What to Look For in a Business Security System

We know how much of an investment a security system can be – we started this blog to help our customers make informed decisions about our passion!  We’ve searched high and low on the internet for a definitive guide to help business owners make decisions about their commercial security system install and finally just created our own (excellent) guide. In our guide, we’ll ask you to consider 4 main elements:

  • Your site
  • Your needs and capabilities
  • Your budget
  • Your convenience threshold

As a fellow business owner, we respect that you’re busy, so let’s get started!

Consider your site:

Indoor or outdoor monitoring – systems designed for outdoor use have additional protection to withstand winter elements and tend to be more expensive.  We strongly recommend that indoor cameras are only used indoors for this reason.  We’re located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – trust us on this one!

Square footage or number of zones – A very general rule of thumb is that areas of 2000 ft2 require 2 – 4 cameras.  However think about the obstacles, walls, distance, and blind spots that your surveillance may encounter.  Having a detailed sketch of the layout of your premises that outlines both hard fixtures and movable items that might create a visual block is an important way to become prepared for your surveillance meeting.

Lens Type – Depending on the above, your system may require wide-angle lenses in order to ‘see more’ of your premises.

Camera Mobility – Technology is sufficient to provide responsive systems to our clients – that is, cameras that pan, tilt and zoom based on remote user input or motion detection – just like the movies!

Wireless versus Wired – While wireless technology is making great strides in many fields, a wireless surveillance system’s true strength is in its portability.  If this isn’t necessary for your commercial or industrial premises, we recommend a wired system for cost and dependability.

Consider your needs and capabilities:

Image Quality – Higher resolution cameras are more expensive than ones that offer lower resolution images.  However, depending on placement and day/night surveillance, it may be in your best interest to consider higher resolution imagery.

Color vs Black and White – Color cameras generally produce higher quality footage, and happily for our customers, the price difference between the two kinds of systems is negligible.

Image Storage Capacity – Depending on the size of the system memory, the system may only retain footage for a limited period of time.  Talk to our team at Select Security about system capacity and storage – some systems overwrite old footage with new in as few as 24 hours while systems with larger memory capacity can keep footage ‘on hand’ for longer periods of time.  Compressing and storing footage or still shots for retention purposes can be an important factor.

Daytime vs Nighttime monitoring – Using surveillance during the day (think of employee safety and security) does not require night vision technology.  However, if night recording is required, cameras that have night vision capabilities are necessary.

System Flexibility – Consider using a system that is scalable – you can add more cameras as your business expands.

Consider your budget:

Cost – Set a budget for your surveillance system before going shopping.  Beware installers that quote a fixed price for a system prior to learning about your needs, budget, or premises!

Consider bells and whistles to ease your mind:

Commercial security system advancements keep pace with technology.  The following features are highly useful to busy business owners like you (and like us!)

  •         Remote access through the internet
  •         Search footage based on time or location
  •         Event notification through email or text

After working through our guide, call us to talk with a member of our team about your needs.  As experts in the industry, we know that matching your security requirements with exactly the right commercial security solution is the best way to make happy clients who are confident and satisfied with their commercial security solutions.


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