FAQ

ACCESS CONTROL  SYSTEM

 

WHAT CARD DO I USE?

Your building is currently equipped with a magnetic stripe card reader. Any Card can be used to access buildings with access control magnetic stripe card readers.

HOW DO I PRESENT MY CARD?

The card needs to be placed through the reader's swipe slot with the magnetic stripe furthest from you and facing right. The photo should be facing the larger side of the reader. The card must be held flush to the back of the slot while swiping completely through. The lights will change on the reader once the swipe has been properly completed.

WHAT DO THE LIGHTS MEAN?

When the door is locked the reader will show an amber light. This means you need to present your card for access. The reader will flash green when your access has been confirmed. This means you are granted access. The reader will flash red (or orange and amber) when you are not currently on the access list. This means 'access denied'.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN A READER DENIES ME ACCESS WHEN I SHOULD BE GRANTED ACCESS?

After normal business hours, contact the Campus Police at 8-1196. The Emergency Communications Center Officer can check the system to determine if you are on the access list. If you are on the access list, the operator can activate a command for the door to unlock. If you are not on the list, an officer may be sent to your location to assist in determining your need for access. Contact your building manager the next business day if you were not on the authorization list.

HOW DO I GET OUT OF THE BUILDING WITHOUT SETTING OFF AN ALARM?

The main access doors of most buildings are unlocked during normal operation hours. When they are locked, the motion detector above the door will unlock it or you can push the EXIT button beside the door to release the lock. Some buildings are equipped with "touch sense" crash bars, which unlock upon touching them. Doors that do not have EXIT buttons motion detector releases or touch sense bars are not to be used when the building is locked. Use of one of these doors will trigger an intrusion alarm at the Campus Police. Use of these exits shall be limited to emergency purposes only. Any other usage (unauthorized) of these doors may be considered a criminal offense.

WHAT TIMES DO I USE THE CARD READERS?

The building coordinator determines the times for the security system to lock the building (with influence from the users). Buildings are usually locked during the evening and early morning hours and weekends. The readers control access

CAN I BE TRAPPED IN THE BUILDING DURING A POWER OUTAGE OR FIRE?

During a power failure, your new electronic security system will operate from a backup battery. If there is a communication loss between the doors and the security panel, the doors will automatically unlock. All doors will unlock when a fire alarm system is activated. Each building's security panel ensure that all locking functions will operate normally when the phone line between the VCU Police server and an alarm system is interrupted.

HOW DO I EXIT THROUGH EMERGENCY EXIT DOORS?

Emergency exit doors are marked. They shall be used only in case of an emergency. When used, a signal is sent to the Campus Police, causing an officer to be dispatched. Any other use of these doors must be authorized through your department head or building manager and the VCU Police.

WHAT COMMON PROBLEMS CAN BE ENCOUNTERED WITH THIS SYSTEM?

  • The new electronic security system may develop some of the same problems as the mechanical locking system. The difference is the new system alerts the

    Campus Police of most of the problems.

    · Damaged doors and poor closure devises are common causes for doors not closing. Please make sure all doors close completely behind you. If a door

    · has a problem closing, contact the building mgr./coordinator immediately or the Campus Police during non business hours.

    · Doors are not permitted to be held open for longer than 30 seconds when the doors are locked. Please do not hold open or prop open any electronically

    · controlled door. VCU Police must be notified in advance whenever a door will be held open.

    · Some doors may appear closed, but are not closed enough for the magnetic lock to catch. This means the door is unlocked. The Police will receive a 'Forced Open' alarm when the next person enters without authorization. Police will be dispatched, however, you will have an unknown person in your building until then. Please report this problem immediately.

    · The electronic access system can not prevent an unauthorized person from entering with an authorized person. Please make sure anyone entering with you is authorized. Please observe all common safety procedures when in the building.

 

end faq

 

CCTV

 

How do I choose the correct camera for my application?

