Whether you refer to them as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, these devices are an important form of security to consider for the future of the security industry. Drones have been used commercially since 2014 and are estimated to provide over 100,000 new careers within the next 10 years in the United States. However, the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA's release of "Part 107-Small UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)" officially created the commercial drone industry as of 2016.
These rules have streamlined and simplified the process for acquiring required authorizations for using drones in commercial environments, as well as a slew of other economic opportunities, and is estimated to be a $10.5 billion industry. The FAA also estimates that as many as 600,000 drones will be in use thanks to these new rules. But how will the creation of the commercial drone industry impact private security companies? Here are a few important notes to consider.
Versatile Uses Within the Security Industry
Drones can be used in a variety of ways within the security industry, including wider coverage, surveying properties, nanny services, tagging, and automation. The following applications can also benefit private security companies by improving efficiency.
One of the main advantages drones can bring to the security industry is the ability to cover longer ranges than human security personnel. For instance, a drone can be used to determine where security personnel should deploy additional assistance in the event a disaster occurs on the property, such as a fire, caused by a trespasser. Additionally, since drones won't require sleep and are often equipped with agile mechanisms that are resistant to the elements, drones can provide reliability for security teams to cover wide areas in shorter times.
Another way that drones will impact the security industry is by its capabilities to survey properties, such as the common areas of condominium communities and gated communities. Drones can also be used to monitor the breach of a fence. They can also be used to alert the police, if necessary.
Just as drones can be used to survey common grounds, they can also be used to monitor children, pets or property. These "nanny services" provide an additional form of security that can be applied within the security industry. For example, you can monitor your child's activities or playtime with the help of the drones cameras and Wi-Fi connection. Drones can also be used by security guards to monitor activity on common grounds when they provide these "nanny services."
Tagging Trespassers and Thermal Detection
Another way drones can be used within the security industry is by tagging trespasses. For instance, drones can use dye packs to mark trespassers on a property as a form of identification so that security and police can quickly identify the intruders. Moreover, drones can be used to follow assailants by using thermal detection with the power of software that uses machine learning to generate thermal images of the intruders.
Drones can also be useful in carrying out actions automatically. For example, Japanese security company Secom's autonomous drone can detect motion around the perimeter of a property and immediately deploys to the area of the detected motion to monitor the area and deliver this data back to the security command center via live video recording. The drone's capabilities to deliver this information to the command center in real time is thanks to its integration feature, which syncs with the security system of the command system. Private security companies can look to these devices.
Drones Are for Supplementing Security, Not Replacing Them
While drones offer features that can go beyond human capabilities, they are not at a point where they can replace humans altogether as a security team. One important reason for this is that drones lack strong battery life and often need replenishment. This means that security companies would have to consider a fleet of drones and whether the expense is worthwhile.
Moreover, in accordance with FAA's release of "Part 107-Small UAS, the use of drones for commercial purposes, such as surveying properties of gated communities on behalf of private security companies, are limited in regards to when they can be operated. For example, the FAA currently limits use to daytime operations. Additionally, commercial UAVs are limited to speeds not exceeding 100 miles per hour and cannot fly above 400 feet from the ground. UAVs must also be 55 pounds or less in weight.
Drones can be flown commercially by UAS operations with special certifications that cost about $150. This offers an economical way to enter the commercial drone industry for small private security firms. Before this, special waivers were required and expensive.
Even though drones are unlikely to take over as replacements for people in the security industry, they can be valuable assets to fighting crime if used appropriately as part of your security system in the future. They can automate security for agility and help security personnel and police deter or fight crime. The future of drones in the security industry is just beginning, and it's worth exploring the opportunities that lie ahead by first understanding proper use of drones for commercial use, according to the FAA's new guidelines.