Security Q&A: Common commercial security questions answered

Security Q&A: Common commercial security questions answered

two people shaking hands over a table by their laptops with an eps logo in the corner

Opening and operating a business is daunting in and of itself, but properly securing a business can overwhelm even the savviest business owner.  Those without prior experience in working with security companies often find themselves neck-deep in information about system specifications, fire codes, and industry jargon.  Whether it’s dealing with life safety systems or intrusion alarms, the pressure of making the right decision for your business—and your employees—can be understandably frustrating.

As industry experts with 60+ years of experience in the state of Michigan, EPS Security is used to fielding questions from those charged with securing their buildings and businesses.  We spoke recently with two of our skilled Security Consultants, Drew Flemming and Jeff Young, regarding the most common questions they are asked by new customers interested in working with EPS to provide comprehensive coverage of their property.  Not only did Drew and Jeff identify the most common questions they receive from new customers, but they helped provide us with some answers.

Naturally, many people have questions on how to begin the process:

Q: Where do I start?

Whether you are a new business owner who has never worked with an alarm company before, or an existing business owner whose system needs updating, the first thing you should do is assess your needs. What are your top security priorities? Are you working to protect your employees–your assets–your property? All of the above? Once you have a sense of what aspects of your security can be improved upon, contact us directly—via phone or by submitting a quote request—to get in touch with an expert EPS Security Consultant. They can take you step-by-step through the entire process and work to provide a customized solution.

Q: What does EPS need from me?

Your designated Security Consultant may have their own requests for you, but it’s safe to assume you’ll need to provide the following items:

  • Blueprints to your building
  • The makes and models of existing systems in the building
  • A list of non-standard industry regulations your business will need to meet (for example, if your system needs to be UL-certified)

Q: Once I’ve decided to move forward, how long does it take to install my system?

The hard truth? It depends. At EPS Security, we pride ourselves on our in-depth and customized approach to alarm system design and installation. It can take anywhere between a day (for small businesses) and weeks (for large commercial properties) to complete an installation because there are several variables at play, including:

  • Consulting with our knowledgeable Security Engineers and finding a time on our installation schedule that works best for you.
  • The size of a proposed system
  • The complexity of the building/the system being installed

While scope is probably the most important factor, we also have to consider the expectations of each individual customer:

  • Are you okay with EPS technicians working through your space during business hours?
  • Are there going to be other contractors onsite when we are?
  • Are there any expectations or considerations our team should know about before scheduling your installation?

Knowing the answers to these questions can help make the installation seamless.

See the EPS onboarding process in-depth

Oftentimes, new customers have questions about EPS policies and practices:

Q: If I get a system installed, would I own my equipment?

EPS Security encourages you to purchase security equipment outright. While EPS-owned equipment options do exist, it is far more beneficial to you to retain ownership of the equipment in your business.

Q: Why would I need a service agreement for a newly installed system?

While our installation technicians work to ensure your system is functioning properly from the get-go, a service agreement covers potential issues that may arise from day one to day 1000. By investing in ongoing service with EPS, you can cover the cost of:

  • Faulty equipment
  • Battery replacement
  • Other unforeseen system malfunctions

Service agreements are easy to budget for and can save a lot of money in service-related costs, especially as a system ages. We look at every new security customer as a strategic partner and hope you would consider EPS a valuable partner as well.

Q: Where is your “call center” located?

This is one of our favorite questions. It gives us a chance to really brag about our team. Furthermore, we call it the EPS Monitoring Center, because that’s what we do!

EPS Security’s Monitoring Center is located at our Corporate office right in the heart of Grand Rapids—not outsourced to a third-party company in a different state or country like many alarm companies. When your alarm system needs troubleshooting, or you have an actual alarm event you’re contacting and speaking to a trained operator at EPS Security’s owned and operated facilities. We’ve been perfecting our Monitoring Center for over 50 years. In that time we have become experts in alarm signals, troubleshooting systems and, most importantly, dispatching first responders in the event of an emergency. We’re the largest family-owned security provider in the state of Michigan, but our Monitoring Center is NATIONAL.

Our operators and Monitoring Center team have won awards against some of the largest call centers and alarm monitoring organizations in the US.

pdq award for monitoring on display at eps security on a desk

Q: I own a large commercial property which will require a large installation. Who is going to run the installation of the system?

Putting a new fire alarm or multi-discipline security system into a large facility can be a logistical nightmare. To keep thing running smoothly, EPS Security has dedicated Project Managers who run point on our larger, more complex projects. Project Managers schedule job start meetings, meet with technicians and EPS Security engineers to ensure the scope of every project is being performed in a timely manner. While some issues with installation are nearly unavoidable, our team has seen just about everything.

Finally, many customers pose questions beyond traditional intrusion and fire alarm systems:

Q: I need a key card system. What sort of control can an EPS System give me?

Since we’re big fans of customization, there are different options regarding card access here at EPS Security. Depending on the line of products you have installed, you or your IT team have the capability to administer your card access control system in-house. Certain brands even have mobile applications to allow for administration on-the-go.

Of course, given the amount of time and work that must be put into self-administration, more and more people are turning to Managed Card Access Solutions by EPS Security, which offloads the bulk of the work onto our trained card access administrators. When you’re juggling potentially hundreds of employees, it’s nice to have someone else processing card changes, access levels, and holiday schedules. We currently manage key card systems for over 1000 facilities throughout the state of Michigan, so we’ve done it all.

Q: Does EPS Security install wireless cameras?

Yes and no. Analog cameras need coaxial cables run from each camera to the Digital Video Recorder (video storage), or DVR. They also need a cable run to supply power to each individual camera. Luckily, using wireless IP cameras and a Network Video Recorder (NVR) eliminates the need to run coaxial cable to the recorder; however, power is still supplied through an Ethernet cable.

In short: we do provide wireless camera options, but the cameras will still need to be hooked up to power to function. An EPS Security Consultant can survey your facility and provide the best advice on what type of video surveillance system will work for your organization.

Q: Can I control my system remotely?

Many new technologies and systems we install come with an app. Depending on the manufacturer, it may come for free with an installed system or require a subscription. Using these apps can be especially helpful for multi-location owners and managers who need to administer card access changes off-site or view camera footage from another location.  Again, it’s dependent on the type of system we install for you, but if remote access is important to you, our team can ensure to present all available options.

These are just a handful of the countless questions our trusted Security Consultants are fielding every day to provide our customers with top-tier customer service—and to provide them with the customized security solution that fits their needs.  If you have questions of your own—or would like to explore how EPS Security can best serve you—feel free to call us at 616.459.0281 and your local EPS Security Consultant will get you started.

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