11 Practical Ways to Save Money by Avoiding False Alarms from Your Commercial Security System

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Lately, authorities in jurisdictions across the country have begun to crack down on local companies by charging fines for false alarms in order to recoup some of the costs associated with responding to these calls. These new practices only add to the overall costs of security for an organization and compile unnecessary stress onto the shoulders of the business owners. 

As a leading integrator in the commercial security industry, Invision Security Group strives to provide our customers with a customized system that will greatly minimize, if not eliminate, false alarms completely, giving them back their peace of mind. 

There are a lot of ways that your security system could throw off a false alarm causing confusion during the workday or waking you or your employees up in the middle of the night. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that business owners can avoid these inconveniences by implementing some simple modifications to their company’s day-to-day policies & procedures. 

We asked our experienced and dedicated staff of installers, service technicians, salespeople and customer support specialists for their best tips for avoiding false alarms and were inspired by their responses to share the wealth with our loyal customers. 

1.) Ensure that the designated employees have the proper access codes to disarm the system if necessary. Those that do not have access should not be trying to disarm the system.

2.) Be sure that individuals that are on your call list are aware that they have been designated as such and are responsive to phone calls or alerts during off-hours.  They should also be aware of what factors related to the business could trigger a false alarm so they are prepared. I.e. construction, animals on the perimeter, etc.

3.) You should be training your staff monthly or quarterly on your own protocols. Having more than one person attend the post-installation training is key.

4.) If you are using motion sensors, ensure that they are placed in an area that has minimal background motion and/or noise. Placement is very important. 

5.) After having your windows and doors cleaned, be sure to check any connections that are a part of your system.

6.) It is important to have sufficient delays on doors for employees and/or patrons that walk slower than the average person, i.e. retirement communities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, etc.

7.) Refrain from hanging signs and banners from the ceiling. Also, remember to turn off ceiling fans and remove any balloons after a party. These could set off motion sensors after the system is armed while the air is circulating. 

8.) Make sure that the batteries in any motion sensors and all door and window contacts are in good working order.

9.) Maintain & test your entire system monthly or quarterly to ensure all devices are functioning properly.

10.) Always advise your alarm monitoring provider of construction projects taking place at your facility or in the area or if something is damaged.

11.) If you suspect trouble, call your security provider as soon as possible. Do not wait until the end of the day. If something seems off, it probably is; trust your instincts.

If you and your staff follow this handy list of guidelines to administer your own security system in-house, you will greatly lessen the chance of having a costly false alarm inconveniencing you while you are busy running your business. 

If you found this article useful or would like to add other suggestions, feel free to reach out to us and give us your feedback. We love hearing from our customers.

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What Makes an Awesome Commercial Security System?

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Commercial security is a bit different than residential security, especially if you’re a landlord. You’ll need to take specific, actionable measures to protect your properties from criminal elements. Here are just a few tips for getting started.

1. Upgrade Your Doors

It might sound simple, but according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, more than 50 percent of burglars enter through the front or back door. If you have flimsy doors that would splinter under the force of one good kick, it’s time to replace them with something made of durable hardwood.

2. Install Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras serve two purposes. For one, they can provide video evidence of burglars, vandals and other criminals. Even more importantly, they can deter those criminals from seeing your building as an easy target in the first place.

3. Consider Smart Technology

“Smart” technology uses wireless signals to control lights, locks and other home features from the comfort of your smartphone. It can be a valuable investment with the right kind of building, so you might want to look into your options and see if it’ll meet your own needs as a landlord.

4. Let There Be Light

Bright lights are another way to signal to the world that your property is being taken care of, so don’t cut corners when it comes to outdoor security lighting. Make sure that you’re arranging them to avoid blind spots, too.

5. Fortify Your Windows

Reinforced glass can prevent breaks. Anti-theft bars and screens can deter burglars. Window sensors can set off alarms if anything is shattered. There are many ways to upgrade your windows, so don’t let them become easy access points into your building.

6. Educate Your Residents

A staggering number of people still use fake rocks to hide their spare keys. You might want to pass out home safety pamphlets to your residents that warn them of common mistakes and provide tips, tricks and techniques to prevent burglary.

