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Customising Burglar Alarm Systems for Different Business Sizes

Not every burglar alarm system is the same. Depending on your needs, you can have a variety of configurations for your burglar alarm system. In this guide, we will look at the various customisations that you can make for different business sizes.

Read below to learn more about scalable burglar alarm systems, a guide to installing these systems, and some important best practices to keep in mind.

Scalable Burglar Alarm Systems

Bells-Only Burglar Alarms (Best for Small-Sized Businesses)

Bells-only alarm burglar alarm systems have been the backbone of security systems for decades. This system employs the use of a simple bell mechanism that can be triggered when the system detects movement through sensors. Bells-only alarms are excellent for all types of businesses and are frequently the most economical choice for small-sized businesses.

Dialler Burglar Alarms (Excellent for Small and Medium Sized Businesses)

Dialler alarm systems are another example of classic burglar alarms that work in the same way as bells-only alarms – except they also send out a call or SMS to predefined numbers in the system. For example, if the alarm is triggered, not only will it sound out an alarm, but the system will also send a notification via call or SMS to a list of people, notifying them of the break-in.

Monitored Burglar Alarms (Great for Large or Enterprise Businesses)

Monitored alarm systems work in the same way as the alarm systems explained above. However, the main difference is that these alarm systems are remotely monitored by a team of professionals. Security companies, like Calder Security, offer dedicated alarm monitoring services where security personnel remotely monitor the status of the alarm and take necessary actions in real-time.

There are two types of burglar alarm monitoring services: keyholder monitoring and police monitoring.

In keyholder monitoring, the keyholders of your business such as trusted family and friends are nominated to be notified by a burglar alarm monitoring service in the event of an alarm trigger.

The keyholders must be chosen very carefully. They must be responsible, live within 20 minutes of your monitored property, and know how to drive so that they can reach the premises ASAP. You may also opt for professional keyholding services where a professional SIA guard is sent to your property to check the situation.

In police monitoring, the monitoring service directly alerts the police instead of contacting keyholders. The police arrive at the premises and take control of everything from there.

In this case, the alarm must be verified before calling the police to avoid it being flagged as a false alarm. In the UK, if you accumulate three or more false alarm activations within a year, the police will withdraw their response for your burglar alarm, as per policy. You will then have to take rectifying actions to achieve a reinstatement status.

Smart Burglar Alarms (Ideal for all Business Sizes)

Smart burglar alarms take things a step further by introducing Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms. These technologies can automate the entire monitoring process. The sensor data is collected in real-time and processed online. If the system detects movement or data that signals a break-in, then the system can immediately alert the authorities and also notify the business stakeholders via a mobile application.

These systems have been gaining a lot of attention over the years due to their ability to easily integrate and scale with existing security systems. The future of security, much like the internet, is highly connected. This is why security companies are now focusing more on comprehensive security hardware that works with other systems to provide holistic security.

Thanks to machine learning, cloud computing, and Artificial Intelligence, security hardware is much smarter than ever. This bleeding-edge technology is usually used by enterprise companies and high-risk businesses – but you can also find highly capable AI-enabled systems for small and mid-sized businesses.

Integrated Burglar Alarm Systems (Best for Small, Medium, and Enterprise Businesses)

Comprehensive and integrated burglar alarm systems come in many forms. The most common include a combination of CCTV cameras, sensors, and access control. This configuration has been at the centre of most burglar alarm systems since the early days of surveillance!

After the widespread use of CCTV cameras, which were designed in the 1940s to monitor military stockpiles in Germany, the technology had become an integral part of any home or business security. The reason for this is simple: these camera systems are incredibly scalable.

To understand how they are scaled easily, we have to first discuss the fundamental technology behind this classic anti-burglar system.

Closed-circuit television works by converting video data into an electrical signal which is transferred at high speeds via a cable. The cable goes from the camera directly to a monitor where a sharp picture is reproduced. The biggest benefit of CCTV systems is that they are always live, without video lag, and very private.

Sensors are an integral part of burglar alarm systems and are great for all kinds of businesses that have a lot of important tangible assets. For example, sensors can be activated outside of business hours in areas that protect important files, valuables, or server equipment.

They are strategically placed in different areas of the business based on the type of sensor. Some of the most common ones include passive infrared (PIR) or motion sensors, door and window sensors, and glass break sensors.

PIR sensors are the most common type of sensors used in burglar alarm systems that detect motion. They are a practical and affordable choice for business security that works by detecting changes in the ambient temperature as well as body heat. An alarm is triggered if the sensors pick up any temperature spikes due to the presence of an intruder or foreign object.

Door and window sensors come in two parts, one of which is fitted on the door or window, and the other on the door frame or window sill.

When the door or window is closed, the two parts of the sensor are joined together to form a closed circuit. However, when they are suddenly opened, the circuit breaks and sends the signal to the control panel to sound an alarm.

