by Liz M. | May 15, 2023 | Blog
Owners and managers of Colorado Springs self-storage facilities use access control and security cameras not only for convenience but also to protect the valuables of their renters.
This is good news if you are part of the 38% of Americans storing your stuff outside your home property. And with the number of self-storage facilities springing up all over Southern Colorado, chances are that if you aren’t currently part of that statistic, you will be in the coming years.
Why are access control and security cameras vital to self-storage owners and those renting space from them? And what options should owners invest in when upgrading their current system or installing a new system?
Reasons Self-Storage Facilities Use Access Control
There are several reasons why self-storage facilities use access control and security cameras. Here are a few:
First of all, access control improves the security of self-storage facilities.
With advanced technology, access control systems can prevent unauthorized access to a storage unit. This is vital to renters who trust their valuables are secure in their units.
Self-storage owners can rest assured that they are not renting to nefarious individuals who use the space for storing stolen goods. In March 2022, two suspects were caught unloading a van full of stolen items into a storage unit in Colorado Springs.
Access control systems and security videos can provide valuable legal evidence for police and prosecutors if there is a security breach or theft.
Valuable Proof For Insurance Claims
In the case of insurance claims, security cameras, in particular, can save both self-storage owners and renters a world of effort in proving property damage.
Recently, one of our self-storage clients called to thank us for installing and regularly maintaining their security camera system. The cameras captured video of the rain storm that came through and flooded the hallways of their enclosed storage units, damaging not only the property of the storage unit but also some of the items in the renter’s units.
The insurance company had to honor the claim because they could prove with the date and time-stamped video evidence that the flood was due to the rain.
Many self-storage facilities use access control systems to streamline their operations.
For example, a cloud-based system allows facility managers to manage access remotely and in real time. This saves time and improves efficiency, as managers can quickly grant or revoke access to a unit without being physically present at the facility.
Additionally, a mobile app can allow tenants to manage their own access, such as opening and closing a unit, without interacting with facility staff.
Increase Renter Satisfaction
Those renting space at a self-storage facility want assurance that their property is secure and that they can retrieve their stuff at their convenience. This assurance increases their satisfaction with the facility, leading to positive Google reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, and greater profitability.
Why Self-Storage Facilities Use Access Control With New Technology
There are many benefits of access control for self-storage facilities. Now, let’s talk about the wide range of options for owners and managers of self-storage facilities.
Keypads and Cards
Keypads and cards are the most common options for self-storage facilities to use access control.
With keypads, renters pick a unique PIN at sign-up that they will into the keypad at the entrance gate. The gate will then open, allowing access to the storage units.
Likewise, access cards are issued by facility staff when new individuals enter into a rental agreement. Then this card is held up to a reader before entering the entrance gate to grant access to the storage units.
However, several drawbacks exist when self-storage facilities use access control like keypads and access cards.
First and foremost is how easily users can share PINs and access cards with unauthorized individuals.
Second, “piggy-backing” vehicles can enter through the gate following the first vehicle and before the gate closes.
Third, lost cards and forgotten PINs often create more work for the facility staff.
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Cloud-Based Access Control Using Mobile Apps
Self-storage facilities use access control systems to secure their units from unauthorized entry, and the cutting-edge technology of cloud-based access control offers several advantages over traditional systems.
First, cloud-based systems allow remote management from anywhere, at any time. Owners and managers can send, revoke, or monitor electronic keys through a mobile app or web browser, which saves time and reduces the need to be physically present at the facility.
Second, cloud-based access control provides a higher level of security and accountability. Each access creates an entry in a log that can provide an audit of users with the touch of a button. This feature can provide valuable insights into facility usage and occupancy, which can help optimize revenue and operations.
Third, cloud-based access control is more flexible and scalable than traditional systems. For instance, if a renter forgets their access code or loses their key, a cloud-based system can quickly generate a new one without a manager being on-site. Talk about convenience!
