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Unmanned petrol stations

Avia, a chain of self-service petrol stations in Belgium, recently installed Grundig CCTV equipment at an unmanned site.

Six lanes of self-service fuel pumps serve diesel, unleaded and super unleaded fuel. The fuel is paid for at the pumps by cash or card, and no staff are present.

Belgomine NV, distributor of the Swiss brand AVIA in Belgium, is an independent petrol station company in Belgium.

Eric Audenaert, technical manager of Belgomine, said: “We were looking for a system that would observe the general operation of the site, whilst also providing detailed images for an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). The site is busy, with a high volume of vehicles of all sizes passing through. It is important to ensure the site runs efficiently and effectively. We wanted to be able to respond immediately and appropriately to any incidents as they occur. All events are recorded for evidential purposes and clear images of vehicle number plates are provided to resolve disputes and support criminal investigations. The CCTV system also had to work in conjunction with a site access control system.”

Belgomine chose installer Tim Security to manage the CCTV and security project. The Security firm has a record in fuel station work.

The new CCTV system comprises six Grundig HD SDI day-night bullet cameras. These offer full HD, high resolution, were six Grundig HD SDI day-night bullet cameras. These offer full HD, high resolution, wide dynamic range (WDR) and night vision using 42, built-in, infra-red LEDs. The cameras are connected to a Grundig, eight channel HD-SDI DVR for recording and playback of video images. The cameras are used to protect entrances, exits and pumps and are monitored remotely 24/7.

The makers say that the HD SDI security cameras were chosen because they provided image quality, for their reliability rating and price. In addition, the cameras offered upgrade cost savings. The new HD-SDI cameras replaced old analogue ones on the same coaxial cable; no new cabling was necessary.

The images are viewed live at Avia’s head office; a facility which is used to monitor all the company’s fuel stations around the clock. An intuitive monitoring screen allows each camera view to be watched at the same time. At a mouse click, single camera views are enabled. No audio “listening” is used in the system, although it is an option technically, as it is not allowed under Belgian law.

Operators monitor all petrol stations remotely to ensure they are functioning properly. Any incident is identified and action taken. This can include a car break down requiring assistance or a pump malfunction requiring an engineer call out. More serious incidents, such as vandalism, “drive-off” theft, the misuse of fuel tank cards or planned crime on site are also monitored and recorded. Response to these more serious incidents can involve the police and detailed evidence is provided.

Avia plans to install the same systems at further sites. The CCTV provides evidential-level images; the operators respond to incidents; and the site is kept safe and operational at all times. In the first few months of operation, Avia says that it has already seen the deterrent effect of the system.

For more on Grundig CCTV products contact +49 (0) 2191 374 9883 or visit


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