Posts Tagged ‘ i-502 security camera law’

Washington State’s Initiative 502 (i-502) and the relationship with surveillance cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

In 2012 the people of Washington State voted for the legalization of marijuana. After almost two years of waiting the Washington State liquor control board (WSLCB) has announced the names of twenty-five licensed retail shops that are expected to open the second week of July across the state. The initiative 502 (I-502) authorized the issuing of 334 retail licenses in the state initially but the actual number is much lower because the applicants had difficulties passing the state inspections. The licensed growers have been having similar issues to a lesser extent.

This is an indication of how tightly this state’s government is monitoring every aspect of this new industry. The WSLCB has been inventing this process as they go and they’re erring on the side of caution. A security camera system is as big a part of these requirements as any other. The security cameras must be accessible through the Internet. It is even more important to make sure that it’s set up and operating correctly because the WSLCB or law enforcement can log and check that the camera system is meeting the requirements. They can also use the cameras to take a look around most of the facility to make sure that everything meets the state’s specifications.

When you purchase your CCTV system from Techpro Security Products through their online site, it comes with lifetime tech support. Our tech support team will be able to offer you guidance while you’re installing your system, help get it networked for internet accessibility and help you with any issues that may occur down the road. If your security cameras are experiencing technical issues when state officials try to inspect them then it could lead to the loss of your license, so it’s very important to take care of any issues promptly.

Even though all of the different types of camera systems that we sell will meet the legal requirements, our sales team will direct you to the products that will give you the performance that you need without exceeding your budget. They have already helped several customers to qualify for their license and they are very knowledgeable about the nuances of I-502’s security camera requirements. A mistake in the design or installation of your system can lead to extensive delays in license approval or even denial.

There are a few misconceptions about what is needed that our sales associates regularly have to correct. Helping our customers to fully understand exactly what they need often results in the customer either spending less money or being able to spend the money in ways that help them monitor their business in the way that they want, in addition to what’s required. Now let’s take a closer look at a few of these misconceptions.

In section 3 of the WAC 314-55-083, it states that video surveillance cameras “must be internet protocol (IP) compatible”. Many license applicants believe that this means that they have to purchase an IP camera system. It actually means that you must have a security camera system that can be accessed through the Internet. Every type of DVR or NVR that we sell is able to do this. An IP camera system offers incredibly high resolution but it costs a little bit more money and it may not be the right type surveillance system for your needs.

In section 3(b), it states that “Camera placement shall allow for the clear and certain identification of any individual on the licensed premises”. Many people interpret this to mean that they will need to install security cameras that are capable of facial recognition. In actuality this just means that you will need to be able to recognize someone from the video. This level of recognition does not mean that camera will need to see minute details of a person’s face. Understanding this difference can save you a significant amount of money because a camera capable of facial recognition is fairly expensive comparatively.

The next two sections that I’m going to examine are bit confusing because the way that they’re worded makes it seem that their meanings overlaps somewhat.

Section 3(a) states that “All controlled access areas, security rooms/areas and all points of ingress/egress to limited access areas, all points of ingress/egress to the exterior of the licensed premises, and all point-of-sale (POS) areas must have fixed camera coverage capable of identifying activity occurring within a minimum of twenty feet of all entry and exit points.” This just means that you will need to have video coverage of any door, gate or window that allows access to the licensed property, any restricted areas and the areas where sales take place. The cameras must be positioned in such a way which will allow a viewer to make out all activity within at least 20 of these entry ways.

Section 3(c) states that “All entrances and exits to the facility shall be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points, and capable of clearly identifying any activities occurring within the facility or within the grow rooms in low light conditions.” This means that you will need to have your cameras mounted inside and outside of any door or window into the licensed structure. These cameras must be positioned in such a way which will allow a viewer to understand the actions of anyone within twenty feet of these entrances and exits. This section’s low light requirements are an easy one to meet because we sell many different types of surveillance cameras with infrared.

The general idea behind sections 3(a) and 3(c) is that all areas with restricted access (including the property itself) and the access points to these areas must have cameras providing video which will allow the viewer to make sense of the activity happening. In many cases, it will be possible to use one camera to cover multiple entry points. If all of your cameras are positioned correctly, they can be installed so that they will allow you to view a larger area then what is required. This is also a great way to try avoiding tampering or theft by employees.

Many people in this industry are new to being the owners of a security camera system and are pleasantly surprised at how the cameras can be of benefit to them. Being able to make sure that the business is operating the way they want, even while there not present, is an aspect that all business owners enjoy. A CCTV system can give you a great way to monitor growth under different circumstances. This can help you to get the best growth possible and maintain the health of your crop. For example – if a plant changes sex it can ruin all of the other plants in the vicinity. A good security camera system can help you be aware of a single plant changes sex so that you can take the appropriate actions to stop the change from becoming rampant – such as applying the proper products, the destruction of the a few of the plants or whatever actions that you decide may correct the issue.


