Video Surveillance, Access Control and Life Safety Solutions Integrated at the O2, UK

Business Drivers

  • Allow O2 Security Team to Assess Visitor Traffic On and Off Site
  • Ensure Visitor Safety and Special Effects Can Work in Harmony

Key Highlights

  • Tyco’s integrated CCTV and access control systems allow security personnel to route visitors or isolate incidents from a central control point.
  • Tyco was commissioned to install security systems in the Entertainment Avenue and Waterfront Area due to the ability and commitment demonstrated during the installation of fire and security solution in the O2 Arena.


Situated on London’s Greenwich Peninsula, The O2 is London’s state-of-the-art music and entertainment destination. The venue can hold up to 23,000 people and is surrounded by an Entertainment Avenue.  The O2 is the first destination of its kind in the UK and is equivalent in size to 12 football pitches.  In a space so vast, with the potential to be densely occupied, first class security and fire protection is vital.

The security solutions needed to be discreet but effective, as those managing security at the O2 needed to have continuous surveillance of the arena and its visitors. It was important to ensure that those experiencing the venue could do so in a safe, secure and enjoyable manner. The fire detection systems also needed to operate in a unique environment, particularly in the concert arena that houses a sound system that pumps out 650,000 watts. Additionally, the shows that take place at the arena often use increasingly advanced pyrotechnic, light and atmospheric displays.


Tyco delivered security solutions that have met all of the O2’s requirements. CCTV cameras have been installed in all areas of Peninsula Square that feed into The O2 Operations room, enabling operators to view all areas of the Entertainment Avenue from the entrance of Peninsula Square to the inside of the arena bowl.  Discreetly placed, the cameras monitor the site for any unusual behavior and also provide valuable data for evacuations. The CCTV system is supported by access control doors where necessary.

Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) was installed in the arena and concourses. In a concert environment, VESDA can distinguish between particles given off as part of a show (e.g. pyrotechnic displays and dry ice) and smoke as a result of a fire and alert The O2 Operations Room accordingly. This system is supported by call points and detection around the O2 as well as voice activated alerts. These alerts are connected to the extensive sound system that informs visitors what they need to do in the event of a fire. The system has also been designed so that the voice activated alerts can operate independently of each other, evacuating areas, if necessary, in an orderly and controlled way.

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and their sub-contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, set an ambitious target of less than three years to complete what has been the UK’s largest development project in recent years. Tyco’s biggest success with this project has been to deliver high quality technology within this tight timeframe. To achieve the completion date, Tyco managed deadlines scrupulously. This involved the coordination of a team of 80 subcontractors (totalling more than 2,000 workers) along with 120 of Tyco’s own staff working to install more than 5,000 pieces of equipment.

Initially, Tyco had been commissioned to provide and manage installation of fire and electronic security systems solely for the arena. However, Tyco’s proven ability to work to a tight schedule and manage its contractor base effectively secured further projects in the Entertainment Avenue and Waterfront area.


Tyco provided a reliable and discreet solution to the O2 by installing innovative technology allowing visitors to have a safe and secure experience at the venue. David Campbell, President and CEO of AEG Europe, stated that “Tyco has played an important role in delivering a safety and security solution that plays a vital role in enhancing The O2 customer experience.”



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