Posts Tagged ‘ Business Security System’



Choosing a Security Camera System for your Business

Written By:
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Business Security Cameras

Let’s face it. Nowadays you have to have a security camera system at your business. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few employees or you have a Fortune 500 company. Your business is your livelihood. Protecting it should be your first priority. Don’t be fooled by thinking that just because you may not have cash at your office, or you may not have anything really worth stealing that you don’t need cameras. Customers are not the only criminals that businesses must be aware of. If you have decided to get cameras for your business then you already know what you are trying to protect. Let’s talk about how best to protect it.

Here are a few areas that generally need to be addressed. Every business has different priorities of what is the biggest asset, so these may not be all for you or they may not all be for you.

Cash Registers

There are two parts to monitoring a cash register. The first and foremost issue is how much cash is going in, and how much is going out. All modern cash register systems and points of sale devices are capable of not only being seen by a camera, the camera can also show a readout of what is being done on screen. We need to install a camera looking at the register that also has a device attached to show what is being done. Next we need a camera to show who is at the case register. This is mainly meant for customers, being that we already know who is operating the register. This camera ideally should be a very high resolution camera pointed straight at the faces of customers when they are standing in front of the cash register. This camera comes in handy mostly when a robbery occurs, and no one want to be the business owner that can only provide a grainy face shot to the police for investigation.

Merchandise

It is next to impossible to see every piece of merchandise in a store and also see it from multiple angles. The only way to monitor your products effectively is properly placed overview cameras. These start with an overview of the entire store. If you have multiple aisles, then a camera is needed for each aisle. Cameras should also be placed crossing each pathway that connects the main walkways. This entire setup is really open due to the fact that every shop or business has different layouts and has very different items to protect. You know where people like to congregate and where you have items go missing from the most often. Those are the places that need to be protected to best. Multiple cameras from multiple directions. These cameras also need to include a high resolution camera pointed toward any entrance so we get a great face shot of whoever comes in to your business. Any storerooms or warehouse that you may have also needs to be approached to same way. All aisles need to be viewed for anyone coming or going and we also need to be able to see well enough to identify what is being done.

Outside

All entrances and exits should be covered. If you have a break-in or attempted break-in, we need to know who did what and who it was. This is best achieved by multiple cameras so we can have at least two points of view for anything going on. The parking lot should also be covered, and here general overview type shots normally will suffice. Vehicle identification is tricky, so we need to be able to get make, model, and color. Actually catching a license plate is difficult when someone is driving away very fast, so the priority is to focus actually identifying what kind of car it was. Any major entrances should have a specific camera for who is entering/exiting just in case the camera inside doesn’t get a good facial profile.

Another great area of concern here is delivery trucks. A lot of damage involves not only the delivery truck driver hitting something on his way in or his way out, but also while items are being unloaded. It is imperative that if you have a loading dock, we need to see all of the lift truck area and outside of the dock to verify who ran into the side of the building or who left the door open when some derelict walked by and grabbed a case of soda.

Employees

Keeping track of where your employees are at all times is very imperative to running an efficient business. Everywhere they have access to must be viewed by at least one camera. Here again, multiple angles of what they are doing can prevent them putting their back to the camera and sliding a few cans of cleaning supplies into their lunch box. If you have an office style business where your worries have less to do with merchandise being pilfered and more to do with what your employees do during the day, install a few cameras around the shop. We can cover all of their watering holes and hiding spots. Job performance increases tremendously when people actually have to do their jobs.

As with all security camera systems, it must meet your needs specifically. I advise you to have a professional installation company actually come to your business. Any reputable company will give you a free consultation and estimate. This should include not only a walk-through of your business, but also the time to actually sit down with you and listen to what your areas of concern are. After all, what good is a security camera if it doesn’t show something you want to see. Start by making a list of your concerns. Detail all areas that need to be covered. Decide if you care if the employees or customers even know about them, because, covert cameras are always an option. Once you have a good idea of what you need, make the call and have an expert help guide you through getting what is best for your needs.

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Business Security System

Written By:
Monday, April 30th, 2012

A Guide to Business Security Systems

Business Security SystemAny business must guard against loss due to theft. A century ago, business security primarily consisted of large locks and safes; however, systems are much more complex today. With the advent of ecommerce, business security now includes data encryption and backup. Security systems have progressed into the digital realm, but physical businesses still need to guard against physical threats. For companies with a physical location, there are three basic components to a business security system: access control, alarms and surveillance.

