Case Studies

The Challenges

Businesses today face many challenges when it comes to security. Investigating what equipment to use can be difficult — many vendors and manufacturers are required to sell only the brands that they manufacture/integrate/distribute, whether or not it is the best fit for the customer application. Shrinking budgets prevent businesses from installing or completing the installation of the system that they really had wanted. Some businesses even encounter difficulties simply trying to communicate their needs and goals to their vendor.

IK Systems will find a solution to your security problems. We are upfront about what is needed to get the job done. Sometimes that can mean a simple policy or procedure change or even no changes at all. We even find ways to help companies with limited budgets get the system they want — for example, arranging a system integration into multiple phases to implement a portion of the system first and slowly build from there over time. We listen carefully to our customers so that we understand what they want the final system to do, and we help them understand what is involved to achieve their goals.


Founded in 1968 by Margaret Woodbury Strong and opened to the public in 1982, Strong National Museum of Play has, over the past four decades, established itself as the only museum in the world devoted solely to the study of play as it illuminates American culture. In addition to an extraordinary collection of toys dolls, games, and other playthings, the museum houses interpretive exhibits, a research library and archives, and a greenhouse/butterfly garden. When Strong undertook a major expansion in 2004 to grow to 282,000 square feet, one of the most challenging undertakings became identifying a company capable of protecting the museum’s hundreds of thousands of guests and securing its nationally important collection.


With plans for its physical space to nearly double in size, Strong National Museum of Play was faced with the daunting prospect of monitoring and securing three (3) new exhibition areas, two (2) additional retail shops, a food court, a butterfly garden, and an expansive new collections storage facility. Museum leadership required an integrated system which blended seamlessly with day-to-day operations, a discreet platform capable of keeping their guests-young and old-safe without causing undue alarm. Additionally, the museum required a system that would be within the constraints of their budget.


IK Systems proposed and implemented a finished package which comprised more than ninety surveillance cameras, in addition to an access control system boasting top-flight badging software and readers, more than one hundred door status switches, water sensors in sensitive exhibit areas, and panic buttons which could be depressed in the event of an emergency. Countless hours devoted to the design and installation of the system ensured a price within the project’s budget as IK Systems characteristically delivered a state-of-the-art, widely expandable security platform at an unmatched cost.


Completed in July 2006, Strong National Museum of Play’s security system has proved to be the staff’s most trusted ally in protecting guests, monitoring exhibits and collections, and identifying potential areas of concern before they become problematical. The system has been acclaimed for its ease of use and reliability, while offering the operator an unrivaled scope of options and actions. Perhaps most impressively, IK designed the museum’s system so that modifications and necessary expansion are reduced to the simplest of undertakings.

Central Christian Academy

An independent, interdenominational college preparatory K-12 Christian school where all will grow "in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and men."


CCA had installed two security cameras on their building but realized as time went on that more sophisticated surveillance was needed. In the past, the building was unlocked from 6:00 am to 8:45 am while faculty and students arrived. The building was locked from 8:45 am to 2:45 pm while school was in session. The building was unlocked from 2:45 pm to 4:00 pm while parents picked up their students from school or after school activities. The reality of the world we live in confirmed the need to better protect students, faculty and staff.

Central Christian Academy took a pro-active step to ensure the safety of their most valuable assets: the children.


IK Systems worked closely with staff and board members to develop and integrate a user-friendly security system. IK offered a two part solution:

  • Access Control system

The AC system includes a door reader and access control cards. The cards are swiped and when read, allow access to the building. Visitors without cards ring a bell and access is granted remotely.

  • Additional cameras

Nine strategically placed outdoor cameras were installed along with four indoor cameras, and a DVR and monitor.


Our children need to feel as safe and secure as possible in our troubled world. School should be a happy sanctuary that allows students to thrive and enables all to achieve great things. Protecting this school building gives parents, students, faculty and staff a feeling of peace and well being.


"What a blessing it has been to have our surveillance system installed and supported by IK Systems. Not only is the system user-friendly, but every phone call or e-mail for system support is responded to in a quick and expeditious manner. Throughout the whole process from installation to the present time, every encounter with IK Systems has been a pleasant and professional experience."

The City of Lockport, New York

The City of Lockport, New York quite literally grew from the banks of the Erie Canal, an engineering marvel which contributed to the industrial growth and prosperity of this western New York city. A 21st century city with its roots in the early 1800s, Lockport is a community with a rich and colorful history. It is also the home of three chemical plants that produce custom and specialty chemicals used in the pharmaceutical, agricultural-chemical, polymer, and fine chemical industries.

The City Of Lockport Police Department Had a Challenge

The Lockport, NY police department wanted to properly monitor chemical emissions from the VanDeMark chemical plant, a French-owned company. VanDeMark, one of three Lockport-based chemical plants, manufactures phosgene gas, a relatively uncomplicated but extremely dangerous product. Founded in 1932, VanDeMark is now the only merchant supplier of phosgene gas in the entire United States.

