Tips for Getting the Best Commercial Alarm Systems
There are plenty of business alarm system options on the market, and they’re all a little different. How do you pick the one that’s right for your business?
As with many business decisions, it’s largely about balancing your needs versus your budget. Commercial alarm systems come with many different feature sets, and it’s not a case where “give me the best you’ve got” is generally a viable option. A small cafe, for example, simply doesn’t need the same sort of protections a bank or a jewelry shop would require.
If you think about your requirements beforehand, and are willing to separate “things I need” from “things I’d like to have,” the selection process becomes much easier.
Selecting The Right Business Alarm System for Your Business
Most commercial alarm systems can be hooked up via traditional phone lines, cellular, or Internet networks; or, more commonly, with at least two different connections in case one is down. For instance, it’s usually a bad idea to have the alarm solely running through your primary phone line, since canny criminals are likely to cut that line.
Today’s alarm systems can monitor far more than just the doors and windows. Depending on your budget and needs, they can also provide warnings about:
- Internal temperatures
- Humidity levels
- Sprinkler system activation
- Carbon monoxide, natural gas, or other poisons
Obviously, many of these are specific to certain kinds of businesses or buildings. Only pick the features you need.
Consider additional costs
When budgeting for a commercial alarm system, it’s important to keep in mind that the pricing comes in two forms – the upfront costs for the hardware and installation, then the ongoing service package.
It’s easy for unwary buyers to overlook the ongoing costs. Depending on your service contract, activities such as adding\changing passwords may cost extra. And, of course, false alarms will likely incur fees to your local emergency response crews. Look carefully at the service package before signing, and add up what the ongoing costs will be.
One of the most popular options in business security today is online functionality – being able to view building access, or potentially even direct camera feeds, via smartphone or another online device. This is a nice feature and highly useful for many businesses… but it’s also going to cost extra, as well as adding to your bandwidth costs!
Again, the best strategy is to consider your needs and not add too many bells and whistles.