New technology advancements are taking office security into a new era of convenience and affordability. With business owners spending a fortune in office set-ups, security remains a priority.
“The good news is that security solutions have come a long way in the last few years and we are seeing the emergence of apps, new CCTV systems and so on that are making security more affordable, especially for small business owners,” says Mr Jade Hanning, district manager (Cape Town South) for Fidelity ADT.
He mentions that CCTV technology has become far more affordable with advanced systems now available for the price that an entry-level system was five years ago.
“Traditionally CCTV was seen as a big business security measure. This has changed dramatically over the last few years and we are seeing more small business and residential clients using CCTV cameras, remote surveillance, and other perimeter security systems such as infrared sensors,” he says.
Apps are also moving towards replacing the traditional way security was managed.
Generally, alarms systems were installed in offices, the access code shared with one or two individuals and should the alarm be triggered, the security company would dispatch a reaction team to the premises. Most of these call-outs tend to be false alarms though.
“With new apps, such as Fidelity ADT’s SecureConnect, business owners and designated employees can view the status of the office security system, arm and disarm the alarm, switch and dim the lights, detect movement, control the blinds, heating, air conditioning and more using their smartphone,” says Hanning.
“New security apps are turning the office into a smart office, but employees still need to be security conscious and remain vigilant about their own personal safety.” – Jade Hanning, Fidelity ADT
“You can remotely monitor your property through your phone which should cut down the number of unnecessary call outs. Using geolocation technology, SecureConnect can even automatically arm the alarm when an employee is 5km away from the office, for example.
“These apps essentially turn the office into a smart office. They can even go so far as to connect with IOT devices such as a pool-pumps, security lights and even the coffee machine,” explains Hanning. This app is sold in modules so can be adapted to a customer’s needs and budget.
“While these tech advancements are certainly making waves in the industry, it needs to be said that employees still need to be security conscious and remain vigilant about their own personal safety.”
Perimeter security including access control, walls, gates, electric fencing, beams and the likes remains the first line of defence and needs to be in a good condition and checked regularly.
He also stresses the importance of some form of controlled access.
“A locked security gate can provide you with a vital few minutes to evaluate a situation before the suspects are actually inside the premises. If you feel something is not right, don’t open the gate!”
Ideally, two people should be tasked with locking up the business and ensuring the premises is secure at the end of the day. It is also not advisable to withdraw large amounts of cash from the bank or keep large amounts of cash on the premises. Ensure you have a regular collection of your cash.
“Please regularly brief your staff on security and ensure that everyone is making a conscious effort to keep their workplace safe. Equipping staff with panic buttons and access cards is another element that needs to be addressed and monitored closely.”
He warns business owners not to become complacent about employees, especially those who may be leaving the business.
“Ensure that employees return keys, access codes and remotes to the property if they resign. It is also a good idea to change alarm and access codes from time to time,” he concludes.