In our last post, we covered the basics of security. Understanding the crime risks in your area, understanding factors that affect your chances of a theft, and the main types of systems and actions that can help you prevent or stop a burglary. In this part of the blog, we will delve more into the security system itself and how various options should be considered when securing your business.
Business Security System Options and Features
With the 21st century well underway and the digital revolution in it’s prime, it is no wonder that security system technology has evolved and changed greatly in just the last decade. Where we once simply locked our doors and had a dog as an alarm system, we now have smartphones and live streaming camera feeds with full system access and control. And with all of these new innovations it can be hard to keep up.
Monitored vs Unmonitored
The first choice to make is whether or not you want a monitored system. Meaning, if an alarm is triggered, does a notification go out to a monitoring service to call the police on your behalf? Or, does the alarm simply yell without notifying anyone out of earshot? An unmonitored system is by far the cheapest solution but it has only one function, to attempt to scare would-be burglars away. A monitored system will call the police or even the fire department or ambulance if it is triggered.
Monitored systems have become very common and are currently available in three different variants:
This refers to your phone connection and has been the got to security system solution for the better part of three decades. It is simple and reliable and has more recently become the inexpensive option. This system uses a phone’s landline to call out for help in the event of a break-in. Landlines are very reliable and rarely go out. However, a clever criminal could easily cut the phone cable coming from your business, essentially shutting down your security system. It is because of this problem that other alternatives have started to challenge this system.
With the advent of fast and reliable internet, security systems are replacing the hardwired analog connection of a telephone with the lightning fast ones and zeros of the internet. These new web monitored systems are typically reliable and are currently well priced as well. The down-side? If you have slow or spotty internet, this is not for you. These systems need a steady connection to operate as needed.
Today is the age of the smartphone and security systems are now equipped to use the same technology to make the best and most reliable security systems available. This system relies on a cellular signal to connect with the monitoring service and if you are in a large town or city, you will never need to worry about loss of service. The best part? You cannot cut a cellular line because there isn’t one.
Integration, Options, & Features
Security systems used to require a professional to install but simplification and the increasing technical knowledge of the public means there are now DIY (do it yourself) options when it comes to installing your security system. This option often saves the user money in the short run but a mistake could cost you in the long run. Hiring a professional for you install may cost more but the work is often guaranteed and more reliable overall.
PINs and Bio-IDs
Business security systems have a number of options when it comes to securing your space. Mostly, these options come in the form of how a space is accessed and how a response is issued in the event of an alarm. Access refers to how authorized individuals can enter or leave a secure location. The most common application of this measure is the PIN (personal identification number) which must be entered on a keypad to deactivate or activate and alarm. These PINs can be personalized to provide person specific comings and goings in your business.
One step further is bio-ID systems which require a fingerprint to gain entry or to set the alarm. These systems are becoming more and more popular, especially since many can be paired with phones which already carry the print id hardware and software.
Smartphone and App Integration Features
One of the most significant advances in security technology is that of the application or app for short. This refers to a program run on a computer, phone, tablet, or even through a website which allows the user to access their security system from any location with an internet or cell connection. This can relay alerts or even allow for remote monitoring of video camera systems. You can arm or disarm your business from your phone, or even lock the physical doors of your business if you have smart locks installed.
Naturally, with more options and features comes more cost and, with some systems, a significant tech learning curve. That’s why you need an expert who not only can install a system properly, but one that can also train you and your employees on its proper use and operation. ESI Comm has been in serving Missouri for 30 years and has all of latest technology and know-how for any security system you might need. Contact us today with any questions or the schedule the installation of your business security system.