7. Hire Security Guards

You don’t need them in your lobby 24/7. Just ask them to patrol the perimeter a few times per night and scare off loiters and other undesirables. Eventually, their presence alone will be enough to make criminals think twice.

8. Install Fire Alarms

Thieves aren’t the only thing that you have to worry about as a landlord. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are almost 100,000 fires in apartment structures per year, and they cause an estimated $711 million in damage. Install fire alarms in your building to keep an inferno from ruining everything.

9. Know Your Danger Zones

Where are the most crimes occurring? Is it your parking lot, laundry room, utility room, front lobby or first floor apartments? Focus the bulk of your attention where it’s needed the most.

10. Invest in an Alarm System

Last but certainly not least, if you want the very best protection for your property, install a professional alarm system. It will allow you to track, monitor and record everything that happens around your building and grounds, so you’ll never be caught unaware by criminal elements.

These are just a few tips for commercial security. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or an old hand at managing properties, it’s important to protect your investments at all costs. Good luck!

10 Reasons Why You Should Automate Your Business

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Commercial security is a bit different than residential security, especially if you’re a landlord. You’ll need to take specific, actionable measures to protect your properties from criminal elements. Here are just a few tips for getting started.

1. Upgrade Your Doors

It might sound simple, but according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, more than 50 percent of burglars enter through the front or back door. If you have flimsy doors that would splinter under the force of one good kick, it’s time to replace them with something made of durable hardwood.

2. Install Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras serve two purposes. For one, they can provide video evidence of burglars, vandals and other criminals. Even more importantly, they can deter those criminals from seeing your building as an easy target in the first place.

3. Consider Smart Technology

“Smart” technology uses wireless signals to control lights, locks and other home features from the comfort of your smartphone. It can be a valuable investment with the right kind of building, so you might want to look into your options and see if it’ll meet your own needs as a landlord.

4. Let There Be Light

Bright lights are another way to signal to the world that your property is being taken care of, so don’t cut corners when it comes to outdoor security lighting. Make sure that you’re arranging them to avoid blind spots, too.

5. Fortify Your Windows

Reinforced glass can prevent breaks. Anti-theft bars and screens can deter burglars. Window sensors can set off alarms if anything is shattered. There are many ways to upgrade your windows, so don’t let them become easy access points into your building.

6. Educate Your Residents

A staggering number of people still use fake rocks to hide their spare keys. You might want to pass out home safety pamphlets to your residents that warn them of common mistakes and provide tips, tricks and techniques to prevent burglary.

7. Hire Security Guards

You don’t need them in your lobby 24/7. Just ask them to patrol the perimeter a few times per night and scare off loiters and other undesirables. Eventually, their presence alone will be enough to make criminals think twice.

8. Install Fire Alarms

Thieves aren’t the only thing that you have to worry about as a landlord. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are almost 100,000 fires in apartment structures per year, and they cause an estimated $711 million in damage. Install fire alarms in your building to keep an inferno from ruining everything.

9. Know Your Danger Zones

Where are the most crimes occurring? Is it your parking lot, laundry room, utility room, front lobby or first floor apartments? Focus the bulk of your attention where it’s needed the most.

10. Invest in an Alarm System

Last but certainly not least, if you want the very best protection for your property, install a professional alarm system. It will allow you to track, monitor and record everything that happens around your building and grounds, so you’ll never be caught unaware by criminal elements.

These are just a few tips for commercial security. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or an old hand at managing properties, it’s important to protect your investments at all costs. Good luck!

Test And Inspect Your Business Fire Alarm Systems Regularly

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Commercial security is a bit different than residential security, especially if you’re a landlord. You’ll need to take specific, actionable measures to protect your properties from criminal elements. Here are just a few tips for getting started.

1. Upgrade Your Doors

It might sound simple, but according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, more than 50 percent of burglars enter through the front or back door. If you have flimsy doors that would splinter under the force of one good kick, it’s time to replace them with something made of durable hardwood.

2. Install Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras serve two purposes. For one, they can provide video evidence of burglars, vandals and other criminals. Even more importantly, they can deter those criminals from seeing your building as an easy target in the first place.

