Case Study: Commercial Security Moves Underground at Meritex in Kansas City
Every business is different, and so
are the commercial security challenges that each business faces. It is a rare
thing for a commercial business to only need something as simple as a door
alarm on the front and rear entrance, and that’s it. Most commercial security systems in Kansas
City and around the country rely on a range of interlocking security
solutions including access controls, security cameras, and more.
Almost all businesses face unique
security challenges relating to the type of business they do, their clientele,
the architecture of their building, and even the neighborhood in which they are
located. But what if the challenge was tied more directly to the physical
location of the business? What if your offices and inventory were underground,
buried deep inside a former limestone mine?
How would you even begin to design
and implement a commercial security system for a location so remote that it can’t
even access a traditional wireless cellular signal? That was the challenge
facing A-TEC Security in Kansas City as they helped one such KC area
underground storage tenant protect their space and property through an
innovative use of wired and wireless security products and services, deep in a
For purposes of security, the
client in question will have to remain anonymous, but the methods used in this
case study may be of interest to any business that faces unique commercial
security challenges as a result of their location or other factors.
A nationwide company with a growing
Kansas City operation serving micro markets and vending machines across the
region, the client houses hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory in a
climate-controlled limestone cave system buried deep beneath the city. The
caves are also home to their offices for local management and support teams,
and act as a distribution hub to local customers. This presents the same
security challenges as a warehouse, a delivery hub, and an office space, all roughly 25 meters underground!
Within the caves, the client leases
approximately 750,000 square feet of space, around 5,000 of which is dedicated
to offices and a cafeteria. This office space contains several doors that need
specific security, including the door to the front office and to the delivery
docks which need to be accessed by drivers at all hours.
The much larger warehouse space
also houses caged and gated areas which require their own security, as well as
cold storage facilities which need access controls and alarms to let management
know if doors are left open. A door left open overnight on a cold storage
facility could obviously have catastrophic consequences for perishable goods
Because the client serves a wide
network of vending machines and other customers, delivery drivers are coming
and going at all hours. Drivers use one of four dock doors to load and unload
product, and may need access to cold storage or other facilities within the
larger warehouse space, depending on their route and what products they’re
dropping off or picking up, so flexible, dynamic, and intuitive access controls
are a must.
A 750,000 square foot storage space plus offices would
present some interesting security challenges on its own, but when you take into
account that it’s buried roughly 25 meters underground in an old limestone
mine, those challenges only increase.
The Meritex underground is an ideal location for storage. The
caves are naturally climate controlled, with temperatures that remain around 70
degrees year-round—which is why the 3 million square foot caves are home to
numerous underground storage tenants, including a portion of the U.S. National
Being located underground offers certain built-in security
advantages, but also presents unusual challenges to the business looking to
increase their commercial security coverage. Hundreds of vehicles enter and
leave the underground site on a daily basis, and Meritex provides tenants with
24/7 access to their underground storage areas, which are only guarded at
night. This means that tenants within the underground facility are responsible
for implementing most of their own commercial security measures.
Installing and monitoring a commercial security system deep
beneath Kansas City has its own unique challenges. The caves block traditional
wireless cellular signals and even 800 MHz radio signals, and drilling through
solid limestone walls to run cables isn’t as easy as installing wired security
solutions in an above-ground office building.
The client needed access controls for seven doors within their
offices, including dock doors that would be accessed during off-hours by
delivery drivers, not to mention all the usual commercial security solutions
that would go into any other office building or storage space, such as
commercial security cameras and NVRs. However, securing and monitoring all
those doors and spaces in a limestone cavern meters beneath Kansas City was no
The A-TEC Security Solution
Before approaching such a unique security challenge, A-TEC
Commercial Security in Kansas City met with the client, toured the facility,
and drew up plans that would allow them to meet all the client’s commercial
security needs without the necessity of drilling through solid limestone walls.
Once everyone approved of the plans, they began installing commercial security
solutions tailored to the client’s needs.
With so many delivery drivers coming and going, access
controls were one of the most important elements of commercial security for the
client. Therefore, securing the underground storage facility and distribution
hub began with a customized ProdataKey system, including electromagnetic
locks on gates, all of which feeds into cloud services which can be accessed
from the client’s network or from smartphone apps, even when no one is on site,
giving site managers control over the facility anytime, day or night. To
fulfill all the client’s commercial security needs, the solution also included
a DSC security system, complete with the same kinds of door contacts,
glass break sensors, motion sensors, and silent alarms or “holdup buttons”
that you might find in a bank. From there, A-TEC moved on to installing Hikvision
security cameras within the storage facility—including inside the cold storage
areas—and monitoring delivery entrances and doors. The cameras feed into a
digital network video recorder (NVR) to store footage for monitoring and review,
which is also accessible remotely via apps and a network interface.
The underground location necessitated a creative combination
of wired and wireless solutions, custom-tailored to the specific needs and
unique geography of the client’s facilities. This meant running wiring for
keypads and control panels where office structures allowed, and taking
advantage of the AT&T internet access that is wired into the Meritex
underground spaces and supported by speeds of up to 1 gig. It also meant
adapting existing solutions to fit the needs of the client, and combining
commercial security systems where appropriate to create new solutions that met
the unique challenges that come with providing commercial security underground.
Thanks to A-TEC, the client can go about their business
without interruptions. Delivery drivers have access to the areas they need,
while other areas remain protected. The client is free to grow their business
and support their customers, all while monitoring and tracking who’s coming and
going, and receiving up-to-date reporting and timely alerts in the event that
anything unexpected should occur.
Thanks to the manufacturer apps that come with many of the
best commercial security system products, facilities managers and executives
can keep their finger on the pulse of everything that’s happening underground,
even when they’re not on site. Managers can also “remote in” to do
everything from check feeds from security cameras to unlock doors and grant
access to drivers who need it.
Business shouldn’t grind to a halt in order to enjoy the
benefits of reliable commercial security, and thanks to A-TEC, commercial
security is even possible in out-of-the-way places like a limestone cave 25
meters below the city.
About A-TEC Commercial Security in Kansas City
For more than 20 years, A-TEC Security has been providing
businesses all over (and under) the Kansas City metropolitan area with
dependable and innovative commercial security systems and solutions. From
installing and servicing commercial security systems to 24/7 monitoring and
more, A-TEC has been involved in almost every aspect of commercial security in
Kansas City, and brings decades of expertise to every job that they take on.
From the top floor of office towers to limestone caverns
meters beneath the city, A-TEC takes the commercial security of every
individual business seriously, and builds custom-made commercial security
solutions tailored to the needs of each business they serve, utilizing only the
best commercial security devices and technology available.
To learn more about commercial
security systems in Kansas City or how A-TEC can help your business meet
its unique commercial security needs, contact A-TEC Security today at 913-208-8885.