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Mariupol City Council
Investing in security
How the city provided 114 educational institutions with professional security and recouped the investment in six months

Client

Mariupol City Council

Mariupol has a population of 475,000 and is one of the ten largest cities in the country. There are 150 municipal schools and kindergartens in Mariupol, attended by almost 51,000 children. The challenge for the Mariupol City Council is to ensure the protection and security of this complex.

This article was written before the Russian military aggression. Now Mariupol is in a zone of active hostilities: the infrastructure is destroyed, the civilian population suffers. It will take a lot of time and resources to rebuild the city. You can financially support the people of Mariupol from anywhere in the world.
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Challenge

Protect 114 schools and kindergartens from intrusion and flood

Municipal educational institutions were protected by guards with no specialized training. This didn’t provide the necessary level of security and costed the city budget UAH 38 million (US $1,4М10,000) annually. Solving the problem has been a challenge for the city administration for five years. Professional security systems looked like a solution. However, a security system back then was seen as a complicated system of wiring difficult and expensive to implement. 

«Before Ajax, everything was very complicated, difficult, and expensive»Oleksandr Kochurin, Deputy Head of Mariupol City Council

In 2021, the problem evolved into a clear request: what a security system should be.

Yes

  • Protects from intrusion, notifies about flooding. 
  • Has a mobile app to notify the employees if something happens.
  • Connects to the police monitoring station, so that an armed patrol arrives on the scene in case of intrusion. 
  • Is low maintenance and runs for years on batteries.

No

  • Is an amateur, not certified equipment.
  • Is more expensive than hiring security guards. 
  • Requires construction works during installation. 
  • Is difficult to use for the staff.

Solution

167 smart security systems that employees control via smartphones

Ajax met all the client requirements and stood out from the competitors with its recognition by the international security experts and 24/7 customer support. Mariupol City Council viewed the purchase of the systems as a long-term investment. That is why the security systems had to be upgraded easily, with support for data migration between central units, and be supplemented with the latest features without the need to buy new equipment. 

When choosing the system, the client understood that the fully based in Ukraine development and production cycle guarantees fast and efficient maintenance. In addition, the batteries in the devices need to be replaced only once every few years. 

9,714 detectors and devices were installed in two months

It took a professional installer 2–3 hours to install about 100 devices at one establishment. Headmasters note that the process wasn’t even noticeable. For example, a school built in 1900 was equipped with the system with all possible caution measures. There was no need to destroy walls for wiring because the system uses radio connection. The work schedule of schools and kindergartens was not disrupted.

Each facility received a Hub 2 Plus central unit. Motion and opening detectors control all doors and windows, protecting against intrusion and burglary. Motion detector with a photo camera sends a series of images to help the user and the monitoring station operator assess the situation: it becomes apparent whether it is a burglary or just an employee forgot to disarm the system. A loud outdoor siren activates an alarm that can be heard throughout the neighborhood. 

Some schools have thick walls and several floors. The system protects even remote rooms and premises due to the radio signal range extenders that boost the range of all Ajax security system devices.

In addition to the intrusion protection, the rooms and basements have flood protection. Flood detectors instantly notify users of a leakage. This helps avoid serious consequences for the premises and unnecessary costs for the city budget.

Full digitalization of security

With Ajax apps, principals and employees manage security modes, receive notifications with photo verification of alarms, control opening and closing of school/kindergarten in the morning and evening. Also,  the wall-mounted keypad is used to control the system at the facility.

An important keypad feature for such institutions is the Duress Code. If a school employee is taken hostage and forced to disarm the security, they can enter a special combination of numbers activating the “silent alarm”. The police will get an alert, but the sirens and the app will not compromise the employee. 

The system also allows assigning access rights to individual security groups.This flexibility is imperative for cooks and lunchroom staff arriving very early in the morning, as well as for the teachers of extracurricular classes that work after a school closing time.

Under Police control

The systems installed in schools and kindergartens are connected to the Police monitoring station. This means that if something happens, a trained armed patrol quickly arrives at school or kindergarten. Ajax experts accompanied the project at all stages and conducted training for the Police monitoring station.  

Ajax systems have an option to connect an in-app panic button service, so that a school employee or a kindergarten supervisor can call for help in case of emergency. 

A project with a short payback period

Smart security systems implementation project costed Mariupol City Council UAH 17 million (US $628,000). And the next year, the city will be able to save twice as much, which is UAH 38 million (US $1,4М). Not having security guards hired saves the costs. At the same time, the quality of security services increases.

«The security system implementation will be fully recouped in six months. This is a project that every municipality can be proud of»Oleksandr Kochurin, Deputy Head of Mariupol City Council

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