There’s no deployment without design when it comes to commercial security. Wilmington business owners, here are some security system design considerations to make before contacting an integrator.

Partner Communication

Your security integrator should listen first, design second. If the vendor has a “one-size-fits-all” template for system design and refuses to listen to your needs as an organization, that’s a red flag. Partner communication is key when designing a commercial security system.

Equipment Readiness

Still, they should also have equipment at the ready so that installation can happen on schedule. If parts need to be ordered and too many workarounds are required, that’s an indicator of potential problems surfacing down the road. Make sure your integrator has equipment on hand to meet your needs before committing to an order.

Certification and Compliance

For organizations that are regulated and shouldered with compliance requirements, it’s critical that the security integrator is able and willing to help. Make sure the vendor is ready to uphold to your organization’s policies and procedures, and that they have been certified by equipment manufacturers so that deployment is as seamless as possible.

After design, other considerations to make when choosing a commercial security integrator include:

  • Project management experience
  • Web-based project management software
  • Simplicity of wiring
  • Project commissioning
  • Final termination policies

To speak with a commercial security integrator that designs expertly and deploys seamlessly, contact Security Instrument to request a consultation for commercial security. Wilmington, MD, NJ and PA organizations can reach us at (888) 326-8936.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential and commercial security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

After an organization is sold on the idea of upgrading to a commercial security system, the real work begins. Ideally, here’s what should be expected from an integrator after signing a contract for commercial security. Wilmington organizations, make sure your integrator upholds these standards.

Client Facetime

An experienced security integrator understands that the most valuable project management resource is the client. By actively involving the client in the initial assessment, property walkthroughs, site surveys, risk evaluations and product testing, there is greater likelihood for two important key indicators: 1) long-term project success, and 2) lower total cost of ownership.

Strategic Engineering

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

The expression is applicable to all aspects of entrepreneurship, but it also applies to the vendors that organizations tap to power their facilities. A client should choose a security integrator that will invest the time necessary to outline a strategy for installation and deployment of the security system. If the integrator doesn’t, there will surely be trouble ahead.

Technical Expertise  

The best commercial security systems are simple to operate, but complex in design. Choose an integrator that designs, tests and certifies the system for operational efficiency so that any problems can be troubleshooted and neutralized before the official deployment date. This integrator should have the technical expertise necessary to address issues immediately and effectively – not just during deployment, but for years to come after.

For long-term success of a security system, unparalleled service is a must. To speak with an integrator that invests in face-to-face time with clients, strategizes each project, and possesses outstanding technical expertise, contact Security Instrument and request a consultation for commercial security. Wilmington, MD, NJ and PA organizations can reach us at (888) 326-8936.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential and commercial security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

On the site of a commercial business, government building or educational facility, the quality of security system installation and integration matters. Project management experience is a must; here are some reasons why a good track record in this arena is essential for commercial security.

Reason #1: Inimitable Design Needs

In many cases, a unique organization warrants a unique security system design. If there are multiple buildings, remote locations, restricted areas or high-risk spots, those needs should all factor in to the design process of the system. When a security integrator has successfully designed for those types of needs, that should be a prognosticate of the success on your project as well.

Reason #2: Project Scope Scalability

Once a security expert has taken on projects of massive scope, the experience of managing those larger projects can easily be scaled down to a smaller organization. Likewise, implementing a complicated project on a smaller property can be excellent training ground for projects of a larger scope. The ability to scale a plan according to the scope of the project is a skill that can only be developed while implementing a series of challenging projects over time.

Once a security expert has taken on projects of massive scope, the experience of managing those larger projects can easily be scaled down to a smaller organization.

Reason #3: Flexibility is Required

Even in the most plug-and-play security system designs, a measure of flexibility is required; by the same token, highly customized designs call for a certain amount of elasticity as the needs of the organization change over time. When the integrator has a broad project management portfolio, there is a higher likelihood of being able to provide new options to the client when they are needed.

