If you’re anything like me, you hate having a 9-to-5 job so you’ve turned to small gigs to pay the bills. The truth is, however, that this is much easier said than done – so how do you actually make it work?
Hard Drives & Storing Video
Hard Drives Made for Video Surveillance
Recording multiple channels of HD video requires a hard drive that can keep up with the work load. Purple Series hard drives are designed specifically for surveillance video recorders. They can keep up with the work load, assuring reliable and smooth video recording at all times.
The video recorder stores the video footage on internal hard drives. The size of the drive and the recording options determine the total number of days the system can store. There are several variables that affect the total number of days a hard drive can store. The variables include:
- – # of Cameras
- – Recording Resolution
- – Frames Recorded per Second
- – Compression Format h264 or h265
- – Continuous or Motion Activated Recording
The number of frames per second you record for each camera can affect the video quality. Live video is 30 frames per second, Hollywood films are shot at 24 frames per second. If you can record less frames per second then you can have more stored days. 15 fps saves hard drive space but produces a slightly choppy or robotic motion in the video. 20fps is the best bang for you buck, the video is smooth and 20fps requires 33% less hard drive space compared to 30 fps. If you are attempting to capture moving license plates, you will need to record in 30fps, otherwise the plate capture will be blurry.
The security industry has settled on two video compression formats. They provide the ability to record high quality video into smaller compressed data files. The first used was h.264 which is standard now and all video surveillance recorders support this format. Recently h.265 has been released which reduces the file size up to 40% compared to h.264. Clearly the compression format you use will affect the total number of stored days.
Each camera can be programmed to record continuously on motion activation, schedules or a combination of the two. Expect to double your stored days if using motion activated recording compared to continuous recording.
Home Security Camera Placement
The following are suggestions, they may not apply to every installation. Before you start installing, walk the areas where you plan to locate the cameras. If possible, stand at each camera’s location. Pay attention to what you see. Can you see everything you want to at that location? Whatever you see, the camera will see. If the answer is no or if there is an obvious blind spot, look for a better location for the camera.
Indoor cameras can be installed just about anywhere. Wall or ceiling mounted is fine. Typically, cameras are installed in a corner of the room opposite from the entry point. This usually provides the best coverage and requires anyone who would want to tamper with the camera to be recorded before they have access to the camera. The best height for a camera is usually around the 10ft level or higher. This is high enough to keep people from accessing the camera unless they have a ladder. Also, understand if you aim a camera at large exterior windows or an exterior door, the view may be somewhat limited during bright or sunny days. All cameras are equipped with an auto iris and they work extremely well, but they still have their limits and will have to adjust to either the light level inside or the light level outside. Whichever one it adjusts to, the other will likely be less than optimal.
So where should you locate your security cameras?
Below are a few of the most common viewing patterns. Each has benefits and possibly some draw backs. Your application will dictate which design is most effective.
Mid Wall Pattern
Mounting a camera mid wall and adjusting its view perpendicular to the wall. This location can be useful for certain applications but is seldom used by security professionals, simply because it creates a blind spot on each side of the camera. A 3.6mm lens provides the widest viewing angle without distorting the image. There are 180 degree cameras on the market but they distort the video so badly that the video is useless at distance. We do not recommend using any lens wider than a 2.8mm, which provides a viewing angle of 110 degrees. Still, with such a wide viewing angle, do not expect great clarity beyond 40 feet (there is a warping or bubble effect past 40 feet). Because of this, a 2.8mm lens should be used for up close applications – such as a porch or any location where you desire a very wide angle view but do not require great detail at distance.
Back to Back Pattern
Place two cameras back to back mid wall. This design eliminates the blind spots that can occur when using one camera mid wall.
Secret Service Pattern
Two cameras are installed on the same wall, separated by 15-20 feet and aimed towards each other. Basically, the cameras are watching each other’s back so that neither camera can be disabled without the perpetrator being seen. This design works well with both fixed view and zoom lens cameras.
Corner to Corner
This design is the most common and provides several benefits. It makes the most of each camera’s viewing capability and covers 100% of the perimeter. When the cameras are placed as the diagram below indicates, all blind spots are eliminated and the cameras cannot be vandalized without the perpetrator being recorded by another camera.
This pattern is simple and very effective. Because a 3.6mm lens provides a 90 degree field of view, it is perfect for an inside corner. When using this method, the camera cannot be vandalized and the corner is covered wall to wall.
How to Wire Your Home for Security Cameras
Dome or Bullet Style Camera, which should you choose?
