By Ian M. Marlow
June 25, 2014
Security systems have upped their game a lot from the “old days” of walking security guards. Today’s virtual security guard tours – such as those offered by Engineered Security Services utilizing technologies such as Innowatch and Genetec have enhanced the level of security and efficiency when it comes to protecting your business premises.
Using an integrated video surveillance system, virtual guards remotely view your location from an off-site monitoring station, with tours scheduled throughout a 24-hour period. These virtual guard tours can occur at scheduled or random times to check for intruders or unwanted loiterers, a stuck elevator, a fire, a flood or for potential security issues such as whether all windows and doors are properly secured.
Virtual guard tours offer some worthwhile benefits to businesses of all kinds.
Efficiencies through system integration. Video surveillance systems with remote monitoring create efficiencies from an operational and manpower perspective for companies. For instance, the system can be consolidated with your fire, elevator and burglar alarm control panels for a truly integrated security presence. Web-based portals provide access to your location’s security data any time, and monitoring operators provide quick response times to suspicious activity or alarm events.
Reduce physical threat. Virtual guard tours reduce the threat to life by keeping personnel out of dangerous areas or harm’s way (as when approaching an intruder). Virtual guard tours also provide a sense of security for employees who are working late or alone; they will feel safer knowing the environment is being monitored at specific intervals. The system can also tour parking areas for employees who need a virtual escort after hours.
Lower security costs, greater value. Virtual guard tours can also reduce security costs by up to 40 percent when compared to traditional security modalities. For one thing, there is no sick time, insurance or wages to pay. Gone is the need for the old two-person setup, with one guard to monitor the camera feeds and one to patrol the premises, or multiple guards performing location checks or standing guard at the door. And for large or multi-unit properties, the cost of hiring on-premise security personnel around the clock can quickly become cost-prohibitive. Virtual security monitoring delivers fast ROI, since it eliminates the need for on-site security.
Even better, there are no more bored security guards who spend their idle time watching TV, playing cards or (worse) taking a nap on that overnight shift—and on the clock. Instead, you get a dedicated, trained operator watching your premises remotely, with security tours automatically conducted. Virtual security tours can occur throughout your entire facility and keep eyes on high-security areas at all times. No one is taking a break or falling asleep—the system is always on, always watching, always aware.
Fast response. The remote guard will contact emergency responders immediately when necessary, and call your contact list, as well. In locations with audio equipment, operators can also interact with your site if an unauthorized person enters the premises, and ask the intruder to leave or warn anyone with suspicious behavior that police have been called (and thereby thwart criminal activity).
Improve operations. Video clips can be downloaded or viewed online from remote digital recorders (site activity reports are also provided). In addition to information about alarm events, these video images can provide a peep hole into potential operational problems that employees may have overlooked but were caught on camera. These include maintenance and repair issues in corridors or the building perimeter, or security breaches such as open doors in low-traffic or dark areas. Internal theft can also be curbed with virtual guard tours of stock rooms and cash register areas where assets are stored and access may or may not be limited.
Scalable and flexible. All types of businesses and commercial sites can implement virtual guards. Retail locations, industrial facilities, warehouses, commercial properties and campuses, apartment buildings can have their environments monitored remotely around the clock. All areas can be monitored simultaneously. As your location grows or your needs expand, or if you relocate, it is easy to install additional or new cameras and feeds to the off-site central monitoring station.
What types of security issues do you encounter at your place of business? How have you been managing your security needs? Let us know your thoughts about virtual guard tours and how they might be implemented at your location, or contact us at Info@Fitechllc.com to discuss new ways to secure your assets and protect your building’s occupants.