Phosgene was first used during World War I by the Germans (1915). When dispersed in air, the gas has the odor of new-mowed hay. The gas is highly toxic; when inhaled it reacts with water in the lungs to form hydrochloric acid and carbon monoxide. Because the upper respiratory tract is little affected, warning signs of exposure are slight, and symptoms may fail to appear anywhere from 2 to 24 hours after exposure. However, the release of hydrochloric acid in the lungs causes pulmonary edema and may also cause bronchial pneumonia and lung abscesses; in severe cases death may result within 36 hours.

Phosgene gas is now considered a gas that could be used by terrorists or a target of terrorists at storage, transportation, or manufacturing facilities.

The city of Lockport knew that the time was right to correct a potentially dangerous lack of situational awareness.

IK Systems Provided a Solution Called Wireless Mesh Technology

IK Systems of Victor, New York quoted and was awarded a contract to install a Firetide Wireless Mesh Network and IP PTZ cameras. This sophisticated system enables the police to visually monitor chemical emissions offering pin-point detection from all three area chemical plants. Upon determining a dangerous situation, the authorities can take a pro-active approach to evacuation of the surrounding neighborhoods should a phosgene leak occur. This Homeland Security funded project now monitors the north side of the city and will eventually add the south side.

What Is A Wireless Mesh Network?

Wireless mesh networks can easily, effectively and wirelessly connect entire cities using inexpensive, existing technology. Traditional networks rely on a small number of wired access points or wireless hotspots to connect users. In a wireless mesh network, the network connection is spread out among dozens or even hundreds of wireless mesh nodes that "talk" to each other to share the network connection across a large area. Mesh node are small radio transmitters that function in the same way as a wireless router. Nodes use the common Wi-Fi standards to communicate wirelessly with users, and, more importantly, with each other.

Nodes are programmed through software that tells them how to interact within the larger network. Information travels across the network from point A to point B by hopping wirelessly from one mesh node to the next. The nodes automatically choose the quickest and safest path. The biggest advantage of wireless mesh networks - as opposed to wired or fixed wireless networks - is that they are truly wireless. Most traditional "wireless" access points still need to be wired to broadcast their signal.

In a wireless mesh network, only one node needs to be physically wired to a network connection. That one wired node then shares its connection wirelessly with all other nodes in its vicinity. Those nodes then share the connection wirelessly with the nodes closest to them. That wired node shares the connection wirelessly with the nearest cluster of nodes, which then share it with their nearest cluster of nodes and so on.

Cameras connect to the wireless mesh nodes. Together, the Firetide nodes form a resilient mesh network. The mesh network wirelessly connects outdoor video surveillance cameras to a central location for live monitoring and recording of video feeds. A digital video recorder in the central location captures video from all of the cameras and enables staff to view any camera from any location.

External antennas provide superb coverage, while a relay switch enables the cameras to be controlled remotely.

How Does It Work?

Lockport’s wireless mesh system uses transceivers co-located with all cameras, which communicate wirelessly with one another. Rather than communication with a central receiver, all transceivers in a wireless mesh system are equally intelligent, eliminating the need for each one to have a line-of-site to a central point. Instead, as long as a transceiver has line-of-site to at least one other transceiver, it can communicate with all other transceivers in the system.

The mesh network design is a well thought-out configuration, continuously streaming video from the cameras to the police station. Seven Firetide mesh nodes are placed strategically around the area of the chemical plants taking full advantage of the height of the community water tower, where a radio node and 2 antennas are installed as well as area telephone poles where cameras are mounted. From the police station, the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras can be controlled to provide images from every angle.

The Firetide mesh network forms itself, delivering exceptional reliability and performance. It creates many alternate wireless links so the network is extremely reliable. Even if a wireless link is blocked or a node loses power, the video continues transmitting without any interruption in service. The mesh itself is stable and secure yet utterly simple to use and extraordinarily flexible. These characteristics make wireless mesh networks ideal for mission-critical public safety applications.

A benefit of mesh system technology is that new nodes and cameras can be added simply by switching them on; they can be pre-configured to join the existing mesh automatically. This is a benefit that enables quick setup of the network without a complete system overhaul while providing excellent band-width and security for video streams. Firetide wireless mesh is ideal for phased applications; in fact, the city of Lockport plans to add Wi-Fi capability to the system.

The network performs well in the uncompromising climate of the Northeast, withstanding the snow and freezing temperatures of winter and the heat and high humidity of summer.

Prior to the system’s implementation, it would not have been possible to keep such a close eye on the chemical plants and surrounding areas. This extra layer of protection is paramount to the overall safety of Lockport. The cameras are the valued eyes of law enforcement and a great source of comfort to the Lockport Police Department.

view of the camera and antennas on pole 44

camera view from head end monitor

view from the top of the water tower

Security Hurdles

Communicating goals, finding the right equipment, and working within a less-than-ideal budget are just some of the challenges facing businesses today.

For over 20 years, IK Systems has been providing the best service and technologically advanced systems for our customers by listening to our customers' needs.