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What Does PIDS Stand For? PIDS security explained

What Does PIDS Stand For? PIDS security explained
What Does PIDS Stand For? PIDS security explained

PIDS is an abbreviation commonly used in the security sector and stands for Perimeter Intrusion Detection System. These advanced systems are designed to meet every risk around a property or site perimeter, focusing on the early detection of attempted intrusions to deliver proactive and preemptive protection.

By raising the alarm immediately, PIDS reduce the likelihood of a potentially costly intrusion and can comprise several types of hardware, including barrier-mounted, ground-based and freestanding PIDS devices.

Implementing a robust PIDS approach provides a higher level of safeguarding where boundaries are difficult to control, spread over broad areas, or surround a high-risk facility or premise at increased risk of criminal activity.

Clearway inView Detect PID on construction site

How Do PIDs Work?

The concept is based on leveraging advanced tech to detect breaches and attempted intrusions, with reliable functionality to avoid alarms triggered by non-threats, such as wildlife, weather or environmental occurrences such as falling branches.

Common features include:

  • Electric fence or gate-mounted systems with continual monitoring and intelligent threat detection to avoid the nuisance of false alarms, undermining the system’s effectiveness. They activate when pressure or unauthorised movement indicates the possibility of an intrusion or criminal activity.
  • Wall-mounted PIDs with motion detectors to pick up on intruders attempting to climb walls or fences or place climbing equipment such as a ladder or rope against a wall. The sensors pick up vibrations, calibrated to evaluate the difference between a real threat and a false alarm.
  • Freestanding or ground-based PIDs are ideal for properties without a defined perimeter, such as a boundary line or fence. They can be installed across wider areas, protecting specific zones, and either buried under the ground or freestanding. Systems detect footfall to alert responders to movement in restricted access areas.

There are varied features and functionalities of each PIDS, depending on the terrain, points of entry, key risk assessment outcomes and other on-site security protocols, facilities or equipment, but the technical nature of PIDS means they are well suited to premises where any possible intrusion must be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

The Strategic Use of PIDS

Every property, compound, site or facility is different. The starting point is a comprehensive risk assessment to define threats, severity ratings and available responses to select the most appropriate PIDS.

Clearway’s consultants work closely with clients to evaluate factors such as:

  • Areas or entry points which are most likely to be the target for an unauthorised intrusion or attempted trespass.
  • Mapping the terrain, local environment and flashpoints to decide where security assets are best positioned.
  • Defining existing security systems and identifying the best opportunities to reinforce these, looking at factors such as walls, fencing, barriers and gates.
  • Assessing visibility – whether the PIDS is a preventative precaution and should be highly visible with signage to deter prospective intruders or a covert surveillance system that is not obvious to unauthorised visitors.
  • Lines of sight, dimensions of the perimeter and signalling options to ensure alarms are audible or transmitted securely through tamper-proof networks.
  • Existing site usage, times when footfall, vehicles or other movements are outside the scope of normal activity, and how PIDS must operate to avoid disrupting regular foot traffic.
  • The current communication infrastructure and whether there are ways to tap into this to include an advanced PIDS or whether the site requires new communications systems.

Our skilled security advisers can work through the risk assessment process and make independent recommendations to help you identify and evaluate all the biggest risks that require action.


What Are the Different Types of PIDS?

We’ve touched on the diverse placements, functions and designs a PIDS could incorporate, and there are further options within each PIDS category that may be important to understand.

Fence or Barrier-Mounted PIDS

These PIDS are attached to existing barriers and can add to the protection offered. For example, a fence with anti-climb paint can be effective but has limited use where criminals circumvent the safeguards present using climbing equipment to bypass the physical boundary.

Mounted PIDS can include varied tech:

  • Vibration-detection cable systems pick up microphonic frequencies, which differentiate between natural vibrations caused by wind or wildlife. They can pinpoint unusual activity and alert security teams or responders.
  • Point sensors and geophones use low frequencies and are attached to the wall, gate or fencing structure to pick up vibrations and raise an immediate alarm.
  • Electric fencing uses electrified wires fitted horizontally and with non-harmful charges that both repel intruders and sound an alarm if the voltage is earthed or the cable is cut. Earthing can occur when the wires touch or a cable touches the fence, which indicates tampering or force.

In many scenarios, an existing fence or gate can be enhanced with mounted PIDS, although lightweight fencing or walls without sufficiently strong foundations may need reinforcing.

Ground Level PIDS

PIDS at ground level can be visible deterrents or buried under the ground. They can either be positioned inside the fence line to protect the perimeter or laid throughout a compound of open land areas between a boundary and premise or property.

There is an equally diverse range of devices and sensors available:

  • Fluid tubes use a simple function: if the tube experiences pressure significant enough to indicate a person or vehicle, the device reports the incident and likelihood of an intrusion.
  • Cable systems similar to those in fence-mounted PIDS use microphonic cables to pick up vibrations as an intruder enters or navigates across a protected area.
  • Leaky feeder cables generate electromagnetic fields using radio frequencies to pick up on changes in the air, alerting responders and security monitoring teams to the presence of an intruder moving through the zone.

While ground-based PIDS can be among the more expensive solutions, they are suited to a wide range of applications, including high-security sites such as transport hubs and stations, corporate facilities and laboratories or production and manufacturing centres where there is no lawful reason for movement inside a restricted zone.

Freestanding PIDS

The final option is a freestanding PID, which can be deployed in any area of concern, incorporating the following:

  • Infrared motion detection, with a transmitter and receiver to identify intruders using infrared technology.
  • Radio wave monostatic or bistatic systems detect movements in a protected zone.
  • Passive infrared sensors detect human movements in restricted areas using body temperature detection.

PIDS are one of the optimal solutions in countless environments because of the varied, customisable detection solutions with rapid deployment systems available.

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