Note: Less than half of residential systems have indoor cameras. Properly placing cameras outside on the perimeter of your home can be just as effective as indoor cameras without giving up privacy.
Outdoor cameras follow the same basic guidelines as indoor cameras. While they are designed to handle weather, the elements and can operate in extreme conditions, it is still preferable to protect them if possible as they will certainly last longer. If you have the options of mounting the camera directly on the roof, where it will be taking the full brunt of the sun, rain and wind – or on the side of a building where it is somewhat sheltered, always choose the side of the building.
Don’t ask one camera to do the work of two!
The most common mistake customers make when locating cameras is trying to get one camera to do the work of two. We all want to get the most out of each camera, but if you go too thin with coverage, you may be throwing your money away. We have all seen video of some crime being committed, but due to the lack of detail that the video provides, the cuprite cannot be identified. The lesson learned is “Be conservative with the coverage you expect each camera to provide”. As a general rule, each camera should not be expected to view more than 30-40 feet horizontally at the preferred viewing distance.
Good & Bad Security Camera Installations Rated
Typical Residential Camera Placement
Cameras located at the corners of the home in a trap surveillance pattern is common practice and is very effective. Trap surveillance is the most cost effective form of indoor surveillance. Cameras are strategically placed so a person cannot move from one area of the home to another without being seen and recorded. This design reduces the number of cameras needed to effectively protect the inside of a home, while keeping bedrooms and baths private.
Fire Recruit Physical Agility Test Overview
In order to be considered for selection, firefighter applicants must pass the physical agility test (PAT) conducted at the Any Fire Training Center (JP Fire Prevention Trainers and Consultants) for Example.
Understanding Resolution & Frame Rates
There are many aspects to resolution, but for our needs, we’ll keep it simple. Resolution is simply a way to measure the size of the video being produced. Smaller images produce low resolution video, larger images produce HD or high definition video. It really is that simple. The larger the image being recorded, the higher the resolution and quality.
Resolution is measured in pixels. Then pixels are grouped into categories such as 2 megapixel, 4 megapixel, 5 megapixel and 8 megapixel. These categories are then simplified into 1K, 2K, 3K & 4K categories. This is intended to make things easier to understand but it often confuses the average shopper. The cart below will help clear things up.
Frame Rate or “Frames Per Second” FPS
The frame rate is how many individual images the camera produces every second. Hollywood movies for example are filmed at 24 frames per second. What we consider “live” video is 30 frames per second. Interestingly, the human eye has difficulty seeing the difference between 24 and 30 frames per second.
Why does this matter? The answer is cost. HD video produces huge amounts of data and large hard drives are required to store all that data. So why record in 30 frames per second if our eyes cannot tell the difference between 24 and 30 frames? By recording in 20fps you just dropped the hard drive size by 33% or increased your storage capability by 33%. Also, cameras that produce 20fps are generally lower cost than cameras that produce 30fps.
Have no doubt, the best video performance is produced with 4K cameras at 30 frames per second, but if you value cost over performance, consider 2K & 3K cameras with 15-20 frames per second. The video samples below provide a visual comparison.
30 Frames per Second – 4K
15 Frames per Second – 3K
10 Essential Skills Needed to Become a Firefighter in Uganda
Anyone who has decided to become a firefighter knows that there is a lot of hard work ahead of them. It starts early, with a rigorous selection process that includes a written exam, a physical agility test, a background check, a medical and psychological evaluation, and a final interview. Then there’s academy training, where you’ll learn and practise firefighting and prevention techniques, survival training, and emergency medical procedures.
You’re probably more focused on the value and rewards of this career path, however. After all, bravely facing danger and saving people’s lives makes firefighters heroes to kids and adults alike. Before you sign on to all the challenges this role brings, however, be sure you have what it takes to succeed. To help guide you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 essential skills needed to be a firefighter.
1. Teamwork Skills
Teamwork is an essential skill for most career paths. Employees that trust each other, take their share of the responsibility and respect each other’s strengths can tackle projects more quickly, efficiently and successfully than a bunch of people trying to go their own way. This is exponentially truer in the realm of firefighters, where a fracture in the group dynamic can jeopardise everyone’s safety.
Going through the firefighting academy offers the perfect opportunity to practice your teamwork skills with other aspiring first responders. Leadership and initiative are important skills for a firefighter to have but remember that you will always need backup to tackle emergencies.
2. Working Under Pressure
Fearlessly running toward a burning building or vehicle is only one part of being a firefighter. You’ll need to carry out your assigned tasks once you get there, as precisely and efficiently as possible. Responsibility to your fellow firefighters, dangerous conditions including smoke and unstable floors, and a very short time limit can add up to an immense amount of stress.
