Alarm System for Businesses

DIY vs Professional Installation

When it comes to alarm system for businesses the main decision you will need to make at first is whether you will go for a DIY installation system or a professional installation. The main difference here will be the installation cost and the monthly price, but your decision must be as well based on what type of business you own and what type of security you seek. If you own a large business with multiple locations and a lot of employees, your choice will clearly lean toward a company like ADT or Protection 1, if instead you own a small coffee shop or a small business with relatively low square footage, a DIY company like SimpliSafe or Vivint will definitely suit your needs.

The market of alarm companies for business is definitely large and while the most renown brands are available on the whole US territory, is it also true that many business owners will lean toward a local alarm system company as personalization, constant feedback and trust are also very important for small companies.

Hardware cost varies when it comes to compare the two models, and it varies even more when it comes to a small or large business. If you want to install a security system for your small business and you want to include cameras on your package, the range of products will be between $200 and 600$ when going for a DIY installation type of company. If instead you need a security system for a bigger and more complex kind of business or a place with high square footage, you might want to think about professional installation and companies of that type will charge you sometimes above $2000 for the hardware. Be aware tho about the fact that most traditional companies will send a sales representative to make an evaluation of the place that need the security system installation before giving you a price, in those cases remember that there’s always room for negotiation and that you want to be sure that you are getting what you really need for the safety of your business and not just a lot amount of hardware that will only benefit the sales rep check.

With all this in mind, let’s go take a look at the different kind of services you can get when installing a security system, from home security alarms to business security systems to offices and warehouse among others.

The security system market

As we said above, in this segment we want to explore the different kind of alarm systems so you can have a more detailed idea on what you can expect when installing one of them and how they compare to a home alarm system or a small business one. It’s important to know that sometimes, a great home security system can make also a great small or medium business security system, with automated features that will allow you to control your system in the best way possible.

Home security and Small Business alarm systems

The home security market is expanding year after year but the main players have been the same for the last couple of years, however some new players like Nest (from Google) have come to play with the big boys. The key feature in today home security market is home automation, the possibility to control and monitor all the devices and features of your alarm system. Most of the security systems, wherever they have DIY or professional installation, include a central keypad that is the “core” of the system, a few infrared motion sensors, door and windows sensors as well as glass break sensors. When you look for something for professional on your home system, you will want to add a smoke/fire sensor and of course at least one outdoor and one indoor camera that will allow to monitor your place from the palm of your hand with your smartphone. Top tech companies like Vivint, Nest and SimpliSafe will also offer features like geofence, light control and more.

So, what might be the difference between a home security system and a small business alarm system? Probably the amount of cameras you will want to add in order to gain more control over the monitored space. Most of the companies offer 24/7 live video monitoring for prices that go from 25 bucks to 55 depending on the contract you sign. What you would also like to add are key fobs so your employees can arm and disarm, open and close the business while you can remotely monitor the logs of their in and outs. While this last feature is not common on DIY systems, traditional companies like ADT can provide it for your business.

We can therefore recap by saying that the main difference between a home security system and a small business security system are going to be the amount of cameras and key fobs. For the rest, for a place around 540 to 1600 square foot, the hardware and the cost should be around the same.

But what is the reason for installing a security system in your home or small business? Burglary of course. According to FBI sources, in the US there are over 2 million burglary related crimes each year and 70% of them are committed in residential homes. Studies from big universities such as Rutgers, demonstrate that a monitoring alarm system is a big deterrent not only for crimes in a specific home but that they help to decrease the crime ratio at a neighbourhood level. You might ask yourself then, why should I install a security system in my business if over 70% of burglary happen in homes? Reasons are vary, but, when it comes to businesses, you will also would love to have protection from unfortunate clients and employees that might want to take advantage of you as well as for burglary reasons. Another big motive to install an alarm system is the fact that most of insurance companies will give you some discount on their fees if they can check you have a proper security system in your business and this is definitely a good reason to understand that you must have a monitored system not only in your place but also in your store.

Restaurant security systems

While restaurant could be included in the small business segment, we think that due to the specialization of security alarm systems by field, they deserved a few paragraphs apart from the rest.

