Companies and homeowners alike are going to greater lengths to protect their assets, and for good reason. Property crime in 2015 resulted in countrywide losses totaling over $14 billion, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Of the 1,579,527 burglaries reported in 2015, 448,617 (28.4%) were burglaries in a retail environment.

These eye-popping numbers fortunately trend downwards in recent years, but they still suggest that leaving your business exposed could cost you. Businesses without a visible alarm system are  significantly more likely to face burglary attempts, so it stands to reason that one of if not the greatest deterrent to burglary is an audible, continuously monitored security system.

Investing in a security system can seem like a difficult prospect as a business owner. You might be worried that you don’t have enough information about what you need, that the system could cost too much, or that it isn’t worth the cost. Hopefully, we can answer these questions here.

How Can an Integrated Security System Prevent Burglary and Theft?

Warding off burglary or other crime attempts are a major concern for businesses, and an integrated security system is a perfect tool to monitor and manage your facility. Security cameras and access control devices can withstand environmental conditions, be as obvious or as hidden as you want, and are highly customizable. We can build a system specifically with your facility in mind, using the components that you need.

What are the Components of an Integrated Security System?

A comprehensive security system can incorporate a variety of technologies to give you 360° protection from potential crimes. Depending on your business model, your environment, and your clientele, you may prefer some parts of a security system over others. The three primary parts of an electronic security system are surveillance, access control, and intrusion detection.

Surveillance covers the technology monitoring your business like cameras and video analytics. Access control involves how you dictate entry to your facility, gate access to parking lots, and the various methods to install access control. Intrusion detection refers to the technology securing windows, doors, and other areas, and can work alongside both surveillance and access control to give you a full picture of your facility security.

Surveillance

A strong security system often starts with surveillance. The ability to record and store video makes investigation, identification, and recovery of stolen goods or money much more likely.

There are thousands of security cameras available on the market today, many of which offer specialized features depending on the environment and applications. These cameras include:

  • Fixed network cameras;
  • Fixed dome network cameras;
  • Onboard network cameras, a specialized camera “ideal for surveillance on board trains, trams, and metros,” according to Axis, the global leader in network cameras;
  • Pan/tilt/zoom network cameras for increased coverage, endless panning, increased optical and digital zoom capacity; and
  • Positioning cameras for true 360° coverage and auto tracking.

Some cameras are built for specific environments or applications, too. Some typical security camera specializations include:

  • Weatherproofing for outdoor use at very high or low temperatures;
  • Two-way audio communication via onboard mic and speaker;
  • Thermal imaging for applications in high-fog, high-smoke, and/or low-light environments; and
  • Explosion protected cameras for dangerous applications in power plants, chemical factories, and other hazardous environments.

The right system integrator can recommend the best security cameras for your application. The next logical step is a compatible video management system to record, store, and analyze footage from your surveillance system.

Video Management & Analytics

Video management systems (VMS) and analytics software manage security cameras, offering everything from playback and saving video to identifying colors, patterns, and even people. Some cameras offer built-in, programmable intelligent video features like:

  • Color detection, an important identifying factor;
  • Shock detection to prevent tampering;
  • Motion detection to identify people, cars, and other objects;
  • Audio detection for two-way communication plus gunshot and other loud noise detection;
  • Temperature detection for highly regulated environments; and temperature detection, plus tampering alarms
  • Enter/exit detection, object removed detection, and object counting to maintain field integrity; and
  • Autotracking to continually monitor potential or active hazards.

This is a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of potential onboard analytics in surveillance cameras. A VMS like Software House can perform the above intelligent video features and much more, like sectioning playback into intervals for easy event identification, monitoring multiple cameras or automatically following moving people or objects of interest, traffic flow analysis, and much more.

If you’re looking for a more straightforward surveillance system, you can also opt for a networked video recorder (NVR). NVRs are exclusively for recording video, and are useful for smaller applications like small buildings or facilities with active security personnel that don’t need or want to rely on a VMS for analysis and investigation.

Surveillance is a huge component of electronic security, and it often gets paired with another very powerful electronic security system: access control.

Access Control

Access control systems are almost as ubiquitous as surveillance systems today, and in many ways can be a company’s real first line of defense against would-be criminals. Seeing, analyzing, and reacting to dangerous situations is very valuable, but access control can improve your overall security and may prevent those dangerous situations from arising in the first place, particularly in secure areas.

There are many different access control devices, and a system integrator can help determine what is best for your specific design.

