When facing a large purchasing decision (personal or business), it is important to see if you can get any tips to help you on your buying path. Because there are so many choices for business security systems and different security levels you can choose from, keep in mind some tips that can help you make the best decision for you and your company, as outlined below.
Keep in mind when you are setting up for your alarm system to not have the system call 911 when first set off. If the alarm is a false alarm and the system calls 911 automatically, this can result in a large fine and in some instances jail time.
Take a look at your business insurance, because having an alarm system in some cases can be beneficial. Most insurance companies knock off anywhere from 10-20 percent of their rates for these types of business security systems.
Once you have purchased your alarm system, it will probably require some maintenance in addition to needing customer support from time to time. Make sure the company you choose provides this service.
You’ll also need to keep them updated if any changes are made to your office phone system. In most cases, the central monitoring station is connected to your current phone system, so if you change anything or make the switch to VoIP, you need to alert your provider of these changes.
Ask your vendor if you can change passcodes when necessary. If you have to terminate an employee for stealing or vandalizing your business, you will want to make sure he or she will not be able to gain access into your company once they have been terminated. Also ask about duress signals. If an intruder forces you to let them in your business, most vendors have the option to set up a duress signal to notify the central monitoring station of an intruder.
Make sure to train your staff on your new alarm system. Vendors can usually train the people in charge of the new system in about 10-20 minutes. If you would like the vendor to discuss the system and train all employees that usually takes about 45 minutes.
Card Access Systems
After making the decision to go forward with an access control system, communicate to your building manager when you are going to be adding this new feature. Some buildings require special permission before adding these systems.
Also keep in mind what type of system you need in case of a power outage. A “fail secure” system means if the power goes out, the door will stay locked from the outside. On the other hand a "fail safe," system means the door will unlock completely in a power failure. Either choice is fine; you just need to decide which secure system is best for your company.
Another tip to remember is that most equipment for card access systems can be reused. If you decide down the road to upgrade your security access or add on additional features, you probably won’t need to buy more equipment and this can save your company money. Try and avoid over buying. Usually having one card access system is ok, and you don’t need to buy equipment for multiple doors. This could frustrate employees more than keeping your company extra safe.
Video Surveillance Systems
Because there are many features and decisions to make when buying a video camera, try and decide what you will need before purchasing a video camera. If you don’t need the latest in video surveillance technology, save the extra money. Also, make sure you are buying the system for the right reasons. If cars in your parking lot are getting vandalized, sometimes just adding a light can be a great alternative and a cash saver.
Beware of “dummy” cameras. This could give your employees a false sense of security, and could land you with legal troubles if something does happen. Another legal issue to remember is to not record any audio. It is legal to record people in public areas without their knowledge, but it is illegal to record their audio.