As a business owner, you have a unique responsibility to establish safety on your property and inside your facility. Although every business encounters problems, proactive measures can protect your establishment from potential hazards.
Commercial security systems can ward off crime and catch suspicious behavior, allowing you to focus on boosting revenue and keeping customers satisfied. When you make safety a priority, your business can move forward with fewer vulnerabilities and setbacks.
While it’s crucial to install the right security systems for business owners, you need a guide to navigate what type to purchase and the uncertainty of what questions to ask. The following security system guide for commercial businesses can help you choose.
Does My Business Need a Security System?
Each commercial business has assets to protect, including customers, inventory, equipment and employees. Opting out of security systems exposes a business to unwelcome threats like break-ins, theft and lawsuits.
The majority of businesses increase their security or install it for the first time after becoming a burglary victim. Waiting for disasters to happen puts your business at risk, though, and every commercial establishment should consider the possibility that they could become a victim. Setting up precautions like commercial security systems can save businesses from financial losses.
Internal theft also poses a serious danger for businesses. Employee fraud costs organizations to lose an average of five percent of their annual revenues, and fraud can range from stolen property to wasting valuable work hours. Business owners can monitor employees to guard against internal harm to the company.
No matter the size of a company, business security systems are necessary to sustain a profitable framework. Each business has different structures, goals and needs, but safety is non-negotiable for every store, company and office.
Types of Security Systems Available for Business Owners
A security system for commercial business can range in capability and level of protection. While there are several options, selecting a suitable system for your business takes careful thought. First, you need to review the types of security systems for businesses.
1. Burglar and Theft Systems
Burglar and theft protection detects unauthorized entry with a variety of tools. This mechanical system includes sensors to catch breaches to a building and an intrusion alarm. Intrusion alarms emit a startling noise like a siren to intimidate burglars.
With monitoring, this system will trigger an alert to professionals on standby at a central station instead of sounding an audible warning. Many monitoring services confirm the break-in through a verification process rather than immediately calling the authorities. Verification processes in business alarm systems differ, but the following types are common:
- Audio accesses microphones for operators to listen to.
- Calling connects to the business owner or other key personnel to check out the situation.
- Video cameras to see if there are any present threats.
These systems can be hard-wired or wireless, and they often include back-up protocols in case there’s a complication, like a power outage.
2. Video Surveillance Systems
Video surveillance systems effortlessly supervise your staff and customers. These systems employ cameras and a digital video recorder to observe an area.
Your video surveillance can include the following categories of cameras:
- Dome Cameras are mounted to the ceiling and offer a broad view of a room.
- Bullet Cameras are attached to the wall or roof, depending on whether they’re the indoor or outdoor variety.
- Hidden Cameras are concealed to onlookers or disguised as common objects.
Television systems also can accompany video surveillance systems to give a business owner or security personnel a wide vantage point from a control room, and cloud-based systems allow remote viewing and manipulation of the cameras. You can also change the position of cameras if you suspect a blind spot or need to zoom in with internet-enabled cameras.
After admissible and restricted zones are established, you can receive notifications about unwanted activity in closed-off areas. Alerts can come to your mobile device or email, allowing you to respond to problems quickly.
3. Access Control Systems
Access control systems manage who comes in and out of your building. With card and badge programs, you can assign levels of access to employees. Each card has a programmed code, and strategically placed card readers permit or deny individuals access to a location based on their cards.
Proximity readers are devices that can operate electronic locks throughout your building. Access cards with the proximity feature let employees simply place their card close to the reader to enter a room. The alternative to this would be swiping a standard magnetic strip card.
Depending on the presence of an internal power source, proximity cards can either be passive or active. A proximity card is considered active if it holds internal power like a battery, and readers can recognize these from further away.
Through the card network, you can view a map of the facility to keep tabs on your employees. The status of employee icons can inform you about their location throughout the workday, which can reduce wasted time.
Access control systems can also retain logs so you can look back on who entered which sectors from weeks ago.
This interface has the ability to lock down the whole building if an emergency happens as well. This can be useful to block customers or visitors from entering your facility if there’s an internal crisis.
4. Environmental and Fire Alarm Systems
In 2016, there were an estimated 96,800 nonresidential fires in America. Intrusion and theft aren’t the only hazards for commercial businesses — plenty of environmental incidents can threaten buildings, too. Whether intentional or unintentional, fire, heat and water can lead to substantial losses. However, environmental monitoring and fire alarm systems can keep businesses protected.
Fire alarm systems for businesses consist of a control panel, sensors and annunciators.
As the detectors sense a fire, the annunciators will trigger a warning to everyone in the building and a notification to the fire department. Fire annunciators also have sprinklers to minimize the flames, and they have a system reset and signal silencing in case it’s a false alarm.
With LED screens, a depiction of the premises shows each zone and can pinpoint the location of the fire. You can swiftly ensure the security of your employees and additional building occupants and reduce the chances of catastrophe to your assets.
Environmental monitoring can include detectors for water, gas, smoke, carbon monoxide or temperature. These alarms can make your security systems even more complete, as they account for more unexpected vulnerabilities. Although gas and water may not be your main worry, you can remain confident that these hazards are covered with continual monitoring.
When there’s a danger to a commercial building, the sensors will notify the monitoring operators. The operators will proceed to contact the appropriate personnel or authorities. If there’s flooding, they’ll call you, but if there’s carbon monoxide present, they’ll dispatch a medical team.
5. Integrated Security Systems
Each of the previous types of security systems can stand alone, or they can function in an integrated security system. Integrated security systems merge multiple capabilities, like access control and video surveillance, into one centralized solution.
