Did you know that your burglar alarm system can be a business management tool? Most all modern alarm systems built within the last 15 years already contain firmware to do much more than monitor alarms. As a business owner you can use these features to manage your physical security. Here are a few to consider:
- ·An Open/Close Report – you should use this feature to see who arms and disarms you system. It tells you who was the first one in in the morning and the last one out for the evening. It records the date and time. This information is sent to your central station (CS) and is logged into their computer. Your alarm company sends you an automated email on a daily, weekly or whatever schedule you want showing this information. Review this report quickly each week. You can then question why that employee entered your business at 2 AM. Cost: $5 to $10 per month.
- Time/Test – this feature sends an automated signal to the CS daily or weekly. The CS computer is looking for it on schedule. If the CS computer does not receive the signal, it brings that to the attention of an operator. Not only does this tell you within a day that your alarm system may not be reporting signals but it can also reveal phone line or phone system problems. Cost: approximately $10 per month.
- New systems can do many other things. They can control heating, air conditioning and lighting. These systems can also tie video to your alarm system and email and text you when your system is disarmed or armed and include a short video clip of the camera looking at the front door.
As you may have seen on a TV commercial, you can also arm, disarm, and in most cases do anything you can do at the alarm keypad from your smart phone or PC. Soon some systems will have live video look-in. All of this from any computer or smart phone anywhere in the world.