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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.

In part one, we addressed ways that integrating access control and video surveillance can assist with intruder verification. There are additional ways it can be useful, though. Consider this scenario: When he arrives for work in the morning, the facility manager of an industrial facility is reviewing the security logs from the previous night. In the access control log, he notices that someone attempted to enter a secure area of the building overnight. The alarm/event time is timestamped for a time no unauthorized employee should be onsite.

An Employee Onsite During Off-Hours

Because he is able to see which access card was used to attempt entry, the manager believes it was a current employee of the organization. Now, he can go to the video surveillance footage and confirm the person’s identity. Because the two systems are integrated, he can do this with the click of a button.

Why does he need to confirm the person’s identity? Unless the company wants to put itself at risk of legal trouble, the employee in question should not be fired on a hunch or a suspicion; the company needs to know unquestionably what person tried to enter the secure area during the night, and video surveillance can provide that. If the systems were not integrated, it would be very difficult for the manager to piece together the bits of information available to solve this puzzle. But because they are integrated, he can solve it in minutes and take decisive action.

What Access Control and Video Integration Does

Integrating video surveillance and access control gives managers an overview of accurately layered information. Because the access control information is layered over the video footage, the manager can identify the:

  • Date and time of the access card read
  • Name of the access card holder
  • Unique ID number or badge number
  • Name of the door or reader being accessed
  • Access granted / denied condition

It’s everything a manager needs to stay informed about security events on the property. To learn more about improving environmental awareness with access and video integration, contact Security Instrument for a free security analysis of your commercial property.

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.

Delaware is no stranger to smash and grab burglaries. Two years have not passed since two Philadelphia, PA men were sentenced to 20 years in prison for committing a string of them, including one crime that involved stealing a $2 million ruby sculpture from a Wilmington jeweler. Furthermore, smash and grab burglaries don’t only happen to high-end businesses; they happen to retail establishments of all kinds. With that in mind, what can you do to reduce the risk of a smash and grab burglary happening at your business? We recommend tapping into the power of IP video surveillance.

What IP Video Surveillance Is

Internet Protocol (IP) video surveillance is powered by the web, which enables the video to be accessed from virtually anywhere with a wifi connection. IP video is no longer the “next big thing” in video surveillance; it is now the normal thing, and eventually, it will be the only thing. An IP video surveillance system goes beyond the last generation of video storage (DVR) in terms of economic feasibility, image quality, and security system integration. Much like your smartphone streamlined your communication and time management, an IP camera system can streamline your business security protocols.

What IP Video Surveillance Does 

IP technology makes it easier for businesses to copy, share and transmit video, which is great for businesses with multiple locations – or, businesses where the ownership is offsite much of the time.

If a burglary occurs, a business owner can view the video from anywhere – and if criminals are “smart,” they may see the advanced camera systems in full view and may be deterred from acting in the first place. To that end, IP video is a powerful tool for businesses that are serious about loss prevention.

IP Video Surveillance is Flexible

IP camera systems offer greater flexibility than the legacy systems in many established businesses. For example, a business on a tight budget may opt to replace only the most obsolete equipment with IP cameras, and only at key zones throughout the property. Incorporating IP video surveillance into your building’s security agenda, even incrementally as budget allows, can be a good way to minimize the risk of smash and grab burglary. For more information, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

For a business that caters to Valentine’s Day shoppers, diners or spectators, the most romantic day of the year may actually be the riskiest. If you own a restaurant, retail establishment or destination property, check out these tips on Valentine’s Day security for your business.

LIGHTS LOW, CAMERAS ON

Your dining room may have the lights down low, but your wireless IP video cameras should still be rolling. On a high-traffic night like Valentine’s Day, the security risks are higher and your vigilance should be as well. While you’re busy watching the floor, supervising the staff or managing the reservation list, keep your virtual keypad app handy to remotely access your interior and exterior cameras. Record clips that look suspicious, view images that pique your interest and have clips emailed to you for future reference if necessary.