While glass breaking sensors, motion detectors and video surveillance are of course important part of an integrated security system for this kind of businesses, good lightning around the place and fire and smoke detectors are key. Safety procedures are also very important as this will ensure that both customers and employees can enjoy properly their time in the restaurant.

While deterrents are important when it comes to the safety of your own business, very important is also to have a well established alarm system connected with a siren (110 dB at 10 feet is what we would suggest), and that will alert both you and the authorities in case of a break in. Of course a good alarm system will also have both fire and smoke detectors. In a kitchen it might happen that someone can forget a deep fryer turned on when leaving the place or that during the main hour something catch fire due to an inconvenience. A good system will not just bring  immediate relief but will detect the amount of CO and temperature in the spot and will alert the proper authorities so they can intervene as fast as the can.

Warehouse security systems

When you store the goods of your business in a warehouse, you need to be sure they are protected, from trackable logs for the people who enter the place through a key fob, to a CCTV camera circuit that will allow you to monitor 24/7 the place. Of course some movement sensors and glass break ones are needed, but as we just said, what you want to focus on in this case is 1) who enters and leaves the storage facility, 2) the possibility to see what’s going on at any given moment. The main benefit from a security system with those features is theft reduction. A well placed camera system, will immediately deter someone and in the remote case it doesn’t, it will at least make the person think twice before committing a crime since thanks to the monitoring system and well placed sensors, authorities will be able to help you out immediately or in the immediate aftermath of the facts. A good CCTV system will also help you out in cutting the cost of patrol personnel, if you have a large warehouse you would need quite some employees to constantly patrol the structure, with proper cameras, you can safe quite some money without resigning in security. Of course features like smoke and fire alarms are a must in warehouses.

The cost of the camera system will vary as there are many factors that will determine the price. From the amount of internal and external cameras you will need to install, to the type of camera transmission (wireless, ip, analog) to the monitoring company that will be ready to act and always connected from their CMS. We will talk about the different types of cameras later below.

Offices, commercial and large business security systems

In this segment we start to talk about a more sophisticated security system. A standard security package offered from any given company won’t be enough. They were good for small businesses, homes and sometimes even warehouse, but here we are talking big businesses or at least business that require a higher security level. Sensor for this kind of monitored spaces must be placed in every critical spot, camera circuit will need to be connected not only to your smartphone but to a central monitoring station of a professional security company. You will need to have specific equipment in order to properly manage your HVAC system, your light system (some companies offer the possibility of lights that will turn on every time you step below a sensor – Nest for example that with his automation features can be very helpful in cases like this), to have access control as this will ensure you are always up to date on who is entering and leaving the facilities, fire, water and smoke control in different areas of the monitored space, and finally a quality integrated video surveillance system.

In case you are thinking about installing a system of this kind, despite the fact that DIY installation is going to be much cheaper, unless you are really familiar with this kind of systems, we strongly recommend to lean toward a professional installation by one of the most renown companies in the security system market.

When it comes to this kind of more sophisticated security system is important that key members of your staff are properly trained on how to intervene in case of necessity. Security in large businesses is not a matter of one person only but is something that involves a whole team that need to be aware of how things work. Maintenance is also key for your security system as you will be able to reduce costs and prevent malfunction of the alarms.

Something we really like and strongly recommend for businesses that have quite some personnel, are key fob entry systems. These kind of systems will improve the security on your entry doors and gates. This key fobs can also be set in order to open a specific door in specific hours only and they will record entry and exit times, something you really want to have under control when it comes to the security of your business, office or commercial space.

Surveillance

Sometimes when it comes to a sensitive type of business, to have a good security system installed is not enough and surveillance and patrolling are a must. Many different companies offer this kind of services, the amount of rounds and on spot surveillance you will get is usually equal to the amount you are willing to pay. If your business is located in a big multi level facility you will want to have 24/7 patrolling, the amount of dedicated personnel to the task will of course depends on the square footage needed to be covered and of the value you store in the building. Companies like Protection 1 and ADT can for sure help you out on figure out this specific point. Local or State security companies might also offer this kind service, be sure to always get at least three or four different estimates before committing with one provider, their experience and of course the fact that if you are or aren’t liked in a security alarm system contract with one of them are things to have in mind when making the final decision.