This in general is a comparatively difficult decision. Many aspects of the installation must be taken into consideration in order to obtain the correct performance that meets your requirements. A high resolution camera should be considered where greater detail of scene is required. E.g. Colour 460 TVL, Monochrome 570 TVL. Choosing a more sensitive camera will improve reproduction in poorly lit areas. The sensitivity of a camera is indicated by the minimum amount of light in order for the camera to produce a usable picture. e.g. Colour 1.0 Lux at F1.2. A conventional camera produces a pale backdrop when an object is shot against a bright background. BLC (Back Light Compensation) will counter strong light sources retaining picture quality. Concentrated light sources directed towards the camera (e.g. car head lamps) can be inverted by an optional peak white inverter or an eclipser function. This has the effect of bringing detail to areas and making an object clear, that would otherwise be shadowed.

 

How do I set up a camera and lens for use in Low Light conditions and or with Infra Red Lighting?

 

The addition of the following:

When setting the back focus of a Colour camera for low light conditions you should place an ND1 (Neutral Density) filter in front of the lens. When setting the back focus of a Mono camera for low light conditions you should place an ND3 (Neutral Density) filter in front of the lens. When setting the back focus of a Mono camera fitted with I/R lighting for low light conditions you should place an IRP (Infra- Red Pass) filter in front of the lens.

Should you not have any of the above filters you may have to attend site during the hours of darkness.

 

 

I have installed a new camera and lens why am I unable to obtain a sharp image?

The most common resolve to this is to ensure that both camera and lens are the same mount i.e. ‘CS’ mount lens on a ‘CS’ mount camera and a ‘C’ mount lens on a ‘C’ camera.

What are OSD cameras?

OSD (On Screen Display) cameras have a menu system within the camera assembly that can be accessed in order to set functions such as Iris levels, AGC on/off and most features of standard and advanced cameras.

Why do I have a clear sharp picture during the day and it is out of focus at night?

This is due to the depth of field changing as the light conditions change and can be easily overcome by following set procedures.

When can I use a manual iris lens?

A general rule of thumb is only to use a MI lens in an internal application. This is because you are reliant on the electronic circuitry of the camera compensating for light changes in the scene and this is not able to compensate to the same degree as that of an Auto Iris lens.

How do I back focus a camera fitted with a fixed focal length lens?

This is achieved by following five simple steps.
1. Set the physical focus of the lens to infinity (clockwise from the front).
2. Aim the camera at the subject to be viewed.
3. Release the camera back focus mechanism.
4. Adjust the back focus to obtain the best possible picture.
5. Secure the cameras back focus mechanism.

Can I fit a 1/3" Lens to a 1/2" camera?

The simple answer is NO

How do I connect an Auto Iris lens to a camera?

This is usually performed by a simple plug-in connection to the rear or side of the camera. However you should always refer to the relevant camera handbook.

What is the difference between Auto Iris and Direct Drive Lenses?

An Auto Iris lens is one that automatically adjusts its iris for changes in the scene lighting levels. The motor that opens and closes the iris is driven by an Amplifier that processes a small electronic signal changing with the light level.
A Direct Drive 'DD' lens does not have this Amplifier and can only operate with a camera fitted with one.
A camera specification will indicate the available output options.

Does the ‘f’ stop matter when choosing a lens?

Yes, lenses are usually specified as having a minimum and maximum ‘f’ stop rating; the ‘f’ stop is a measure of how efficiently the lens allows light from the scene, to pass through the lens and onto the camera CCD sensor. The maximum aperture (when the lens is fully open), is the minimum ‘f’ stop number and the minimum aperture, (just before the lens completely closes) is the maximum ‘f’ stop number.
A low minimum ‘f’ stop number means that the lens can pass more light through during dark conditions, which will produce better pictures at night.
A high maximum ‘f’ stop number may be necessary where there is a high level of light or reflection. This will prevent the camera ‘whiting out’

How do I Back Focus a camera fitted with a ZOOM Lens?

