The type of business you own is irrelevant; it is important to know that your employees are safe when they are working. Although CNN reported in October 2012 that robberies in the States were down by 4 percent, it does not mean the risk of your business being robbed is any less. The fact is that people are still struggling in today’s economy, and this can lead them into crime very quickly.
A security alarm system is the best investment you could make in the future of your company and the safety of your employees. In many cases, the sight of a security camera or a sticker stating that your company is monitored with an alarm system is going to scare away potential burglars. Burglars want one thing; they want what you have, but they will only go after it if there is a low risk that they will get caught.
Both small and large business owners, however, have difficulty in choosing the right alarm system. The problem is that most are not educated on which components are necessary and will do the best to protect their employees. The following are a few things that you will need to consider when choosing your system:
Hardwired or Wireless Alarm System
One of the main decisions you will make in choosing an alarm system for your business is whether the system is hardwired or wireless. Either will offer your employees some protection, but both come with advantages and disadvantages.
Hardwired Alarm System
• The hardwired alarm system is considered one of the most reliable as the service will not be interrupted by outside interference, such as radio frequencies.
• Hardwire systems are also less known for sending false alarms.
• A burglar may rip off one of the alarm panels, believing they have disarmed it. However, this will not disarm it as the main components of the system are usually installed in the basement or another out-of-the-way spot.
• This system will require many wires to be installed in the walls or under the floors throughout your business.
• Hardwired systems may cost more as there are more labor charges incurred in the installation. However, they do require less maintenance than a wireless system.
• The majority of hardwired systems are not suitable for those who wish to install the system in a DIY project. Unless you are well-versed on electrical wiring, you will want to leave it to the professionals.
Wireless Alarm Systems
• The easy installation of wireless alarm systems makes them one of the most popular alarm systems for businesses of all sizes.
• Wireless systems are also less vulnerable to problems associated with hardwired systems. You never have to worry that your system will not work if your power goes out or the phone lines are cut.
• In the event of a problem with the system, wireless systems are also very easy to troubleshoot. In many cases, the problem can be fixed remotely, and you will not have to worry about expensive repair fees.
• The main disadvantage of wireless alarm systems is the cost of the equipment compared to the hardwired system.
• Wireless systems can be prone to interference by the weather and may even be affected by running some appliances in your home.
• You must always be concerned about the battery charges on your system. If the batteries are dead, your system will not work.
Monitored or Unmonitored Alarm System
Another aspect to think about when installing a security alarm system in your business is whether or not you want your system to be monitored or unmonitored. A monitored system will send a signal to an alarm monitoring company. When the signal is received, the alarm dispatcher will follow the instructions as set forth by you. For example, if the signal received is a Door Open signal and it happens when your business is closed, you may set instructions for them to call your cell phone first. If no answer is received, you may then have instructions for them to contact the appropriate authorities.
An unmonitored alarm system will make use of other communication methods, including the use of loud sirens to scare away intruders. You also may have the option to have your system alert you with a message through text or email when a problem occurs.
The decision to go with a monitored or unmonitored system is important. While a monitored security alarm system is going to be an additional expense for your business, it is going to keep your employees safer when on the job.
When it comes to choosing the components of your alarm system, there are several to consider to make sure your employees get the most protection possible.
Video Surveillance Cameras
In the event of a burglary, you may have instructed your employees to cooperate fully and make staying safe their top priority. However, this does not mean you want them to hand over the cash to someone who will never get caught. Video surveillance cameras are the perfect addition to any business and will help the authorities to catch the criminal. Your system can be set to record every second of the day and will give the authorities access to the event as it happened.
Glass-break detectors are another great component to consider when keeping your employees safe is your top priority. This particular detector is designed to detect disturbances in the glass in your business. If someone were to try to come through a back window when your employee was at the front of the store, the glass-break detector would sound for approximately thirty-seconds or send a signal to your alarm monitoring company. Either way, your employee would be alerted to a potential intruder.
Open and close reporting is a service that is usually offered by most alarm monitoring companies. If the alarm is armed or disarmed at a time that does not coincide with your normal open and close times, the alarm monitoring company can act on the signal as you instructed. This is one of the best ways you can protect your employee from harm. For example, if a burglar comes in at closing time and a signal is sent that the alarm is not armed at the normal time, you could instruct the monitoring company to contact the authorities immediately or call the business first to confirm that someone is working late. If there is no answer at the business, the authorities would be contacted.
While many people often associate panic buttons with banks, they are great for any business that deals directly with the public. If someone comes into your business and holds a gun on your employee, you want them to have access to immediate help. The concern is making certain your employees know when to use the panic button and how to use it inconspicuously.
Carbon Monoxide/Heat/Smoke Detection System
Burglary is not the only thing you will need to protect your employees from as there are many disasters that could take place in your business. A fire could break out in any business and, depending on what you have in your storage, it could go up in flames quickly. By placing smoke alarms and heat detectors in your business, you can make sure your employees have ample time to get out in the event of an emergency. You also need to be concerned with carbon monoxide in your place of business and will find the detectors are crucial in keeping your employees safe on the job.
Things to Consider Regarding Your Alarm System and Employee Safety
• Employee Access: A concern of many business owners is how much access to the alarm system they should give their employees. You want your employees to be safe, but you will also need to keep your business safe. Provide each employee with just what they need to be safe, but be sure that you do not give them control over your system as it could lead to an increase in employee theft.
• Employee Education: You also have to concern yourself with employee education. Depending on the system you have chosen for your business, you may request that a special training seminar be conducted to help educate your employees on how the system works and will benefit them.
• False Alarms: False alarms occur in every business, but too many can cause some major problems, especially if your system is being monitored. Dispatching the police or fire department on a false alarm will tie them up and take them away from other possible emergencies. In many cases, the authorities may actually charge your business each time they are called out on a false alarm. For this reason, it is important that your employees have a good understanding of the system to help prevent false alarms.
As a business owner, you have a responsibility to your employees. You must provide them with a safe environment to work. While you may not be able to control what others do, you can be certain that if someone comes into your business with the intention of burglarizing it or harming an employee, you have provided every means possible to protect your employees. Contact us today to learn more about keeping the work environment safe.