Equipment

From sensors to cameras, from key fob entry systems to fire detectors, equipment, as we saw, will depend mostly on the type of business you are running. Most of the security companies don’t make their own equipment but rely on tech security equipment experts like GE (through Interlogix), Honeywell or Qolsys among others. We will take a look from the basics to the more sophisticated equipment that should be included in your security system.

Motion sensors

A motion sensor is a device that detects physical and or kinetic movement within a certain radius and weight. The technology behind a motion sensor in the security industry is usually infrared or microwave. In the case of infrared tech, the motion detector is built so it can detect infrared energy. When someone is moving in front of an infrared motion detector, the sensor will detect a change of infrared energy in the monitored environment and will activate an alarm. A microwave motion sensor behave differently than the infrared one as it emits a continuous wave of microwave radiation that bounce back to the device. If someone passes in front of this microwaves, there will be of course a different reflection then when the microwaves bounce back without interference. This change in the reception phase will be analyzed by the sensor that will activate an alarm. Most of the sensors are usually pet friendly up to a certain weight. This is to avoid a false alarm when you leave your dog home alone.

Let’s take a look at some motion sensors available in the market.

GE 60-807-95R - IR Motion Sensor

This passive infrared motion sensor is built by Interlogix and presents all the characteristics of what you need to detect if an intruder is in your home. Covers an area of 35 feet per 40 feet, is pet friendly up to 40lbs and is recommended to be placed on a distance from the control panel within 100 feet (will work up to 500 feet but constructions might interfere in the communication between the sensor and the main hub).

Vivint V-PIR2-345 - IR Motion Sensor:

this motion detector detector works with infrared technology, has a 90-degree lookdown and 110-degree wide-angled spread with 30’ x 50’ range, equipped with a 5 year lasting lithium battery and is also pet friendly up to 55 lbs.

Honeywell 5898 Wireless X-Band DUAL TEC® Motion Sensor

Combining PIR and X-Band microwave tech this sensor can distinguish between real intruders or threats and other environment conditions that could trigger a false alarm. As the manufacturer says, the PIR sensitivity and temperature sensing can be enabled via local programming or from the central station.

Honeywell DT906 / DT907

This device is also a commercial motion sensor developed by Honeywell and like the previous mentioned model it uses both PIR and X-Band microwave technology. The main difference between the two models is that this one has features like anti-masking, is vandal-resistant and it has a large coverage pattern and three microcontroller-based sensitivity modes that makes the device ideal for large commercial businesses and industrial ones.

Samsung SmartThings F-ADT-PIR-1 Motion Detector

This is the basic ADT motion detector, developed by Samsung and that serves its purpose for homes and small business monitored spaces. This pet friendly sensor is able to cover a large area of your home (35’ x 40’) with a range up to 150 feet. Its IoT connectivity will allow you to integrate it with other home automation features. When it detects movement, it will trigger a high decibel alarm siren and will also send a signal to one of the monitoring station ADT has (of course if you have a contract with ADT for the security of your home of business).

Door/Window Sensor

A door/window sensor is a device composed by two pieces, one reed switch and one magnet that together create a closed circuit. If someone tries to break in when the alarm system is on and during the breaking the reed switch and the magnet get separated, automatically the closed circuit gets broken and the alarm is triggered. While at the beginning this kind of sensor had sometimes an awkward size, nowadays, door/window sensors are really small and in some cases even unnoticeable.

Let’s take a look at some of the door/window sensors in the market.

Nest Detect

Ideal for those small businesses that want to get the max out of home automation, the Nest Detect is a door/window sensor developed by Google’s subsidiary Nest. With a battery that will last up to 2 years, this tiny and pretty designed detector is what your window and door needs in order to alert you, through Nest Guard, if someone breaks in. With a 54 degree field of view up to 15 feet away, this device has this amazing feature called Quiet Open that allows you to deactivate momentarily the alarm if you need to open a door or window without disarming the entire system.

