CORNISH homeless charity Harbour Housing has purchased a dedicated thermal CCTV camera to ensure the safety of its clients, staff and visitors.
The charity operates supported accommodation facilities for individuals experiencing homelessness and had concerns around safety, with shared facilities increasing the risk of coronavirus.
Harbour took initial steps in March to implement social distancing, constructing a decontamination unit at the entrance to its largest property Cosgarne Hall.
The area has a television monitor located above the sink explaining good hygiene practice and how hand-washing promotes the safety of the individual as well as those around them.
Harbour staff occupied the area for the first two days showing everyone who attempted to gain entry what was required, and this is now monitored remotely through CCTV and a remote door entry system.
The new thermal camera acts as an extra safety measure and can detect anyone with a high temperature, feeding information back to the person releasing the door entry.
Operations Director Malcolm Putko explains:
“Our residents took so well to the hygiene measures that we initially implemented and everyone has been so good at keeping to the safety restrictions.
“However our concern was that even though we had taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus if someone were to contract it, it might take us too long to identify symptoms and take the necessary precautions.
“The government and Public Health England are promoting the use of digital techniques to combat COVID-19 and we were keen to minimise risk in any way we could.
“With over 30 individuals living in the property along with 20 staff, it was not logistically viable to rely on our contactless thermometers alone.
“The thermal camera seemed like the perfect solution.
“It is situated at the entrance to the property and will alert staff if anybody is displaying an abnormal temperature, allowing us to take action before the individual is admitted to the property, potentially putting others at risk.
“It was a big investment and intended to last beyond the current crisis, acting as an additional layer of safety for our staff and residents.
“We have over 120 CCTV cameras located across all our properties to ensure that harm prevention is at the forefront of all we do and this helps our clients to feel safer.
“If the thermal camera is successful we may roll this model out to our other large units.”