Conclusion: Savvy Self-Storage Facilities Use Access Control Sold, Installed and Maintained by System Links
System Links Colorado offers a range of security solutions to meet each self-storage facility’s unique needs and budget. Our team of experts can assess your facility’s current security measures and provide the most appropriate access control and security camera system. And with our five-star installation and ongoing maintenance services, you can be sure that the system remains effective over the long haul.
Are you ready to see the available options for your self-storage? Contact us today to schedule your free site assessment and quote.
by Liz M. | May 1, 2023 | Blog
Porch pirates, just like their namesakes, want to steal your booty – that is, the packages and other valuables on your doorstep. This type of thievery is becoming a common concern in Colorado Springs and nationwide, causing frustration and financial loss for homeowners.
Fortunately, there are proven methods to deter porch pirates and keep your packages safe. This month, we will discuss ten ways to protect your deliveries and prevent theft.
Utilize Alternative Delivery Locations
The most proven way to ensure you do not fall victim to porch pirates is to remove the temptation entirely. And how can you do that? By not scheduling deliveries to your home.
The good news for Colorado Springs homeowners is that this does not mean canceling your dog’s Bark Box subscription but rather that you take advantage of alternative delivery methods to receive your goods. Here are four ways to do this:
Package Locker Services
Some retailers are attacking the issue of porch pirates head-on by offering to deliver your items to a package locker service. These unstaffed lockers are designed specifically for package delivery and are a secure way to receive your packages. Simply select this option before placing your order, and a list of convenient locker locations will pop up. Choose the most convenient pickup location and receive a text message or email with details on retrieving your package from the locker.
While this is not an option for some oversized packages, the flexibility and security are worth a short drive to the pickup location for many Colorado Springs homeowners.
In-Store or Curbside Pickup
Many retailers with physical locations in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas now offer the option to purchase goods online and pick them up in-store or curbside. In cases where the item is in stock locally, you can schedule a pickup in as little as a couple of hours. And when the shipment is necessary, almost all retailers will waive shipment costs for in-store or curbside pickup. You may want to pursue these options if you are concerned about porch thieves in your Southern Colorado neighborhood.
Hold Packages at Shipment Hub
Delivery companies like FedEx and UPS have a local hub that receives all shipments, then sorts and places them on trucks for delivery. However, you can select to pick up your package directly from that hub. Bring the tracking number and your ID, and you can leave with your items.
Schedule Deliveries to Your Business
Most of us have an office or other place of business where someone is always present during working hours. Scheduling your deliveries to your business will deter porch pirates because there will be nothing on your doorstep to steal.
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How To Deter Porch Pirates When Alternative Delivery Locations Are Not Possible
While the above suggestions may be ideal, the truth is that for many busy Colorado Springs homeowners, the inconvenience of going elsewhere to receive our packages negates the great prices we receive by shopping online. So if you want the convenience of home delivery, here are seven ways to deter porch pirates from targeting your doorstep.
Schedule Delivery While You Are Home
If you are part of the increasing population who work at home (at least part of the time), the odds are that there is one day each week when you are home for the majority of the day. Use this as your package-delivery day – be strategic with placing your orders, and you can ensure you are home to receive your package.
TIP: Amazon Prime members can select a specific day of the week as their “Amazon Day Delivery” and even provide digital credits for utilizing the service.
Require Signature Confirmation
Another way to protect your packages is to require a signature confirmation upon delivery. This is an especially great option for valuable or sensitive packages you do not want to risk losing.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Establishing good terms with your neighbors means they are more likely to watch for suspicious activity around your home. They can also help you retrieve your packages if you are away.
Building a sense of community where we all look out for one another can go a long way to deter porch pirates.
Install a Package Delivery Box
Installing a permanent package delivery box on your porch may be an effective way to prevent porch pirates since packages are not easily visible from the street. If they cannot see a package, they are less likely to approach your front door looking for one.
For extra security, invest in a tamper-proof package delivery box or locker. Much like a FedEx or UPS drop box, carriers can deposit a package through a drawer which then drops the package into a secure compartment for retrieval by the homeowner.
