Self-Monitoring: Questions you Should Ask
Self-monitoring alarms are more advanced today than they ever have been before. Gone are the days when the only option was for the alarm panel to self dial your phone number allowing you to hear the siren on answering. You can now receive this information via text message with zone descriptions of where exactly the alarm has been triggered. Another option is email alerts providing you a cheaper service option that still connects directly with your smart phone. Text message and email alerts provide you with a written record of any security incidents. You can also connect to a visual image via your phone through a camera located in the building. But don’t be fooled, there are still major issues with self-monitoring business security systems. Make sure you have considered the following if you are intending to go down the self-monitoring security route.
How Reliable is Your Smart Phone?
Ok so your self-monitoring security system has successfully responded to a threat by sending you a text message or an email or by dialling your number. Maybe it has done all three. However, it’s almost impossible to guarantee you will always be there to pick up the message straightaway. Is your phone sometimes on silent for an off site business meeting? Do you travel for work meaning you are forced to sometimes engage the flight safe travel button on your smart phone? Are you ever in an area of no service? Do you ever run out of battery towards the end of a busy day? Most of us will answer yes to at least one of these questions meaning your self-monitoring security system has some serious weak spots.
You Get the Message, Then What?
Imagine the worst has happened. You got the text message from your self-monitoring system to say an alarm has been triggered on the back entrance and the second floor of your building. Now what do you do? Drop everything and make like batman straight towards the danger zone? Call the police and tell them an alarm has gone off, but you don’t know exactly what the issue is? Even visual alerts don’t always give you the full picture especially because the technology is new and the images can be unclear. If you can’t confirm the problem, your call will be allocated a low priority response code by the emergency services, which is probably not what you were hoping for. By the time you arrive on scene to confirm the issue the greatest damage may have already taken place.
Can your System Tell the Difference between a Fire and an Intruder?
This is a really important question. There are some self-monitoring systems out there that can monitor both break-ins and fires, but they are rare and a lot more expensive. Obviously, a fire requires a very different type of emergency response and a message lost in cyber space could result in even more damage than if a break-in message gets delayed.
Is it Really Cheaper in the Long Run?
Self-monitoring systems are cheaper when they are first installed, but what happens when they need maintain or fixing? You have to pay someone to come out and fix it for you. These maintenance calls can be costly and time consuming. Aside from this how much time will you spend monitoring your own businesses security that you could be spending doing more important business development tasks?
What’s the Alternative to Self-Monitoring?
For larger businesses and especially companies with multiple premises the smarter choice for business security monitoring is to opt for 24 hour 365-days a year professional monitoring. A reputable security company can offer you a wide range of security systems such as burglar, smoke or fire, invasion and personal injury alarms depending on your needs. The experts monitoring your premises will never ignore an alarm. They will respond immediately and effectively and when necessary they know exactly which emergency services to engage.
If you are considering Alarm Monitoring options for your business, then take the option companies like TOYSRUS, BMW, Grill’d, Jeanswest and AXA chose. For a confidential assessment of your security needs contact Chartercom Security on 1300 844 844, or visit us as chartercomsecurity.com.au