One of the questions during your interview for an entry-level firefighter position is likely to be how well you work under pressure. You’ll want to assure them you thrive in tense and chaotic situations. You will also need to explain how you keep the nerves at bay and retain laser focus in dire circumstances. Be prepared with examples of your stress tolerance skills from your training or internship.
3. Adaptability Skills
A huge aspect of the job is dealing with the unexpected. You might be doing routine equipment maintenance at the firehouse one minute and be called to an industrial fire the next. Once at an emergency scene, the plan of attack could be derailed by weather, the sudden instability of a building, or unpredictable actions by victims, bystanders or perpetrators.
Whether on the fireground or off, firefighters need to remain calm, ask the important questions about the situation and be able to quickly switch from an expected course of action to an alternate solution.
Easily transitioning to a different squad and setting new goals to excel there or planning alternate routes out of a rapidly burning building are two ways you can demonstrate adaptability skills on the job.
4. Problem-Solving Skills
This skill goes hand-in-hand with adaptability. Being willing to change your perspective and roll with the punches is the first step. Next is having the ability to recognise, analyse and overcome obstacles.
Firefighters must learn to gather all pertinent information, inventory available resources, use logic to find a potential solution, and weigh the costs and benefits of each plan. You may need to find a substitution for malfunctioning equipment, figure out how to compensate for too much weight on an unstable staircase, or find a way through or around a blocked exit. The more knowledge, expertise and experience you have with all aspects of firefighting, the easier it will be for you to problem-solve in stressful situations.
5. Mechanical Skills
Part of that necessary expertise is having mechanical skills. Firefighters use tools, specialised equipment, vehicles and machinery in all aspects of their work. It is essential to know how to operate, maintain and repair this equipment.
Fires and other emergencies can take place in all types of buildings and environments. Aspiring firefighters benefit from coursework in subjects like auto mechanics, welding and electronics. Knowing how a variety of machines work, and their related safety protocols, can greatly assist in emergencies at factories, construction sites and automotive accidents.
6. Communication Skills
Don’t forget that firefighters spend a lot of time with their colleagues as well as with members of the public. So, in between strength and tactical training, you’ll want to brush up on your communication skills.
You need to know how to listen effectively and convey important information as quickly and clearly as possible. Practice and experience will help you tailor your communication style to different types of personalities and situations.
7. Visualisation Skills
This may be one of the skills needed to be a firefighter that you hadn’t thought of, but it’s no less important than the rest. Visualisation is a more orderly way of using your imagination and is a key factor in getting you out of a burning building or other emergency situation to safety.
Firefighters need to be able to identify figures, objects and sounds amidst distracting elements. They need to quickly compare patterns in their surroundings. Firefighters must also be able to know their location within a building, in relation to their fellow firefighters, to potential dangers and to the exits.
Visualising three-dimensionally in a chaotic environment is a skill that will require a lot of practice and experience to fully master.
8. Attention to Detail Skills
With so many variables possible in an emergency, a firefighter must be attentive to the things they can control. Those who check their equipment and safety gear every day, keep in physical shape, run drills with fellow firefighters and update pre-plans will be better prepared when the call comes. They’ll also be less likely to suffer dangerous setbacks from faulty equipment or being mentally unprepared.
This is also one of the essential skills needed to be a firefighter because noticing every detail can reveal information important to your mission. Catching an unusual symptom from a victim can lead to a life-saving alteration of their treatment. Identifying a change in air pressure or the colour of the smoke can signal backdraft and other dangers in a fire. Firefighters can never be complacent; they must always be aware of all elements of their surroundings.
9. First Aid Skills
Firefighters and paramedics often work together and are considered two of the most rewarding jobs a person can hold.
Depending on local regulations, you may be required to take on both roles. In many jurisdictions in the US, for example, firefighters must be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as EMTs or paramedics. You will need to complete formal medical training and pass the national exam.
Despite their job title, firefighters are often called to assist paramedics and the police in dealing with emergencies unrelated to fires. Firefighters have the tools, equipment and skills to break down doors, enter structurally unsafe buildings, and rescue auto-accident victims trapped in crushed vehicles. You’ll often be the first to reach the injured parties, so expert knowledge of first aid techniques like CPR and victim stabilisation is essential.