Debunking the Myths of Washington’s New I-502 Security Camera Rules

Written By:
Friday, May 23rd, 2014

With the passing of Washington’s I-502 Initiative, there have been a lot of companies coming out of the woodwork trying to “capitalize”, or as I like to call it “stealing” from america’s first great cash crop.  I keep hearing more and more of the startup “Security” companies in Washington, telling the potential I-502 Growers and Producers all of these crazy requirements.

I am here to help with getting I-502 companies passed without breaking the bank.  With every new regulated business comes laws that have been written by people who honestly don’t have the greatest knowledge of the an industry they are writing about.

Then comes companies seeing a way to take advantage of these new businesses and their regulations.  I am going to try and help you to debunk some of the myths that have been being told to other I-502 companies that I have spoken to and helped with the process.

One of the biggest myths that I have been hearing about is that you need IP cameras in order to be compliant with WAC 314-55-083 section 3.  This is the section that has caused many of the people that I have talked to great confusion.  What the Washington Liquor Control Board is looking for is a complete video surveillance system that is Internet Protocol (IP) compatible.  In simple terms, this means that the main recording device of the system needs to be able to be hooked up and viewable to the internet.  This is mainly because if the Liquor Control Board needs to do an audit of the site, they don’t necessarily need to come to every location.  The law then goes on to talk about the fact that the time has to be displayed and accurate to the US National Institute of Standards.  This is a fairly easy requirement, as most any system from a good manufacturer will do this.  Now keep in mind, not all systems are built the same and some couldn’t keep accurate time if they need to.

Now another big thing is the fact that the system has to be able to record at a resolution of 640 x 470?  Really liquor control board, this is not even a full resolution.  The closest resolution to this is D1 which actually has a 704 x 480.  Most systems on the market can show the images in this resolution, but they don’t record in the required resolution.  Every unit that Security Camera King sells from their base model up to the super NVR has the ability to not only view in this resolution, but they will record in it on all channels or even a greater resolution depending on the chosen recorder.  In order to figure out how much storage you will need to be able to fulfill the 45 day requirement you can utilize Security Camera Kings Hard Drive Calculator.

In WAC 314-55-083 Section 3 subsection (a), it states that all controlled access areas, security rooms, all points of potential entrance from the outside or potential exit from the inside (yes, this does include the windows), all points of transactions must have a fixed position camera that is able to clearly identify activity within a minimum of 20 feet of the entry points.  This is a little convoluted for the fact that how is a camera supposed to be able to not only be able to see your point of sale and the door with the same camera?  Your best solution would be to just make sure that all of these points of interest have cameras that can clearly identify the activities they are there to cover.

I keep getting phone calls from applicants that say they need facial recognition with their camera systems.  I am not sure where they are getting this information from, other than a misinterpretation of WAC 314-55-083 section 3 b, “Camera placement shall allow for the clear and certain identification of any individual on the licensed premises.”  Basically what they are saying is that you can’t have such poor quality cameras and position them is such a horrible way that you can’t make out clearly who is on the footage.   They go on to say that you need to have all entrances and exits to the facility covered from both the outside and inside.  Now if you place your cameras properly you should be able to utilize one camera to accomplish this while still giving you the ability to cover additional areas.  For example, you have a outdoor grow facility that has a building that the perimeter gate connects with.  If you position the camera properly, not only will you be able to cover the entrance/exit but you can cover the perimeter fencing for the 20 feet out of the exterior that section 3 (d) discusses.

In reality, when section 3 (c) talks about cameras that are able to see even in low light situations, any camera worth itself on the market that has infrared will be able to accomplish this.  Now there are some cameras on the market that have no infrared, but have a low enough LUX rating to see in almost no light.  These cameras generally cost significantly more than a camera with infrared.   Also, make sure that you have the recording device put into either a locking cabinet, lock box, closet, or safe to prevent your employees from being able to mess with the recordings.  The last thing you want to do is lose your license due to the fact that one of your employees didn’t follow instruction and not screw with the recorder.

The last part that I am going to cover is in accordance to section 3 (d) that all perimeter fencing of the outdoor grow facility must be able to clearly identify any activities occurring within twenty feet of the exterior of the fence.  This needs to be able to occur 24 hours a day in every lighting condition.  You should arguably go with a varifocal camera that has at least 100 feet of infrared illumination.  This will give you all the requirements and give you greater peace of mind.

These are just some of the most commonly mistaken sections of the law, I hope that these help to guide you in the proper direction.