MIND THE STORE

If you own a retail establishment that’s in high demand on February 14, then it’s a day to amp up security measures during peak hours. Own a jewelry store? The same guideline about your cameras applies, and it may not be a bad idea to have the entire staff on hand that day. Florists, thieves may not be in the market for roses – but they are prone to act on days they know will be profitable for you. After all, they want to get their hands on as much register cash as possible. So whether you sell 24 karat gold, flowers or heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, be on high alert this Valentine’s Day.

CLOSE CAREFULLY

How about businesses that don’t provide the services Valentine’s Day is famous for? Those establishments are at risk too. Maybe you plan to close up early because Valentine’s Day is a notoriously slow day or evening. If so, be sure to check all entrances to make sure locks are securely in place and cameras are operating. Then, don’t forget to arm your system before you leave. Don’t like giving your employees the alarm code? Pull out your phone and use your virtual keypad to do it yourself, from wherever you happen to be.

No matter what business you’re in, your security system can be indispensable this Valentine’s Day. To learn more, contact Security Instrument and request a free security consultation.

ABOUT SECURITY INSTRUMENT

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

When is the right time for color security cameras vs. black and white? Even though a high-quality black and white security camera system is the best option for a wide variety of businesses, there are some business scenarios in which security cameras with color video may be more appropriate. Take these very real examples.  

LARGE SCALE ENTERPRISE

If you operate a large scale enterprise, then you may wish to implement color cameras into your security regimen. Perhaps you don’t need color in every zone; employee-only areas like warehouses and work rooms may easily be viewed in black and white (after all, you know what your employees look like). But what about the waiting room, the retail floor, or the outdoor yard? Because those places are open to the public, it may make sense to install one or more color security cameras in those zones of your large-scale enterprise.

SHARED FOOTPRINTS

This is a consideration for businesses that operate out of shared footprint spaces: a shopping mall, strip mall or even a common office building. When someone suspicious is roaming about the building or one of the businesses have already reported a crime, having a color video feed may be helpful for all the “neighbors” to compare what their cameras caught.

If the video is in color, it can be easier and faster to identify suspects who were seen throughout the building.  

HOSPITALITY

Unfortunately, there has been an uptick in crimes in hotels and resorts in the recent past. Cameras may not stop these tragedies from occurring, but they can certainly be instrumental to law enforcement after the fact – and when the security video is in color, that can make investigators’ jobs even easier. If a perpetrator is wearing red, blue, green, orange gray or brown, knowing that could somehow help law enforcement connect the dots.

Color vs. black and white security cameras: Which one is right for you? Before purchasing or upgrading a video surveillance system, take some time to consider whether your application could benefit from color cameras as part of the package.

ABOUT SECURITY INSTRUMENT

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Can you prevent a burglary from happening at your business by hanging a fake camera that’s designed to look like a professionally installed one? In many cases, the unfortunate answer is no. If you are considering mounting a fake camera outside or inside your business, here are some important things to remember.  

SOME CRIMINALS ARE SMART

That fake security camera over the front door or in the corner of the main room may look like the real thing, but many of today’s criminals are smart enough to know the difference.

There are entire websites devoted to showing people how to get away with various property crimes,  including how to spot fake security cameras. Rather than betting on the intelligence and resourcefulness of the criminals in your area, having a monitored security camera that works is a much better choice. The only match for a smart thief is a smart business owner who knows how to protect his or her property.

SEE WHO WAS THERE

Sure, someone may be deterred from breaking into your business while you’re away if they see your fake security camera mounted nearby. But can your phony camera capture what they look like while they’re standing there? (That’s a no.)

Can your fake camera be activated by the presence of the intruder’s motion, alert you via text message, provide you a live video feed you view from your phone, or send you a recorded clip of the trespasser so you can be aware of what happened? (That’s a big no.) So even though the fake security camera may look like too big a risk to some would-be burglars, it still can’t notify you of their presence or show you what they look like – and that’s a risk you don’t want to take as a responsible business owner.

REAL CAMERAS EQUAL REAL RESULTS

To keep trespassers from becoming burglars of your business (or worse, violent criminals), the best measure of defense is a monitored security system that includes cameras and smartphone integration. Real cameras equal real results, while fake cameras equal a risk most business owners aren’t prepared to take. To learn about more ways a monitored security camera can protect your business, contact Security Instrument today.