This can be achieved by following these steps.
1. Set the lens to full wide angle view. 
2. Set the physical focus of the lens to infinity (clockwise viewed from the front). 
3. Aim the camera at an object at least 30 Metres away. 
4. Release the camera back focus mechanism.
5. Adjust the back focus to obtain optimum clarity.
6. Zoom the lens in to full telephoto and focus on a nearby object. 
7. Keep this object in view as you slowly zoom out and if all is set correctly it should remain in focus (track). 
8. Secure the back focus mechanism.

How do I set up an Auto Iris lens?

An Auto Iris lens has two ‘pots’ on the side commonly marked ALC (Automatic level control) and LEVEL.
The ALC control has settings of PEAK and AVERAGE (P+A).
The LEVEL control has HIGH and LOW settings ‘H+L’.

ALC
The adjustment allows control over any bright areas in the scene e.g. sun reflection through windows, street lighting etc. There are two settings PEAK and AVERAGE.
If set to PEAK, bright areas in the scene are taken into account more, reducing the contrast in the surrounding area. This allows more detail to be seen in the bright areas.
If set to AVERAGE the lens takes the bright areas less into account which usually causes over brightness or flare in these areas, but raising the contrast of the surrounding area.

LEVEL
The only correct way to set the VIDEO LEVEL is by the use of an oscilloscope, for most Engineers this is not an option.
A more practical method is to use a service test monitor and a camera that you know has been set up correctly to 1 volt peak to peak.
Put the video output from this tested camera into the test monitor and adjust the contrast and brightness until you are satisfied with the picture. Mark the contrast and brightness controls so that you can set them to this position again.
Set up each camera adjusting the ALC (as above) then adjusting the LEVEL to obtain a picture similar to that achieved with the test camera. (Making sure that your test monitor is set to your marked positions)
NB: On most zoom lenses the ALC adjustment is a speed control for the Iris motor and is best left in the mid position. The Amplifiers on Auto Iris lenses are sensitive; so adjust the LEVEL and ALC with a proper trimming tool instead of an ordinary screwdriver, which can induce small voltages.


What size monitor should I be using?

The correct size monitor is dependent on its use e.g. the number of images to be displayed at any given time, the viewing distance and the available space.

What is Video Termination?

This is the end of line resistance of any CCTV system and this should be set to 75 ohm. Should you encounter any double image or ghosting this is more often than not caused by two pieces of equipment in series both having the 75-ohm switch set on. Only the last piece of equipment should be set at 75-ohm.

What camera housing should I use and at what IP Rating?

Camera housings come in various shapes and sizes. With regard to the correct IP rating protection, this will range from dust and water ingress. This system is governed by a number of European and British standards.

IP55
• Protected against dust - limited ingress.
• Protection against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress permitted.

IP65
• Protection against dust - no ingress.
• Protection against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress permitted
• Protection against high pressure water from all directions - limited ingress permitted.

What is the difference between simplex and duplex multiplexers?

Video multiplexers are designed to allow recording of several cameras onto one recorder.

Simplex
A simplex machine is best suited to applications where recording only is the priority. Simplex machines cannot display multi screen images (i.e. quad, 9 way and 16 way split) while in the record mode.

Duplex
If an operator is monitoring the system (i.e. security guard) then a duplex machine is more suitable. A duplex machine can provide screen splits and user selectable images without affecting what is recorded onto the recorder. Should you use two recorders, it becomes possible to record and playback simultaneously.


What is the difference between Standard VHS and SVHS recordings?

In general the main difference apart from cost is the increase in overall resolution. A standard VHS machine may achieve in the region of 300 TVL (mono) whereas S-VHS machines may achieve in the region of 400 TVL. However this being achieved will depend on the correct ancillary equipment being used.

Which pan and tilt unit should I use?

The choice is wide and varied dependent on the system requirements. You may require Top mount, Side mount, 230V AC or 24V DC to name just a few.

TOP MOUNT
• Pro: Can fit two IR lamps on the side of the Pan/Tilt. These act as a counter balance enabling you to use a lighter duty Pan/Tilt head.
• Pro: Compact size.
• Con: Restricted tilt often -45 to 0 dependent on the housing fitted.
• Con: Cannot be inverted.