3. Consider Smart Technology

“Smart” technology uses wireless signals to control lights, locks and other home features from the comfort of your smartphone. It can be a valuable investment with the right kind of building, so you might want to look into your options and see if it’ll meet your own needs as a landlord.

4. Let There Be Light

Bright lights are another way to signal to the world that your property is being taken care of, so don’t cut corners when it comes to outdoor security lighting. Make sure that you’re arranging them to avoid blind spots, too.

5. Fortify Your Windows

Reinforced glass can prevent breaks. Anti-theft bars and screens can deter burglars. Window sensors can set off alarms if anything is shattered. There are many ways to upgrade your windows, so don’t let them become easy access points into your building.

6. Educate Your Residents

A staggering number of people still use fake rocks to hide their spare keys. You might want to pass out home safety pamphlets to your residents that warn them of common mistakes and provide tips, tricks and techniques to prevent burglary.

7. Hire Security Guards

You don’t need them in your lobby 24/7. Just ask them to patrol the perimeter a few times per night and scare off loiters and other undesirables. Eventually, their presence alone will be enough to make criminals think twice.

8. Install Fire Alarms

Thieves aren’t the only thing that you have to worry about as a landlord. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are almost 100,000 fires in apartment structures per year, and they cause an estimated $711 million in damage. Install fire alarms in your building to keep an inferno from ruining everything.

9. Know Your Danger Zones

Where are the most crimes occurring? Is it your parking lot, laundry room, utility room, front lobby or first floor apartments? Focus the bulk of your attention where it’s needed the most.

10. Invest in an Alarm System

Last but certainly not least, if you want the very best protection for your property, install a professional alarm system. It will allow you to track, monitor and record everything that happens around your building and grounds, so you’ll never be caught unaware by criminal elements.

These are just a few tips for commercial security. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or an old hand at managing properties, it’s important to protect your investments at all costs. Good luck!

Prevent Employee Theft in Your Retail Store or Business

,

Commercial security is a bit different than residential security, especially if you’re a landlord. You’ll need to take specific, actionable measures to protect your properties from criminal elements. Here are just a few tips for getting started.

1. Upgrade Your Doors

It might sound simple, but according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, more than 50 percent of burglars enter through the front or back door. If you have flimsy doors that would splinter under the force of one good kick, it’s time to replace them with something made of durable hardwood.

2. Install Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras serve two purposes. For one, they can provide video evidence of burglars, vandals and other criminals. Even more importantly, they can deter those criminals from seeing your building as an easy target in the first place.

3. Consider Smart Technology

“Smart” technology uses wireless signals to control lights, locks and other home features from the comfort of your smartphone. It can be a valuable investment with the right kind of building, so you might want to look into your options and see if it’ll meet your own needs as a landlord.

4. Let There Be Light

Bright lights are another way to signal to the world that your property is being taken care of, so don’t cut corners when it comes to outdoor security lighting. Make sure that you’re arranging them to avoid blind spots, too.

5. Fortify Your Windows

Reinforced glass can prevent breaks. Anti-theft bars and screens can deter burglars. Window sensors can set off alarms if anything is shattered. There are many ways to upgrade your windows, so don’t let them become easy access points into your building.

6. Educate Your Residents

A staggering number of people still use fake rocks to hide their spare keys. You might want to pass out home safety pamphlets to your residents that warn them of common mistakes and provide tips, tricks and techniques to prevent burglary.

7. Hire Security Guards

You don’t need them in your lobby 24/7. Just ask them to patrol the perimeter a few times per night and scare off loiters and other undesirables. Eventually, their presence alone will be enough to make criminals think twice.

8. Install Fire Alarms

Thieves aren’t the only thing that you have to worry about as a landlord. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are almost 100,000 fires in apartment structures per year, and they cause an estimated $711 million in damage. Install fire alarms in your building to keep an inferno from ruining everything.

9. Know Your Danger Zones

Where are the most crimes occurring? Is it your parking lot, laundry room, utility room, front lobby or first floor apartments? Focus the bulk of your attention where it’s needed the most.