ABOUT SECURITY INSTRUMENT

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

When it comes to consumer grade security camera systems, there are many options on the market. They seem to be increasingly complex, and often with an incredibly inviting price point (as in, how in the world can they do that?) which makes some business owners wonder if they could be used in a commercial application successfully and affordably. The answer quite simply, is no. Consumer grade cameras are for consumer purposes, and are not designed for commercial applications.

Built with Different Purposes in Mind

Commercial grade security camera systems and those made for the consumer market and often found in big box stores are built with two different purposes in mind, and because of this use two different grade materials.

Comes First– Price or Design?

One of the things that drives the differences between the two types of systems is what comes first, price or design. Designers build commercial security camera system using electronics chosen for the very best performance for the intended usage and then the price is set according to the cost of the components. In commercial grade systems, the price point is first set and then back into the design using components that will keep the system within that price point.

Why Businesses Should Always Choose Commercial Security Camera Systems

While some camera systems made for the consumer market look as if they could work, especially for a smaller business, there are some important reasons why this is not true.

  1. Since consumer camera systems are made with the price in mind first, the types of materials must be kept down, which causes them to cut costs wherever possible. Products must cost, and weigh the least amount possible to keep the cost of shipping down to a minimum. This impacts the quality of materials and components.
  2. Consumer grade products and components are made to power consumer grade products. For example, 60 feet of commercial cable is constructed using 3 times the amount of copper than the standard cable made for the consumer market. This means that there is no opportunity to add basic things such as commercial grade night vision cameras to a consumer system as the thinner cables are not able to power them adequately.
  3. Consumer grade products, of necessity, have been striped down and will not have the functionality of a commercial grade commercial security camera system and are inadequate to serve in the commercial CCTV and surveillance capacity.
  4. Commercial grade security camera systems has more flexible and upgradable firmware.
  5. The materials with which commercial grade security cameras and equipment are much more durable than consumer and made to withstand long-term and continuous usage.

Security Instrument is a full service electronic security company specializing in video surveillance systems with remote viewing and management capabilities.

The Las Vegas active shooting incident at Mandalay Bay is now the deadliest in US history, and again has left a nation raw and wondering what can be done. Now, after the vigils and after the heart-wrenching funerals, our hearts here are still with the people of Las Vegas after the horrific concert shooting. Such pain should never have to be known. Such acts should never happen.

THE NUMBER OF INCIDENTS IS RISING

Unfortunately, violence perpetrated by active shooters is not only a part of our society, it is on the rise and has increased significantly over the last ten years. According to a study by the Department of Homeland Security, between 2000-2013, 160 active shooter incidents occurred, resulting in 1,043 casualties.

PUBLIC SPACES ARE NOT SACRED

The days of thinking you are relatively safe in public spaces are gone. About 70% of active shooting incidents occurred within businesses, malls, and schools, while 83% of all incidents occurred indoors. There is no such thing as low-risk public spaces.

BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO BE PROACTIVE

It takes law enforcement an average 14 minutes to respond to an active shooter. Most active shooting incidents are over within 7 minutes. The best and safest way to handle an active shooting incident is by preventing it from happening in the first place. Security measures are often classified along the five steps of the security continuum: Deter, Detect, Delay, Respond, and Recover. CCTV can play an important role, especially in the first few critical steps before harm occurs. In an active shooter situation, if we wait until the response step (typically when law enforcement responds to a 911 call), there will likely already be a loss of life. This makes detecting and deterring an active shooter a high priority.

CCTV AND VIDEO SURVEILLANCE PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE

Video Surveillance and CCTV can play an important role in the event of an active shooter for every small, medium and large business. A comprehensive surveillance system can provide an early view of suspicious activity which in turn can provide enough time to alert authorities. Video footage can also provide valuable information about the whereabouts of potentially dangerous individuals allowing law enforcement to act quickly and precisely, focusing efforts in the most advantageous way. Surveillance video can also play a role in the rescue, showing what areas are clear of the threat so emergency personnel can enter.

At Security Instrument, we understand that electronic security is about much more than loss prevention. We realize the responsibility commercial facilities and public businesses face, and we are here to help you meet those challenges.