Different Access Control Methods

Access control can follow a variety of avenues. The system you choose depends on some evaluating questions:

  • How secure does my facility need to be?
  • What kind of sensitive information do I handle?
  • What kind of access do we need to be able to offer and take away?
  • How many layers of access do we need?
  • Is my access control system exposed to the environment?

Using these questions and others as a guideline, a low voltage integrator can develop an access control system as precise as you need based on your security needs.

Access control authentication can mix and match factors and methods that work for you. The most common methods are credentials (“Have”), PINs or passwords (“Know”), and biometric identification (“Are”). More simply, any one or a combination of fobs or key cards, access codes, and physical appearance can identify visitors and employees.

The level of access control you have depends on the systems above, but authentication can be one-factor, two-factor, or three-factor based on one or any combination of the three factors above.

For example, a hospital might want employees to badge in and out to control facility access, but the hospital might also use biometric readers so doctors can enter and exit secure operating rooms or other areas inside the hospital without sanitizing a second time. These kind of special arrangements require firm, knowledgeable access management, and are perfect for a tiered access system.

Access control takes many forms, but some of the most prominent that may have been mentioned above include:

  • Badging systems using ID cards, fobs, key cards, or other carried credentials;
  • PIN pads, passwords, or callboxes that require the user know something or someone who will give them access; and
  • Biometric recognition systems like facial scans, hand scans, or matching other identifiable features of an individual.

It’s important to briefly understand the benefits of access control with a networked surveillance system. Your security system can help provide more information to your physical security team, and indeed the access control system itself, by using analytics or forwarding questionable assessments to security staff to verify. The two can integrate seamlessly to provide you with even more coverage.

Now that your access control system is in place, it’s time to think about the flip side of managing your foot traffic: your business might rely on getting people in the door, getting them on their way quickly, and keeping them out of where they shouldn’t go.

Visitor Management Systems

Visitor management is the subset of electronic security covering how your property and security system interact with visitors. This covers everything from the work required to create temporary credentials to more esoteric topics like crowd control and flow management.

Both crowd control and traffic flow can incorporate surveillance analytics to improve your company’s understanding of how people naturally move through your facility. You can also use that video analysis to see how you can encourage visitors to move in a different way to reduce congestion, prompt additional purchases, or see what offerings are attracting the most attention.

Leaving aside those more involved aspects of visitor management, visitor management systems can also act like secretaries in a corporate setting. A visitor management system could be anything from a kiosk to an iPad handled by an employee, and can allow you to:

  • Automatically or remotely check in visitors using an iPad or another tablet;
  • Provide a professional touch to the visiting experience;
  • Get better insight and analysis into your visitors;
  • Take photos, print visitor badges or stickers, and answer basic questions about directions or company information; and
  • Alert the appropriate individual that their visitor is waiting for them.

Your visitor management system can integrate with the other components of electronic security to provide you with capabilities like identity verification, granting instant access, mobile app access control technology, and much more. The right system integrator can develop a comprehensive, integrated electronic security system for you.

The last component of electronic security systems is common in both commercial and residential applications: the burglar alarm.

What Security Vendors Do We Partner With to Deliver Surveillance and Access Control Systems?

We work with some of the best security system manufacturers in the world to bring you comprehensive options when it comes to designing your system. You can see a list of our most common vendor partners, but our most prominent surveillance and access control system partners include Tyco Security product lines like Exacq, Software House, and Illustra, Avigilon, Schlage’s parent company Allegion.

We’ll deliver the same products requested by you to give you the experience you’re planning for, or we can recommend new ones depending on your flexibility.

What Separates System Integrators in Security System Design and Installation?

Designing and installing the perfect security system comes down to many factors, but the biggest one is you. Too often contractors, architects, and designers have a vision for your building and the systems inside it that’s different from your own. Don’t settle for a system that isn’t tailored for exactly what you need.

At BCI Integrated Solutions, the end user’s experience is the most important part of any project. Leaving you happy with your electronic security system or other low voltage system is our top priority, and one that not many commercial system integrators take seriously.

Contact Us Today to Discuss a Comprehensive Security System for Your Business, School, or Government Facility

BCI is a premier provider of intelligent security systems in Florida, and we want to help you secure your property. We’ve delivered comprehensive surveillance and access control services to many high-profile clients seeking to protect their business, and we want to add you to that list.

Talk to us about your plans for a new or existing electronic security and safety system in Florida today.

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