Qolsys Wireless Window Sensor QS-1100-P01

This is a standard Wireless Window/Door Sensor that will do its job if someone tries to break in. This is a compact model that will not caught the eye around doors and has a wireless signal range of 600 feet (in open air). It has an internal battery that will last up to 5 years

Honeywell 5814 Ultra Small Door/Window Transmitter

This amazing little device has an outdoor range of over a mile, something extremely impressive as the 5800 Series by Honeywell has the best performance of any transmitters available today in the security market.

Honeywell 5817CBXT Wireless Commercial Transmitter

Part of the 5800 developed by Honeywell, this a universal contact-monitoring device that can be used for multiple purposes (homes, commercial, warehouse, etc). It can work with fire and burglary-initiating devices such as door/window contacts, motion and glassbreak detectors, sprinkler water flow switches, tamper switches, post indicator valves, manual pull stations and remote duct detectors. Upon activation, it emits an RF signal to a control panel, sending a burglary or fire alarm to a central station. This kind of door/windows devices are though mostly for commercial uses and works properly in an integrated security system.

Interlogix 60-362N-10-319.5 Wireless Door/Window sensor

The two-axis sensing and wireless technology make installation simple, even in tight spaces and is ideal when you want to have maximum discretion. When your system is armed and someone opens a door or window, you will be immediately notified. You can set them in order to activate a camera when the sensor is triggered, something that we really like for small business and restaurants.

Glass Break Detectors

A Glass Break Detector is a device that “listen” to a specific acoustical frequency that is generated when a glass breaks. More advanced detectors of this kind have a duel tech that allows to listen both flex and audio frequencies. This dual listening (impact and shattering of a window), will help to discriminate between a real window breaking and a similar sound. Have in mind that a Glass Break Detector usually has a 25 ft radius in any direction which allow a single detector to monitor many different widows located in a single space.

Let’s take a look at some of the Glass Break Detectors available in the market.

Qolsys IQ Glass - QS1410-P01 Glass Break Sensor

The key difference between this sensor and the common window/door and motion sensors is that the Glass Break one will be active in both “Stay” and “Away” modes. This sensor has a 20 feet range and works by “listening” a specific acoustic frequency that is generated when a glass breaks. If a burglar tries to enter your store by breaking a window, you and the authorities will notify immediately (when you have a monitoring company backing you up in your business security system).

Honeywell 5853 Wireless Glass Break Detector

The FlexCoreTM signal processor inside the devices utilizes an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), this is a processing sound data that works in parallel rather than sequentially like most of glass break sensors. This feature allow for sound frequency, duration and amplitude to be analyzed 50% faster in order to minimize false alarms while maintaining the highest possible level of detection. It is compatible with all 5800 series wireless devices like the 5817CBXT Wireless Commercial Transmitter we mentioned above.

Smoke, CO, fire and water detectors

This kind of detector usually work by detecting a rise in the temperature (fire/heat sensors), by listening to a frequency that is transmitted by a leak and by detecting it (water sensors), by detecting the amount of carbon monoxide particle in the air over time (CO detector). Finally a Smoke Detector works by detecting smoke that enters the device that is composed by a small amount of radioactive material located between two electrically charged plates which ionizes the air in the compartment between the plates and that causes current to flow between the plates. When the smoke enters the compartment, the alarm gets triggered.

Let’s take a look at some of the devices present in the market.

Qolsys IQ SMOKE QS5110-840

Is the smoke and heat detector developed by Qolsys for many different security companies like Brinks. It doesn’t matter if your system is armed or not, this detector will be working 24/7 and thanks to its ultrasensitive smoke sensor can prevent false alarms. It also has a heat sensor that can detect a rapid increase in temperature, something that can prevent fires that starts from wires where smoke might not be involved, a very useful feature for your business.

Samsung SmartThings ADT Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Is the CO detector developed by Samsung for ADT. This device is equipped with an electrochemical detector designed to identify elevated levels of carbon monoxide quicker (70 PPM) than what an usual detector is this kind can. With a built-in 85dB alarm, you will know immediately that something is wrong and when connected with a central panel will immediately alert the CMS in order to check on you and be sure the situation is under control or if they have to call the authorities.

Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector, RCHW3610WF

This water detector developed by Honeywell will immediately let you know through your smartphone when a water leak is detected. The device can detect temperatures that can freeze pipes, and humidity that could do damages to the facility where your business is located. The sensors within the RCHW3610WF have the ability to record and log the humidity and temperature of a given area you are monitoring so you can always be aware of how things are working.

Interlogix HDX-135-345 Wireless Rate of Rise Heat Sensor

This device offers an effective fire safety solution for environments like the kitchen of a restaurant or utility room of your commercial business that have a high likelihood of rapid fire development, or where optical smoke detectors cannot be used due to high dust conditions, such garages or warehouses. These sensors are designed to monitor the room temperature and activate an alarm if the temperature gets too high or increases rapidly just like most of this detectors work.

Honeywell Aspirating Smoke Detection

This state of the art technology developed by Honeywell is what your business building wants to have when it comes to quick detection and quick reaction to a smoke/early fire event. As described by the manufacturer “the FAAST Fire Alarm Aspiration Sensing Technology® series is a line of aspirating smoke detectors that draw air into a patented, high-sensitivity smoke-sensing chamber through a pipe network. This approach enables the FAAST series to deliver highly accurate Standard Detection, Early Warning Fire Detection, and Very Early Warning Fire Detection that meets the needs of a variety of environments, including mission-critical facilities like data centers where downtime from smoke or fires can be incredibly costly”. For sure this is something you want to check if you are running a business in a building or big facility.

Access Control Solutions

While in this segment we won’t take on specific product descriptions, we want to give you some advices on the importance of access control solutions. There are many different companies that offer solutions in this area, from controlled entrances via key fobs to a visitor management system.

While for small and commercial businesses, a DIY installed security system with a control panel and with a few key fobs that will log the entrances and exits of your employees might be enough, when it comes to large businesses or warehouse where sensitive material is stored, a solution for access control must be implemented. The importance of this feature will increase in proportion of the reality of your business. If you run a business with a large amount of employees or a small business focused on high tech development that requires a very strictly pattern of access to the personnel, you will want to increase the budget dedicated to access control solutions.

Honeywell, the manufacturer for many different security companies, can offer different type of solutions for access control systems and sometimes, to work directly with a security system developer is what you want in order to cut costs. But if instead you want to rely on a security company that knows every single detail of access control due to the large on-the-field experience, you want to check ADT and Protection 1. Those are probably the most famous companies in the US market when it comes to integrated security systems for businesses.

Cameras

Cameras are a must when you want to elevate your degree of security in a monitored area. There are mainly two types of cameras, outdoor and indoor ones. Resolution is very important as well as the infrared night vision. So you want to be sure the range of the camera is what you need to monitor your business, warehouse or commercial office. Some cameras are able to start recording when detecting suspicious movement and the more advanced ones also have facial recon features.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cameras in the market right now.

Sensoramatic - OC835V3 HD Outdoor Night Vision Camera

With HD resolution, this device provides a 95 degree view and is equipped with infrared night vision. When motion is detected, you will receive video clips automatically on your smart device Can be used for both Indoor and Outdoor solutions even if it is specifically designed for the second. This product is developed by Sensoramatic, a subsidiary of Tyco International that provides ADT with some of the cameras they offer to their customers.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

This is the ultimate indoor camera developed by the Google subidiary with 4K resolution, 12x digital zoom and enhanced Close-up tracking view. It has a 130-degree field of view and has night vision equipment (8 powerful LEDs with IR cut filter). Is equipped with a high quality speaker and mics so you can speak and hear loud and clear. It has really everything you want from an indoor camera and is perfect for a restaurant or small business that wants to make the max out of security automation.

SimpliCam - Indoor Camera

SimplySafe is one of the top security companies in the US and this is the HD Video-Audio camera with 120-degree field of view that they offer to their customers; it has infrared vision and allows you to monitor live video through the app when you are on a monitoring contract.