About Security Instrument

Established in 1960 and headquartered in Wilmington, DE, we have served thousands of locations across the tri-state area with best in class equipment installations and ongoing service, maintenance, and support. Security Instrument is committed to your business’ security and we have solutions for small businesses to large enterprises. Contact us today to find out how we can help you secure your business today.

Eyewitness testimony has always played an important role in solving crimes and heavily relied upon by law enforcement and the court system. Law enforcement processes the information in hopes of attaining enough information to find and convict the criminal. In court, juries tend to see eyewitness testimony as a reliable and place a lot of weight on that person’s ability to relay information about the event, as well as the perpetrators. However, just how reliable and accurate is eyewitness testimony? New studies shed light on the psychological factors related to eyewitness testimony and give good reasons why surveillance camera footage is critical.

RESEARCH UNCOVERS WHY MEMORY IS SPOTTY

People tend to think of memory as their own video surveillance camera with a rewind button that allows them to perfectly recall the details of any event. That’s not anywhere close to how memory works, however. Research has actually found that recall is affected by many factors, including stress, fear, and selective attention. Since crimes are highly stress and fear and inducing, it impacts the details witnesses can recall later.

For example, if a weapon is used during a crime event, witnesses are much more likely to be able to describe the weapon in detail than able to describe details of the perpetrator’s face. This is because the mind places more importance on the weapon and the attention is automatically drawn there. This is not very helpful in reconstructing events, or finding and convicting criminals but without access to video surveillance footage, it’s all we might have.

SURVEILLANCE CAMERA FOOTAGE IS CRITICAL

There is no doubt that video surveillance systems play an important role in campus security. Individual recollections are easily influenced by personal beliefs and expectations, cultural influences and stereotyping as well as other psychological processes. Video surveillance systems serve as the backbone of criminal cases and is the one unbiased witness to events.

YOU HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT, THOUGH

In the world of video surveillance systems, choice, application, and placement matters. Camera and surveillance technology is complex and there are many features and options that play an important role in just how effective your system is for you.

One simple example is how your choice in types of cameras and placement impact things the surveillance camera’s image quality, ability to handle low light or darkness and variances in light within a given area. The wrong types of cameras and placement might mean restrictions in the field of view, lighting additions, or inability to use tilt and zoom to capture suspicious activity.

About Security Instrument

Founded in 1960, Security Instrument Corporation, a privately held U.S. Corporation, provides electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring and support services.

The security of guests, staff, and anyone that comes to the hotel is vital to the hotel industry, making security systems a valuable tool. Security systems can do so much more than provide an added measure of safety, however. Security and automation systems such as intrusion alarms, video surveillance systems, access control, and business automation systems can also protect hotel assets and profitability.

Here are some important ways security and business automation systems benefit the hotel industry:

Intrusion Alarms

Intrusion alarms safeguard your guests by protecting vulnerable points of entry.

Automation Helps Manage Energy Consumption

Every space in a hotel needs to be ready for occupation at a moment’s notice, yet hotel operators need to carefully monitor the hotel’s energy consumption. Business automation can help create the perfect climate while reducing energy consumption.

Improved Security

Video surveillance is a physical crime deterrent and can help thwart crimes to which hotels are most vulnerable, such as lone attacks on a guest, or theft.

Access Control Protects Assets

Theft of merchandise is a common problem for many hotel establishments. Access control systems protect those assets.

Enhanced Customer Service

Video surveillance and CCTV systems can also help hotel managers ensure that customers receive the best service possible by allowing them to monitor service practices, guest wait times, traffic flow and much more.

Improved Productivity

Research shows that business that utilizes surveillance systems see improved productivity. The systems can serve as verification of the location of technical or service personnel, how long tasks take to complete, and as a tool to improve efficiency.

Mitigate Risk Damage

Security cameras can help mitigate damages in the event of an accident, as well as prevent attempted fraud.

About Security Instrument

Founded in 1960, Security Instrument Corporation, a privately held U.S. Corporation, provides electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring and support services. Protecting guests, and profitability is paramount in the hospitality industry. If you have questions about how to improve your hotel security, feel free to give us a call today.