10. Leadership Skills
While teamwork is an essential part of firefighting, every team needs a leader. As you ascend to supervisory roles as a firefighter, you will need to develop a mastery of leadership skills to be successful. Leading a group of firefighters requires confidence, decisiveness, consistency and trust-building. You need all your expertise to earn that trust, because your team’s lives may depend on the choices you make and the orders you issue during an emergency.
Because the job is so important, it is wise to continue to value teamwork. Being a good leader means knowing you don’t always have all the answers and respecting your firefighters enough to ask their input when needed. Don’t be afraid to ask the advice of those above you in rank as well. Use their experience to supplement your own and make the best decisions possible.
All firefighters, regardless of their position in the chain of command, can benefit from leadership skills. In the chaos of a fire or natural disaster, you may get separated from your group or lose communications. You need to be able to remain calm and decisive, and quickly earn trust from victims so you can guide them to safety.
Have you started on the path to becoming a firefighter? Which of these skills do you think are the most essential? What important firefighter skills have we missed? Join the discussion below and let us know!
The 6 Types And Classes Of Fire And How To Attack Them
If a fire starts, it can spread quickly. Not every fire is the same. Different fires can have different hazards and risks. Using the wrong type of fire extinguisher could do more harm than good. There are 6 different types of fire, and each should be attacked in a different way.
Fire can be devastating. Burning, injuring and even killing people. Damaging buildings and equipment. Interrupting business activities. Of course, fire prevention is the best way to make sure that fire doesn’t impact you or your business. But you should always have a plan in place for dealing with fires if they do happen.
If a fire does start, it can spread quickly. Knowing how to attack a fire before it grows, isn’t always straightforward. Not every fire is the same. Different fires can have different hazards and risks. Use of the wrong type of fire extinguisher could do more harm than good. There are 6 different classes of fire, and each should be attacked in a different way.
Class A (Solids)
Class A fires are fires involving solids. This type of fuel could be paper and cardboard, common in offices and manufacturing. It could be furniture, or fixtures and fittings. It could even be the structure of the building.
This is one of the most common types of fire because solids are the most common type of fuel and one that is hard to eliminate. Good housekeeping should help to keep materials like packaging and waste reduced, minimising risks.
The only type of fire extinguisher you should use on a class A fire is the water extinguisher. This is the most popular type of extinguisher because it can handle most fires involving solids. But, as a conductor, it should never be used near electrical equipment.
Class B (Liquids)
Class B fires are fires involving liquids. Many of the fluids, liquids and chemicals used in workplaces can be flammable or explosive. Like cleaning fluids, solvents, fuels, inks, adhesives and paints.
According to statistics, in 2010/11 flammable liquids accounted for only 2% of fires, but a massive 21% of fatalities. These fires are rare but more deadly than other types of fire. So how can you protect yourself?
Make sure you know what flammable liquids are used in your workplace, and carry out a COSHH assessment. COSHH assessments are a legal requirement, for any hazardous substances. This about safe storage and use of these substances, keep them in labelled containers and away from sources of ignition.
Should a class B fire ignite, foam or powder extinguishers are the best types of extinguishers to attack this type of fire.
Class C (Gases)
Class C fires are fires involving gases. This could be natural gas, LPG or other types of gases forming a flammable or explosive atmosphere.
Working with gas is dangerous, and increases fire risk. Keep stored gases in sealed containers in a safe storage area, and ensure that gas work is carried out by competent persons.
While extinguishers can be used on class C gas fires, the only safe method to attack this type of fire is to shut off the gas supply. The best type of extinguisher to put out the fire only the supply of gas is cut off, is a dry powder extinguisher.
Class D (Metals)
Metals are not often thought of as a combustible material, some types of metal can be, like sodium. Metals are also good conductors, helping a fire spread. All metals will soften and melt at high temperature, which can be a big problem when metal joists and columns are present in a fire as structural elements.
Water can actually act as an accelerant on metal fires, so how would you tackle a class D fire? There are dry powder extinguishers developed to tackle metal fires. The powder inside the extinguisher may vary depending on the type of metal risk it is designed for. Small metal fires can sometimes be smothered with dry earth or sand.
This is not strictly a class (class E) of fire, because electricity is more or a source of ignition than a fuel. However, fires in live electrical equipment are an additional hazard. You don’t want to be using water, or any other conductor as that could be fatal.
Electrical fires are not given their own full class, as they can fall into any of the classifications. After all it is not the electricity burning but surrounding material that has been set alight by the electric current.TheFire Safety Advice Centre Fire Extinguishers
Making sure electrical equipment and installations are installed correctly, and inspected and maintained, will help to reduce the risk of this type of fire.
