What You Need to Know About Security Alarm System Features
With identity theft and shrinkage on the rise, it's more important than ever to have quality security alarm systems installed in your business. And it's not just the little guys in the business world - according to statistics from the 24th Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International, 24 major retailers lost over $6 billion in 2011 from thieving employees and shoplifters.
While security alarm systems can't completely eliminate theft or vandalism, monitored systems by reputable dealers could curtail the problem and perhaps catch perpetrators in the act.
How do security alarm systems work?
A standard burglar alarm will be wired to a central control panel to activate a series of sensors, detectors, and sirens when it notices an intrusion. The system then communicates with a central monitoring station that watches over your business 24/7/365 to send authorities to the scene when they notice a problem.
Many business security systems are taken to the next level by integrating fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, glass-break detectors, motion sensors, and newer automation features that can control temperature, lighting, and some office appliances.
A standard security system may be operated with a keypad that will prompt a business owner to enter a security code to arm or disarm the system. Magnetic contacts will be used to protect windows and doors from security breaches; PIR detectors, or passive infrared motion detectors, can sense motion or body heat in a certain security zone.
Typical security alarm systems features
Deciding which features your system needs is a critical decision. Make sure a security alarm systems dealer visits your office and takes a full assessment of your surroundings to suggest the appropriate setup.
One way to find the best dealer is to use BuyerZone's free request for business security system quotes. You'll get matched up to as many as six different providers who will explain what services they offer and furnish you with customized price quotes.
Here are the most common security alarm system features available on the market:
- Control panel. The "brains" of a security alarm system, the control panel connects to a standard phone line to alert the central monitoring station of an intrusion.
- Security keypad. Located outside of an entrance, a keypad will prompt employees to input a special code to enter and exit an office; it can also be used to communicate directly with a monitoring station if they detect theft or vandalism.
- Motion detector. When infrared energy levels change in an area, PIR devices will trip an alarm.
- Window and door contacts. Two-part magnetic equipment placed along window frames and door jams will automatically set off an alarm when opened.
- Glass-break sensor. If an intruder breaks a window, the shock waves from the shattered glass activate the security alarm system.
- Audible sirens/visible strobes. Loud horns go off in and out of a building and activate bright strobe lights so that authorities can easily locate the building from afar.
- Backup system. Redundant connections through a cellular or radio backup system are necessary to ensure an alarm is always up and running, even during a power outage.
- Schedule monitoring. Detect who last opened and closed an office and note when someone is inexplicably on premises after hours. With schedule monitoring, the central station can also alert you if someone forgot to activate the system.
- Self-inspection. Utilizes intuitive technology to review irregular events and possible intruders so that abnormal activity isn’t omitted.
In addition, dealers can connect your monitored security alarm systems with your existing access control system or video surveillance setup. However, certain devices, such as fire alarms, must comply with multiple local and national codes and guidelines and require a specially designed system that's separate from your security alarm.