When it comes to security systems, the most important thing to secure is typically your home. The next is your business. From a financial standpoint, most businesses have a significant investment in their office. Computers, phones, monitors, desks, printers and other electronics are all valuable and could be the target of a criminal. The average office with 5-10 employees can easily have more than $50,000 in equipment. But, more often than not, the true value of a businesses possessions is the information and work that is on the computers and hard drives in the office. Years of client work, sales figures, projects, and more could be gone should a burglar choose your business as their next target.
You know you need to protect your business. The next step is deciding how you will do it and understanding the many considerations needed to make an informed decision. In this first part of a two-part blog, we will discuss how to evaluate your security needs and some of the options available to securing your business. Here is a breakdown of those considerations and how they could affect your business security systems.
What type of business security system is needed for your area?
The first thing your should do is look up local crime statistics in your area. For example, in Missouri, an average of 35,000 burglaries and 124,000 thefts occur every year. That is actually a bit higher than the national averages per capita. But more specifically, you should review the crime in your specific area. To do this, use a crime rate tool like the one from Neighborhood Scout. You can narrow your search to just a few blocks in some cases to really see what crimes are committed in your businesses vicinity.
In all situations, you will want to first consider the more passive barriers first.
Where is your business located? Is it out in the open with lots of eye lines to areas with other people? Or is it tucked away in the corner of your complex? Typically, having a place with more visibility to the public is better than being more hidden. Obviously, you can’t easily change the location of your business but this is something which needs to be considered in how you secure your business
What can you see from the outside of your office windows? A simple lobby or desks lined with high-end computers and electronics? Criminals prefer to know what they might find in a place they plan to steal from. So considering what is visible to outsiders will impact the type of security you employ.
Often, just having a sign or sticker stating that a structure is monitored by a security system is enough to scare away any shy would be burglars. This does not work in all cases but it seems to be better than having nothing. But it is not recommended to “bluff” a criminal with a fake security sign.
From there you will consider the more active security solutions available to your business including:
The most common active security measure is that of the alarm system. These are activated by either the opening of a door or window or by motion. They can be controlled by a PIN protected keypad or simple on and off switch. And, in today’s world of mobile electronics, you can even monitor some security systems with a computer, smartphone, or tablet from anywhere in the world.
Camera systems capture everything they see. And if a criminal sees them around or in your business, they will definitely think twice about potentially revealing something about their identity (even if they cover their face). These are a good but often costly option that also can require some degree of technical knowledge. But few things can be more satisfying than being able to check up on your property from a smartphone while you are away.
Gates, bars, & doors
Though often unsightly, having a physical barrier can be important. If you are a jeweler or electronics dealer you will often want something that truly makes it difficult for a thief to take your goods. Making it hard or nearly impossible for them to do so. Bars and gates are still used today but there is also laminated security glass to consider as an alternative. It may not be quite as strong as steel but it will look far better.
Understanding your area will determine what measures you need in your business’s security system. It is becoming more and more common for any office to have at least one active form of security. Most often it is in the form of a PIN controlled alarm system that will alert authorities and specified users of a security alarm. But, that in and of itself has many facets and considerations. In our next part of this two-part blog we will look at options in traditional security systems and how they may apply to you and your business.
As always, ESI Comm is here and available with its 30 years of experience serving Missouri. Contact us today with any questions or if you want to be quoted a price for your Business security system installation or monitoring service.