10. Invest in an Alarm System

Last but certainly not least, if you want the very best protection for your property, install a professional alarm system. It will allow you to track, monitor and record everything that happens around your building and grounds, so you’ll never be caught unaware by criminal elements.

These are just a few tips for commercial security. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or an old hand at managing properties, it’s important to protect your investments at all costs. Good luck!

Avoid These 10 Business Security Mistakes

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A business can do a thousand and one security mistakes. Since security risks are now ubiquitous, companies cannot afford to lax at their job. They must be aware of the dangers. They must also go ahead and mitigate against such hazards. One way to do that is by avoiding these potentially fatal security mistakes.


1. Not training your team on security

It starts at the training level. Your employees need to know what you are trying to do. They should also identify ways to prevent themselves from being potential targets. If you don’t train them adequately, expect them to make mistakes. They will fall prey to all manner of threats.


2. Not testing your systems for vulnerabilities

Every system has its shortcomings. Even the best security companies contend that their systems have a degree of vulnerability. Examining a system will guide you on the ways to improve it. Criminals target weak systems. With a slightly tested system, you can discourage any potential criminals who prefer to attack vulnerable systems.


3. Poor camera positioning

In a commercial setting, surveillance cameras need professional installation. If you decide to install them yourself, you may opt for the photographer’s shot. Such a shot will come short when tested by a discerning intruder. You must ensure that there are enough cameras for the job. You must also focus on the valuables. Ensure that the pixel quality if good.


4. Not having a security strategy

Good things tend to start with a plan. If you don’t have a method of how to handle security risks, you will be vulnerable. Access risks, plan on how to mitigate them and implement the strategy.


5. Choosing the cheapest plan

Cheap is often quite expensive in the end. Always choose the right method. Cutting corners will save you a few bucks today, but it may come back to haunt you. Invest in your security system. For example, you may choose a camera whose resolution is poor. Even if the camera catches the thief or intruder, the images may be too blurry to recognize the person. Such a gadget is useless.


6. Leaving out loose ends such as inactive employee accounts

Tie all your security loose ends. Once an employee leaves the company, disable all his or her accounts. Recover all the data and secure it. Allowing employees to use free and personal emails to handle sensitive company information is a risk. Instead, use company emails.


7. Trusting strangers

Being too generous with company information can set you up. Train your employees on how to extend friendship out there. Train them not to share company information and resources with their families or strangers.


8. Not having a password policy

Being too generous with passwords is a huge security concern. There should be a standard way of dealing with all passwords including WIFI passwords, company login information, and such information. Train employees on how to set and secure their passwords.


9. Ignoring hazards

Installing a simple thing such as smoke detection or fire alarm can go a long way in mitigating risks. A simple fire emergency can expose company data to criminals or losses. The same case applies to valuables and moving boxes. A criminal might take advantage of a fire alarm to get into the facility. Do not ignore any hazards.


10. Not backing up things

Some people just set up backups, but they don’t test them. Ensure that your hard copy backups are secure. When moving them, ensure you have adequate security for the moving boxes. Sometimes you will need a backup of the backup.

How Access Control Improves Building Automation

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If you are looking for a way to increase building automation so that you can get the most for your time and money, you are probably wondering where you should start. You can try a range of automation techniques to reach your goal.

Not every method gives you the same outcome, and you need to have a clear goal in mind if you want any hope of success. If you wish to find a solution that meets all of your needs, take a few minutes to consider the benefits of integrating access control with building automation. Doing so gives you the required tools to make an informed decision that makes sense for you and your business.

Enhanced Security

Using access control as part of your overall building automation strategy provides you with many benefits that improve your bottom line and put your worries to rest. Improved security is one of the main advantages you can experience when taking this path, and you will be on track before long.

Depending on the system you use, you can assign keycards or codes to employees who need to access certain areas. When you give employees standard keys, they can refuse to return the key or make copies of it. Access control systems prevent this problem by allowing you to revoke access any time you need.

Enhanced Accountability

When you or your management staff are away from the property, you want to know your team is still putting in their best effort. Access control systems allow you to monitor the times and dates employees use their code or keycard to access the building and various rooms within your property. This makes it easy for you to know when your team is at work and how long they have been there, but that is not all. If something ends up broke or missing, you can review your logs to know which employees accessed the room.

