Commercial security systems help business owners protect their premises from burglaries, insider theft and acts of vandalism. Such systems give businesses a way to substantially reduce their exposure to losses stemming from theft and property damage. Companies that deploy business security systems often get lower insurance rates because they are considered to be better protected against avoidable risk than businesses which do not use such systems.
Wide Range of Options
Commercial security systems are available in a wide range of forms and serve a variety of very different functions. Tools that fall under this category include burglar alarm systems, fire, smoke and carbon-detection sensors, access control devices, video surveillance systems and perimeter monitoring technologies. Companies that offer commercial security systems usually bundle multiple products and offer them as one comprehensive suite of security technologies that companies can use to protect their businesses.
Commercial Burglar Monitoring Systems
Burglar alarms are the most commonly deployed commercial security technology. Commercial burglar monitoring tools are similar to residential burglar alarms in function. Such systems typically consist of a series of sensors that are installed over doors and windows that provide access to the interior of a building. The sensors are linked to a central security panel using wires, or via wireless connections.
Some sensors are set to trigger alerts when a door or window is opened or broken into. Other sensors are designed to trigger alerts when they detect movement inside a building where there should be no movement. The alerts are sent to the security console, which then notifies a central security monitoring center of the intrusion. The monitoring center, which is usually managed by the vendor of the commercial security systems, then initiates follow-up action, typically, by notifying police of the intrusion.
Many businesses also deploy video surveillance equipment as a primary security measure. Video monitoring cameras are designed to capture and record all activity within the camera’s range. The images captured by video surveillance cameras provide an invaluable record of unfolding events. Often, the images are used in court to convict burglars. Businesses can also use video surveillance cameras to monitor for suspicious employee activity. Often, the mere presence of a video camera is enough to deter burglars and vandals from committing illegal acts.
Multi-layered Security Controls
Vendors of commercial security systems often layer multiple other services on top of these two basic functions. For example, many vendors offer smoke, fire and carbon-monoxide detection services as part of their overall security monitoring package. A growing number also offer flood alerting services to warn business owners of potential damage to their property or assets as a result of flooding.
Perimeter security is another critical component of a commercial security system. Perimeter protection technologies include video surveillance cameras, electric fences and sensor-embedded fences that generate an alarm when someone breaches the perimeter. Numerous access control devices are also available that allow business owners to monitor and control the access that their employees have to different parts of a facility.
Tips for Selecting Commercial Security Tools
Deciding which technologies to use can be a challenge, which is why it is a good idea to keep the following tips in mind.
- Scope out your requirements before deciding what commercial security controls you are going to need. In many cases, you may not require all of the security services that are offered by a vendor. If your office is located within a larger commercial building, for instance, many of the perimeter controls and video monitoring services may not be necessary, and you will also likely not require separate smoke or fire detection capability.
- Your security is only as good as the company that is providing it, so compare and contrast multiple vendors before selecting one. Pay particular attention to the security vendor’s monitoring center and the quality of the professionals that staff the center.
- Choose your products carefully. Do not be tempted by price alone. Instead, focus on quality. Ensure that all of your security monitoring products are certified to Underwriters Laboratories standards.
Commercial security systems can substantially reduce your exposure to avoidable losses and reduce your insurance liability, so consider implementing them at your business if you haven’t done so already.