While you shouldn’t use water to attack an electrical fire, you can use other types of fire extinguishers. Like carbon dioxide, and dry powder in low voltage situations. Always turn off the power supply if you can.
Class F (Cooking Fats & Oils)
Deep fat frying and spillages of flammable oils near to heat sources in kitchens can result in a class F fire.
Never leave food or frying equipment unattended during use. The only type of fire extinguisher approved for use on cooking oils and fats is the wet chemical extinguisher. For small class F fires, you could also use a fire blanket.
You can find out more about the types of fire extinguishers and when to use them, or carry out a fire risk assessment for your business.
Where will you locate your video recorder?
As you start to consider equipment locations, keep in mind the following: All systems require a video recorder or some type of modem for the camera to report. This is also commonly referred to as the “front end”. The important thing here is to understand that any device you choose will have to be protected from the elements. Consider your…
The Rules Have Changed
During the first few months of 2020, what started as something simple has now become a ravaging epidemic to which few are immune.
From executives and middle managers to administration employees and blue-collar workers, from bankers to retail clerks, all are at risk. Even the healthcare industry, until recently considered a job-safe zone, is trimming away significant chunks of its workforce.
A steady fear and panic in the headlines, boardrooms, and kitchen tables across Uganda 🇺🇬 as it’s just one piece of bad news after another.
Of course, you already know this. But here’s what you may not know: None of this is really news. SURE, it took a major economic crisis for people to start waking up to the fact that their livelihoods were at risk. But your income didn’t become at risk overnight – – it was always at risk.
Most of the Ugandan population has been living for years on the knife-edge precipice between solvency and ruin, relying on the next paycheck or two to meet each month’s expenses, typically with only a very thin cushion of cash savings–or more often, no cushion at all. That paycheck is called ” Trading your time for money, “ and during recession, it’s the least reliable source of income there is. Why? Because when the number of employed people starts dropping, there’s less disposable income in circulation to pay for your time.
I’ve been saying this since 2012, There’s no longer such a thing as a safe and secure job. Corporate jobs are a 20th century dinosaur, trembling on the edge of extinction, and the only way for you to have a genuinely secure future is for you to take control of that future. (don’t let anyone else do it for you).
What Makes Me a Computer Scientists?
What is Computer Science?
Computer science is the study of how data and instructions are processed, stored and communicated by computing devices. It involves designing software and addressing fundamental scientific questions about the nature of computation but also involves many aspects of hardware and the architecture of large computer systems.
Computer scientists create the brains in our smartphones, they keep airplanes from falling out of the sky, they help surgeons do a better job and they automate aspects of manufacturing, to name but a few. The reality is, there are many different roles that a computer scientist could fill, but any computer science role is likely to involve:
- thinking about and conceptualising computational and maths-related problems and challenges
- developing new products or solve practical computing problems
- conducting research involving experimentation and modelling
- working as part of a research team with programmers, IT professionals, and mechanical, electrical or software engineers to solve problems and create new products
- studying, experimenting and investigating technological fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality
- seeking to improve the performance of existing computer systems and software
- developing new hardware or computing techniques and materials
Key skills for computer scientists
- Excellent maths skills
- Excellent computer and technology knowledge and skills
- An ability to analyse problems and trace them to their core causes
- A systematic approach to work and problem solving
- A stickler for accuracy
- A strong ability to anticipate and diagnose problems
- Ability to organise and classify large amounts of information
If you’ve studied computer science, you will have gained many technical and non-technical skills which are highly valued by employers, from leadership to programming. The increasing scope of computer science means you have plenty of choice in a wide variety of highly specialized areas.
Computer technologies are integral to modern life, so you’re likely to find your computer science skills in high demand across many different industries. These include financial organizations, management consultancy firms, software houses, communications companies, data warehouses, multinational companies, governmental agencies, universities and hospitals.
As always, it’s extremely beneficial to have completed relevant work experience. You should also consider compiling a portfolio of your own independent projects outside of your degree, which could be in the form of programming, moderating online or even building an app. This will demonstrate to employers your interest in the subject and your problem-solving skills, creativity and initiative.
To wrap up below I share some careers where your computer science degree would be a perfect fit…
Information systems manager
Other computer science careers
If none of the above computer science careers suit you, other options with a computer science degree include: working in other areas of development (such as web, games, systems, products, programs and software), as an analyst (be it business continuity, systems or technical), as an administrator (of databases or networks), or in an academic or industrial research capacity, contributing to the ongoing development of computers and related technologies. You could also pursue computer science careers in teaching, IT training, journalism, management or entrepreneurship.