Below are links to articles posted in Business Security.
What is an Access Control System?
An access control system is simply the method of managing entry and access into specific buildings, locations and areas within buildings. Knowing who, and how, different people can access property is a fundamental concern of any business owner.
The traditional type of access control system is lock and key. However, with advancements in security system technology access control has moved beyond a metal lock and business owners now have the ability to control accessibility into their facilities with electronic keycards, keypads and touchscreens that provide different levels of access and security, based on individuals’ access needs.
Access control systems give business owners and building managers an extra layer of security and control of their property. Depending on the type of technology you use to manage your system, access to property can be granted or denied in real-time and your system can log exactly who accessed your property and when.
Using an advanced access control system provides greater security detail and a number of benefits to traditional security methods.
Top Benefits for Commercial Access Control Systems
You Can Manage Individuals’ Access to Specific Areas of your Business or Property
Every business has a hierarchy of employees. Some employees need to be able to access sensitive equipment, like a secured network server, while others simply need access into the main office in order to their jobs. An access control system allows business owners to put sensitive equipment into different rooms of their business and only give access to those areas to employees that need to be able to use that equipment.
Access History Logs and Automated Environmental Controls
In addition to managing employee access to different rooms and buildings, access control systems log all entry into secured locations so that business owners can review who has been into specific areas, and when, if a problem or potential threat ever arises. Access control systems also allow for adjustments in the environment such as turning on the lights in a secured room or adjusting the temperature when someone scans to enter. The simple touches such as automatically changing the environment can lead to long-term energy bill savings.
Enhanced Efficiency for Security Needs and Changes
Never change a lock again. Keys often get lost or stolen, leaving your business vulnerable. On top of that, employees come and go. When employees leave, especially employees that previously had access to sensitive information and equipment, changing locks and re-securing areas of your business can be a hassle. With advanced access control systems, access can be granted or removed very quickly and electronically so that business owners don’t have to worry about legacy access becoming a threat.
Enhance Safety for your Business and your Employees
Business owners can use access control to restrict access to dangerous equipment or sensitive systems to prevent any unnecessary tampering and potential for accidents. Less accidents, mean less hours spent dealing with workers compensation forms and even lawsuits. Also, security experts in Information Technology will tell you that the first thing they review is ways around physical security with the intent to access a server room. Once they have access, it takes no time at all to setup a remote connection to leak sensitive customer and employee data.
Deter Criminal Activity
Criminals can recognize an access control system and know that it is not only more difficult to break into, but the chances are much higher that authorities would be notified immediately if a break in were to occur. Access control systems are a signal to potential criminals that this business has a more mature security system, and very likely has cameras rolling to record activity, too, making it an undesirable target.
Advanced access control system give business owners a more secure business while also providing convenient, flexible and cost-effective means of maintaining that security.
Look around almost any store you’re in these days, and you’re likely to see a security camera staring back at you. Sometimes hidden, sometimes right out in the open, cameras are an important weapon in a business’s security arsenal. And, video alarm verification is rapidly becoming a popular security feature for all businesses, big and small.
What is Video Alarm Verification?
In simple terms, video alarm verification just means that a video camera captures visual evidence to support a true alarm. Real-time video significantly reduces the “false alarm effect,” which can lead to slower response times and less immediate urgency.
Video Alarm Verification Is Cost Effective
Thanks to improved technologies and price decreases in said technologies, hardware, and monitoring, this type of security feature is now attainable for many businesses where it was cost-prohibitive before. Installation is also much simpler today and, therefore, more affordable.
How Does Video Alarm Verification Work?
How exactly does video alarm verification work? A video camera records movement in a store after hours. This is immediately sent to the store’s alarm company central station operator. If the operator sees a perpetrator they send a call immediately to the police. Since it was an eyewitness account of someone seeing the crime, it will receive a “priority 1” ranking from law enforcement and a quicker response time from the police.