Utilize Motion-Activated Lighting
Motion-activated lights are an excellent investment for deterring porch pirates. When motion is detected, the lights illuminate your porch and doorstep. Porch pirates are less likely to target a well-lit home, and motion-activated lights are especially effective when coupled with our last tip, installing home security cameras.
The Power of Home Security Cameras to Deter Porch Pirates
Finally, installing home security cameras is an excellent way to deter porch pirates. Security cameras will capture any suspicious activity around your home, and they can provide valuable legal evidence if theft occurs.
Because security cameras are typically installed in a visible location but outside of the reach of most thieves, they are virtually tamper-proof. And studies consistently show that advertising that you use security cameras can deter criminals from targeting your home.
For additional information on the advantages of security cameras over their competitors, visit our blog article 7 Ways Home Security Cameras are Superior to Doorbell Cameras.
Conclusion: Deter Porch Pirates with Cameras from System Links
From removing all temptation for crooks by choosing alternative delivery locations to installing motion-activated lights and home security cameras, there are steps you can take to make your house less of a target for porch pirates.
System Links is Southern Colorado’s trusted security camera and access control solutions provider with a 5-star rating on Google. Contact us today for your free on-site security assessment and quote.
by Liz M. | Apr 17, 2023 | Blog
One of the best ways to keep your Colorado Springs business property safe and secure is by installing a smart lock or access control system. But with the plethora of viable options on the market today, how can you determine which is right for your business?
In this month’s blog, we compare the two systems to help you make an informed decision about installing a smart lock or access control system.
Smart locks are increasingly popular among homeowners and businesses alike. They use advanced technology to allow for keyless entry and remote access control. If you are deciding between a smart lock or access control system, consider these benefits of smart locks:
With a smart lock, you no longer need to carry multiple keys or worry about losing them. You can easily grant access to employees or contractors and even set up temporary access codes for visitors.
Additionally, smart locks are easy to install and manage, and some can be integrated with access control software services to provide basic access control features.
Smart locks also offer hands-free door operation options such as arm and foot pulls, making them ideal for businesses that require touchless entry options.
Smart locks can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. You can lock or unlock your doors, monitor access, and receive real-time notifications. Businesses can also set up schedules to automatically lock and unlock doors at specific times or use voice commands to control access.
Smart locks are generally more affordable than access control systems, making them an excellent option for small businesses on a budget.
However, there are also drawbacks to consider with smart locks:
Smart locks may not be compatible with all doors or existing hardware, making installation more complicated.
While smart locks are generally secure, they may still be vulnerable to hacking and other cyber threats if their firmware is not kept up to date. A recent poll of security professionals revealed that 73% would not use a smart lock to secure their home or office. Ensure that you can update the firmware in the smart lock regularly.
When considering a smart lock or access control system, stay away from off-market brands and fly-by-night installers. Buying products from reputable brands and hiring an installation company with a proven track record for reliability and customer service will ensure your assets stay safe.
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Access control is a security measure designed to control who has access to a specific area or resource. A business can ensure that only authorized individuals can enter restricted areas or access sensitive data by implementing access control systems, including biometric identification, smart cards, key fobs, or PIN codes.
What are the pros and cons of access control systems?
When choosing between a smart lock or access control system, consider that access control systems provide a greater level of security than traditional locks. With access control, businesses can monitor and record who is accessing specific areas and when. This information can be used for auditing purposes and help investigate security breaches or unauthorized access.
Integration with Other Security Systems
Access control systems can be integrated with other security systems, such as installed CCTV cameras, to provide a comprehensive security solution.
Access control systems are easily expandable to accommodate the changing needs of a business.
By providing enhanced security protection, access control helps businesses to comply with regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS, which mandate the protection of sensitive data.
Overall, access control is an essential component of any comprehensive security strategy, providing businesses with reassurance that their assets are protected. However, that is not to say that there are not also some potential downsides to access control. Specifically:
Access control systems can be more expensive than smart locks, especially for larger businesses with multiple entry points.
Access control systems can be more complex to install and maintain than smart locks, which may require additional training or technical support.