Alarm.com - ADC-V522IR Indoor Wireless Fixed IP Camera - Night Vision

The ADC-V522IR indoor wireless IR is a camera developed by Alarm.com that offers night vision with up to a 20-foot range and has a 1280x960p HD resolution. This device will automatically record when motion is detected, has stream video over your wireless home network and has is equipped with a two-way audio feature that allows you to speak through the app in your smartphone to the person on the other end of camera. Alarm.com is a well known company in the security market and can offer different cameras and security devices solutions mostly for restaurants, small and commercial business.

Alarm.com - ADC-V610PT Pan/Tilt Wireless Camera

Also developed by Alarm.com, with this camera you’ll have a great coverage of the monitored area as the camera can swivel. You will also be able to save preset positions and specific camera angles. As well as the Fixed Video Camera, you will be able to get live images on your mobile device.

Honeywell HB73SX Performance Series

The ideal camera for virtually any installation. Perfect for a diverse range of applications, this camera from the Performance Series is a bullet-style camera that comes with IR illumination, something that makes it perfect for 24/7 surveillance. We can go to the manufacturer description in order to get an idea of what kind of amazing devices this is, “when the ambient light drops below a user-defined threshold, the IR LEDs activate, a mechanical IR cut filter within the camera switches, and the camera changes automatically from color to black and white, capturing perfect color pictures by day and clear black and white images at night. The 3.8-9.5 mm F1.2 IR corrected aspherical Vari-focal Auto Iris lens offers a wide field of view range and no focus shift when the camera switches from day to night mode. Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) removes noise artifacts, increasing the performance of motion detection, giving users the ability to record for longer periods using their existing DVR unit. Digital Slow Shutter (DSS) technology improves the light sensitivity of the camera and extends its usable range”.

CCTV systems

We just talked saw above different kinds of cameras and in this brief segment we will talk about something strictly related to them and that will make your security system even stronger. CCTV systems. This is no other than video surveillance or, as the initials stand for, Closed Circuit Tele-Vision. We are talking about a close system as the video cameras you use in a security system will be broadcasting to a specific signal and on a limited set of monitors (usually controlled by your security company in their Central Monitoring Station). Nowadays CCTVs are a must for all businesses both medium and large.

While for small and commercial businesses, a DIY installed security system with a control panel and with a few key fobs that will log the entrances and exits of your employees might be enough, when it comes to large businesses or warehouse where sensitive material is stored, a solution for access control must be implemented. The importance of this feature will increase in proportion of the reality of your business. If you run a business with a large amount of employees or a small business focused on high tech development that requires a very strictly pattern of access to the personnel, you will want to increase the budget dedicated to access control solutions.

Honeywell, the manufacturer for many different security companies, can offer different type of solutions for access control systems and sometimes, to work directly with a security system developer is what you want in order to cut costs. But if instead you want to rely on a security company that knows every single detail of access control due to the large on-the-field experience, you want to check ADT and Protection 1. Those are probably the most famous companies in the US market when it comes to integrated security systems for businesses.

The players

Through this document we have mentioned many different security companies currently present in the US market. We will take a more specific look at some of them as we consider them to be reliable and trustworthy for your business.

DIY type of companies

Brinks Home Security

Formerly known as LiveWatch (a company born when SafeMart and Monitronics joined forces), the company has been on the market for over 25 years. In february of 2008, the company announced to have acquired the rights to rebrand into Brinks Home Secuirty, a well trusted brand in the security market. Through MONI they have a great customer support system and monitoring personnel that take proud in their rapid response. They have also developed an app in partnership with Alarm.com that makes it easier for customers to control their security system.

Frontpoint

Is considered by many expert the top DIY company in the security market. With state of the art tech, the creature born in 2006 thanks to Chris Villar, Aaron Shumaker and Peter Rogers has a 30 day risk free trial policy so we can for sure say the company is showing that they truly believe in what they do. For their central monitoring they use Rapid Response, a company that uses highly trained personnel and the most advanced technologies available in the market with the purpose of providing the very best monitoring services. This company have a 40 000 square feet headquarters that is one of eleven central stations approved to monitor fire alarms in New York City; on top this Rapid Response perform monitoring also on military facilities so we can say that Frontpoint rely on possibly the best monitoring company of the country.

