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Alton Towers Goes Digital with the Honeywell Fusion DVR

The Client:
Alton Towers is amongst the top five tourist attractions in the UK. Located in 500 acres of grounds in Staffordshire - it attracts on average 2.5million visitors per year, making it the most visited theme park in the UK and the 11th most visited in Europe. Honeywell Fusion DVRs have been installed at the Alton Towers Resort to enhance the security of employees and visitors.

The Situation:
During the summer of 2008 the Resort recognized that the video surveillance system needed bringing up to date – principally the video recording platform was to be upgraded from VHS driven analogue multiplexers to modern data driven digital video technology.

The specialist security installer, Midlands Electrical Fire & Security (MEFS), was appointed to carry out the contract. MEFS are the official security and maintenance contractor for Alton Towers and are a leading installer in Staffordshire and Midlands.

“We have 64 cameras installed throughout the Resort to enhance our security operation and monitor the millions of visitors that pass through Alton Towers every year. The recording solution we had was becoming dated and not fit for purpose so we approached Midlands Electrical Fire & Security to recommend a solution.”
Lorraine Warrener,
Security Manager - Alton Towers.

Theme parks are regarded as high risk environments due to the size of the sites, the vast crowds, queues for the rides and the many retail outlets contained within them. An effective CCTV & Video Management System is essential to ensure the site and all its rides, catering / retail outlets and visitors are kept safe and secure.

The Solution:
Richard McCredie, the Installation Manager at Midlands Electrical Fire & Security approached Martin McGrath of Honeywell Security, a manufacturer with a wide product range in the digital video recorder market.

“Martin presented us with the Honeywell Fusion multichannel DVR showing all its capabilities and features; it ticked all the boxes as far as this project was concerned. We have previously used Honeywell products on several large projects and have always found the products to be robust and easy to use.”
Richard McCredie,
Installations Manager – Midlands Electrical Fire & Security

At Alton Towers there are many retail, food and gaming facilities for visitors and sadly every year, owing to the sheer volume of people that come to the Resort, there is a relatively high incidence of theft and attempted theft. Therefore the Resort’s security team relies heavily on CCTV to capture the incidents on video which in turn helps them apprehend and deal with anti-social behaviour. Queue monitoring on rides is important to deter queue dodgers – particularly during peak season when visitors can be waiting for up to two hours for some of the more popular attractions like Air, Nemesis and Oblivion.

The previous video management solution relied on a VHS multiplexer; therefore storage, recall, reliability and quality of images and video footage were a real issue for the security team.

The Honeywell Fusion DVR Series was chosen because it expands beyond the traditional analogue DVR role. It is a full featured hybrid digital recording system that bridges the gap between digital video recorders and network video recorders. Remarkably, the new Fusion DVR and RAID storage units was expertly installed by Midlands Electrical Fire & Security in about 10 hours of a nightshift at the beginning of June 2008.

“The pressure was on to install as efficiently as possible. It was essential the new DVRs were installed correctly as the Resort could not afford any video downtime as we were in the middle of the summer which is peak season for the theme park.”
Richard McCredie,
Installations Manager – Midlands Electrical Fire & Security

The Benefits
Since the Honeywell Fusion DVRs have been installed, Alton Towers has reported savings in time and resources. The security operators are now able to instantly review a recording of an incident and high resolution still photos can be produced. This helps security staff apprehend a suspected thief or vandal.

“All in all we are very satisfied with the new Honeywell Fusion units. We are much better equipped to handle incidents on the Resort. The security operation is a lot slicker and ultimately the new DVR system is enabling us to act more quickly to deal with incidents of theft, vandalism or anti-social behaviour.”
Lorraine Warrener,
Security Manager - Alton Towers.

The Raid storage units allow the team to store more footage over a longer period of time. The information is more easily accessible than using VHS tapes. Ultimately this helps police and courts if charges are pressed. The operation has become more effective and efficient all round.

“The level of service and technical support we have received from Honeywell, especially Martin McGrath has been excellent. He is always available to assist and advise us when required.”
Richard McCredie,
Installations Manager – Midlands Electrical Fire & Security

About Midlands Electrical Fire & Security
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Midlands Electrical Fire and Security are a well established and vastly experienced multi service installation and maintenance contractor of CCTV, Fire, Access control & Intruder systems.

With an array of blue chip and public sector clients, MEFS has all the capabilities and experience necessary to carry out large scale design, installations and provide a first class maintenance service.

Products:

  • Fusion III v3.5 DVR Series

  Alton Towers Goes Digital with the Honeywell Fusion DVR (pdf)