NY Fire Dept. Gets Access to SecureWatch24 Videos on Private Sites

The SW24 network will enable the Fire Department to access video surveillance cameras in buildings all across the city, where owners have agreed to allow such access.
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The New York City Fire Department has entered into an agreement with New York-based SecureWatch 24 (SW24), granting the Fire Department access to the surveillance video network that SW24 operates in many New York City commercial and residential buildings on behalf of its property owner clients.

The SW24 network will enable the Fire Department to access video surveillance cameras in buildings all across the city, where owners have agreed to allow such access. The cameras are located in public areas like hallways, lobbies and courtyards, as well as non-tenant areas such as roofs and boiler rooms.

The Fire Department said it will not regularly monitor the surveillance network video, but rather use it as a resource to aid in an emergency response or investigation. For example, Fire Department personnel could access the network for real-time monitoring of the scene of a fire or other incident at or near a participating building. Fire marshals could also access the network's video archives to assist with an arson investigation.

SW24 was founded in 2006 by Desmond "Des" Smyth, a retired New York City Police Department Detective. The company provides security and property management services to clients from Boston to Florida.

The Fire Department cautioned that, as it will not be continuously monitoring the Network or any particular premises, the public (including property owners, their tenants and employees) should not expect or rely upon Fire Department monitoring of the premises. Anyone who witnesses or is experiencing any type of emergency situation should still call 911, the Department said.

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