Responding to the Challenge: Modern Surveillance Systems

According to the FBI’s 2010 Crime Report, a burglary happens every 14.6 seconds in the United States, or 5,400 times every day. Nearly 25 percent of all burglaries occur at businesses, and most commercial burglaries occur at night.

Understanding the Trends

Modern surveillance systems are more effective at alerting security officers and police, decreasing the number of successful robberies. Also, police respond more often and more promptly to calls from these reliable systems.

At the same time, however, criminals are making it necessary for business owners to turn to ever more sophisticated security systems. For example, the National Crime Prevention Council pointed out that new trends in burglary (PDF) make ordinary keys essentially useless.

According to the NCPC, the Internet helps spread the latest ways to compromise even high-quality locks. For example, many burglars can watch a simple video and quickly learn to use a “bump key" to manipulate the pins in a lock, eliminating the need for traditional lock-picking tools and techniques.

Putting Technology to Work

Those who take the time to evaluate the latest in commercial surveillance systems find vast improvements over the earliest versions from the 80s and 90s.

The first thing worth noting is the greatly increased ease and affordability of installation. Thanks to wireless capabilities, any office or property can be set up with multiple sensors and detection devices in mere hours. There is no need to install expensive and easily compromised cabling.

Other characteristics of modern surveillance systems include:

  • Miniaturization of component and sensors.
  • Affordability, with many individual components costing only tens of dollars rather than hundreds.
  • Sensitivity and flexibility. New sensors are much more reliable and have discrimination circuits that can be set for different purposes.
  • Sophisticated, full-color digital video surveillance systems with virtually undetectable hidden cameras.
  • Improved reporting and remote monitoring capabilities.

Many business owners and property managers value their ability to personally monitor their security systems 24/7 from anywhere in the world via smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. They can use hidden cameras to keep an eye on warehouses, workmen and empty spaces. Additionally, these users can interact with fire and police departments to help determine the best way to handle any suspected problems or alerts.

Insurance companies and security professionals continually seek ways to increase security at commercial properties in an affordable way. Today, the smart system is a major part of moving closer to that goal. Today’s businesses, offices and warehouses can be upgraded to the latest security capabilities as easily as new properties. With HD video surveillance technology, an owner can check out virtually every space and department with high-resolution, day/night cameras.

Once the concept of security and monitoring is incorporated into a smart, wireless hub, the benefits of this automation are just a few refinements away. Business owners are given the ability to activate or deactivate locks, devices, equipment, lights and even electrical outlets. These capabilities provide major savings in energy costs and security personnel, as well as lowering the risks of property losses.

As professional criminals experiment with new ways to compromise older security systems, owners of the right surveillance technology suites can keep their units upgraded and effective with the latest in devices and software. As the efforts to compromise these systems become more aggressive, upgrades help win the battle. These deployments represent a relatively small investment providing a large return in convenience, security, savings and safety.