Vivint

Founded in 1999 by Todd Petersen and Keith Nellesen under the name APX Alarm, the company rebranded into Vivint in 2010. The main goal of the company became then to “help create a smarter home with products that simplifies your life”, and while home security is an important part of Vivint, it is fair to say that the innovation their are bringing into energy management and home automation outstands among the companies. In 2010 Vivint launched an innovation center for “the development of new smart home technology”, through this path the company, in 2017, was included among the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies (according to Fast Company).

Link Interactive

A great solution for those small family business oriented as what we can truly appreciate about Link Interactive is that the company, being a family oriented minded business, is offering that flexibility and customization that you would love to have like when you need to make a decision. Link Interactive is a branch of Fire Protection Service Corp., and offers you a different approach when it comes to select your equipment and package. Get the equipment that you like the most, choose the contract length, customize your package, just like you would love to do when it comes to home security and home automation.

Other companies worth mentioning are Protect America, Live Watch and Nest Secure. This last one offers high automation features and while we really love what we see from them, we also have to admit that the prices they are offer are not very competitive when it comes to small business and that the amount of devices they offer are not quite enough for bigger businesses.

Professional type of companies

While there are many of this kind both at a national and state level we want to focus on two big brands that we consider top of the pack in the security business and that are the faces of the same coin.

ADT

With a presence in the market of more than 140 years, born as American District Telegraph, ADT became in the 20th century a company that developed a bond with the American families thanks to a presence almost in every state. They started to work on security and fire alarms systems in the first half of last century and finally in the 60s ADT became a publicly traded company. Nowadays ADT serves over 8 million customers across USA and Canada, making it the largest security company in both markets. Tim Whall and Jim DeVries are the CEO and President of a company that employs over 18000 people. The company, in order to evolve into the right direction and capture the millennials’ attention is known for collaborating with firms such as Google and Amazon, showing that no matter how old you are in the security market you can always find ways to improve and capture a new segment of the market.

Protection 1

The other face of the coin, the company that in 2014 actually merged with ADT when this firm was acquired by Apollo Global Management. While they are merged, they conduct the operations in the business market differently. Protection 1 has large experience in this market and we can say they are kind of the number one specialist in the field. With more than 90 offices and 5 monitoring centers nationwide, Protection 1 has over 4000 highly trained employees. They provide three levels of monitoring, a primary computer system, an on-site backup system and an off site at their Disaster Recovery Center. They use top of the edge technology and can help you out in setting the most efficient and adequate security system for your business.

 

Of course there are many other companies that can offer this type of services, some of the mentioned DIY installation companies also offer the possibility of professional installation and counseling in order to set properly your security system. Worth of mention is also Honeywell that while is mostly known as a manufacturer for security devices, can offer you the expertise of their highly trained personnel in order to help you out with a proper and professional installation of their products. From access control to monitoring sensors to cameras and CCTV systems, they have all you need to make your workplace a safety place.

How a security system works

We talked about players, equipment and different type of systems according to the business you are running. But how a security system actually works?

While installation is a part of making a security system works properly, most of the system works similarly. A control panel that is connected to all your devices (cameras, sensors, detectors, etc.) and that is at the same time connected with a Central Monitoring Station (owned by the company that provides you with the security system) and to your smart device (so you can be always up to date on what’s going on in the monitored space). If an alarm is triggered, the Central Monitoring Station usually will try to contact with you in order to double check what’s happening and if the threat is real. Some of the companies, when getting the confirmation that an unexpected and unwanted situation is going on, they will alert the proper authorities. Usually the process of alarm triggering-contact the owner/double checking-alert the authorities takes from 30 to 60 seconds. Of course when you have patrolling personnel in your facilities, the reaction time will be even lower. The process is almost the same for small and bigger businesses as the main difference will be the amount of personnel that will be involved in the aftermath of the confirmed situation. Be sure to ask every question you might need and to receive proper explanation (and in some cases training) from the company you are putting your trust in as a good company will take all the time necessary to ensure your and yours employees safety.