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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.

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.

In light of the steady increase in school and workplace violence, it has become necessary for every school campus to consider implementing lockdown protocols to be used in the event of an emergency. While no one plan will fit every institution and no plan is perfect, there are some tips and procedures that every protocol should include.

Here are some important considerations in creating effective lockdown procedures.

Talk to Law Enforcement Agencies

Creating lockdown procedures is a huge responsibility, which is one reason why many institutions put off doing it. As big as the task, it is important to remember that it does have not need to be done alone or from scratch. One of the best places to start is with local law enforcement agencies. There may be local law enforcement protocols that can or must be included and they will have valuable input on what you can do to help them help you in a time of crisis.

Glean Information from Other Institutions

It is very likely that there are already plans in place at other local institutions that may work in yours. Ask bigger businesses for their input about your biggest areas of concern and find out what worked for them. Having a critical eye on your plan can help you spot areas of trouble or help you play to your facility strengths.

Talk to Security System Professionals

One of the most important things you can do is talk to a security system professional specifically about system features and technologies that can aid in the event of a serious incident, such as video surveillance and access control systems. Advanced access control systems can create serious boundaries between you and an active shooter or other threat.

Have Plans for all Types of Lockdowns

There are many different situations that might require using lockdown procedures such as active shooter, hostage situation, riots, external criminal activity, or natural disaster. These situations require different types of lockdown procedures.

  • Shelter in Place- Used when a hazard is external and evacuation is not recommended.
  • Reverse Evacuations- Used to get people outside a facility in and undercover.
  • Internal Threat-Used to keep people safe when the threat is inside a facility.
  • External Threat-Used to keep a threat outside the facility.
  • Full Lockdown– Used in response to an active serious threat requiring immediate action.

Base Lockdown Decision on the Nature of the Threat

Basing the lockdown protocol on the location of the treat rather than the type of threat has proven to be far less effective. Base the lockdown protocol on the type of threat.

Make Sure Codes are Clear and Distinct

Great lockdown procedures can actually increase potential harm if the codes are not clear. Make sure the words used to name the different types of lockdowns are distinctly different from one another.

Use Every Staff Member as an Element in Security

Train and equip every member of the staff to be an added layer or element in your security plan.

Have Regular Practice Drills

If the lockdown procedures become well-practiced, individuals are less likely to freeze or react in fear.

Although there are many other considerations, these are the most common areas that need improvement, and also the most beneficial in implementing. We highly recommend becoming very familiar with all aspects of crisis situations so that you are prepared should the unthinkable happen.

About Security Instrument

Does your campus need a security review? Since 1960, the professionals at Security Instrument Corp. have been securing campuses across Delaware, PA, NJ and MD. Contact us today for an on site evaluation.

Some of the advantages in the use of security cameras in the workplace are obvious. Security camera systems can reduce crime, increase customer and employee safety, and document disputed events. Alone, those advantages are very significant to any business owner.

 But research shows that there is an additional advantage of video surveillance systems in the area of business discipline.

A recent study called, “Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity”, by Lamar Pierce, associate professor at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis; Daniel Snow, associate professor at the Marriott School at Brigham Young University; and Andrew McAfee, research scientist at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research showed that the use of CCTV in the workplace is even more valuable than originally perceived.

Research and Findings In Restaurant Safety

In it, they installed CCTV in 392 restaurants in 39 states and software that measured employee-level theft prior to and after installation of the surveillance system. The restaurant industry was chosen for the study for many reasons, including the expectation of a high amount of employee theft. Managers of the restaurants received electronic alerts in instances which were clearly employee misconduct or theft throughout the study.

The results were very interesting. The average savings from the alerts were modest, around $108 per week per restaurant. However, after installing surveillance and monitoring software the average weekly revenue increased by 7% or $2,982 a week.

What was most compelling was that the result of the increased profit was not because of a decrease of theft but was mostly due to changed employee behaviors. Employees not only changed unethical behaviors, they also applied new positive energy to into their jobs.

