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Security Systems

Jonathan Haney headhsot
Jonathan Haney

Senior Director, Marketplaces

Modified on

June 6, 2024

What Are Security Systems?

Security systems are the devices and practices that a facility may use to protect property and occupants from threats like potential intruders, theft, natural disasters, power outages, vandalism, and violence.

Many businesses integrate their security systems with other building functions to enhance safety and operational efficiency. This integration allows for a cohesive approach to managing a facility’s security measures and response efforts.

Usually, many security systems are used within the same facility. That’s because different security systems provide protection against different potential threats. All systems may connect to a singular base station or be managed by different professionals.

Examples of Different Types of Security Systems

Surveillance Equipment

Surveillance equipment refers to video security cameras, motion sensors, and recording systems that monitor areas around your building. Using this equipment, facilities can monitor live footage and review past footage to gather evidence of an incident.

Most surveillance systems incorporate many cameras and voice recorders. One of the most common professional monitoring systems is closed-circuit television (CCTV). CCTV cameras transmit footage to a central base station where the security team will monitor activity.

Access Control Systems

Access control systems ensure that only authorized personnel can enter specific areas. Examples of access control systems include locks, smart locks, key fobs, and biometric scanners. Access control may also refer to the use of strong passwords and 2FA to enter a digital network.

Intrusion Detection Systems

In physical security, intrusion detection systems use sensors to detect motion that may indicate unauthorized entry within facilities. In digital security, they use algorithms to monitor network traffic and system activities to detect unexpected behavior. However, these are usually two different devices or software tools.

Alarm Systems

Alarm systems react to potential security breaches or safety hazards. They react to specific triggers that indicate unexpected entry, such as breaking glass or if a window opens after hours. Alarm system responses involve noise or flashing lights, and may automatically alert emergency services.

Visitor Management Systems

Visitor management systems track and manage the flow of visitors using an entry sensor to ensure security protocols are followed. These systems are typically used in facilities that have a high volume of traffic and may not always have an employee present at the front desk.

Fire and Life Safety Systems

Fire and life safety systems include smoke alarms, a carbon monoxide detector, emergency lighting, and any other alarm systems that detect potential life safety hazards. Some life safety systems are legally required in all public buildings within specific regions. Therefore, it’s important to check your local laws.

Panic Button

Many facilities have a panic button somewhere in their building. This button immediately alerts the proper authorities when an emergency occurs. As a result, emergency services can arrive at the scene faster.

Emergency Communication

Emergency communication technologies include intercoms and public address systems that facilitate communication during crises. According to the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72), all public buildings must have such a system in place.

Cybersecurity Systems

Cybersecurity is an increasingly important aspect of business security systems. Good cybersecurity prevents intruders from using your wireless network, Wi-Fi, or employee electronic devices to enact a security breach.

Benefits of Security Systems in Facilities Management

Enhanced Protection

Every facility needs security systems to protect their property from various threats. Without the right security systems, your management will be left uninformed if an incident occurs. If they aren’t aware of the incident, they can’t take the next steps to mitigate it.

Peace of Mind

People are less likely to enter or stay in a building or cyber network if they feel insecure. Therefore, security systems give your team and visitors peace of mind. This sense of security allows staff to focus on their daily tasks with less worry about safety risks.

Reduced Liability

By deterring criminal activity and documenting incidents, security systems can reduce a facility’s liability and potential for loss. Documentation and recordings from your security system also provide evidence for legal proceedings and insurance claims.

Less Risk of Becoming a Target

Burglar alarm systems do deter burglars. Research has shown that even fake security cameras decrease crime rates in that area by 25%. Although, real security systems are much more effective.

Regulatory Compliance

Security systems help ensure that the facility meets legal and regulatory requirements related to security and safety. However, please note that these standards vary based on industry and region. Consult your local fire department and other authorities to verify your requirements.

Faster Access to Emergency Services

A good security system facilitates faster access to first responders or security services. This capability minimizes the potential damage caused by incidents and improves occupant safety during emergencies.

How to Implement Security Systems

Security Assessment

Conduct a thorough security assessment to identify your facility’s biggest risks. This process will ensure you install the best security systems for your needs and avoid wasting money on irrelevant measures. For example, there’s no need to install a hurricane alert system in a landlocked area.

System Design

Once you’ve taken the time to understand your risks, plan your business security system to meet these needs. Consider what is essential for legal requirements and what other devices you could install to achieve your security system goals. Also consider if you are using in-house personnel or outsourced monitoring services, as this may affect which devices you buy.

Professional Installation and Integration

Ensure that all security components are installed professionally and integrated seamlessly with the existing systems. The integration enables the new security features to work in harmony with current operational systems.

Training and Protocols

Train your staff on how to use your business security systems and establish protocols for responding to security incidents. Proper training ensures that staff are prepared to handle emergencies and maintain security standards.

Maintenance and Upgrades

Facilities must continually assess and update their security systems to address evolving threats. Set a schedule for periodic security system evaluations and emergency drills. Implement lessons learned from these tests to improve your security system. 

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