Choosing The Right Security For Your Business – Smart Locks or Access Control Systems
Ultimately, deciding between a smart lock or access control system will depend on your specific needs and budget. Small Colorado Springs businesses looking for a cost-effective solution may find that smart locks are the best option. However, an access control system may be a better fit if you require a higher level of security and have a larger budget.
To learn more about smart locks or access control systems, contact System Links. We are Southern Colorado’s leader in security, offering a wide range of security solutions, including sales and installation of smart locks and access control systems.
Don’t leave the security of your business to chance – contact System Links Colorado today for your free on-site security assessment and quote.
by Liz M. | Mar 27, 2023 | Blog
As the population of Colorado Springs continues to grow, the ability of emergency responders and access control systems to work together to provide quick and efficient emergency response times has become an increasingly vital subject. Because mere seconds can mean the difference between life and death, emergency responders must be able to reach those in need as quickly as possible.
If you have ever wondered how Colorado Springs police, the fire department and paramedics get past access control systems to help those in need, keep reading.
Emergency Responders and Access Control Systems Work Hand in Hand During a Crisis
There are a wide array of security solutions to choose from that meet with the approval of both emergency responders and access control system administrators. Here are four types of systems that have a proven track record of approval:
Rapid Entry System
The first type is a rapid entry system, which allows emergency responders quick access to a building during an emergency. This system allows emergency responders to easily access a building’s key without damaging the building or waiting for a property owner to arrive.
However, that does not mean the system does not have disadvantages. First and foremost, locating and accessing the lockbox takes precious moments away from those needing immediate assistance.
Second, after authorized individuals gain access, there is no way to ensure that a nefarious individual can not copy or distribute the key or access credentials before replacing the original in the lockbox. One answer to this issue from the access control experts at VIZpin is to replace the keypad code or physical key with a fob, which is completely trackable and impossible to copy. Lost or stolen fobs can be simply turned off and replaced with a new fob with new access credentials.
That is a solution that both emergency responders and access control administrators can appreciate.
A smart lock is a standalone device that utilizes electronic means, such as codes, smartphone apps or key fobs, instead of keys to unlock doors and grant access. No more fumbling with keys or lockboxes means quicker response times during emergencies.
Many existing access control systems can easily integrate smart locks to allow emergency responders immediate access.
Read More: Should You Use Electronic Locks for Access Control?
Smart Interconnected Lock
Smart interconnected lock systems use software to remotely control and monitor doors and gates – allowing remote access and control of doors and gates using a mobile app or another device.
Because of the options for layered rules and alerts within system software, opening gates and doors for police, fire department, and ambulances is quick and straightforward.
Smart interconnected locks are entirely scalable and can be quickly and easily integrated with other security systems and technologies, making emergency responders and access control users happy.
Cloud-Based Access Control
The fourth type is a cloud-based security solution that eliminates the hassle and cost of wiring every door or managing access with keys. Cloud-based systems can grant and manage access from any internet-enabled device, with updates instantly applied.
If lockdowns are necessary (such as in the case of an active shooter), cloud-based access control systems can quickly and easily lock down a facility while still allowing emergency responders access to the site.
Related: How Access Control and Cybersecurity Systems Work Together To Give Your Business Ultimate Protection
Emergency Responders and Access Control Administrators: A Common Goal to Serve and Protect
In addition to these specific systems, a range of other options can provide secure access control while allowing for rapid emergency response times. By choosing an access control system that is compatible with emergency responder systems and protocols, property managers and owners can help to ensure that emergency services can quickly reach those in need.
System Links Colorado is an expert in the sales, installation and service of access control systems in Colorado Springs. We understand the importance of ensuring that emergency responders and access control systems work hand in hand, providing quick access to buildings and facilities.
By partnering with System Links Colorado for their access control solutions, local companies can ensure that they provide the safest possible environment for their employees and customers while supporting emergency responders’ critical work.