These are some of the biggest reasons why project management experience matters in commercial security. Wilmington organizations looking to implement or improve security systems – including alarms, cameras, access control and more – may contact Security Instrument for more information.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential and commercial security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Remote video monitoring is a service that many organizations contemplate, but few truly understand until it is demonstrated to them. Here are some of the most critical things remote video monitoring can do for security.

Prevent Loitering, Vandalism and Theft

Schools, hospitals and office buildings are valuable institutions in our communities – but unfortunately, they are often prime targets for criminal activity. With remote video monitoring, administrators have crime prevention technology on their side. The service acts like a remote guard, touring the property on a scheduled basis just like a live security guard would. With a voice-down capability, the remote guard can communicate through a speaker to let trespassers know they’re being watched and law enforcement is on its way. This is designed to send them running and not return. Ideally, it won’t take long for word to spread that your property is no place for criminal mischief.

Supplement Live Security

Most institutional properties have a live security force; however, even the best guards cannot be in two places at once. With remote video monitoring, security staff can stay at their posts with confidence that remote areas of the property are still being watched closely. Clients can choose what types of security events warrant voice-down warnings, alarm activations, and notifications to onsite security.

 

The intelligent software communicates with the monitoring center when an event takes place, and an alert is triggered immediately. Guards can deploy to the site of the activity, but they are not required to have eyes in every direction; the service does that for them.

Make Security Budgets Manageable

Security staff is necessary, but hiring a full force of skilled guards can be expensive. Often, remote video monitoring costs a fraction of the amount a trained security guard earns. For organizations that need to manage the bottom line – and these days, that’s every organization – remote video monitoring can make good economic sense. Some clients opt to use the service afterhours only to ensure the property stays safe until morning. Depending on the type of organization you manage, there are different timeslots in which to consider utilizing the service.

Remote video monitoring may not be the only security service you need, but it can certainly fill security needs where gaps exist. To learn more, contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential and commercial security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

When an organization is ready to bring its video surveillance system up to the most current standard, that should mean upgrading from its outdated analog video technology. What’s the next step? Managed services. Progressing to managed services is the key to making sure video is always available, stored in an offsite server with airtight encryption. Here are some reasons why many businesses choose to make the shift.

IT departments are limited.

Even at the most robust organizations, many IT departments simply don’t have the bandwidth to support hundreds of hours of video storage. That’s when managed services can step in, with video management software that controls all video from a central location offsite. With video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), all the footage is stored in the cloud and the costs are scaled up and down according to the needs of the organization.

Scalability = Cost Efficiency

That scalability of managed services enables costs to be better managed by the organization. High quality IP cameras have experienced a dramatic cost decrease thanks to the mainstreaming of managed video surveillance services, and the subscription-based services are a great way to manage costs. Paying per camera can make building a video surveillance budget simpler and maximize every dollar – and if the budget doesn’t allow for a total replacement of the analog system, a cost-effective hybrid may be possible.

With video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), all the footage is stored in the cloud and the costs are scaled up and down according to the needs of the organization.

Near-Instant Gratification

Video surveillance in the cloud allows for near-instant gratification, as live video footage is viewable on not only a computer monitor, but virtually any connectable device including a mobile phone. Because the camera is only triggered by motion detection, the days of combing through hours of footage to find the clips that are needed are over. Instead, clips are easily searchable on demand. There is also the option to set up notification alerts when motion is detected, so managers can take a look immediately.

To find out more about managed video surveillance services in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

For-profit organizations need one thing to stay in operation: profit. One way to protect profits is to protect the property the business is on, inside and out. This can be done with alarm and camera systems, but they shouldn’t be working alone. No, commercial enterprises need additional managed security services as well. One of those managed services is access control.

Why Access Control Makes Sense

Access control systems are designed to help organizations manage who enters the premises. They can be installed at gates to keep unauthorized individuals off the entire property, or at building entries to restrict them from entering indoors. For an organization that wants to protect its assets – including people, equipment, supplies and merchandise – access control just makes sense for the bottom line. After working hard to secure those assets, why would anyone leave their security up to chance?