When you combine the whole security framework, you can efficiently check in on the safety conditions of your business. The individual outlets can work together to strengthen your business.
What to Consider When Choosing a Security System for Your Business
Choosing a business security system for your budget, operations and structure can be difficult. As you contemplate what’s best for your operation, examine what weaknesses you can resolve and where your priorities lie. The following security system factors can guide your decision:
When you outfit your business with a security system, evaluate the zones you would mount video surveillance, access control points and environmental sensors. Placement is crucial when picking out an appropriate system because you need to accommodate your specific space.
With video surveillance, the amount of visibility you can create determines how guarded your business is. Mounting cameras in the right areas can ensure you can see every corner and hallway to reinforce your safety.
The range of sensors can also influence the positioning of security devices. To arrange your security for maximum protection, opt for powerful, long-range sensors in large buildings.
2. Frequency of Maintenance
Understanding the extent of upkeep the devices need can inform you for the future. Regular maintenance can keep your business alarm systems in top shape, so you’re always shielded from danger.
The repairs for indoor and outdoor devices can differ, so be aware of the demand for each component of the system. Certain security devices can hold batteries, which you will have to change out periodically. If you’re expanding your business eventually, find out how complicated add-on equipment will be.
Your security system can require updates from time to time, too. Determine how often the mechanisms are typically upgraded to prepare.
Defending your business from potential harm is an investment. Based on your business’ financial means, purchase a security system that can satisfy your security needs.
The total cost of security systems can surprise some business owners because they’re only expecting an upfront installation fee. However, the overall cost can consist of equipment, activation, ongoing monitoring, maintenance and changes. For instance, professional monitoring services can charge a monthly or yearly fee.
The value of the security system you choose and the support of professionals makes the service indispensable.
The way in which your security elements are linked together has important implications for installation, upkeep, pricing and monitoring. The main kinds of connectivity to choose from are wireless and hardwired systems.
Hardwired systems interact through physical wires that are built into the facility. If the wires are disconnected or damaged, the system will transmit an alert to your security company. These systems take extensive installation, and they’re usually added as a building is constructed.
Wireless security systems have a less complicated installation. Using WiFi or cellular networks, your security devices can coordinate with one another. Smart security devices also allow you to access feeds and information from mobile apps for on-the-go monitoring.
5. Installation Process
Whether you select a fire alarm system or theft protection, you need to gauge how the installation will affect your business. Inputting new devices around your building and property could take a few hours or several days. Hardwired security systems can require more time to install, which could impact your day-to-day responsibilities.
Local jurisdiction codes can affect how your security systems are set up, too. For example, fire alarm guidelines depend on the occupancy of the building. Consult the codes for your area before installing.
Benefits of Installing Alarm Monitoring and Video Surveillance
Beyond the advantage of protection, adding security to your business can be rewarding in terms of legal protection, workplace performance, insurance matters and employee appreciation. Here are the ways your business can improve due to alarm monitoring and video surveillance:
1. Reduce Theft
Noticeable cameras and posted alarm protection can discourage passersby and employees from stealing merchandise, equipment or cash. When they’re scoping out a facility to steal from, they go for unprotected establishments, so you can diminish the chance of crime to your business. Surveillance, especially over expensive products and key entry points, can effectively decrease theft and burglary.
2. Resolve Claims and Disputes
Unmonitored areas expose you to liabilities, but alarms and surveillance can support you when unlawful claims arise. If a customer claims they were injured on your property, you can pull up video footage to confirm or disprove their story. This guards your reputation and helps you steer clear of lawsuits.
Security systems can also settle disputes among employees. Access control can clear up who was present during mishaps or who failed to double check a business procedure.
3. Increase Employee Productivity
Wasted time is also a loss for business, but with security monitoring and surveillance, you can amplify employee accountability. The presence of cameras spurs workers on in their tasks and doesn’t leave room for excessive breaks or a lack of work. After employees know they have to answer for their behavior, workplace performance soars.
4. Gain Lower Insurance Rates
Your property insurance can drop once you install business security systems. Business insurance premiums take into account your risk of loss, and security devices help lower these risks. Insurance companies frequently offer discounts to those who have monitoring, surveillance and alarms.
5. Create a Sense of Value and Safety
Establishing security measures can communicate your concern as a business owner. You can demonstrate your care for your employees, and the protection can improve their comfort at work. Security can cultivate peace of mind and form a positive environment.
6. Take Advantage of Tax Incentives
Adding a security system can mean a tax deduction for your organization. Under Section 179, the business equipment that counts as qualified real property now includes new fire protection, alarm systems and specific security devices. The amount that businesses can expense has also risen to one million dollars of eligible equipment and machinery.
It’s important to note that the full deduction applies to those who spend less than $2.5 million on the designated real property. Once spending exceeds this amount, the deduction decreases in dollar-for-dollar increments. However, this incentive is still a major encouragement for businesses to install commercial security systems.
These improvements to your property are beneficial for the economy overall, but tax deductions can make security system installation even more of an incentive for your business. Your installation cost can subside when you can write off these security measures.
Contact Wayne Alarm Systems for Commercial Security Systems
Wayne Alarm Systems has been equipping businesses with high-quality security systems for more than 50 years. With exceptional customer service and professional installation, we’re ready to match your business’ distinct needs.
A threat to your business could come up at any moment. Shield it with a UL-listed security system, so you’re never caught unprepared. Contact Wayne Alarm Systems today for a commercial security system.