Police Arrive Faster with Video Alarm Verification
How much does video verification really help, though? In Grand Prairie, Texas, for example, officers have been arriving at the scene of the crime in less than two minutes when a video verified alarm is dispatched. This is in comparison to the fifteen minutes of response time from a typical alarm. This significant time difference can save businesses substantial money because a faster response time means less property loss. Businesses also receive fewer false alarm fines since the monitoring company can see right away if the alarm is real or accidental. As the costs of false alarms continue to rise that can really help a company’s bottom line.
Video Alarm Verification Keeps Law Enforcement Safe
It is a win-win for both businesses and police forces. With police budgets under intense strain, many departments are only sending officers to checking out video verified alarms now. For example, Detroit, Michigan recently gave a 60-day notice that their police would only respond for a video verified alarm. It helps law enforcement by not wasting their valuable time, and taxpayers’ money, to come out and explore a possible false alarm. It also keeps police safer. If there is video alarm verification of a crime in progress, they have a better idea of who they are looking for and what to expect when they get to the scene. Police can come armed and prepared rather than walking into an unknown situation.
Video Alarm Verification Comes with Smartphone Access
Another great benefit for store owners and company leaders is the ability to view footage on their smartphone. Business owners can use their phone to remotely view video anytime. This means they can make sure their staff is opening the store on time, treating customers the right way, and locking up the office properly at night.
Learn how video verification can help you. Call Fortress today to get a free quote on adding video alarm verification to your business security system. It’s more affordable than you think.
If you run a business, small or large, you know how important a security system is to your bottom line. You are aware of the obvious ways a business security system can save you money, for example against theft protection. But there are also some less visible ways a business or a home security system can offer long-term savings. For example, a good home or business security system can help you save beaucoup bucks on electricity costs among other savings. Here are five other reasons why installing a security system is a good investment for your home or company-
A Security System Deters Theft
Theft can happen from within your company and outside your company.
Inside Jobs – According to 2015 research provided by Statistic Brain, $50,000,000,000 is stolen annually from U.S. businesses by employees. Clearly, there are many, more complicated, ways to steal from a company, other than just taking cash from a register. From inventory theft to stealing customer data or copying digital assets that belong to the company – it’s all stealing and hurts your bottom line. A business security system can prevent and deter common theft and make employees think twice before they take what is not rightfully theirs. Most of the time employees take because it is easy, not because of financial reasons.
Outside jobs – Your company may be the target of theft from the outside too. From professional thieves to someone desperate for money to fuel an addiction, an unprotected workplace is an easy be a target.
According to the Crime Doctor, a home burglary occurs every fifteen minutes. Most residential burglaries happen during the day when homes are not occupied. A home alarm and a visible sign can go a long way to protect your residence and offer home security system savings. The most popular time for a burglary to occur is right now- during the summer months. According to the FBI, the average dollar loss per burglary in the U.S. is $2,185. Loss actually accounts for much more than that as you can’t put a price on the loss of peace of mind.
A Security System Can Provide Insurance Savings
Installing a home or business security system can offer you plenty of property insurance savings. If you own a business you are going need something to offer and… insurance. Depending on the kind of business you have you may need, among other coverages, general liability insurance, property insurance, commercial auto insurance, workers compensation and a business umbrella policy. Your needs will likely be a mix of these coverages. Needless to say this all can be a good chunk of change and any way you can save it helps. A business security system can help gain some valuable insurance discounts from your insurance company.
This goes for the homestead too. An initial investment in a security system can offer long-term insurance savings. Insurance agencies can offer discounts up to 20% for auto insurance when a home security system is installed.
Automation of Lights Offered from a Security System Offers Energy Savings
John is the last to leave the office. He’s in a hurry, and he doesn’t have the time to walk through the office and turn off all the lights. Your energy savings just went out the door with John. In an office environment, light sensors can detect activity in a certain area and go on when you enter the room, and turn off soon after the last occupant has left the room. They are easy to install and this kind of automation can offer a company significant savings in the long run. It is the future of electricity management and an easy to manage cost-saving business measure.