SIDE MOUNT
• Pro: Can be inverted.
• Pro: Often cheaper.
• Pro: Large tilt often +or- 180
• Con: Difficult to mount IR lamps.
• Con: Generally large size.

What type of illumination can I use with colour cameras?

Only lighting within the visible wavelength should be used with colour cameras. Tungsten Halogen is often the recommended source of lighting.

Can I use I/R Lamps with colour cameras?

The answer to this is a definitive NO. Colour cameras are typically fitted with an IR cut filter and will not allow IR light in excess of 700Nm to pass resulting in the camera performing poorly in these circumstances.

What is an ISDN Telephone Line?

An ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) Line is a digital system allowing a camera to be updated at a rate of 15 frames a second.

What is a PSTN Telephone Line?

A PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) Line is an analogue network allowing a camera image to be updated every few seconds and is therefore slower than that of an ISDN network.

What is an ADSL Line?

Also known as Broadband, an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop) line is a form of Digital Subscriber Line in which the bandwidth available for downstream connection is significantly larger than for upstream. Although designed to minimise the effect of crosstalk between the upstream and downstream channels this setup is well suited for web browsing and client-server applications as well as for some emerging applications such as video on demand.

What is a Leased Line?

 

Leased Line, sometimes known as Kilostream, Megastream or Private wire. This is NOT a dial up line but is connected 24hrs a day and is usually subject to an installation charge and a quarterly bill.

What is full picture update?

Full picture update is a technology that enables a transmission system to update a high quality full picture refresh at very fast speeds.

Do I have to use a Regulated Power Supply?

In general the answer is yes. Most manufacturers will recommend the use of such power supplies as standard with their equipment. You should always consult the manufacturers specifications prior to the connection of any power supply.

What is the maximum distance I can run 12vdc when powering a camera?

This is a commonly asked question and there is no simple answer. Some manufacturers may recommend that their cameras can be run over (X) distance with (Y) cable. This however should still be considered as a general guide. Cable conductor size and installation route must also be taken into consideration. If you are unsure, we would recommend that you contact Technical Support for guidance.

What is the difference between RG59 and URM70 Coax?

In general there is little difference. However RG59 is a hard drawn conductor and is best suited to fixed camera installations. URM70 has a multi stranded centre conductor and is more suited to installations such as PTZ cameras.

What is a ground loop?

An AC current that can be produced in a cable. This is usually caused by parts of the system being fed from different electrical sources resulting in different earth potentials at each end. The result is interference on the signal, usually in the form of dark bands across the monitor and on occasion tearing in the top third of the image.

How can I eliminate ground loop faults?

This can be achieved in a number of ways, the easiest of which is the installation of a Ground Loop Isolation Transformer. This is best installed at the monitor or recording end of the system.

What is the correct level for a video picture?

The correct level is 1 volt peak to peak. This can only be accurately set either with an oscilloscope or with a video level meter.

How often should I replace my video tapes?

In general it is recommended that all video tapes should be replaced after a period, no greater than 20 passes of each tape. That being 10 record and 10 play back. This will also be dependent on the quality of tape being used and that the recording equipment is in good operational condition.

Manual or Auto Iris Lens?

The iris is the part of the lens that determines how much light falls upon the camera CCD sensor.
The Manual Iris 'MI' lens has this fixed at the time of installation. As the light levels change in the scene, the lens can do nothing to prevent either too little or too much light entering the camera. Virtually all cameras employ an Automatic Electronic Shutter 'AES' to compensate for these variations when fitted with an MI lens. However they are only able to cope with a relatively small change in light levels.
An MI lens should never be used in an external situation, as the camera will be unable to cope with large changes in light levels. Use an Auto Iris ‘AI’ lens in this case, or indeed anywhere where large scene illumination changes take place.
The advent of new sensor technology such as PIXIM may result in a change to this situation in the future.

How often should I replace my IR Lamp Bulb?

