“We need a security system.” These are words that can strike fear into the hearts of those controlling the budget. The dollar signs begin to dance like stars in front of their eyes. The truth of the matter is that a security system can be quite effective in helping to reduce costs by deterring theft and minimizing liability risks and inventory loss, and it may not be as expensive as you might think.
Both service-oriented and manufacturing industries experience loss because of break-ins, vandalism, and fire. A security system can help provide peace of mind, a secure work environment, and immediate economic benefits by mitigating loss and potentially reducing insurance rates.
Interestingly, security systems can also help businesses in ways other than intrusion from outside sources. A security camera in a parking lot provides a sense of safety for employees walking to their cars. A security camera system installed throughout a business can effectively lower instances of workplace violence and record instances of workers’ compensation claims.
Types of Systems
There are many options in security systems that can be customized depending on an organization’s needs, ranging from a single camera and recorder setup to an integrated multicamera video management system that permits viewing of live or recorded images from various stations. The following are several security system options:
- Central monitoring service: A service operator remotely monitors a facility. If an intruder trips an alarm, the service provider conducts a two-way interactive audio verification. If there is no appropriate response from the facility, the service provider contacts the designated company representative and authorities.
- Video security surveillance: Can’t be in two places at one time? Maybe you can. The crème de la crème of security monitoring systems are high-definition cameras with a closed circuit television that can be installed throughout a facility. There are options such as black-and-white or color monitoring, infrared, lowlight, and night vision capabilities. Individuals can view events in multiple locations and have remote access to oversee business from virtually anywhere by tapping into a Web-based browser to monitor equipment and personnel.
- Archiving data: Organizations can record data, locate the data quickly, and search by calendar days. Recordings can be done by video cassette recorder, which is relatively inexpensive but slower and more limited in recording capacity than digital video recorders. A DVR is a bit more expensive but offers more features.
- Video management system: This software controls data storage. Preferably a video management system can save space on the network and assign more storage space to higher traffic areas. This system should offer some flexibility to meet an organization’s needs.
How to Choose
According to the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, here are some questions to ask when choosing an alarm service:
- Is it certified by the NBFAA?
- Does the service have its appropriate licenses?
- Do employees of the service go through a thorough screening?
- Are there references available and recommendations from customers and other business associates?
Ultimately a security system will be most beneficial if it is tailored to your needs. Security companies will send a consultant to do a needs assessment and develop a proposal. It is a good idea to obtain three or four bids and compare services, quality of technology, and dependability.