Articles that Enrich and Expand on Physical Security Technologies

Perimeter Security of Electrical Transmission Substations

Transmission Substations

Electrical substations are an important part of the electricity distribution system. It consists mainly of high-voltage electrical equipment like transformers, switchgear and circuit breakers that step down incoming power lines into lower voltages suitable for commercial and residential use. There are over 70,000 electrical substations in the United States. A simultaneous attack on several of these could destabilize the grid and cause widespread blackouts.
The security of electric transmission substations and other electrical grid components is one of every nation’s most urgent security concerns. Substation and power generation utilities are always at risk for terrorist activity, but theft and vandalism are more common threats.

A multi-layered approach to physical security is necessary to protect electrical substations and other components of our power grids.

  • By themselves, physical security barriers like fences or walls only have limited deterrence value
  • Threats are distributed and on-going
  • Provisioning a guard force is cost-prohibitive
  • A sensible combination of physical security technologies is the only cost-effective solution for providing physical security for all critical elements of the grid

A Systematic Approach To Transmission Substation Perimeter Security:

  • Deter
    Avoidance of security incidents in the first place is always the best outcome.
  • Detect
    Security technology can reliably detect intrusion attacks.
  • Delay
    Detection at the perimeter provides additional time for security forces to assess and respond.
  • Assess
    Integrating video management systems with perimeter sensors maximizes situational awareness.
  • Communicate
    An effective response requires that the right people have the right data at the right time.
  • Respond
    Engage response force – on-site, remote operators, or law enforcement agencies


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