Installers and end users are often disappointed by the life they get from Halogen bulbs.
Manufactures quote life expectancy figures as 'Mean Time'. They are not a guarantee of the bulb life. This simply means that on average after a number of hours quoted by the manufacturer HALF OF THE BULBS WILL HAVE FAILED. If the 'Mean Time' of 4,000 hours is quoted, half the bulbs will fail within that 4,000 hour period (5.5months).
Matters appear worse during the period of October to March, obviously because of the longer hours of darkness. During this period, lamps may be on as much as 16 hours each day. A simple calculation may be used in order to provide adequate maintenance on these systems.
If you have 5 external cameras each with 2 lamps that gives us a total daily lamp usage of:
10x16hr = 160 hours per day.
If the lamp has a mean life expectancy of 4,000 hours, this means that you can expect a bulb to fail every:
4,000/160 = 25 days.
You should make sufficient provision for this within a maintenance contract.

end faq

IP CAMERAS

What is a network camera?

A network camera, also known as an IP camera or an internet camera is NOT a webcam. It is a new generation of digital surveillance camera, capable of passing its images over a computer network such as the internet or a company ethernet. These cameras do not need to be attached to a PC in order to operate – they are small computers in themselves, and just plug into the network or a phone line via a box called a router. Network cameras are gradually replacing traditional analogue CCTV cameras, because of the additional features that they offer, such as automatic recording and sending of images if motion is detected, and the ability to see live images at any time on any PC anywhere, just using a standard browser like Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can also log in to see live images on most modern mobile phones.

Is the technology reliable?

Yes. The first of these cameras appeared in 1996, and since then the leading players have continually improved their products to the point some years ago that they became a workable option for surveillance. Now, these cameras are often as not the equipment of choice for new security camera installations. The leading manufacturer, whose products we use, has 300,000 units installed.

Will the camera deter intruders?

Common sense and numerous surveys say yes – if you were a burglar, would you choose a property where your every move would be recorded in full colour? This is why we provide you with signs for the outside of your property, so that potential burglars will have the opportunity to think again before acting.

If I rent out my home, how can I assure the occupants that I will not use the camera to spy on them?

We realise that even if you tell your visitors the camera has been deactivated, it may give little comfort if the lens is still pointing at them. That’s why we supply a lens cap or camera cover with all cameras, that you, your staff or your visitors can physically put in place for the duration of the rental period, for complete reassurance. Some guests will actually prefer to have the protection of the camera, as long as they are reassured that nobody can see the images except authorised personnel – i.e. you.

Won’t tenants be able to plug a phone into the phone socket and make lots of international calls at my expense?

All of the main phone companies offer various call-barring options that can be switched on and off with a simple phone call. You can choose to bar international calls, or even all outgoing calls. This would still enable you to market your rental property as having an ADSL internet connection – very valuable for business people. This is because the router has extra sockets that a tenant (or you!) could use to connect a PC or laptop to the internet – this adds nothing to your phone bill and still works with call barring in place.

So I can plug my own PC into the router when I am at my property and use the broadband line for my own purposes?

Yes, of course, it is your broadband line. However, your PC may take bandwidth away from the camera, so may reduce the camera’s frames per second if it is transmitting a live picture at the same time. We should also add the proviso that if, following your own use of the broadband line, your camera system is found to be not working, we will need to make a chargeable visit if we cannot sort the problem out remotely.

What if an intruder disables the camera?

Motion detection is designed to ensure that the “act” is caught on film and transmitted in near real time for safe storage away from the premises.

What if a tenant or cleaner switches the camera off at the mains, or if there is a power cut, or a temporary fault on the phone line?

If the power is accidentally switched off, or there is a power cut, or a phone line fault, the equipment is designed to reset and operate correctly when power returns or the fault is corrected, and will do so the vast majority of the time. We only use commercial-grade Axis cameras, used in shops, schools and airports, where reliability is paramount. Having said that, we cannot guarantee absolutely that your equipment will always reset following a fault on the phone line or a power cut. Switching off and on usually resets the system, but in the unlikely event that we need to carry out a site visit to reset equipment following such a service failure for whatever reason, this will be chargeable at our normal rates.