About Security Instrument

Ultimately, cloud-based video surveillance systems is a far more than an important workplace safety feature. It is a tool that can help set employees—and your business, up for success. If you have any questions about How Security Instrument can meet your business security needs or the incredible features cloud-based video surveillance offers, give us a call.

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.

Is your security “bad guy” focused? For many years, most retail establishments saw retail security systems purely from the perspective of catching theft, shoplifting and employee theft. Loss prevention certainly is an important part of any retail security system, but commercial security technologies also offer far more capabilities and potential to your business. If your security is hyper-focused on malicious activities, then you are missing out on huge advantages.

Protecting Assets Using Retail Security Technology

The 2016 National Retail Security Survey revealed that retailers’ inventory shrink averaged 1.38 percent of retail sales, or $45.2 billion in 2015, up by $1.2 billion from 2014. According to the report, retailers reported increases in overall inventory shrink with shoplifting accounting for the greatest cause of loss at $377 per incident average, up by $60 from the prior year.

How can this be with retailers using the most advanced technologies? NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention, Bob Moraca said “LP professionals have been working diligently to find advancements in technology aimed at deterring crime in our industry, sometimes even before it happens—but as our techniques get more sophisticated, so too do the criminals.”

So, what is a business to do? Even with the tough job of combating savvy criminals, loss prevention technologies such as video surveillance and access control continue to be your best tool. It is important to stay informed of the latest technologies and evaluate what technologies are relevant and helpful to you. It is also important to leverage those technologies in new, and differently focused ways.

Amplifying Assets with Retail Security Technology

To truly amplify assets, companies must look beyond theft reduction when they think of retail security technologies and think about how these systems can add economic value to every facet of the company, whether it is liability, safety, productivity, consumer analytics, data mining and more.

When you move from a loss prevention singlemindedness, you make your security system investment even more valuable. Here are just a few of the asset amplifying insights you can gain:

  • Know what departments open on time or close early
  • Gain awareness of customer pain points, such as long wait times
  • Identify workflow issues
  • When customer volume increases, you can respond appropriately by opening more registers ahead of need
  • Follow in-stock position and notify vendors when stock is low
  • Identify when products are displayed in a less than optimum position
  • Identify which items should be pulled from one store and placed in another

Security technology is about much more than protecting assets. It is also about increasing value. Security Instrument Corp., is Delaware’s largest full-service independently owned security company, serving thousands of retail and commercial clients throughout Delaware, MD, NJ, and PA, and dedicated to providing systems that not only protect, but also add value.

Catching shoplifters is costly and dangerous according to experts, and is a that liability retailers should avoid. But loss due to shoplifting costs retailers $44 billion annually and is certainly a problem that should be addressed. Experts in the science of crime say the best course of action is to concentrate heavily on deterrence.

Criminals Assess Risk Differently

Do not expect to understand the criminal mind. Even more importantly, do not base your security strategies on what you think they are thinking– because it just won’t work. Criminals do not assess risk the same way as others and what risk they do measure is countered with whatever the perceived advantage in addition to the momentary value, which can include “the thrill of the get”. Criminologists explain that the criminal must “see, get, fear” deterrents— that is they must see them, understand what they do and fear that they work well enough to land them in jail.

Why Deterrence is So Important

Ask any retailer, catching a shoplifter is a lot more difficult than what most people may think. If you suspect a shoplifter, you must have eyes on them from beginning to end and then apprehend them at the last point of sale, or outside the building. Once confronted, the person can become violent and the situation turns dangerous. When you factor in additional costs and risks such as liability issues it is easy to see why a healthy objective would be to deter as much crime as possible in the first place.

2 Important Ways to Thwart Theft

There are two important ways to deter theft. One is by making it too difficult by the use of things like by making it difficult to take an item without notice, such as alarming displays or having the item close to store personnel. The second is by making it too risky by using things like video surveillance and CCTV and having employees make personal contact with each shopper.
These tactics may seem simplistic, but they work with human nature. Criminals know that once they are seen and that eyes are on them it is game over because they are certain to be caught.

The most effective crime deterrent is owning the crime prevention process and fully leveraging security technologies such as video surveillance and CCTV. Security Instrument has been equipping companies since 1960 and understands the retail environment.