Why Choose Hosted Services

Even organizations with substantial IT infrastructure may consider choosing a managed service to host their access control systems. Managed services ensure that the onsite management or security team can receive accurate business reporting. The reports record time-stamped entries to a managed location so that more informed security decisions can be made. If video surveillance is also installed, there are managed solutions for the integration of video technology with the other security equipment. Everything can work together to provide clear security records that protect the organization from threats, loss and other detriments.

To learn more about protecting your bottom line with access control, Delaware Valley organizations can call Security Instrument. We will be glad to provide a complimentary security analysis.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

It’s the big dilemma for every business owner: Do you continue with the services you currently pay for at a lower cost, missing out on potentially streamlining those services and getting better quality – or, do you shift to an upgraded product with higher quality that can combine all your services into one package? After all, the second option can save you money in the long run.

That’s how we present the choice to upgrade to smart security technology. When business owners make the change from a traditional security system that’s limited in the functions it performs to one that integrates their alarms and cameras with non-security systems like lights, locks and indoor climate, two things happen.

First, you streamline your operations.

As a business owner, you can control all those functions in your building with a simple tap on your smartphone. It’s far less tedious than the “old” way of running a business property: walking the premises, locking up, turning the thermostat up and down (or forgetting to before you leave) – and that’s all before you’ve set the alarm. With smart security technology, it’s all done from the convenience of your phone (which means you can do things even after you’ve left for the day).

Second, you save money in the long-term and short-term.

For the business owner who can’t afford to wait a long time to see cost savings, smart security technology can still be a good fit. When you see lower utility bills because the lights and indoor climate can be controlled with your phone or even programmed to come on and off in “scenes” you create, those are immediate cost savings. When loss mitigation goes from being an insurance claim after a robbery to an alarm and camera event that stops a robber in his tracks, those are immediate cost savings. When you think of it this way, the great paradox doesn’t seem so great at all.

To learn more about Delaware security systems, contact Security Instrument for a complimentary consultation. We will be glad to demonstrate smart security technology to you.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous options for home and commercial security. Delaware, MD, NJ & PA homes and businesses are among our thousands of customers.

In the “old days” of electronic security, getting the most value out of a security system was merely equivalent to making sure it was working. But now, getting your money’s worth out of your security system is an entirely different matter – especially for a business that’s concerned about its bottom line. How can you make the most of what you have? Here are some tips.

Utilize Everything the System Has to Offer

When you have a system that can be automated, take advantage of that by programming your system to create scenes – in other words, create a series of commands for the system so that multiple things can happen with one tap of your smartphone app. When you arrive in the morning, tap on the app to disarm the alarm, turn on lights and get the AC going. The lights and AC commands alone can cut help a business down on overhead.

Let Go of Old Habits

“Out with the old, in with the new.” Now that you have the ability to set scenes that control some of the most important functions of your business property, it’s time to break the old habits that are costing you money: flipping the lights on and off manually around the clock or leaving the AC on all summer rather than managing it with your security app, for example. As far as the alarm goes, it’s time to stop entering the code at the keypad; it’s 2018 and you can disarm it with your smartphone. How does that save you money? For one thing, it greatly reduces the risk of false alarms, which most cities are known to issue fines for.

Ask for a Thorough Demonstration

The best way to learn about getting the most value from your security system is to ask your integrator to demonstrate operating it for you. Before your setup is complete, you should know how to give commands through the smartphone app that perform all the functions you plan to use the system for. To speak with a security integrator that can do this, contact Security Instrument for a complimentary assessment. We offer one of the most thorough security system consultations in Delaware. 

About Security Instrument
Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous options for home and commercial security. Delaware, MD, NJ & PA homes and businesses are among our thousands of customers.

In today’s school security climate, many administrators assume that faculty and staff will intuitively respond appropriately to an emergency. However, this is not a wise assumption. When the pressure is on because of a viable threat, school employees need a clear set of guidelines to follow – and these guidelines should be implemented long before the emergency happens. This summer, school administrators can prepare for a potential emergency by taking the following three out-of-the-box approaches.

