Between buzzwords and fads, new technology and new strategies, the conversation around perimeter security is always evolving. But these increasingly complex discussions are not undivided – language barriers around different technologies and standards of implementation have left end users, and even some integrators, somewhat conflicted about what is needed and how it should be used.

As chairman of the SIA Perimeter Security Subcommittee, John Romanowich (also President, CEO of SightLogix) saw an opportunity to shape the future of outdoor security using video for detection and assessment of intruders.

“Everyone is looking at the elephant from a different side,” which causes a lot of confusion, says Romanowich. The subcommittee is writing a handbook, due out later in 2013, that has contributors from many of the major security industry vendors, including active participants from Axis, Bosch, BRS Labs, FLIR, Puretech Systems, TOTUS, VideoIQ, Xtralis and as well as representatives from independent labs, such as the National Safe Skies Alliance and NIST.  

As prices for video detection and perimeter security systems decrease, more end users are able to implement these solutions, even for mainstream theft and vandalism applications, which broadens the market for these capabilities.

The origins of creating outdoor detection systems started with the military and critical infrastructure, especially sensors on fences, Romanowich says. Later, cameras were added to verify alarms. However, an abundance of nuisance alerts from these traditional technologies has led to the adoption of video analytics and thermal detection for detection and Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras for assessing detected targets – all concepts that will be covered in the handbook to help security practitioners specify what’s needed to secure outdoor assets.

 “The purpose of the group is to write a handbook that arms security directors and other professional with best practices and methodologies, for securing their assets,” Romanowich says. “We want to get the word out about to achieve accurate detection, how to verify alerts and how to determine necessary action, even when scaling large systems.” 

“Outdoor video security as a standard doesn’t exist today. Perimeters are also not just fence lines – they can encompass assets over water like ports and bridges, as well as rail tracks and other virtual fences barriers surrounding a critical asset where you can’t place a fence.  We want to establish best practices for the video security industry.”

 Look for more information on the handbook later in 2013 at and