Posts Tagged ‘security tips’

More Bang for Your Security Buck: Helping the Bottom Line

Monday, March 19th, 2012

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An unfortunate side effect of difficult economic times is that business owners find themselves in need of implementing or upgrading their business security at a time when they are attempting to keep expenditures to a minimum.  The balancing act between meeting budgets and providing adequate protection for any business, large or small, has been made easier by innovations in the electronic security industry that give “more bang for your buck”.

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Let’s take a look at two staples of the electronic security industry, security alarm systems and video surveillance systems. Of course, both do the bulk of their work in deterring crime and providing evidence if needed. However, with a closer look, we can see how recent innovations and a little creativity can provide savings that can have significant impact on the bottom line for any business.

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First, integrated burglar and fire alarm systems now operate as one security system, eliminating not only extra equipment and installation costs, but they also no longer require the one, maybe two telephone lines per building they used to demand. New systems operate with Internet &/or cellular communication and the cost is significantly lower than maintaining landlines for security systems.  Would upgrading your system pay for itself in telephone bill savings alone?

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Along with burglar and fire detection, access control is also typically integrated into new alarm systems, also eliminating the need and expense of an additional system while also providing useful and cost effective benefits:

  • Controlling access to the building or certain areas such as supply rooms, preventing unauthorized access or access outside designated hours. This can eliminate shrinkage of office supplies, retail or warehouse products and protects private documents.
  • Documenting employees’ arrival and departure times, including late-to-open, early-to-close, ensuring that both business hours and payroll hours are accurate.
  • Eliminating the need to rekey doors when an employee is terminated by simply deleting their access control card or key fob.

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Further features of the integrated alarm system that are available include:

  • Energy management through automation. Lights, lawn sprinklers and other systems can be controlled, even by remote access.
  • Detecting water and high/low interior temperatures that can catch issues early, before major damage occurs to the facility or product due to water, thaw or freeze.
  • Controlling the security system remotely by text message, smart phone, computer or tablet. Status messages and updates allow business owners to be on top of the happenings at their business even while away.

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Video Surveillance offers forensic evidence in case a crime occurs in addition to the inherent deterrent effect that visible cameras provide.   Surveillance systems also offer insight into the day-to-day events that occur at a business, providing valuable information that can result in a tremendous savings and reduce liability exposure.  Loss prevention is an obvious use for surveillance, but when management is away, cameras serve as a second set of eyes for business owners.  Images give insight into:

  • Worker productivity: Are employees at their work stations? Are they engaged in business-related activities? Are they spending an unusual amount of time in break areas?
  • Customer service:  How are employees handling customers? How long is a customer in your place of business before the employee acknowledges them? How does your employee handle multiple customers at once?
  • Are procedures adhered to when management is not present?
  • Are there safety violations that could result in injury to an employee?
  • Are staffing levels appropriate for the amount of activity during each shift? Could fewer employees handle the same amount of work?
  • Are employees punching their own time cards?
  • Were deliveries received correctly?
  • Are monetary transactions being handled correctly?
  • Is there loitering in areas of your facility by employees or others?
  • Are service providers performing as contracted? Are they on site as long as they say they were?

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Surveillance can now be viewed live from computer, smart phone or tablet as well as remotely searching and replaying archives, giving business owners or managers eyes-on access 24/7.

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The individual business may have many more applications for a security or surveillance system. To find out what those applications might be, an in-depth consultation with a security professional should include a walk-through of the facility inside and out, a discussion addressing these questions and more:

  • What are the day-to-day operations of the business?
  • Are there seasonal or shift differences in operations?
  • How do employees, visitors or customers enter and exit the building?
  • Are there times when only one employee is on duty?
  • Where are deliveries made?
  • Where are sensitive documents or valuable records kept?
  • Is the business subject to privacy law?
  • Are there products or materials that have a high street value?
  • Is the business planning any expansions, remodels or rearranging of space? What does the future hold for that business?
  • Are there products that depend on consistent temperature?
  • Does the building have any potential for flooding or water seepage?
  • Are there other concerns the business owner or operations manager has?

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A top-notch security professional will take plenty of time to get to know a business before making recommendations regarding an alarm and/or surveillance system.  The information gleaned from  a thorough understanding of a business will not only assist in the design of a new system or upgrade to a current system, but ensure that the system is future-proof so it doesn’t become obsolete in a short time and can grow with the business.  Furthermore, the security professional can make suggestions to give business owners more return on their security dollars investment at a time when every penny counts.

After the Heatwave

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

We wanted to give you some summertime reminders since this time of year presents some particular security and safety issues.

Don’t Make It Too Easy for a Burglar

After this summer heatwave is over, it will be tempting to open up windows  to let some nice summer breezes through our screen doors. Often, however, we forget to close and lock our windows and doors, leaving our homes vulnerable to intruders when we are away.  Windows should not be left open when you are not home. If it is necessary, sash pins can keep windows from being raised more than just a few inches. Window contacts that connect to a home security system can still allow windows to be raised, just not above  four or five inches. That’s enough for ventilation, but not enough for a person to squeeze through and enter your home.

 

Not only do we leave windows open when we are gone, but we give easier access to burglars while doing yard work or hanging out in the back yard. It’s so common to leave the garage door or  storage shed open while doing yard work. It gives us easy access to tools . It also gives easy access to a thief.  An easy rule is: if you are out of line-of-sight of a door, close and lock it.  Put away tools and equipment if you have to leave the house, even for a quick trip to the hardware store or garden center.  Someone could easily come by and help themselves while you are away.

 

Several news articles on Rock County incidents as well as some simple advice from the Loves Park Police Department:

Rock County Burglaries  

Loves Park Police Advice

 

Fan Safety

Trying to keep cool is always a challenge. If you use ceiling fans, be sure they are mounted properly. A wobbly fan can loosen the screws that hold the fan blades in place. You don’t want a fan blade coming loose and damaging your home or injuring someone.  Believe it or not, nearly 20,000 injuries a year are caused by ceiling fans! Be careful where you place portable fans and ensure that the cord is not in the way of foot traffic. Pedestal fans, in particular, are easily knocked over. Be sure to place them on a fat, solid surface.

 

Hot Weather Tips for Pet Owners

Many of us have pets who are very important to us. They need some extra care in the summertime, during and after summer’s hottest days. The Humane Society of America gives us some great tips for keeping your pet safe this summer. Summer Pet Tips