Commercial Alarm Systems
Commercial fire alarm systems can help save lives and reduce the losses that might be experienced in a catastrophic fire. Smoke or heat detectors can usually be added to any of our security systems to round out your protection. In commercial environments a complete dedicated fire alarm system may be required to meet local & National codes.
This type of alarm system has many advantages to protect your life and property including:
- The ability to summon the Fire Department for immediate action whether you are at home or away.
- A control panel that has backup battery power to operate the system in the event of a power failure.
- If one fire sensor picks up a fire, all of the notification devices activate to make sure that you know a fire has been detected.
Your local fire marshal may require a fire alarm system based upon the occupancy of the building. The occupancy of a building is determined by how the building or portion of the building is used. There are different requirements for schools, offices or other types of uses. Check with your local fire marshal or your alarm company to determine the requirements for your application.
Fire protective systems can provide the early warning needed to help afford the safety you want for your business. Let CIA Security help you plan a system that provides the extra peace of mind you deserve!
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If you're concerned about having your office burglarized, your fears may not be completely unfounded. FBI studies have found that an unprotected office is roughly three times more likely to be robbed than one protected by an electronic security system. Arming your office with an alarm system can provide a powerful message of discouragement to a would-be burglar for far less money than you might expect.
The majority of small offices can be adequately protected with a fairly basic system. Doors and windows are fitted with contacts to detect unauthorized openings. Motion detectors sense movement after hours and keypads allow the system to be armed or disarmed by authorized personnel. The system is controlled by a master control panel which, in addition to triggering an alarm, usually provides a record of who has been arming & disarming.
A prime consideration in choosing an alarm system is convenience. Unless you want to restrict after-hours access to just one door, it may make sense to have a keypad installed at each regularly used egress point. Moreover, if different areas of your business are occupied at different times of day, those areas can be set up to arm and disarm independently.
You'll also need to consider how you want your office to be protected & what type of response you want when a violation is detected. The most important response is the one from our central station office where alarms are received, authorities are dispatched, and then, additional contacts you provide are notified to keep you informed about what has occurred. You can even choose whether the alarm is silent or, more commonly, sounds a siren &/or flashes a strobe light – inside your space or outside where others might be more likely to notice.
Your total costs will actually be lower since a professionally installed alarm system typically results in a 10% to 20% discount on business insurance premiums.
One way to keep costs low is by avoiding over-buying. For instance, installing magnetic contacts in every window of a conference room may be superfluous when a single motion detector is capable of securing the area. But keep in mind that a building alarm is only a partial defense. Well-lit entrance-ways and parking lots, and secure door and window locks also help make your office more secure.
A good surveillance (CCTV) system can make your business safer, more efficient, and less prone to theft and fraudulent accident claims. Remote access via your network or the Internet allows you to see what's going on even when you can't be there. In short, CCTV can provide many benefits, including:
- Reduce shrinkage by deterring or catching shoplifters
- Deter potential thieves
- Monitor cash registers
- Record evidence to refute bogus accident claims
- Identify visitors and employees
- Monitor hazardous work areas
- Increase security in and around business premises and parking lots
- Meet insurance requirements
While the price you pay will be a factor in your decision-making process, it should not be the only or most important one or your system is not likely to perform as you might hope. The price that's too good to be true may very well be just that.
“Plug and Play” systems offered by some 'big box' stores or on the internet can work out okay for do-it-yourselfers, but there are significant limitations that you should be aware of. The main issue is the proprietary nature of each different manufacturer's equipment. Professional grade equipment uses standard connectors allowing for greater serviceability and easy component replacement in addition to many more choices of cameras to really fit your needs. In addition to all this, if you install your own system, you fully accept the responsibility and liability for its performance or failure.
Recording Devices & Peripherals
The recording device used will have a big impact on how much you spend. DVRs, ( Digital Video Recorders), are now very affordable .These devices vary widely depending on hard drive space, required resolution, network connectivity, or number of camera inputs available. We can design a system to suit any budget .We also offer the latest NVRs (Network Video Recorders) These machines are real powerhouses and offer a complete network connectivity utilizing the latest IP based cameras.
These days most clients prefer flat screen monitors over the old “box-monitor” due to space savings, the quality of the picture, and the fact that prices for monitors have come way down from a few years ago. We welcome clients to provide their own monitors for viewing if they wish to. In some cases they may choose not to even install a permanent monitor and only view their systems remotely, though for servicing, a monitor should always be available in case your network connection fails at a time when you need to verify system operation or retrieve stored video.
Color or Black & White
Years ago, there was quite a difference between the costs of color or black and white systems, but since prices have dropped significantly on good quality color equipment, most businesses today opt for color surveillance cameras which may make it easier to identify vehicles or individuals. This great clarity is the reason color is usually preferred but there are applications where this might not be the case; namely in very low light applications or if bare-bones low budget protection is all that's desired.
Many high quality color cameras today are considered “Day/Night” cameras which actually are more like a black & white and a color camera in one. These cameras can provide nice bright color images by day and then switch to black and white mode as it gets darker, allowing for greater sensitivity or even the use of infrared illumination so the camera can actually “see”, even in total darkness.
Resolution will also have an impact both on price & picture quality. In very small areas or situations where the camera will be mounted fairly close to its “target”, lower resolution may save money and provide adequate video quality. Resolution is typically rated in TVL or T.V. Lines. Entry level cameras may be in the three hundreds or lower while very high-res cameras may have a rating of 700-800 TVL.
IP or Analog?
IP or Internet Protocol cameras offer even more options than the more common analog cameras discussed so far. Modern “Mega-Pixel” technology allows resolutions that are unheard of for analog cameras. These cameras are significantly more costly but they can in some cases allow one camera to not only take the place of several analog cameras, but offer amazing resolution that allow, for example, an over-view of a parking lot, but with the ability to display nearly every license plate there when the recordings are reviewed and blown up.
We also offer more basic stand-alone IP based cameras that allow clients to just get a simple view of their business or home when they are not there. This approach works for clients that are not looking to record and save video over an extended period because they will not have to purchase the single most expensive part of a tradition surveillance system, the recorder.