The first of the year is always a time of looking ahead, making goals, and creating strategies – both for individuals and for businesses. Perhaps you’re planning to grow your business or make bold new moves to expand in a new direction. When looking at the year ahead for your business, don’t forget one crucial aspect: an updated commercial security plan.
Ensuring that you have effective and reliable security does more than just protect the business assets you’ve worked so hard to grow; it also offers a level of convenience that helps everything run more smoothly. In addition to this, an updated commercial security plan will offer safety and security for your employees, clients, and any other guests to your business.
Putting a comprehensive commercial security plan together involves multiple layers. High-tech business security system elements such as video surveillance allow you to keep tabs on your business and employees even when you’re unable to do so in person. Commercial access control helps you secure specific areas and even keep track of traffic in and out. Going through a burglary prevention checklist will deter or prevent criminals from targeting your business while putting an evacuation plan in place ensures that your team knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
With so many moving parts, creating an updated commercial security plan can seem daunting. Experienced commercial security experts can help you make sure everything is covered, but here are the basics you should know about each layer.
4 Keys to Updated Commercial Security
Keeping an Eye on Everything With Video Surveillance
From libraries to cannabis dispensaries, a wide variety of businesses are utilizing video surveillance as part of their updated commercial security strategy. Commercial video surveillance helps business owners keep an eye on all parts of their business at one time – from different parts of a single location to multiple locations across a city or even the globe.
Video cameras benefit businesses for multiple reasons. First, they act as a deterrent to employee/customer theft, as well as other crimes. (One real-world example of this is when Protech worked with the City of Canton, Ohio, to install security cameras in local city parks. Once the cameras were installed, local officials noted a drop in calls to police.) In addition to deterring crime, video surveillance provides valuable documentation should a crime, accident, or some other incident take place on your commercial property. They’re also excellent tools for tracking visitor flow and behavior.
Businesses should place video cameras in locations that offer complete coverage, as there’s nothing more frustrating than having a theft or incident occur just off-camera. Video surveillance is particularly helpful to keep an eye on areas that are hard to see, as well as for monitoring parking lots, loading docks, and nighttime activity in or around a property.
A camera that’s not working is a camera that’s not recording, so it’s essential to keep all video surveillance components in order and properly maintained. Schedule regular checks to ensure that all cameras are functioning properly and that all software updates are being performed. Once installed, your security provider can help you troubleshoot any issues and keep your cameras and up-to-date. Doing so will ensure that you can log on remotely and monitor all parts of your business; it will also ensure that should something go awry, your cameras will be working to capture the incident.
Adding Commercial Access Control to Your Business Security System
As you grow your business, commercial access control will be an integral part of your updated security system. Like video surveillance, these systems allow you to essentially be in multiple places at one time, ensuring that only approved employees and visitors are allowed into certain parts of your business and keeping track of who comes and goes.
At its highest levels, commercial access control involves installing electronic access systems that grant access to approved employees and visitors. This might be via key fobs, swipe cards, numeric keypads, or a variety of other options. Access control systems are often used to secure entire buildings, but they’re also highly effective at securing rooms or cases where sensitive data or goods are stored. This can help prevent employee theft as well as deter outside actors from trying to gain entry to unauthorized areas. Pharmacies often use access control to lock down controlled medications.
In addition to allowing specific people in, commercial access control systems are used to let people out while still maintaining the highest level of security. Egress devices such as push-button exits, motion sensors, emergency exits, and push bars ensure that people can easily exit a commercial building even as all doors remain locked and secure from the outside.
Commercial access control is about more than simply allowing people in and out. They can also help you keep track of who is coming and going. Visitor management solutions, for example, create a security checkpoint that can verify the identity of any visitors, verify if their visit is authorized, screen them for contraband, as well as issue them an access control badge (if needed).
Traffic counting systems are another tool used by businesses to monitor their visitors. This type of system – frequently used in locations such as retail stores – is useful for tracking customer traffic flow for the purposes of determining high and low points in your traffic flow throughout the day, week, or month. Many businesses use these traffic counting systems to adjust hours, number of employees, or even determine if a location is worth moving or shuttering altogether.
Commercial Burglary Prevention Tips
In addition to monitoring your business with video surveillance and access control systems, there are commercial burglary prevention tips that will help protect your business by making it less of a target for thieves. If you aren’t already doing these things, the new year is an excellent time to start!
First, check to make sure your commercial property has proper lighting both indoors and out. In addition to being a deterrent to criminal activity, this provides greater security for your employees and visitors. Next, keep valuables locked safely away. This includes valuable merchandise as well as sensitive data and paperwork that might be a target for thieves.
Assuming that (as discussed above) you have access control and a video surveillance system in place, link it all together with a monitored security system. Business owners find that this allows them to keep track of all parts of their commercial security plan, allowing them to monitor remote video feeds and alerting them if there is an entry into an unauthorized area. Monitoring also means that help can be on the way immediately in the event of a break-in, fire, or other emergencies.
Preparing for Disaster With a Business Evacuation Plan
Finally, don’t go into the new year without a business evacuation plan. While we often think of updated commercial security in terms of using the latest technology to prevent theft, it’s also important to protect the human assets that are such an important part of your business.
From earthquakes to fires, disasters can occur anywhere at any time. Every business should have a plan in place for these types of events. A fire escape plan, for example, will ensure that all occupants have a clear, unobstructed way out and that all employees are trained on what to do in the event a fire should break out. With this plan in place, your employees will also know how to assist visitors (including anyone who is elderly, disabled, or who needs extra help) in safely evacuating while moving away from danger themselves. A well laid-out plan will also include a way to ensure that everyone is accounted for once evacuated.
Similar plans should be in place for human-created disasters such as active shootings. Situational Access Security Control (SASC) systems can assist with these kinds of incidents, notifying law enforcement at the first sound of gunfire and linking authorities to the scene via your video surveillance system. This is another reason why having a monitored security system with all components linked and functioning as a whole is useful.
Kicking off the new year with an updated commercial security plan will do more than simply protect the physical assets at your business. Once you have your system in place, it can help you monitor your business more conveniently, track customer behavior in order to boost your bottom line, and provide peace of mind that you’re keeping all employees, customers, and visitors safe every time they step through your doors.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.