This also goes for smart homes. When you get tired of yelling, “____ turn off the lights when you leave a room.” It’s time for a smart home and some smart savings.
A Security System Saves Money with Automated Climate Control Systems
Did you know that a thermostat controls half your energy bill? On average a smart thermostat saves 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Most homes and offices waste vast amounts of energy heating and cooling areas that are vacant some of the time. For a home or office, automated climate control systems can be set to adjust to patterns observed and learned. An automated climate control system for a home or office can provide huge savings from controlling the temperature. You can program it to be off when people aren’t home during the day or aren’t at an office at night. If no one is in the office 7pm -7am then the air should be off. It can also be programmed to heat and cool only certain rooms or zones. If no one is ever in a board room then you can shut it down – just like with an unused guest room in the house.
Water, Fire and Gas Detection
You can’t put a cost on the safety and protection of your friends, family and colleagues. Knowing that your company or home is protected against a gas leak or a fire is immeasurable. Carbon monoxide sensors guard against the threat of invisible, odorless carbon monoxide poisoning. Monitored smoke detectors can protect your home or office and can catch a fire in its earliest stages. The statistics are shocking. According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 367,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,745 deaths, 11,825 civilian injuries, and $6.8 billion in direct damage. According to the same association three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Flooding and storm damage, leaking appliances, busted water heaters, overflowing tubs can be expensive endeavors to fix in a home or an office. According to Homewyse, it can range from $11.30 – 24.40 a foot to repair in a residence. Water leak detection monitoring can catch a problem early when it is much less expensive to fix.
Fortress Security offers a wide range of home and business security capabilities and system options to protect your valuables. Give us a call or fill out an online to form to request a free quote today.
If you run a business, keeping your possessions secure while allowing people to access your property, whether it be a building or one of your fleet trucks — is a top priority. Determining what you will need to secure your business can be a pain if you aren’t prepared with some basic knowledge of what you can do with the options available to you today. Think of use-case scenarios, as well as how much space you’ll need to secure, to get a sense of what security technology you could (and should) implement.
Securing and Automating Your Offices While You’re Out of Town
Of course, as a business owner, you’ll need the basics in a security system – door sensors, notifications and alerts of tripped alarms instantly to your smartphone, surveillance cameras, ingress and egress access controls systems and 24-hour system monitoring – but, what about the incidentals? What about security items that are less obvious?
You’re far away on business setting up new clients, and your office or building has a fire. In the perfect scenario, you would have smoke detectors installed and connected to a professionally installed commercial fire system with U.L. Listed 24 Hour Fire System monitoring service. Now you could rest assured that your office or building and employees are safe as well as your other irreplaceable items in your business like expensive server room equipment, customer files, and proprietary company data.
In another scenario, you are away from the office and have an employee who needs access to a part of the building that is normally off limits to them. Going back to the office is not an option and not allowing the employee access slows down your production, but with an access control system and camera system, you could instantly allow access to this door with the push of a button on your smartphone and view the employee in real-time over a simple smartphone application. Not only can these systems provide you with priceless peace of mind but they can save you valuable time and money.
What all would you need in a business security system in order to do that?
First, make sure you are considering how business security differs from home security from our post “Five D’s of Business Security” when deciding on what your ultimate goals are for securing and automating your property:
Then consider the components your business will need to achieve your goals of staying within budget, but not skimping on what you need:
Remote Smoke/CO2 Sensors would be a great place to begin ensuring your company has one of the most basic, yet often overlooked options of automated security systems. No one wants harm to come to their employees, nor do they want costly litigation with workers compensation due to injuries employees obtained at the workplace due to inadequate warning of fire and or gas leaks, not to mention trying to replace irreplaceable customer files and documents.
Water Detection Sensors can also play a vital role in protecting a company’s assets. The last thing you want to do is to allow a leak to go unchecked long enough to potentially shut down the office, causing lost time at work and potentially lost business.