1. Train Them to Use Equipment

When new security equipment is installed, administrators are not the only ones who need to be trained in its use. Schools can hold an in-service day with faculty and staff that trains them on the way video surveillance systems, access control systems and alarms around the campus work. When equipment has been in place for years but is currently being upgraded, that is also a great time for staff to be trained. The knowledgeable technicians of your security integrator can assist with this training.

2. Hold Demo Days and Drill

Just as the students are trained to react via fire drills, faculty and staff can be trained to react to a security emergency via mock incidents that cover a variety of potential scenarios. During these drills, equipment that should be demoed includes the following: the mass notification system to rehearse how the lead will communicate to the campus during the emergency, the electronic locks to mimic a lockdown of the campus, and the alarm system to prepare for how the audible alarms will be used in a given emergency scenario. By understanding how the equipment will operate in an emergency, faculty can be more mentally prepared when seconds count.

3. Designate Points, Prepare to Train Students

Around the campus, there are places that can be official safe zones – for example, classrooms that can be designated as places for students to barricade themselves in the event of an emergency. These places should be communicated to faculty during summer security training, and this information can then be passed down to students once classes begin. Students should engage in drills as early as possible in the school year, so they can be aware of security protocols from the beginning of the school year on.

By getting serious about school security during the summer, campus faculty can be better prepared when it matters most. To speak with an experienced security integrator that can help, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous options to mitigate school emergencies in Delaware. We serve thousands of electronic security customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Biometrics are nothing new to the security space. Commercial enterprises and public organizations with large footprints have been using biometric authentication technology for years – and now, it’s used in everything from verifying identities on social media and smartphones to banking systems and border patrol. But where biometrics remain the most useful is in employee access control, where it is applauded for its accuracy and the airtight security it delivers for employers. Unlike passwords and card credentials, physical identity is too difficult to fake – and, it’s impossible to misplace or forget.

That being said, what are the pros and cons of each type of biometric access control? Let’s take a look at several examples.

Biometric Access Control through Fingerprint Scanning

Pro: Arguably the most widely used form of biometric technology. Placing a finger on the scanner is easy and unintimidating.

Con: The finger most often used to scan is the index finger – and unfortunately, that’s also the finger most likely to get a papercut. A cut on the finger can easily throw the scanner off. To mitigate this, many organizations achieve maximum accuracy by combining the fingerprint scan with a passcode, or they issue credential cards as backup.

Biometric Access Control through Iris Recognition

Pro: An iris recognition is even more difficult to fake. Unlike a fingerprint, it doesn’t require contact with the scanner. Scanning the unique colors and patterns of a person’s iris, it stores this data for authentication.

Con: Although iris recognition is highly accurate, it can still be thrown off by contact lenses, lashes and even dark eyes. Researchers have been able to recreate irises stored on one scanner and subsequently trick another scanner into gaining access. So, the technology is still not tamper-proof.  

Unlike passwords and card credentials, physical identity is too difficult to fake – and, it’s impossible to misplace or forget.

 

Biometric Access Control through Retinal Scan

Pro: Unlike its counterpart iris recognition, a retinal scan uses infrared light to scan the blood vessel patterns in the eye; then, it records those patterns to video. This makes it more accurate than iris recognition.

Con: It remains the most expensive access control option available.

Biometric Access Control through Facial Recognition

Pro: Widely known as the fastest form of access control ID, facial recognition takes nearly one second to work. Even slight changes in facial points can trigger a denial of access.

Con: That same pro can also be a con. If a person grows facial hair, loses weight or undergoes a rhinoplasty – all fairly common appearance-changing events – then they are likely to be denied access by the facial recognition access control system at their employer.

Biometric Access Control: The Conclusion 

While biometric access control is highly accurate, it is not entirely failproof. Employers must consider the options available and determine how to mitigate the pitfalls of each method. Often, a simple backup method of issuing a credential card can be a good solution. With these methods combined, an organization can experience rock solid security that keeps employees and other occupants of the campus as secure as possible.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous options for home and commercial security. Delaware, MD, NJ & PA homes and businesses are among our thousands of customers.