How to Select a Commercial Security SystemA commercial security system is an exceptionally important piece of hardware to have for a business of any size.  You can’t afford to leave your valuable inventory unprotected; an unsecured business can end up in calamity, with merchandise, equipment or data being stolen or otherwise damaged.  A commercial security system is a crucial investment in the future of your business.

But how do you select a security system?  The range of options and implementations are as varied as businesses themselves are.  The sort of security system a jewelry store would need is different than a marketing firm—there are different priorities and requirements to ensure safety.  There are several important questions you should ask when trying to decide on which security system to choose.

Obviously, the first thing you need to check is to make sure the company you’re choosing is licensed to work in your area.  That will avoid legal issues down the road; selecting fully licensed and bonded options is always the superior choice.

You should ask which entrances the system will monitor.  Any security company worth doing business with will perform a site survey, coming to your location to help customize your security system to your needs.  Your security system will need to cover not only your front and back doors, but also windows, overhead doors, and any other entrances would could be used to gain access.  Professional installation experts will help determine if motion detectors, smoke detectors, flood detectors and freezing temperature detectors are needed, as well.

You need to ask how the alarm system will be connected.  If the alarm system is simply connected to the main phone line or internet line, an experienced criminal will know to cut those first, rendering any notification aspects of your security system useless.  A knowledgeable security company may use other options, such as GSM (stands for Global System for Mobile Communications).

You should learn how information about a security breach is transmitted back to you.  You will want to be able to remotely access video feeds and security information, so you can see if that alarm that was just tripped really was a break in, or an employee who forgot his home keys in the office after hours.  Most security systems allow you to monitor camera feeds from a smartphone or tablet.

How is the alarm going to be installed?  If you lease your space, your options are more limited; some leases have restrictions on what can be installed to avoid potential damage to the property.  You’ll need to confirm with your rental agreement what you can do, and ensure that your security company can work with those guidelines.  If hard-wired alarm systems are not an option, there are commercially-rated wireless alarm systems that can protect large commercial or industrial premises.

How is the alarm going to be triggered?  You want to make sure that all aspects of your business are covered.  What happens if your internet goes down or there’s a power outage?  Will your alarm still work?  You’ll need to find out who will respond to your alarm, how quickly they will respond, how they enter the premises, what their response to an actual burglary will be, and how you will be notified.  These can vary from company to company, so you want to ensure you get the best solution for your specific situation.

How are passcodes distributed?  You’ll likely have employees come and go, so you want to ensure that you have the ability to regularly update and distribute new passcodes when necessary. Will each individual employee have their own passcode, or will there be one for the owner and a second for all the other employees?  Will each employee have their own keyfob to arm or disarm the system, allowing them to avoid causing false alarms when they forget their code?  There are a number of options to choose from.

Finally, as with any system, you’ll also want to find out about any additional costs that you may incur.  Get as much information as you can up front, and ask about whether there are additional fees to change passcodes or update your system to new technology over time.  This will give you a better feel for the total financial implications of your security system.

Keeping these questions in mind will help you make sure you choice of commercial security system best fits your needs.