Business security is a major responsibility. As an administrator, there is much to consider when planning to secure your site, and even more to ponder when selecting a security partner. With EPS Security, there are four layers of commercial security that work individually, or in unison, to best protect your premises. These layers are: fire, intrusion, card access, and video surveillance. Let’s take a closer look at the four options available to enhance your business safety.
In the state of Michigan, all commercial sites are required to have a fully functioning, monitored fire alarm system. A monitored fire alarm system is made up of a series of reactive sensors, such as smoke, heat, and CO detectors, that send signals to a designated monitoring center when triggered. Often, business fire systems also include hand-pull devices, stationed in stairwells and in exits in case employees are the first to detect fire. When a device is triggered, this sends a signal to the system’s central keypad, which then sends an alarm to the monitoring center. Typically, modern fire alarm systems communicate via cellular communication, meaning the alarm signal pings off nearby cell towers.
State fire regulations also require commercial sites in Michigan to undergo yearly fire inspections, ensuring all technology is functioning properly and is prepared to protect the people and products on your site. As a business owner or site manager, knowing what is required by state code can be intimidating. Partnering with a security company who has over 65 years of experience installing and testing fire systems can take this stress off your plate.
At EPS Security, our engineers know the ins and outs of Michigan fire code. Additionally, our full-service company has a team of technicians dedicated specifically to annual fire inspections. It is safe to say we are the experts.
Intrusion alarm systems
Intrusion alarm systems are, similarly, composed of a variety of reactive devices, engineered to protect your building from all angles. The following devices detect activity, then send signals to a central keypad:
- Door contacts: Magnetic sensors positioned on entry points throughout the site. If the door magnet is separated from the door frame while the system is activated, an alarm will sound, signaling a breached entrance.
- Motion detectors: Devices placed in high-traffic areas, such as hallways and entrances, or near merchandise in need of additional protection. If motion is detected when the system is “armed,” an intrusion alarm activates.
- Glassbreak sensors: Sensors placed on windows which alarm when glass is shattered. These devices require a unique sound frequency to activate, and also detect the vibration of breaking glass.
- Panic buttons: Small buttons that with one press, trigger immediate police dispatch. Panic buttons can be mounted under desks or near cash registers, while others are portable and can be carried by employees around the business.
Typically, intrusion alarm systems are deactivated throughout the day while a site is open for business. Once open hours are over, a designated person or persons will “arm” or “activate” the system. This means that while away, the site will be under full protection. Panic devices, on the other hand, do not need to be armed, and remain active 24/7.
Leaving the system disarmed while on site, and arming it while the business is closed is not your only option when it comes to intrusion alarm activation. If the business does not welcome customers during the day, the system can be programmed to “stay mode.” This means that all internal sensors, such as motion alarms and interior doors, will remain unprotected, while the exterior of the site is secured. Additionally, specific entrances can be programmed as “24/hour zones,” meaning they will alarm with unauthorized activity all day, every day.
So, what constitutes unauthorized activity? Who has a say in creating these plans? When partnering with EPS Security for your intrusion alarm system, our engineers, installation techs, and customer service team will work closely with you upon installation to ensure the system best meets your site’s unique security needs. Authorized individuals will be programmed with a pin for the central keypad, which allows them to arm and disarm the system. This is valid for 24/hour zones as well. When entering a 24/hour zone, a pin is always required.
While intrusion alarm systems are not required by any Michigan regulations, they can play a critical role in securing your site. When partnering with EPS Security, an intrusion alarm system is monitored by our local, award-winning Monitoring Center. Site managers have enough to worry about while on the clock. With a monitored EPS alarm system, management can rest assured when an alarm sounds, we are on it—24/7/365.
Access control systems
Access control is a proactive security measure, which allows supervisors of a business or other commercial site to program individual access for each person on their premises. When programming access, administrators can indicate who is allowed in what areas of the property and at what times. Then, this access is issued in the form of a key card. Let’s look at a few examples of card access levels:
Office building access control
- The office is open to the public starting at 8:00 am, but employees are allowed to enter as early as 7:00 am. All employees have a programmed key card which allows them to enter the locked building at this time.
- The office HR manager stores private documents in their office, so this space must be secured from all other employees. An access point is installed on the office door, and only the HR manager’s card is programmed to unlock it.
- On-call building maintenance must be able to enter the premises at any hour. They are given a key card which provides this permission.
Some access control systems are programmed by an on-site administrator, meaning one or several persons are selected during installation to oversee access programming. Access programming is the act of administering the above permissions, as well as revoking them. This means if an employee’s access level needs to be changed on nights or weekends, the administrator can edit access then and there.
Other access control solutions, on the other hand, are managed by the provider. At EPS, for example, our in-house Managed Access Control Team is available to take care of all programming needs. EPS team members can administer cards, revoke access, and lock and unlock doors according to a schedule of your choosing. Allowing an experienced, secure, third-party to administer your card access provides additional security, as one person at your business is not in total control.
Another plus of access control is electronic locks. With a card access system, the doors on most sites are locked according to a schedule. Electronically locked entrances are much more difficult to breach than glass doors or physical key-in-lock doors.
The last of the four security layers is video surveillance. At EPS Security, our best-in-business security cameras provide both indoor and outdoor surveillance, with a wide variety of camera designs engineered to best protect desired areas.
HD or “high resolution” security cameras, like the Digital Watchdog camera pictured above, take in video surveillance 24 hours a day, storing this footage on a designated drive. When you install a camera system with EPS Security, our company provides this drive, in addition to a compatible computer system made for video viewing. At EPS Security, camera systems are also compatible with remote viewing, meaning administrators can look in on their premise at any time. When layered with an intrusion alarm system, for example, a site manager could use their remote viewing app to verify all is okay if an alarm sounds. If notified by the EPS Monitoring Center that a door has been breached, the administrator could verify, using video, whether police are needed or if an authorized person is simply struggling with their code.
There are many additional benefits of a commercial camera system:
- Serves as a deterrent to outside criminals, and employees with ulterior motives
- In the event of completed crime, can aid in catching the culprit
- Can often lower insurance premiums, as it is a preventative measure
- Can make employees and customers feel more safe on the premises
In considering camera solutions, DIY or “do it yourself” video cameras may be enticing. These systems, however, leave an incredible amount of responsibility to the buyer. Partnering with a provider who has decades of experience engineering, installing, performing maintenance on, and upgrading video systems is the best way to ensure you get your desired safety outcome. Good news? EPS Security is that provider.
EPS Security: A security partner
Our local, family-owned company has provided Michigan businesses with top-notch security for more than 65 years. When it comes to the four layers of commercial security, we only continue to evolve our long-standing expertise. While engineers work closely with site management to meet unique security needs, our in-house customer service and 24/7 Monitoring Center provide personal and professional assistance. EPS Security is more than a security provider—we are a security partner.