Who owns the camera and other equipment?

Once you have paid our initial invoice, you own outright all of the equipment that we supply. We retain ownership of your web page, as it forms part of our customer website.

Who has access to the camera images?

any passwords and usernames, but you may give the password to chosen people as you see fit, for example so that friends can take a look at the weather outside your villa, or your new swimming pool. Your agreement gives our staff the right to access your camera remotely and view images for specific support and maintenance purposes only, and we do not record images from it.

end faq

X-Ray Inspection

What should I put on the conveyor and in the little box?

All luggage, belt, watch, jewellery, shoes, hairpins, hats, caps, gloves and jacket.

What if I have something…embarrassing in my carry-on?

Security personnel have seen it all before. Whatever’s in your bag or backpack, they’ve seen it and they won’t even bother with a second look unless its something dangerous or illegal.

 

What if I change my mind and decide to go back out?

That is in most cases not allowed. US and other countries’ statutes and legal trials / legal precedence have resulted in the decision that once you have entered the security checkpoint you have in fact committed yourself to the full check, and can only exit once it is finished. Security officers can detain you if you decide to refuse any part of the check, and if you are percieved as a threat, you’ll be treated as such.

What kind of rights do the security people actually have over me?

Security officers in most countries have quite a few rights in their designated areas and/or facilities. Should you decide to ignore or deny a direction from them, they are perfectly within their rights to detain you, deny you entrance or ban you from the premises. At an airport, security and police work very tight, and should you decide to not comply with security, the police will very rapidly be involved.
In most cases where passengers or visitors are viewed as any kind of risk, their luggage will be held separate until the situation is resolved, so don’t be surprised if it is removed from you while the situation is dealt with.

Why do they let uneducated kids handle security at airports?

They don’t.

What kind of training do airport security personnel have?

Security personnel at airports have strict training. In the EU, personell are first of all selected carefully from already experienced security personnel, if available. They are then given theoretical training over at least a week, usually two, and that includes training and lectures with police and customs agents. Then comes 100 – 150 hours of x-ray operator training with testing, and then a month of on-site training with experienced security training personnel always attending.

What do I do if I have a complaint?

If you have a complaint against a security officer or a procedure, get in touch with a shift supervisor right away, if time allows it. Explain the situation calmly. Calmly. And then ask the shift supervisor if there is a recommended procedure when lodging a complaint. There usually is. Follow it.
Note that if you fail to remain calm with the shift supervisor (or the officers, for that matter) you might be seen as a threat, and will be treated as such. Any complaints you have will usually be void at that point…

Can security officers cancel my airline ticket?

Not by themselves. However, if they feel that you are not fit to travel, they may deny you entrance to the secure zone, and in doing so stop you from boarding. They might also ban you from the airport, which is a tad more serious. Furthermore, they may contact airlines, informing them of your name and booking number, thus having your ticket canceled that way and possibly getting you blacklisted with that airline.

Is there any way to avoid the security check?

Yes. Take the train.

Can I take a lava lamp in my carry-on bag?

No you can’t. It contains too much liquid for it to pass through security these days. Wrap it up nicely, remembering how they treat your checked-in luggage and hope for the best. Or send it with UPS. At least UPS’ll pay for it if they break it – the airline won’t.

Will Scotch tape set off the metal detector?

It might – it depends on the amount. A whole roll of it (the silvery one) will, and if you have enough of it wrapped around something, it might go off then too. Remember though, that anything you wrap in tape, they can demand that you open and your efforts are wasted. Better send whatever it is in your checked in luggage.

Can I get my cell-phone through the metal detector?

