When you go to an office, they have proper security. The security used in the workplace is split into four main areas: access control systems and equipment; intruder security alarms; business fire detection and protection alarm systems and CCTV systems. Looking at how people provide security in the workplace can help us to look at the best ways to also secure our homes.
Access control systems and equipment
Most workplaces don’t have keys. This is for a variety of reasons, the main reason being one of access. The most popular form of key in workplaces with a medium to large number of employees is by keycard. This allows them to get in and out of the workplace by simply swiping an access card over an access card reader. One of the main advantages of a key reader is that if a person loses their card, it is simple to deactivate it and then reactivate a new one, without having to replace the entire lock and get a new set of keys printed. When employee numbers can run into the hundreds, this can be very expensive.
It’s less of a problem in the home, with a minimum of one, and a maximum of about five or six people needing keys (unless you live in a really big house, or have a really big family). That being said, if a key is lost – then it can be a real expense to have to change the locks or get replacement keys. The same technology that was used in the workplace is now being introduced to homes, and has many advantages.
Rather than using key cards, the home technology matches the latest advances in workplace technology, by using smartphones and NFC communication chips. Rather than having a key card, you give your smartphone a special digital code that can open the door for you. As the key is digital, it can be deactivated remotely through a computer or other smartphone – and then reactivated on another device. If you have a friend visiting, or builders doing work – you can simply give them a key that will only work for a certain length of time, and at certain times of the day.
CCTV security alarm systems
CCTV cameras are common in the workplace, and are becoming more common in home security set ups. They are a deterrent to people wanting to enter your property, as they can record and potentially produce evidence that can lead to a conviction if someone does attempt to enter your property. Home CCTV cameras can also be wi-fi enables, allowing you to access your CCTV from a smart device wherever you are – and even receive notifications or text alerts if the cameras or other parts of your alarm system notice unusual behavior. These systems are perfected in work devices before coming to the home.
Smart locks can even be combined with CCTV, so that you can have a camera set up by your door bell. You can see who is ringing at your door – or even set a sensor so you can tell if someone is hovering outside the front of your property. You can then choose to open the door if they are a friend, or to talk to them directly (even if you are out of the country), deterring them in case they are trying to work out of anyone is home. Other wi-fi enables smart devices can create the illusion that people are home by turning on lights and other appliances, even when you are out of the house.
Home security needs aren’t yet at the level where biometric scans and access code panels are needed, as they can be in the work environment, but the cost of that technology is coming down. Fairly low price phones like the Moto G 5 include a fingerprint scanner – and the technology is becoming cheaper and more reliable each year.
Intruder security alarms
One of the most important tools for home security is an intruder alarm system. Most of the systems run via a set of triggers – usually by breaking an electrical circuit or detecting motion. That means if a window is opened, a circuit is broken and the alarm will go off – or of motion is detected when it shouldn’t be. Just as other technology becomes more reliable, alarm systems based on motion no longer go off if a squirrel is running outside.
Just as in office buildings, there are two things that can happen when an alarm is triggered. It can set off a bell or audible alarm, or they can trigger a silent alarm which will notify a security company or the police, depending on the system that you set up. Alarm systems that signal the police are usually used by larger companies, and will not trigger until evidence has been collected.
The smart home enabled security systems operate in a similar way to the keyless locks. Inspired by business security systems, they can monitor when you enter or exit a house through something like an RFID tag or NFC code in your smartphone, automatically turning the alarm off as soon as you return home, removing the need to input a code as you enter or leave a property.
Fire detection and protection alarm systems
Another very important thing to consider in the security of your home is fire detection and protection systems. People looking to steal from your property are not the only threat. Fire is something that should always be taken seriously. Although battery powered fire alarms can be effective, they are not as reliable as a wired fire alarm system.
Smart fire systems can also warn people on their phones or other devices if they have been triggered. However, if you are not at home when a fire starts, there hasn’t been that much you could do about it. In offices, as well as fire detection systems, there have also been fire protection systems like sprinklers available. Due to the age of many houses, there are no sprinkler systems available.
However, technology now has an option. You can now retrofit a misting system in your house, which can be mounted in the wall, ceiling or even as a special tap on a sink. When it detects a fire, it sends out a mist which uses 90% less water than a sprinkler, but is still very effective at dousing flames. Even the cost of installing sprinkler systems has fallen, and offer a great way to provide safety and security for your family.
Keep your family properly secured
It can be easy to overlook security systems, because when they work, they are invisible. It is only after someone has tried to burgle your home or you are the victim of a fire than the true value of a proper security system becomes apparent. Rather than replacing your possessions and precious memories, they are safe. There are also some things that can never be replaced, like family members. Hopefully, you will never have to suffer through the indignity and horror of theft or fire – but people do every day. Those people who have proper security view it as a bargain after buying it, and people who didn’t have proper security always wish they had.
This article was written by Simon Parker. Simon Parker has over 70 years of shared experience with Minerva Security, dealing with commercial business security and fire alarm systems.