Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, some business owners still believe that security systems aren’t worth the cost. Some cite easily disputed misconceptions about the scope, efficiency, or capabilities of modern security systems, but at the end of the day, these arguments come down to the same basic argument: “I don’t think an alarm system is worth my money.”
Let’s get straight to the point…
Nowhere is this argument more prevalent than when discussing alarm signal monitoring. Some business owners believe that a few cameras are enough to keep an eye on their stock, employees, or perimeter overnight. Some may even install a security system that goes off within the building but doesn’t communicate with an off-site alarm monitoring center. The odds of a burglary occurring, they figure, is relatively slim, and the cost of such an event is likely to be minimal. Truthfully, even a single burglary can be cripplingly difficult for a business to recover from and more common than one might think. Even then, there are more dangers than just burglars to guard your business from—and there are benefits to alarm signal monitoring that extend beyond “just” saving your business from financial losses.
Before looking at the “other” benefits of alarm monitoring, it’s worth taking a look at the cost saving capabilities of a monitored alarm system. A single burglary can have devastating effects on a business. In a few short minutes, burglars cost businesses thousands of dollars in goods stolen and property damaged. In businesses with retail products on display or with products that are small, valuable, and easily pocketed (think jewelry, electronics, and even prescription medicines), this figure stands to rise dramatically. And burglars aren’t the only criminals who can have a negative impact on your bottom line: acts of vandalism and property defacement can hurt businesses to the tune of $3,370.
Alarm systems in and of themselves acts as deterrents, as 60% of burglars have acknowledged that the visible presence of an alarm system would cause them to reconsider their approach or plan and with 40% of burglars choosing a different target entirely. But for the percentage of criminals who remain undeterred, alarm monitoring is the last line of defense against catastrophic losses. A professional monitoring center operator will see an alarm signal emanating from a burglar alarm system, call the appropriate person on the contact list, and help said contact make the determination about whether or not the police should be dispatched—all in a matter of minutes. The combination of the system alarming onsite and the expedient emergency response time can help to minimize the amount of time the culprit is onsite—and mitigate the amount of damage they can cause in the meantime.
The costs savings attributed to alarm monitoring extends beyond “just” burglars and vandals. Water leaks that go undetected can cause thousand of dollars of damage in a very short time. Freezers, server rooms, and other temperature-sensitive areas require constant monitoring to ensure food product and important data are preserved. Water detectors and temperature sensors can be installed in most commercial systems to prevent or minimize expensive environmental catastrophes—including, as you’ll soon see, costly fires within your business.
Alarm monitoring can be life saving.
Alarm systems are more often associated with burglars and vandals than anything else, but even more valuable than their ability to detect criminal activity is their ability to detect life-endangering environmental hazards. A professionally monitored fire alarm or voice evacuation system is designed to provide the earliest possible detection of such threats to life as fires and carbon monoxide. While catastrophic fires may not be at the forefront of your thoughts as you go about your business day, the threat to your staff is very real, as some 110 lives are lost annually and 1,200 people are injured by fires every year. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be equally devastating to your workforce, with 430 deaths and 50,000 hospital visits per year.
In this case, the argument for professional alarm monitoring makes itself. NFPA regulations and local fire codes dictate that commercial properties must have a fire alarm system installed—and that said system must be monitored professionally. These regulations have been largely responsible for the steep drop in the fire death rate over the last fifty years—a massive 66% drop from 1979 to 2007 alone. This rate likely to drop even further with advancements in voice evacuation and early detection technologies, as well as the dedicated efforts of emergency services and professional monitoring providers such as EPS Security to limit false dispatches and decrease response times.
For high-risk environments like banks, jewelry stores, or retail stores, monitoring can save lives with the simple click of a button. Installing panic buttons under desks, in money clips, or in other hidden places can help minimize the risk of conflict in the event of a robbery. In these cases, a professional monitoring center would dispatch the authorities without question, minimizing response times to especially volatile conflicts that could potentially save the lives of the employees and bystanders involved.
Running a business is a privilege and burden that doesn’t always stop when you leave the office. The stress of managing personnel, maximizing production, and keeping everyone’s head above water can follow you home. There are enough issues nagging away at you as you’re lying in bed, and worrying about the security of your business shouldn’t be one of them. Alarm monitoring can provide a sense of calm and comfort that is not often afforded to those heavily invested in their businesses. Perimeter-securing devices such as door and window sensors can help detect intrusion. Internal devices such as motion detectors act as a second line of defense against malfeasants. Smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors can alert you and emergency services at the first sign of trouble. A professional monitoring company can’t promise bad things won’t happen, but they can help you sleep easier knowing that if anything were to happen within your business, you’d know within moments.
Alarm signal monitoring is always essential, but not all monitoring companies are created equally. Ideally, your monitoring company would be local to you to minimize response times. In the event an alarm signal leads to a need for alarm system service, it helps if your monitoring center is part of the same company that installed your alarm system for seamless communication between departments. It doesn’t hurt if your monitoring company is one of the only UL/FM-certified Five Diamond monitoring centers in the region. For maximum peace of mind, your monitoring center should be EPS Security’s own award-winning Monitoring Center. When coupled with a world-beating EPS Security system, you can rest easy knowing what matters most to you is under the watchful eye of a company with 66 years of experience of locking down business security.