Schedule your free on-site consultation.
by Liz M. | Mar 6, 2023 | Blog
Do you own or manage one of the many Colorado Springs businesses that need security cameras? Chances are the answer is yes. No matter the size of your business, security should be one of your top priorities. Unfortunately, companies face both internal and external security threats, from theft to vandalism to employee misconduct.
Fortunately, security cameras can help you monitor and protect your assets. This article will discuss the top seven businesses that need security cameras to stay ahead.
Why Businesses Need Security Cameras
Security cameras are an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. They can help deter crime, catch perpetrators, and provide security video as legal evidence in the event of an incident.
They can also help you monitor employee productivity and behavior, ensure compliance with safety regulations, and improve customer service.
In addition to the practical benefits, security cameras will help you save money long-term. You can avoid costly losses and insurance claims by preventing theft and damage. You can also negotiate lower insurance premiums by having security cameras in place.
The Top 7 Businesses That Need Security Cameras
Southern Colorado retail stores are a prime target for theft by customers (and employees). Security cameras can help you monitor your inventory, catch anyone who tries to steal from you and provide legal evidence should you press charges.
Unfortunately, even trusted employees can sometimes be guilty of theft or other activities contrary to their employment agreement. Security cameras can help you monitor your employees to ensure they follow procedures and provide good customer service.
Banks and financial institutions handle large amounts of money, making them high-risk targets for robbery (no surprise there).
Installing security cameras can help deter would-be thieves by continuously monitoring critical areas of the business, providing valuable evidence in the event of a robbery.
But some financial crimes are more covert than an open robberies. With the increase in fraudulent activities in the financial sector, security cameras can capture suspicious behavior on record before an incident occurs.
Additionally, notifying employees they are on camera can ensure they follow security protocols and are not engaging in any suspicious behavior themselves.
Industrial and Manufacturing Facilities
Southern Colorado is home to many industrial and manufacturing facilities with valuable equipment and materials on site. Their inventory makes them a frequent target for theft and vandalism.
CCTV systems can also help you ensure compliance with safety regulations and monitor employee behavior.
Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
Another sector of Southern Colorado businesses that need security cameras are hospitals and healthcare facilities. Why?
First, security cameras can prevent theft, break-ins, and violence and continuously monitor critical areas such as narcotic storage, infant and maternity wards, ERs and trauma treatment rooms.
Second, healthcare workers are at a higher risk of workplace violence than other industries due to the extremely high-stress environment. Video security cameras can help reduce the rate of physical and verbal assaults, provide evidence, and improve staff retention and patient care.
Moreover, the presence of cameras can deter crime, improve employee productivity, and provide proof for false claims made by patients.
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and bars need security cameras for several reasons. Surveillance cameras deter crimes and theft, such as harassment, assault, and robbery. By placing cameras in entry and exit points, cash registers, inventory storage areas, and parking lots, owners and managers can prevent incidents before they occur.
Surveillance cameras can also increase employee productivity and help restaurant and bar owners ensure food safety and hygiene compliance.
Cameras help to ensure public safety, reducing fear of crime and increasing the sense of security for patrons.
Schools and Universities
Security cameras and access control are fundamental security measures for public and private schools, Montessori schools, daycare centers, and college campuses. These institutions should have security in place to ensure the safety of students and faculty alike.
The horrifying truth is that schools, once safe havens for children, have been the target of active shooters in recent years. Surveillance cameras and access control systems deter bullying, theft, vandalism, trespassing, and intruders. They assist administrators in enforcing school rules and procedures and promote safety protocols while respecting the privacy of students and teachers.
Related: Why Access Control Systems for Daycare Centers is a Worthwhile Investment
Construction is a booming industry in Southern Colorado, and construction sites are a frequent target of theft and vandalism.
Placing surveillance cameras strategically around construction sites can ensure worker safety and asset protection, monitor job progress, enable a faster response to emergencies, and reduce insurance premiums.
Also, security cameras can help conduct remote site audits, review working procedures, and manage site access.
