu Kaivalyamurtidas, administrator Swami of BAPS said, “There was no intelligence in the analog system." Sadhu added, “We needed a system that could provide us with preemptive alerts to keep us on our feet and let us know when something was happening.”

Drawing a virtual line in the Houston sand

At its Stafford, TX site, BAPS worked with systems integrator and Axis partner Preferred Technologies, Inc. to assemble an intelligent, IP-based system to which could provide immediate, high-quality images when the site’s perimeter was breached. For this, they relied on AXIS P1346 Fixed Network Cameras with cross-line detection and add-on Theia varifocal 9-40mm lenses to capture more footage from a greater distance.
BAPS also employed software developed by Preferred Technologies called “Snapshot to Email.” When an event is triggered through cross-line detection in the Genetec Security Center VMS, the program pulls an image and instantly sends it over email. The software even integrates network cameras with access control units to snap and send pictures when doors to sensitive areas are opened.
Grady Jett, Vice-President of Sales, Preferred Technologies said, “It's great to get an alarm of an event on your perimeter, but it’s a huge negative if you can’t visually assess it quickly." He added that "We always try to pair intrusion detection with visual assessment. Axis cameras with cross-line detection enable us to do that.”
Cross-line detection is also used to trigger a physical alarm system that runs through the I/O ports of an AXIS P3364-VE Fixed Dome Network Camera. The Axis camera is configured to function as a switch, and when the line is tripped, the Genetec VMS initiates a siren and strobe light to warn away intruders. 
Beyond perimeter detection, BAPS employs a wide range of cameras for a variety of functions in Stafford. AXIS Q6035 PTZ Network Cameras monitor the overall property and allow administrators to conduct resource management assessments. Cameras also watch over their kitchen, gift shop, gymnasium, and more. Unlike their old analog system, Axis network cameras are infinitely scalable, and BAPS can continue to adapt and grow their system as their needs evolve.

Seeing in the dark in LA

In Chino Hills, CA, BAPS worked with systems integrator and Axis partner Best Communications Network to create a hybrid solution using Axis network cameras and video encoders. Best Communications relied mainly on AXIS P3346 and AXIS P3364-LV Fixed Dome Network Cameras because the cameras’ discreet form factors allow them to blend seamlessly into the surrounding architecture.
 Jay Patel, Owner / CEO, Best Communications Network said, "You can’t notice it unless you are looking for it."
The upstairs portion of the temple features rows of open-air columns which BAPS is monitoring with vertically-oriented AXIS P3346 Fixed Dome Network Cameras using the Corridor Format viewing option. Corridor Fformat allows BAPS to maximize image usability down the tall and narrow walkways.
The complex also features an exhibition hall dedicated to the history of the organization and the faith. Because the exhibition hall has no natural light, it becomes pitch black when the temple closes at night. To compensate, Best Communications selected day/night AXIS P3364-LV Fixed Dome Network Cameras with built-in IR illumination. The results surpassed expectation.
“Normally when the lights are off in that room, I can’t even see my hand in front of my face. That's how dark it is,” said Jay Patel. “On the camera, you can see everything—the writing on the wall, the dates on the wall. Everything.”

Dedicated security subnet

BAPS runs its video surveillance systems off a dedicated security subnet with Cat 6 Ethernet cabling. The video is displayed on monitors in the security booth and recorded to Veracity COLDSTORE Surveillance Storage with 90TB of storage. Video is recorded at full resolution 5 frames per second and automatically increases to 12 or 15 frames per second upon motion events. BAPS selected the Genetec Security Center VMS because of the ease with which it can control all aspects of the cameras, create event triggers, and make use of all hardware features offered by the cameras.

Donation thief caught red-handed

The effectiveness of the IP surveillance system was realized immediately after the first cameras were deployed. Before BAPS had made the switch to Axis in Stafford, a thief broke into a donation box at night and stole all the cash. Following the theft, BAPS installed several AXIS M1054 Network Cameras with PIR sensors for motion detection over the donation box and programmed them to flash their built-in LED illuminators and play a prerecorded message when triggered. The same night the cameras were installed, the thief struck again. This time, however, the thief was caught by surprise. When he turned towards the sound, the camera snapped a picture of his face, and he ran away emptied-handed. The photo was provided to the police, and the thief never returned.
“The Axis network cameras have essentially become another person for us—a person that's watching out for us,” said Sadhu Kaivalyamurtidas.

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