Skip to content

Book Review: Integrated Security Systems Design, 2nd Edition

?This update of a respected text on security systems concentrates on IP- and IT-centric security systems integration for all environments, including enterprisewide installations. The author begins by specifying his objective for the readers�to understand the strategic, technical, and tactical issues of security system design. To accomplish this goal, the text starts with the strategic area, moves smoothly to the technical sections, and finally concludes with the tactical section or larger picture of the security system.

The strategic section presents the philosophy and history of electronic security. Such topics as force multipliers and cost-benefit analyses are discussed and the author�s �five generations� of electronic security take the reader from 1851�s McCulloh loop to present-day software-based systems.

The largest part of the book is devoted to technical matters, including comprehensive and complete discussions of physical and electronic security elements, along with the areas of lighting, locks, alarms, access control, and video monitoring. It explains the application and integration of all those security measures into the planning and design phase for the system. Additionally, it discusses the planning, specifications for equipment, bidding, drawings, and scheduling processes.

Moving on, the author addresses the tactical parts of the system: IP aspects of the design with discussions about the significance of the IT infrastructure for integrating all the protection elements. This section covers network configuration, storage, radio frequency, and interfacing legacy and other equipment. One chapter of this section is devoted to the reactive automatic protection systems (REAPS) that incorporate the security principles of delay and response. Also considered are alarm systems, standards development, and the final integration and implementation of the total security system.

This book is well organized, with questions at the end of each chapter that test readers� knowledge of the subject matter. Photographs and diagrams assist readers in better understanding the written material. The text ends with a 14-page index where readers can quickly locate specific topics. Integrated Security Systems Design is equally valuable as a textbook and a handbook to be used by security consultants, security design engineers, architects, security project managers, and security administrators.�


Reviewer: Jack F. Dowling, CPP, PSP, is president of JD Security Consultants, LLC. He teaches in the College of Criminal Justice and Security at the University of Phoenix and is a member of the ASIS Commercial Real Estate Council. He also serves on various committees of the ASIS Commission on Standards and Guidelines.