Businesses That Need Security Cameras Need System Links
The above list of businesses that need security cameras is far from exhaustive. Most, if not all, Colorado Springs area businesses can benefit from professional security camera installation to protect their assets, inventory, buildings, employees, and reputation.
Choosing, installing and maintaining suitable cameras for your business is as easy as a phone call to System Links. We have the experience and insight local businesses need to make informed decisions about the safety and security of their company. We start with a full on-site security assessment and then provide a free quote with all costs included.
Contact us today to schedule your free security assessment and quote!
by Liz M. | Feb 27, 2023 | Blog
Installing access control systems in areas with no network or power connections used to present a real challenge to installers. And the lack of options made many business owners feel that protecting their data, assets, or building was an arduous process hardly worth their time. Fortunately, those days are in the past.
With emerging technologies from industry leaders like VizPin means no network or power connections equals no problem. This month we discuss the options for access control systems, from antiquated to cutting-edge, where there is a lack of available connections and the pros and cons of each.
Antiquated Options For Access Control with No Network or Power Connections
Without spending too much time in the past, here are some traditional methods for controlling access without using power or network connections.
A traditional lock and key entry system requires no network or power connections and is a simple, typically reliable, way to control access to an area. However, keys are easy to misplace, loan to a friend or colleague, and copy. The exposure to these risks leaves many Southern Colorado business owners looking for a better option.
Manual Access Control
Manual identity verification before granting access is another antiquated option for access control. Think of a security guard comparing your ID to their list of approved individuals before allowing access to your workspace. The potential headaches involved with staff changes, not to mention the cost of employing a security guard, make this option unappealing to many businesses.
Related: How Access Control and Cybersecurity Systems Work Together To Give Your Business Ultimate Protection
Better Options for Access Control in Areas with No Network or Power Connections
Springboarding from the traditional access control solutions above, here are two more advanced options for controlling access when there is no network or power connections.
Battery-Powered Standalone Access Control Systems
Standalone access control systems that rely on battery power are another option when no network or power is available. System installation is accomplished on a per-door basis, with keyless entry via access cards or PIN codes.
The issue with battery-powered standalone systems is that batteries do not last forever. If the batteries die and you do not have replacements, your systems are open to compromise until replaced.
Passive RFID Technology
RFID or radio-frequency identification is also viable option for access control when no network or power connections are available. RFID technology is often the main component in keycards and fobs, and the technology has a proven track record for access control applications.
However, like physical keys, keycards and fobs can be loaned to unauthorized individuals, misplaced, or stolen.
The Best Options for Access Control When There Are No Network or Power Connections
If you are a Southern Colorado business owner who does not like any of the above solutions for access control. Industry leaders like VIZpin are developing new methods for access control that do not require network interaction or traditional power supplies. Here are two examples:
Bluetooth-Based Access Control
Smartphone-based access systems are increasingly popular among property managers and business owners due to their benefits over traditional cards and fobs. However, the major problem with most systems is that users can get locked out when their Wifi or cell network is not working.
VIZpin has taken smartphone-based access control to the next logical level by developing built-in long-range Bluetooth Readers that can be placed inside the secured area, not outside, where they can be tampered with.
Once the ‘key’ is generated and downloaded onto a user’s smartphone, it remains there. The VIZpin Controller authenticates the user without a network connection. Access to a network is necessary only during the initial setup.
Next,VIZpin is pioneering alternative power technologies with the first-ever solar-powered smartphone access control system aptly named the Solar Kit. The Solar Kit is easy to install, doesn’t require power and can be managed remotely without a local network connection.
The kit includes a gate/door controller, a long-range Bluetooth Reader, a solar panel, a battery, a charge controller, and mounting hardware. With just three hours of sun exposure daily, the battery can continuously power a typical 12VDC lock or latch. On those rare days without the sun in Southern Colorado, the battery will continue to power the lock for up to four days.
Conclusion: No Network or Power Connections? No Problem with System Links
Not so long ago, a lack of power or network connections would prevent Colorado businesses from getting reliable access control solutions. But as technology evolves, these limitations are no longer viable reasons to put off protecting your business data and assets.