Last but not least, glass break sensors pick up on the varying bands of frequencies that are generated when a glass breaks and instantly trigger an alarm in case a door or window is broken.

Access Control Systems are another classic anti-burglar system that was developed to control the flow of people in restricted spaces. This technology also has a military background, but it eventually found a home in the commercial market after demand for surveillance tech grew.

In essence, these systems work in the same manner as a traditional lock and key system – but with a technological twist! Access Control Systems are usually termed “smart systems” that can control the access of people using multiple authentication methods, such as keypad, biometric security, or RFID technology.

Keypad access control systems are the default choice for many people because they are by far the easiest and relatively cheapest option for all kinds of businesses. A simple keypad lock holds the information of all the user keys. The system is connected to either a dedicated computer or a server that authenticates the key and logs the visit.

All of these systems can also be interconnected! If the motion sensors detect a sound, vibration, or reasonable pressure on a door or surface, the sensors can trigger an alarm and send out a signal that disables the access control lock in that area. This will effectively trap the intruder inside – and since the CCTV will already be recording everything, you can then use the footage to inform the authorities.

Customisation Factors for Different Business Sizes

Here is a quick and easy guide to help you customise the security for your business depending on its size:

Begin with a Risk Assessment

A security risk assessment is an incredibly important tool that businesses can use to quickly figure out their security needs. While many small businesses can have definite and clear needs, medium to large-sized businesses must conduct a security risk assessment to figure out the total number of security gaps for their business.

This assessment can help highlight the exact requirements for the type of hardware required for your business. It can also help you understand the various ways that you can protect your business in the most cost-effective way possible.

If you have a medium to large business, we recommend that you hire a professional security company, like Calder Security, to conduct an assessment of your business. Professional security companies have a security roadmap for almost any type of business. This means that you don’t have to go through a trial-and-error phase – you will get clear recommendations and a thorough analysis of the physical space of your business.

Once you have your report, you will be able to customise your business security in the most efficient way possible.

Keep Scale in Mind

Many business owners fail to leave room for improvement in their security systems. This means that they might opt for old or incompatible hardware, and use outdated installation protocols for their burglar system.

This strategy might save you money in the short term, but in the long term, it will almost always cost you more. This is why we recommend that you design your security system with scalability in mind! By opting for newer and more advanced hardware, you can futureproof yourself.

For example, you can go with a cross-compatible alarm system that can be integrated with other systems in the future as needed. Later, if you install an access control system, you can integrate it with the already existing alarm system to provide you with even better security.

This type of installation can be quite complex, and it is usually difficult to source cross-compatible hardware. However, if you go with a professional installation, you will never have to worry about not being future-proof!

Training Requirements

An adaptable and scalable system requires the same characteristics from your team! A custom security system often requires specific training for both general staff members and security personnel. For example, if you install a new biometric security Access Control System, you will need to train all employees on how to use it.

You may also need to develop the right protocols for your employees so that they know exactly who to contact for access, should they get locked out of the system during downtime or in the rare event of a system bug.

Luckily, you can delegate training responsibilities to a security company. Calder Security not only provides every security solution, but we also have professional teams that specialise in security training for large and enterprise customers.

The benefit of going with an all-in-one company is that the training will be highly specific and as the system is scaled, the team can get updated training modules!

Keep an Eye on the Budget

While you may have a long wish list for all the security hardware, we recommend that you begin with the basics and build your scalable system with a strong foundation. You don’t have to go all out during the first installation.

Business owners find that starting small and scaling a security system later is the best strategy as it allows the security personnel to get used to the hardware and system. Once everyone has accepted and become accustomed to the security system, you can then easily expand without expecting delays.

For the best experience, we recommend that you conduct a security audit by a professional company and then book a consultation on how to proceed with your budget. This way the team will be able to help you highlight everything that you need now and what you can purchase later to further strengthen the security of your business.

Testing and Maintenance Services

Regular testing and maintenance services are key to any successful and effective security system, especially if the system is customised according to your specific business needs.

This is why we recommend that you go with a professional security company that can provide you with a fixed maintenance schedule for all your security hardware. For example, if you have multiple outdoor CCTV cameras, then you will need to have them inspected after a while. These cameras are built for harsh outdoor environments, but they can still falter and depreciate depending on the weather conditions.

Regular maintenance can help highlight damage, flaws, and other important aspects of the hardware that need attention. Similarly, if you have remote motion sensors installed, then they might require new batteries after some time.

For small business owners, maintenance can be very easy – and it might make more sense for them to do some of the activities themselves. However, in the case of medium to large businesses, performing maintenance activities by professionals is mandatory.

Since there are multiple CCTV cameras, Access Control Systems, motion sensors, detectors, and other complex hardware involved, it is best that you leave this work to a professional third-party service provider, like Calder Security.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services.

We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.

We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems.

We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.

We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities in your property’s security.

We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.

We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash