There’s more than one way to skin a cat or so the saying goes, but with a lot of items on the to do list, there are really only two choices: do it myself or pay a professional. So, sure I can add a couple of shelves in the kitchen, but can I add a second story to my bungalow? I can brush my teeth everyday, but can I fill my own cavity? The same choice presents itself when deciding on the best way to secure your business. Nowadays there’s more than one way to stop a crook. But should you go DIY or call in the professionals? Let’s look at the pros and cons of self-monitoring versus 24/7 professional security monitoring.
Pros and cons of Self-Monitoring
The biggest advantage of self-monitoring has to be the cost. Once you have made the one off payment for the cameras and monitoring app, it is virtually free. There might just be a minimal monthly cost to keep the app running, but that’s usually about it. You can watch live video from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are. Sounds great, but in reality you get what you pay for, which means in this case not a lot. If you have no life outside of work, never sleep, your phone battery never dies and you never engage flight mode, self-monitoring might be for you. However, if you like to spend your weekends with the people who matter and not thinking about work, 24/7 professional monitoring might suit you better. What is often forgotten with self-monitoring is what you will do in the event of an alert that you can’t identify as false. Live video streaming might not allow you to confirm the exact issue meaning when you call the emergency services and inform them of this, you could be allocated a low priority response code. By the time you arrive on scene to confirm the issue the greatest damage may already have taken place or as a lone responder there might be very little you can do.
Pros and Cons 24/7 Professional Monitoring
Professional monitoring, like most professional services, is more expensive than the DIY version. But there are ways it can actually save you money. Professional CCTV systems remove the need for a security guard on site. Your ‘security guard’ is still watching 24 hours, 7 days a week, but he has been replaced by a team of experts at a Security Response Centre like those used by Melbourne’s top security provider, Chartercom. The moment any issue occurs your security team is deployed and you are notified while they are on route to respond with the appropriate action. From the Security Response Centre experts are able to identify the reason for an alarm and determine appropriate steps immediately based on generations of experience and the latest technology. Your security response team will often arrive before the relevant emergency services. Now that’s peace of mind, which for many is priceless.
The Final Word
Self-monitoring and 24/7 professional monitoring both have their pros and cons. Ultimately the decision comes down to you. However, if you’d like a confidential assessment of how 24/7 professional monitoring from Chartercom can make your business safer and your life easier, then get in touch with one of our dedicated team members on 1300 844 844, or visit us at chartercomsecurity.com.au
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