How do I Choose the Best Business Alarm System?

Paul Woods

The best business alarm system offers the appropriate combination of capabilities tailored to the specific needs of the business, quality of installation by the service provider, ongoing monitoring and most affordable cost. Begin the process with a professional assessment of the security needs of the business to develop the required capabilities of the business alarm system. Select a number of companies that offer those capabilities and review their reputations in the marketplace, particularly for quality of installation and ongoing service. To choose the best one, compare the cost of the competing systems for the capabilities delivered and select the most cost effective.

Business alarm systems often offer controlled access to a protected area via keypad entry.
Business alarm systems often offer controlled access to a protected area via keypad entry.

A basic business alarm system typically includes door and window monitoring devices to detect intruders. Ascertain from the service provider the number of detection devices required for the business, the number included in a standard quote for service and any extra devices required. Next determine the level of monitoring service provided for various price levels, ranging from no monitoring to alerting police to armed response.

Some businesses need additional service beyond intrusion detection, such as video surveillance. This camera-based service can be used to monitor various places at the business location during the work day, after it or both. Video surveillance systems typically include monitors and may or may not include monitoring by the business alarm system service provider.

The nature of some business’ work or the location of a business may require controlled access during and after work hours. Business alarm systems with this capability can offer access control with keypad entry systems, smart card systems or biometric systems. The type of system required depends on the level of protection desired by the business.

Some security systems include specifically tailored services, such as on-site security personnel and security training. By requesting a risk assessment from a number of security providers, the firm can determine its required alarm system capabilities. Once the capabilities have been determined, the best business alarm system will not function properly without quality installation. This is particularly an important consideration when adding a system to an existing structure not previously wired for it. Be certain to inspect the work of the installer at other locations and seek references.

Response time to an indication of trouble is an important component of the business alarm system as well. The monitoring company should be able to provide statistics on how quickly it reacts once an alarm is tripped. Once a cost estimate has been provided for initial installation and ongoing service, compare the capabilities received for cost, noting that the cheapest business alarm system is not necessarily the best.

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