Increased Productivity

Many business owners have to choose between security, convenience or something in between. You won’t have to make that choice if you use the right access control features for your building. If you are away from the office or factory when a member of your team needs to access your property, you can grant the team member access from any location with an internet connection. You can also revoke access as soon as the team member completes the task at hand.

Final Thoughts

Confidence and peace of mind are what you can achieve when you combine the benefits of access control with building automation technology. Granting access to your building and individual rooms is possible with the touch of a button on your smartphone or computer.

In addition to making your building that much safer, access control can boost your productivity and help hold each employee accountable for their actions. You might have trouble choosing access control technology that is right for your business. If you need help deciding where to turn, speak with an access control expert for advice on which you can depend.

Is Unauthorized Access to Restricted Areas Putting You at Risk?

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Did you know that not every incident of unauthorized access to a building includes an outsider? The most common examples of unauthorized access include an in-house employee or staff member with no physical permission accessing a known restricted area.

Let’s take a look at some of these common loopholes allowing unauthorized access and how you can prevent them.

Tailgating:
One of the most common forms of security breach and undoubtedly one which starts out innocently. Tailgating occurs either when unauthorized persons follow an employee through a door or when an authorized employee courteously opens a door to a secure area and holds it open for an unauthorized person unknowingly creating an undocumented entry and exposing your building and its occupants to possible acts of theft, domestic violence, sabotage, and even terrorism.

Unlocked Doors or Door Propping:
As human beings it’s in our nature to often find the most convenient way of doing things. One such way includes propping the door to avoid the task of continually opening it. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of this at one time or the other. And yet while this may seem quite harmless, the fact is, propping the door open even in the most technologically advanced and secure environment makes any system redundant to insider threat and poses a security risk by creating a weak spot – allowing unauthorized personnel to access restricted areas.

Criminal Access by Levering Doors:
The purpose of a reinforced security door is to prevent unauthorized entry and provide a clear distinction between the legitimate occupants of the building and any unauthorized persons. And while we can certainly agree that simple things such as common courtesy and our inherent nature for convenience can lead to the possibility of unauthorized persons gaining access to protected areas, poorly designed or less effective security doors can be effortlessly prized or broken in through using crowbars, screwdrivers, and several other tools.

Secure chip cards
Although recognized as one of the more secure security measures to traditional keys, Access Control Cards, commonly known as Smart Cards are not only subject to the risk of being stolen but also susceptible to human error such as being misplaced, or even loaned making it easier for an unauthorized person to enter your building. And while there are some types of cards less vulnerable to being hacked (illegally accessed by way of portable devices such as laptops, mobile phones, USB drives, etc.), and can house multiple credentials by way of multi-factor authentication systems, they are often problematic when implemented in areas such as main entrances which often experience a high volume of traffic and as such create a challenge when used.


How can you combat unauthorized access?
Educate and create an awareness among your employees on possible security gaps and how persons can gain unauthorized access via the loopholes mentioned to carry out possible threats including theft, compromising electronic information, vandalism and even endangering personal safety. Next, develop a strategy customized to you and aimed at eradicating any known loopholes at specific entry points you want to secure and the reasons for controlling access.

Additionally you may want to invest in a robust state of the art access control system that not only features automatic doors fitted with sensors and emergency response to prevent unauthorized access to facilities, devices and sensitive information at your building, but also detects when a door is propped open and triggers a security alert.

Is your building at risk for unauthorized access? Leave a comment below, or contact us today for expert advice and more security measures.

10 WAYS HOW SEVERE WINTER WEATHER IMPACTS BUSINESS SECURITY

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Winter is coming. The cold temperatures, snow, hail, high winds and more can really impact your business. Power outages make your business vulnerable to attacks. Understanding the impact of severe winter weather means that you can plan ahead and know what to expect. Taking the right steps today will really impact your future.


1). Power Outages & Battery Backups
With snow and cold temperatures comes power outages. You want to have a business security system with a battery back-up. Otherwise, your business is at risk. Battery backups mean that the business is protected until power is restored. There will be no interruptions. Just make sure to ask how long the battery system lasts so you can be prepared.