Remote Surveillance systems can be set up and used in countless ways— but before you select a system, you will need to understand where you want to place them and what those environments are like. If you’re going to work with an outdoor system, you’ll need to determine if the area is adequately lit, allowing the cameras to see everything that’s going on. Also, since you’ll be accessing the system remotely, you’ll need to make sure that you have the proper connectivity via wired and or a highly secured wireless network. Another factor in video surveillance systems is where to store the videos you’re recording — do you want them stored onsite, or should you use a cloud storage system?
Backup power for all surveillance systems is a must because all it takes is for one of those Texas spring storms to pop up with lightning that’s bound to strike transformers left and right, leaving you powerless to run your surveillance system.
Automated Climate Control Systems that can be set to adjust to patterns observed and learned using one of the many Honeywell systems with built-in and custom thermostat settings. Many offer remote access, so you don’t even have to leave your desk! Aside from the convenience factor of remote access, the cost savings alone will often offset any costs associated with the installation and equipment within a year’s time.
Securing Your Mobile Fleet through GPS Fleet Tracking through GPS Fleet Tracking can save you time and money. Knowing where your fleet is, not only gives you peace of mind, it also saves you time in not having to call and ask where your employees are. With robust reporting capabilities within GPS tracking, you can use your reports to validate where your driver was and for how long, not to mention tracking speeds and utilizing Geofencing technology with alerts when a driver has entered an area they are not allowed to drive. Keeping track of your company vehicles can be easy to setup, especially if you have a well-trained technician to walk you through the process. Tracking your fleet through GPS can also provide most businesses owners with a discount on insurance as well.
You have a wealth of options for securing your business through remote means. Just spend time thinking about what you want and what your overall budget is going to be, so you’re sure to customize a system that’s the best fit for your organization. We can do a free site survey and estimate upon request, just contact us below.
A thief can get away with a lot in a successful home invasion. So imagine what a typical office could offer – Jackpot!
A burglar might need more people for the heavy lifting but an office is filled with a wide array of pricey products including: computers, printers, displays, servers, copiers, and fax machines. A robbery of a company’s warehouse could possibly wipe out all of the inventory and a business in the process. What makes a place of business an easy target? Well, it is a place of business, and most likely closes every day. It is easy for a burglar to case it and decipher normal work times. Is the parking lot empty? Check. Is it after 8 PM? Check. Are the lights off? Check. According to buyerzone.com each year companies lose billions of dollars in theft, both internal and external. So what does a commercial security system cost? What are the costs of protecting your company?
Standard Cost of a Commercial Security System
The standard cost of a commercial security system depends on how complex a system you need. An office security system to protect your assets can range from being relatively inexpensive to costing quite a bit. It mostly depends on the how much equipment is necessary to protect your assets, and the size of your space.
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There is one universal truth amongst all business owners: your business is your livelihood. Thus, it must be protected at all costs.
When it comes to business security systems, there are plenty of viable options available to the average consumer. With the selection of companies that provide different combinations of products for home and business, it certainly makes for a daunting task trying to decide which is the more beneficial option.
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If you own a business, risk management is a daily concern. Not just in financial decisions, but with your physical assets as well.
Your first line of defense is awareness. Knowing what kind of protection you have and don’t have is the first step before taking action toward a more secure business.
It’s important to assess your security precautions in order to make sure you’re keeping your business, your belongings and your employees safe and sound.
So, we recommend running through a checklist of items that should be of focus as you evaluate the current state of your security measures.
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If you own a business, or you’re responsible for your company’s security, you know that protecting your physical space is just as important as protecting your virtual presence. Even data breaches can originate with thieves actually entering an office and taking computer hardware or swiping passwords from post-it notes.
Business security involves some different concerns and challenges than those in home protection. Although each business will have unique needs to accommodate, there are five key functions of any complete security system. These principles can apply to offices, retail locations, or warehouses, and can be summed up in the Essential Five Ds of Business Security:
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