The recent wildfires in Northern California were contained and died out in October, but now another active, brush wildfire is rapidly spreading through Southern California. The latest fire, dubbed the Thomas Fire, started near Santa Paula and has caused one death, thousands of acres of damage, and officials have declared a state of emergency, so far.
The security market is a growing field. Both physical and cyber attacks seem to be increasing in number, but the solutions offered are getting smarter and stronger for residential and commercial buildings alike. While a security system might seem to provide the same protection for all buildings, there are a few differences that distinguish the two according to the different needs of residential and commercial buildings.
1. Commercial Buildings Have Complex Security Needs
Simply put, commercial buildings have more complex needs when it comes to keeping the building secure. These buildings are usually in high-traffic areas and depending on their services they provide or possess, they could be more attractive to burglars. The building’s location also plays a role in safety. This might be obvious, but if the building is in an area with higher crime rates, the building will require that much more safety measures to maintain safety.
If you’re a property owner, one of the best things you can do is to walk around the area your building is in and take note of potential safety risks like abandoned buildings and parking lots. Also, take note of the security measures other surrounding buildings put in place. Don’t be afraid to ask other property managers in your area about the systems they use.
With complex needs, alarm systems for commercial buildings are advanced and comprehensive in that there are multiple layers of safety measures throughout the building. As soon as employees and visitors walk in, video surveillance cameras are recording every move, controlled access cards are used to monitor movement throughout the facility and limit where people can go, and other measures to keep track of who’s who and where they go.
2. Residential Areas Have Built-In Security Measures
Many residential areas have neighborhood watch programs, which is an effective way to keep an eye on safety 24/7. Unless commercial buildings hire costly overnight security guards, these buildings don’t have access to watch programs as most people are gone when the workday is over.
Additionally, residential areas are safer places organically because the only people coming in and out of the neighborhood and homes are the people who live in them and their invited guests. That’s the biggest difference. Not everyone who has access to commercial buildings is invited or welcomed. The only people who have access to private residences should be the ones who live there and they act as the gate-keeper, only letting in people they know and trust. In the case of forced entry, there are home alarm systems to prevent and alert residents and local authorities of incidents.
3. Potential Threats Are Different
While the goal of alarm systems is primarily to protect occupants of homes and buildings, the scale of potential threats vastly differ. Offices require systems in place that protect everyone in the building from break-ins to fires to chemical spills, depending on the company they work for and the risks they may be exposed to. For residential areas, the greatest potential threats can be contained to break-ins and fires. Depending on where you live, other natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding will pose a greater risk as well.
The secondary goal of alarm systems is to protect property, including the structure of the facility and valuable property within the building. This doesn’t differ from the need to protect residences from these things except for the fact that it will exist on a larger scale for commercial buildings.
No matter the threats that pose a greater risk and likelihood to your house or commercial business, there are ways you can prepare. Although commercial buildings have complex security needs, their security system doesn’t have to be complicated. Sonitrol’s electronic security products are verified and our success is proven. Ensure the safety of your business today by registering for our free business security assessment.
The holidays are right around the corner and it seems like advertisements begin running and decorations hit the shelves earlier and earlier every year. Now that Labor Day has passed and Fall has begun, it’s time to prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all the holidays your office celebrates.
With the holiday season come parties of every kind with family, friends, and co-workers. While the checklist to throw a fun company party can seem exhaustive, security measures are oftentimes not properly planned for. Holiday party security plans are especially important for businesses to prepare as they begin to plan for the holiday season and company parties.
6 Holiday Office Party Safety Tips
Year-end holiday parties are an opportunity to reward your employees and give them an afternoon or evening off to enjoy games, food, drinks, contests, and more. They have a long-standing tradition in the business world for bringing everyone together and celebrating the year the company has had. Food and venue arrangements have to be made, invitations sent out, and entertainment options decided on.
Depending on your budget, you can go all out with fancy catering and great entertainment. Or you could have everyone pitch in and throw a potluck style party where everyone brings a dish and their favorite game and comes as they are. Both have their own perks, but no matter what kind of party you throw, you need to have security measures in place well before the day of the event. Safeguard you and your employees from drinking-related accidents, sexual harassment, and more with these six safety tips.
1. Remind Employees of Policies
The first step in setting yourself up for a successful and safe party is to remind everyone of the company’s policies beforehand. Go over language, behavior, dress, and sexual harassment policies. This may be uncomfortable to discuss, but going over major bullet points will be quick and can prevent much more serious incidents from occurring. Use every form of communication as well. Bring it up in meetings, send the policies in a company-wide email, and print and tape them up throughout the office leading up the party.
If accidents happen at the event, your company’s benefits could be severely impacted. You could also find yourself deep in legal troubles. The benefits of reminding employees of your policies far outweigh the potential risks.
2. Lead by Example
Encourage upper management to attend company parties and remind them that their presence and behavior will set the tone for the evening. Holiday parties are a great opportunity for everyone to interact in a more casual environment with their peers and managers alike. Upper management can lead by example at work parties just like they lead by example in the office: showing up on time, dressed appropriately, and eager to have a good time.
3. Designate Monitors
Monitors aren’t just for high school proms, they are necessary at work parties as well. Parties usually start on a good note, but when upper management leaves, some employees may feel more relaxed and that inappropriate behavior won’t be noticed. There should be several designated sober monitors dispersed throughout the party. They should watch out for inappropriate behavior, language, and when someone has had too much to drink.
You can look into hiring a security team for your event or see if managers within the office will step up to monitor. Equip them with the number to call a cab and go over how to handle inappropriate language and behavior.
4. Drink Responsibly
If alcohol is served, limit drinking to the first half of the party and stop serving all alcohol at least two hours before the event ends. You can also limit drinks by handing out limited drink tickets when guests arrive. Consider having all holiday parties at a venue where professional bartenders are more experienced in monitoring who has had too much and checking ID’s to ensure no one underage is served alcohol. Be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages as well for those who don’t drink.
5. Invite the Family
Inappropriate behavior can be mitigated by opening the event to families and guests. When employees are allowed to bring guests, they should arrive ready to show off their company and co-workers. Not every company event should always be open to outside guests, but holiday parties are the perfect time to introduce guests to the company and its people.
6. Secure the Venue
If you have parties outside of the office, it’s important to take time to choose the best venue. Think about places that are in a safe part of town and ones that have accessible and safe parking lots. Survey the room you will be in for any obvious hazards like wires that could be tripped over and choose sensible decorations and food that will be easy to work with. You should understand the venue’s policies for emergencies and take note of the exits and safety measures they implement. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their safety certifications to make sure they’re up to date.
You are responsible for your employees’ safety at company events. Lay down the rules and consider the above measures to avoid incurring liability. Holiday parties are great morale boosters and should be fun for everyone. These tips will help you plan for safe and fun holiday office parties. Discover more safety tips for office events here. We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season this year!
Whether you are moving to a larger location or staying where you are – big or small, the security of your staff, property, customers, and products should be a priority. Despite the need and fear of what can happen, it’s often difficult to find a reliable gauge of safety and security. So, where should you go and how do you know what’s the right security system for you?