Access Control

Access control is the first line of defense in a business security system. It determines who is allowed access and who is not. The most basic form of access control, which everyone uses both at home and work, is the lock and key. Intruders are barred from entering by locks, while keys allow permitted personnel to pass through easily.

Access control has come a long way since the first key was created. Many businesses rely on digital keys today. The retina scanners FBI agents use in movies is typically beyond a standard business’ security needs. Yet, less sophisticated forms of digital keys are often used. Keys might contain computer chips. Many larger companies swipe card-shaped keys at doorways or enter codes on a keypad.

The mode and expense of access control used in any given business security system will depend upon that specific business’ needs. A small retail store might only need a lock. In contrast, a large corporation might use cards, which can be programmed for different levels of access. A larger company also might use keypads or cards to control parking, whereas a small store does not have that need.

Alarms

No matter how secure a security system’s access control is, there are weak points. Alarms are for when those points are penetrated. They sound when someone gains entry to a place they should not be, thus alerting officials to the intruder, and inducing panic in the intruder. Alarms can be set up to detect burglars and vandals, or an employee who simply used the wrong exit after his shift.

The alarm component of a business security system is often its most extensive part. There are many different pieces and options available for alarms. Understanding the different configurations can help business owners compare different offers and select the best system for their companies. Here are the main elements of an alarm system:

• Control Panel

Every alarm system has a control panel. This is typically located on the roof or in a centrally-located closet. The control panel connects the alarm system on site with its monitoring service.

• Key Pad

Another essential component of an alarm system, key pads allow people onsite to control the alarm system. After being given the proper codes, employees can arm and disarm the system. Most configurations allow employees to secretly activate the alarm, in the event of an emergency.

• Door and Window Contacts

Door and window contacts are the devices used by an alarm system to detect whether an entry point is open or closed. These help employees make sure all the doors and windows are closed at the end of the day, and they will activate the alarm if anyone breaks in by opening a door or window.

• Glass Break Sensors

Door and window contacts are the most common method of detecting intruders, but they are useless against a burglar who enters by breaking a window. A window could be broken, and its contact could never be affected. However, a glass break sensor will detect the sound of breaking glass and activate the alarm. Since these sensors work by detecting sound waves, one can monitor many windows.

• Motion Detectors

Motion detectors are a final line of defense. If properly placed, they will detect anyone moving about inside a building. Almost all intruders will be detected by contacts or sensors. Motion detectors are primarily for anyone who might want to remain inside a building or room after close, then coming out when no one else is present.

• Sirens and Lights

If an alarm system is activated, it will alert the monitoring service. The monitoring service will then alert local authorities, who will Business Security Systemrespond to the call. In the meantime, which might be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, sirens and strobe lights can be used to alert anyone nearby. Sirens and strobe lights are meant to induce panic into any intruder and alert anyone in the vicinity to the potential danger.

The above list contains the components that are standard in most alarm systems. The selections listed below are optional. They will increase the cost of an alarm system, but they also provide additional security. Depending upon a given business’ security needs, these might be wise selections or superfluous expenses.

• Backup System

Alarm systems communicate with their respective monitoring services via a phone line, and intruders often attempt to sever communication by cutting the phone line. If the phone line is cut, a basic alarm system is rendered useless, aside from any sirens or lights. To guard against this, many businesses opt to have a backup system of communication. This can be via a cable line, but using cell phone towers is more common. A cellular connection cannot be cut, so these are the most secure backup systems.

• Two-Way Keypads

Once activated, a basic keypad simply alerts the monitoring service, which then sends the responding local authorities. Two-way keypads, however, allow the monitoring service to communicate directly with people on site. This allows the monitoring service to determine if there is an emergency, or if the alarm was triggered accidently. They also can clarify the nature of the emergency and send the appropriate responders.

• Log

A log of when the alarm was armed and disarmed can help business owners and managers monitor illicit employee actions. Logs often include who performed the action, as well as the date and time the action was performed. Business owners can also select an option that will notify a supervisor if the alarm is not armed.

Surveillance

Surveillance is the final component of any business security system. A surveillance system is a configuration of video cameras and recorders, which together monitor the activities that take place. Surveillance systems can be as simple as a single camera, or they can contain many cameras that are actively monitored by staff. There are several aspects of a surveillance system business owners must consider, before selecting cameras and recorders.

