Building and home safety technology has made security services more accessible to the general population. In low to medium-risk environments, residents or business owners can secure their buildings with a couple of CCTV cameras or intruder alarms. While they cannot replace security guards or patrol teams, they may be enough in many residential buildings or businesses. Even when there are security teams or guards to keep the premises safe, these devices add another layer of safety and can augment their services.
In this article, we explore some of the commonly used security devices as well as how businesses and individuals can choose the technology or devices for guarding their buildings.
Searching for the right tech to keep your buildings safe and secure can be intimidating; there are plenty of security solutions from different vendors at a variety of price points. The wrong choice can give you a false sense of security; you might end up investing a lot of resources into the tech and not getting the expected results. Let’s have a look at how you can choose the right set of tech that can improve the security of your building.
The first step to getting security tech is to evaluate your building and understand its vulnerabilities. Depending on the type of building, it will have different areas, features, or other aspects that make it easy for potential bad actors to enter.
For residential buildings, it may be entry without access control or it could be people who live in different apartments who don’t know each other and may not be able to identify strangers. For hospitals or shopping malls, it could be unrestricted access to the public and equipment or assets that can be stolen easily.
Large buildings may be vulnerable through loading points in the rear where unauthorized personnel could easily enter unnoticed.
The next step in choosing the security tech is to understand the risks that the building faces. Risk is the possibility of a security breach combined with the consequences of such an event.
The risk increases with the value of assets that are stored and what potential bad actors can gain by accessing the building. If there are high-value assets, the building faces a high risk, and therefore must invest in a robust security system.
The building can also face a high risk if it houses devices or facilities that can affect the safety of civilians or disrupt services to them. For instance, buildings that house thermal power plants or chemical manufacturing units pose a high risk of sabotage.
Even the occupants in a building can increase the security risks associated with it. For instance, high-net worth individuals, representatives of the state, and other VIPs can increase the likelihood that a building may be targeted.
Once you have a clear picture of the vulnerabilities and risks facing the building, create a strategy to keep it secure. The strategy should aim to minimize security risks and keep the occupants and their assets safe.
A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work for keeping buildings secure. Depending on the purpose of the building, the occupants, the value of the assets stored, and the possibility of theft or other security breaches, buildings need a security strategy tailored to them.
The security strategy should define its scope, and how it plans to deter, detect, deny, delay, and defend against external threats.
Before deciding on the tech, research the market well and understand what’s available. Even if you’re going for just a CCTV camera, there are plenty of options; you can get internet-connected cameras, cameras with infrared and night vision capabilities, devices that can identify faces for access control, and more.
While you research the different options, take note of all the features as well as the pricing. Once you have this data, decide the features you’ll need to support your security strategy. Make sure that these features are available within your budget.
When choosing the security devices for your building, make sure you choose solutions from good vendors. Security gadgets are usually long-term and expensive investments and you’ll need support throughout their lifespan. The device should be easy to repair and maintain without significant downtime.
In the case of internet-connected devices, the vendors should provide regular security patches and updates throughout their lifespan. Many internet-connected security devices such as CCTV cameras and alarms have had widely publicized data breaches.
These issues can compromise the security of your building and put the assets and occupants at risk.
You should also consider the total cost of ownership when choosing vendors.
Security devices are not install-and-forget solutions. They need regular maintenance and updates. These devices must be regularly inspected for tampering and to ensure that they’re working as needed. If any of these devices are battery-operated, the batteries must be regularly replaced.
In the case of internet-connected security devices, they must be patched and updated regularly to avoid security breaches. There should be mechanisms in place to keep track of the security updates and make sure that all the devices have received them.
Here’s a small list of security tech you can use to keep your buildings, assets, and occupants safe:
CCTV cameras or closed circuit TV cameras have been in use for a long time. They have evolved quite a bit ever since they first came up. They’re not the grainy low-resolution cameras you may have seen in old movies. Modem CCTV camera systems offer high-definition videos and can store months of footage at a time.
Modern solutions come with infrared night vision and even built-in backup power. You can still use old-school hard drives to store the footage, but modern solutions often come with dedicated cloud backup. These solutions also let you view live footage from anywhere in the world through a mobile app or through a web browser.
Doorbell cameras are a modern alternative to peepholes and are commonly used in both residential and office buildings. A doorbell camera usually comes with a dedicated mobile app. When someone rings the doorbell at your house or apartment, the app will alert you and you can view the feed from your camera.
Ring doorbell from Amazon is often the most popular choice for these cameras. In many areas, Ring even lets you share your footage with the people in your community or even law enforcement to identify potential trespassers or thieves.
Doorbell cameras often come integrated with smart lock systems which let you grant access to visitors to your home even if you’re not there. When a friend rings your doorbell, you can just check who it is and open the door for them even if you’re out shopping or even on a vacation.
Motion sensors can be used to detect unauthorized entry or the presence of trespassers in buildings. These systems work with infrared light or ultrasonic sound. In the case of ultrasonic sensors, they continuously emit ultrasonic waves and detect them when they’re reflected back. If a person or a moving object comes in front of the sensor, the time it takes for the sound to reflect back will change and the system detects an intruder.
In the case of IR systems, they may work in pairs or in a combination of multiple nodes. These nodes continuously send IR signals to each other. When someone comes in between these nodes, they interrupt the signal and the systems raise the alarm. Some systems work just by themselves and detect infrared energy the intruder is emitting.
If you’re deploying security guards for patrol teams in your building, tracking systems can make them more effective. These tracking systems work like a modern version of a watchman’s clock and use NFC, RFID, or GPS to track the guards as they conduct their patrols.
These platforms, like TargPatrol, come as a complete solution to manage your security patrols. Building owners can place RFID or NFC tags along the guards’ patrol routes and when they pass by, a reader attached to their uniforms would mark their position. These systems can keep track of guards, make sure that they complete their patrols on time, and let admins know if they missed any points.
Panic buttons can improve the safety and security of occupants in a building. Building occupants can use panic buttons to alert other residents or security teams about any emergency situations and get immediate assistance.
Residential buildings can fix a panic button in every apartment or hallway. If residents need medical assistance or they spot an intruder, they can just press the button and alert the rest of the residents and the security team.
Many hospitals place panic buttons in patients’ rooms so that they can call for assistance in the event of an emergency. Many healthcare institutions have also implemented wearable panic buttons for doctors and medical staff to call for assistance.
Panic buttons can also be useful in high-risk environments like banks and other financial institutions as well as government buildings housing representatives of the state.
Access control systems can significantly improve the safety of buildings with little resources. They can reduce the workload for security guards and help them focus on other tasks.
Modern access control systems can manage entry to spaces or buildings with the help of RFID cards or biometric sensors. Organizations can configure the systems to offer different levels of access to employees, residents, maintenance personnel, and guests.
Buildings can also use smart locks which will let residents allow guests to enter the premises even if they’re not present there. For instance, if there are any delivery or maintenance personnel at the doorstep, residents can send an OTP with which they can enter the premises. The OTPs will expire after a single use or a specific time period, ensuring security without compromising convenience.
TargPatrol is a state-of-the-art app to keep buildings and property secure. The app is designed to streamline the activities of security teams within buildings and organizations and make their patrols more effective.
The app lets admins create schedules for the security teams and track their activities during patrols. With the help of RFID or NFC tags, the app can keep track of guards and make sure that they cover the entire area during their patrols. In case a guard fails to meet their patrol points on time, the guard will alert the admins who can make sure that the security personnel is safe.
Check it out now and make your building safer and your security patrols more effective.