It’s possible, but we don’t recommend trying it. It takes practice and a little luck, but it is possible to get a small cellphone through the detector portal using a little bit of technique. Hold it in your hand, close to your body, shielding it as much as possible from the portal. When walking through, make sure you move closest to the side of the portal where you’re not holding the phone.
Try to make the phone move as quickly as possible through the portal. You’ll have to figure out the rest by practice, we’re afraid… we can’t just give it all away. Suffice to say, it’s definitely possible, but it’s going to look strange no matter which way you turn it, and the move is probably going to earn you a pat-down, or “wending”.

Can my pants button set off the detector or an alarm at airport security?

It depends on the button of course, but a normal metal button on say a pair of jeans will not set off the metal detector or any other alarm. It just doesn’t contain enough metal. This also goes for pants that have buttons instead of the zipper. There’s just not enough metal in buttons alone, as long as there’s just the normal number of such, that is.

Will my pants zippers set off the metal detector alarm?

Not normally. If you’ve got a normal sized zipper, the metal in that alone will not be sufficient to set off the metal detector. See also the bullet on buttons directly above.

Is it possible to hide a blade / knife in your shoe?

Yes it most certainly is. Check out our dedicated page on the issue. There are some nice pictures there too. That said, hiding a blade or knife in your shoe is risky – in many places, shoes have to go through the x-ray machine, in which case the operator will most definitely see it, and you’ll be in a world of trouble.

Is checked-in luggage searched?

Both yes and no. In most modern airports, checked-in luggage will be sent through an automatic x-ray machine that detects patterns of content, including but not limited to set object definitions, densities and so on, and if the machine, comparing with its algorithm detects something unusual, then that bag may be sent for re-check by a human operator. If that operator decides that the bag must be searched, it will be. In most EU / EEC countries, this means that the owner will be present, in the US, not so much. So checked-in luggage can be searched.

Will the metal detector go off on a can of pepper spray?

Yes it most likely will. In addition, if the x-ray operator spots it in your bag, you’ll be searched and fined for trying to take it on board the aircraft.

Can the security officer see my can of pepper spray / mace on the x-ray machine image?

Yes, he or she can. It will show up as a blueish (metal), can shaped object with an orange or green-tinted (plastic) top, and filled with an orange substance (organic matter / liquid). It will be quite distinguishable.

Can I send my medical/dental x-ray images through the x-ray machine or will they be damaged?

Yes you can, and no they won’t. After the film is developed, it’s just a piece of plastic with a black and white image on it. Nothing will happen to it in the security x-ray machine.

Can airport security x-ray machines damage digital cameras or memory card / images on a memory card?

No they can’t. There’s no need to remove anything or take any kind of precautions. They simply can’t damage your equipment.

Can I go through the security checkpoint / scanner with safety pins on?

Can I go through the security checkpoint / scanner with safety pins on?Yes you can. Again depending on the amount of course, and also the size of the pins, but normal to slightly oversized safety pins that actually serve a purpose – say, hold your clothes together, should never be a problem. You can’t do any damage to anything with a safety pin (what, are you going to safety pin someone to death?) and the amount of metal in 1-5 safety pins is not enough to set off the metal detector.

Which metals will set off a security metal detector?

This is one that we actually get quite a lot. There’s an easy answer; all. All metals will set off a metal detector – that’s basically what it does – it detects metals. Gold, silver, platinum, iron, steel or alloys – it doesn’t matter. The metal detector will detect the metal. Surprisingly.

Will gold jewellery show up on airport x-ray scanners?

Yes they will. Same as any metal, gold is very dense and the shape of the jewelry will show up in black, making it highly visible on the operator’s screen

Can Saran Wrap set off an airport security metal detector?

Saran Wrap is plastic, and since plastic isn’t metal, the metal detector won’t react to it at all. Aluminium foil is different. Saran Wrap, no. Aluminium foil, yes.

Will the airport security x-ray machine detect gold?

Well, that depends on your definition. Yes, the operator will see the gold, in the form of a black spot. All metal shows up as black shapes on the screen, and must be interpreted from its shape. If you transport a large amount of gold, your bag will be searched to make sure nothing is “hiding” behind the metal mass. So in short; yes.

 

end faq

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