Adding different features can “beef up” your business security systems. For an alarm system, there are many different features to think over.
One is a back-up system. Most alarm systems offer a 24-hour back up that kicks in when your business’ phone line goes down. When this happens, usually a radio or cellular back up system will notify the central monitoring station. A backup battery system can also be used in case of an electrical outage, and ensures your alarm system will still be in place. If your company uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), keep in mind back-up systems are important because many alarm systems are compatible with only regular phone systems.
Two-way monitoring is another feature for alarm systems. This feature is helpful in that the central monitoring station can instantly communicate with your office in the event the alarm is triggered. In this scenario, the security keypad also acts as an intercom system and the central monitoring service can help assist the situation.
If tracking who has opened and closed your office door is important, there is a feature available to you. One way to do this, is to have a supervised system that will tell you who armed and/or disarmed the alarm system, and at what time this happened. You can also have the central monitoring station notify someone if the system is never turned on. If this feature isn’t for you, you can choose to have the alarm system keep track of when it is armed and disarmed, but you will need to call the central monitoring station for the status of other questions.
Fire alarms are another feature you might want. Fire alarms can be tricky for businesses, because the National Fire Protection Association has very strict guidelines for businesses. Most alarm systems are able to help you stay within these guidelines.
Card Access Control Systems
Access control systems can use something called a proximity card for employees entering your office building. These proximity cards allow entry by placing the card anywhere from one inch to three feet of the sensors. These cards can also have employee photo IDs. They can even come in the form of a car tag, which allows entrance to a parking lot without the driver having to get out of his or her car.
If your company has already implemented magnetic strips or bar codes on your employee ID cards, they can also be used as your access cards, and therefore you wouldn’t need to purchase separate cards, thus saving you money.
Smartcards are becoming more popular for access control system entry. These cards carry large amounts of information about your employee and can even track spending account balances. The costs are still a little high, and can be anywhere from $2-$10 per card, and over the $500 mark per terminal. The good news is smartcards are getting good press and may have increased popularity in the future.
Choosing the right video equipment for your company can be a complex task. There are many aspects to consider when looking at cameras for your video surveillance needs. One aspect is deciding on whether to purchase a charged coupled device (CCD) camera, which is analog, or a digital signal processing (DSP) camera, which converts an analog signal into a digital signal. The main difference between these two options is the picture quality. Deciding on how closely you are going to monitor your video surveillance will help you decide which camera you will need. If you won’t be monitoring the video surveillance often, you might not want to invest in the DSP camera.
Another aspect to look into is the size of the video camera you will want. Most are between 1/4" and 1” in size. A bigger camera doesn’t necessarily give better image quality.
Other factors to consider are:
- What lenses you would like to use
- If color or black and white images are best
- What quality resolution do you need
- If you need the camera to pan, tilt or zoom
- The location of the camera or cameras