• Large Cameras

Large cameras are primarily used to deter theft and vandalism. They are often prominently placed, so people see them. When burglars and vandals see these cameras, they will reconsider their actions. When innocent people notice these large cameras, they will feel more secure.

• Dummy Cameras

Dummy cameras serve the same purpose as large cameras: they deter theft and vandalism, while increasing the sense of security. However, these cameras do not actually record. They are merely props. Some businesses add these to their security system, because they provide an inexpensive method of increasing security slightly.

• Small Cameras

Small cameras are usually placed in inconspicuous places. They are less noticeable, and often have a dome that prevents people from knowing which way the camera is pointing. These are primarily used for evidence after a vandalism or theft. If they are intended for this purpose, business owners must make sure they can provide a high quality picture.

• Image Quality

Several factors influence the quality of a camera’s image. Is a color image needed, or is a grayscale picture acceptable? Will the camera be recording only in a lit area, or does it need to function at night? Is a high resolution needed for zooming, or are broad, low-resolution images adequate? The purpose of the camera will determine the quality of the image that is required.

• Recorder Location

Most businesses have their surveillance system’s recordings kept on site. They are typically stored in a safe-like device, which prevents people from stealing the recordings. Yet, large corporations might want to keep their recordings in a central office. This can help centralize a security system.

• Fixed or Flexible

Depending upon a camera’s location and purpose, a business security system might need a fixed camera or a flexible one. Fixed cameras can only view a specific area. These are typically larger cameras. Smaller cameras, which are used for evidence gathering, however, are often flexible. That is, these cameras can zoom, pan and tilt. In a monitored system, these offer more control and surveillance.

• Monitored

Some businesses choose a monitored system, while others view this as an unnecessary expense. Monitored systems cost more, because a watchman must be paid to monitor the cameras. However, this provides a higher level of security. Monitored systems are primarily used with non-fixed cameras, so the guard can pan and zoom.

After considering all of the components and aspects of a business surveillance system, business owners and managers will be ready to select the configuration that best meets their needs and budget. A security system can be used to provide safety, deter theft and meet insurance requirements. The best business security system will provide access control, have an alarm system and monitor people via a surveillance system.

 

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Business Security Monitoring System

Written By:
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

No business is immune from crime, which is why every firm, large or small, can profit from a business security monitoring system. However, this is definitely a situation in which one size does not fit all. Every business is subject to different risks that require monitoring.

When managers think of security, they usually think of theft protection. Yet, all companies are at risk for fire and water damage. And even though they have insurance, the insurance payoff rarely covers the total damage. There have been incidents where a fire or flood has driven a business into bankruptcy.

But retail and some service operations are especially vulnerable to loss through theft. This is obvious from the signs you see posted in almost every store that “We prosecute shoplifters.” However, the sign alone is not enough to discourage thief. Thieves don’t expect to be caught. They always think they can get by with stealing. And many thieves are drug addicts in withdrawal and desperate for their next ‘fix.’ So they will do anything to get it and are not mentally capable of evaluating the risk. These people are especially dangerous since they may go as far as using a weapon.

Firms that are especially vulnerable to robbery and even armed robbery are service operations that are open twenty-four hours such as gas stations, restaurants and convenience stores. Most of these have signs posted that read something like “Employees do not have access to the safe” or “We keep no cash on hand after 9PM.” But these really aren’t effective as even service stations have a store full of merchandise such as beverages, candy, chips, etc. all of which are tempting to a thief. And because of the possibility of the thief being armed, this type of business definitely needs a business security monitoring system.

However, loss is not only from the outside but also from within. A National Retail Security Survey revealed that employee theft represents close to 50% of all business losses. Employees may steal merchandise for themselves but there is also the practice of “sweet hearting” in which cashiers help customers who are friends by ringing lower prices on the items the friend buys. Many employees have a “What’s yours is mine” attitude. In other words, because they work for the company they are entitled to whatever merchandise they want. And some employees have been known to operate an undercover resale business, selling the merchandise for a lesser price.

Although this is usually not intentional, a retail business can also lose money through vendor delivery shortages. Most delivery drivers work under pressure from various problems such as delays in traffic. They are almost always in a hurry and sometimes don’t offload the complete order. Over a period of time, these shortages add up to significant inventory loss.

So every manager needs to evaluate all of the risks for his particular business and consider the business security monitoring system that will best satisfy the need. And in many small businesses that security system might just save the owner’s life.

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