Industry Use Cases for Environmental Sensors
With sensor-based insights, organizations across a variety of industries are able to identify meaningful changes that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
From healthcare to food production, sensors play a key role in improving and maintaining physical safety, operations, and quality assurance across organizations. Sensor data can also be analyzed for trends to help drive evidence-based decisions. By tracking eight key environmental variables, Verkada's environmental sensors uncover critical issues that would’ve otherwise gone undetected.
With greater awareness of current and historical environmental conditions, organizations can apprehend damage to machinery or products, ensure compliance with industry regulations, and improve visibility over unseeable threats. In doing so, they take a proactive role in protecting the health and safety of employees and the public, as well as preventing hazards associated with the workplace.
Although use cases for the Verkada Environmental Sensors are not limited to any industry, here are a few that benefit from its technology:
Schools and Education
For school staff and administrators, keeping students and faculty safe is their top priority. Verkada's sensors detect the presence of tobacco, THC, and vape smoke on a 1-100 Vape Index, making it a valuable tool to monitor areas such as bathrooms where smoking and vaping are known to take place. Sensors can be paired with Verkada cameras that face the entrances/exits, providing administrators with a better understanding of scenarios as they unfold.
With noise level monitoring, Verkada's environmental sensors helps staff members recognize, respond to, and even prevent fighting and violence. Staff and administrators can set up custom alerts to be notified when decibels spike above a preset number. This facilitates a faster response time, which is critical for harm reduction in incidents such as bullying where every second counts.
The manufacturing industry is highly regulated, both internally and externally, to keep workers safe and ensure quality control. This includes monitoring temperature and humidity in supply and storage rooms, where alerts can be triggered if the cooling system suddenly shuts off. Plants and factory managers may also monitor noise levels and choose to be notified if louder-than-normal decibel levels are observed from machines, which may indicate a malfunction.
Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to enact a hearing conservation program if noise exposure reaches 85 decibels averaged over an 8-hour period. With sensor monitoring, manufacturing plants can prevent occupational safety risks such as hearing loss and offer proof of compliance in the event of an audit.
Hospitals and Healthcare
Few industries face quite as many regulations as healthcare. From intensive care units (ICUs) and surgery rooms, to recovery units and labs, healthcare organizations must ensure a clean and safe environment for both patients and staff. Monitoring disturbances for overnight patients is also a concern, with noise being one of the top complaints in hospitals. One study found that noise levels during the day averaged 72 decibels, the equivalent of running a vacuum cleaner.
As such, healthcare is a common use case for environmental sensors that monitor noise levels (to help score patient satisfaction), smoking and vape detection (to keep facilities smoke-free), and temperature and humidity (for food and medical supply storage). With Verkada's sensors, healthcare facilities ensure none of these variables fall out of range.
When preset thresholds are reached, a notification will be sent via SMS and/or email so the issue can be addressed in real-time. Sensors can also be placed in sensitive areas where there is an expectation of privacy and cameras will not go, such as patient rooms.
Food Processing and Production
Contamination at a food processing facility, especially if undetected, can create far-reaching consequences. First and foremost, consumers and staff are put at risk for serious health issues. Food production companies themselves can face severe liability, fines, and damage to public image.
The food production industry is audited by a number of governmental bodies that include OSHA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They check for environmental variables such as sound levels and air quality, signals that working conditions and food quality are up-to-par.
To meet and prove compliance to quality assurance guidelines, many food production facilities deploy sensors capable of monitoring for harmful chemicals, temperature and humidity, and other environmental factors.
“If we get over 65% relative humidity in our building, we start to get degradation of our dry ingredients in the plant. Monitoring humidity also tells me how effective my HVAC system is; if there’s a failure, I see humidity start to rise on a trend.”
- Frank McKinney, Chief Operating Officer and Plant Manager
Warehousing, Distribution, and Logistics
Internet-connected sensor technology has become increasingly widespread in use across supply chain operations. Smart building multisensors like Verkada's environmental sensors can monitor and measure a variety of environmental data, all from one device. What’s more, sensors can be integrated into a larger physical security system to help organizations ensure compliance with chain-of-custody regulations (especially for sensitive cargo), centralize remote management, enable real-time visibility over inventory, and prevent loss or damage of goods.
The latter is especially true of inventory loss caused by changes in temperature or humidity. A climate-controlled environment is imperative for storing perishable goods like food, but also non-perishable commodities such as furniture, raw materials, medicines, and sensitive electrical equipment. Maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels will help prevent damage, mold, dust mites, and mildew from growing on products so inventory remains in good condition.
Hospitality and Property Management
As any property manager can tell you, monitoring units for noise, smoking, and occupancy is a constant need. A cloud-based sensor provides a convenient way to survey a high volume of properties or rooms at once.
To ensure comfortable living conditions, property managers can have Verkada Command notify them before temperature, humidity, PM 2.5, or TVOC reach intolerable levels. A sudden swing in any of these variables may also indicate a problem with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) within the facilities. By setting acceptable parameters and real-time notifications, managers are able to discover potential leaks and equipment breakdowns right as they happen.
A Multisensor for Multiple Use Cases
Verkada's Environmental Sensor covers a wide range of applications, from product control to vape detection. In this respect, it plays a decisive role in maintaining and improving an organization’s quality, health, safety, and reputation regardless of industry.
Because sensors can go where cameras cannot, Verkada's environmental sensors are an integrated powerful solution for enhancing physical safety in any room of any building in the world. When integrated with access control and video security, it adds a key dimension of visibility and awareness to ensure the health and safety of people, as well as the protection of their assets and privacy.
Watch how Carolina Ingredients uses Verkada’s solution to ensure safety compliance, optimize production space, and streamline emergency response.