2). Back Information Up
When the power goes out, you want your information to be protected. Many businesses invest in cloud or online backups so that even if a computer or database goes down, content is saved and able to be accessed from another location.

3). Communication Becomes Harder
Extreme weather makes it hard to communicate with employees and to monitor the business itself. It helps to have cellular monitoring of security systems if the internet goes down and policies and procedures for how to communicate with employees. This ensures everyone is safe and that physical locations are protected from theft and vandalism.

4). Emergency Services Blocked
Winter weather means that more people will need support. After all, accidents happen when there is extremely high winds or snow that traps people. It is smart to have a battery-powered radio to receive weather updates and to invest in a power bank for cell phones.

5). Employee Safety
Severe weather makes it hard for employees to travel to work or perform duties. It is important to invest in an emergency kit at the business in case employees are unable to drive. Such kits should have food, water, batteries, flashlights, first aid materials, blankets and more. Also, surveillance cameras are strongly advised to monitor and avoid misinformation.

6). Completing Tasks
Snow makes it hard for people to access a physical business. This is why it is important that information is backed up online so employees can work remotely.

7). Limited Customer Support
Customers with issues may not be able to access a business due to the weather. However, having a remote call center means that people can still get the answers they need. Have key emergency contact information listed on the website as well as on business automated systems.

8). Facility Itself
Snow, wind and cold temperatures can affect a business’s facility itself. An annual review of windows, the heating system and the security system protects the business.

9). Equipment Issues
Power surges are common during severe winter weather. This can overload or ruin key equipment. Having warranties and support from professionals means computers and other equipment can be fixed or replaced quickly.

10) Vulnerable to Online Attacks
Hackers might use a winter storm to attack a website or key information. Having round-the-clock security systems in place protect the business. Investing in the right technology now protects against attacks during a storm.

10 Methods to Prevent Burglars From Accessing Your Store

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You’ve put a lot of time, effort, investments, and care into your business. So, when a burglar comes and steals some of those assets, you’re likely feeling quite hurt. Your business may even suffer financially from the theft. To make sure your business remains safe from burglars, consider adding these ten methods to better protect your livelihood.

1. Perimeter Cameras

One of the best ways you can keep your business safe is to up the outdoor security, so the burglars think twice about entering your business. By adding in cameras around the perimeter of your business, you’re letting them know that they’re being watched. If they attempt theft, they will be easily found and persecuted.

2. Cash Register Monitoring

In the event that they make it inside, you’ll want areas where they’re going to be drawn to covered by monitoring. Place a few cameras in storage, by the cash register, and in other places of interest, so that you can record their identity for the police.

3. Get Access To Mobile Monitoring

Phones have become such a practical tool for just about anything. That includes security. There are quite a few surveillance packages out there that allow you to monitor your place of business via your mobile phone. So, when you’re sitting at home, you can regularly check in to make sure everything is running smoothly.

4. Motion Sensors

For businesses that close down for the evening, having motion sensors alert certain security officials could be beneficial in stopping a burglary before it happens. Place them around your building and inside, so all movement is recorded and sent to the right person for action.

5. Monitored Alarms

It isn’t enough to have alarms if no one is around to be alerted. To best protect your business, make sure any and all alarms are placed on a system that alerts someone to the presence of a security risk.

6. Audible Alarms

Another source of prevention is to have alarms that offer an audible signal to scare burglars away. Whether it’s a siren or someone talking, you can shoo them off the property with ease.

7. Window-Break Sensors

In the event that someone breaks a window, your team should be immediately alerted. They’ll know exactly where the burglar broke in, so they can seize them quickly.

8. Door Sensors

If doors are opening in your business when they shouldn’t be, then this sensor can inform your guards about it. A door sensor informs them where the burglar is located for swift action.

9. Image Sensors

When movement is detected, an image can be taken of the person who triggered the movement. If their face doesn’t match up to the database, then the sensor goes off to indicate a problem.

10. Light Alarms

Flashing lights can be an excellent method to ward off burglars who trigger a sensor.