System Links is Southern Colorado’s trusted retailer, service provider and installer of security cameras and access control systems. Our extensive experience means we can provide the best options for your business needs and budget.
Are you ready to see the System Links difference? Contact us today to schedule your free on-site security assessment and quote.
by Liz M. | Feb 6, 2023 | Blog
In our many years in the CCTV and access control industry in Southern Colorado, we have learned that there are certain keys to a successful security camera installation for local homes and businesses. Everything from camera placement to having enough data storage can impact whether or not your security camera system is functioning correctly and capturing the images you need.
This month, we share what we have learned and how you can avoid making costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Keys to a Successful Security Camera Installation
Installing security camera systems can be difficult, as several potential problems can arise during the process. From incorrect camera placement to electrical issues to video storage capacity, understanding and avoiding these issues is essential for a successful installation.
Correct Camera Placement
The first step to ensuring a successful security camera installation is to evaluate the site. A site security survey will determine the best placement for the cameras and the most suitable type of camera for the desired area. This evaluation should also consider lighting, angles, and measures that protect the camera from potential obstructions or dangers.
Incorrect camera placement can be a significant issue when installing CCTV systems. A camera that is not in the correct position will capture the wrong field of view and may also create blurry images because of light flares or inadequate lighting.
Adequate lighting is critical to a successful security camera installation.
With too little lighting, the cameras cannot capture images of sufficient quality for surveillance.In addition, shadows caused by inadequate lighting can be misinterpreted by the system as movement, resulting in a false alarm.
On the other hand, night vision-enabled cameras are so sensitive to light that an outdoor light can create light flares, which can render the captured images useless.
Sufficient Wiring and Cables
Sufficient wiring is also essential for a successful security camera installation. This requires installers to ensure that all wiring is connected correctly and securely and that both the wires and the connectors are the correct type for the system.
Having incorrect wiring during installation can cause system malfunctions and image distortion. If the wiring is not correctly connected, the system may not transmit the signal properly, or the image quality may suffer due to signal interference.
Incorrect wiring can also lead to power surges and other technical issues, damaging equipment and creating false alarms.
If you are monitoring outdoor areas, use wire and cable that are designed for outdoor use, including being insulated, as these are more resistant to the elements.
Once the system is functioning, regularly check the cables to ensure there is no damage from weather or animals that will prevent signal interference.
Related: Using Security Video as Legal Evidence: What You Need to Know
Incorrect wiring and insufficient electrical power can be significant issues that prevent successful security camera installation, as both can lead to system malfunctions and image distortion.
If the power supply is not powerful enough, the system may not be able to handle the power requirements, leading to system instability and potential damage to the hardware. Insufficient power can also cause the image quality to suffer because the system may not have the power to process the signal from the cameras adequately. Finally, insufficient power can lead to false alarms, as the system may not be able to detect movement or other events accurately.
To ensure you have sufficient electrical power for your CCTV system, begin by calculating the power requirements for the system, component by component. Once you know the requirements for the individual pieces, adding them up will determine the total power needed for the system, enabling you to select the suitable power supply.
Prevent Interference From Other Technology
Sometimes homeowners sabotage their own efforts for a successful security camera installation with tools they use everyday. Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth speakers, cordless phones, and other wireless devices can interfere with the camera signal, causing significant problems that need to be resolved for the system to function correctly.
Interference can cause the signal to become distorted, resulting in poor image quality and unreliable detection of movement or other events, or even causing the system to generate false alarms due to misinterpretation of the signal.
To guarantee a successful security camera installation, every component—including cameras, cables, power supplies, and servers—must be compatible.
For example, if a camera is not compatible with the power supply, the system will not be able to provide the camera with the necessary power, and the camera will not work.
One easy way to prevent these issues when installing CCTV is to purchase the equipment from your professional CCTV installer. The equipment will be tested for compatibility before installation, preventing problems from cropping up unexpectedly.
DVR Storage Capacity
CCTV systems generate large amounts of data, and to access and analyze that data, your system needs to connect to a DVR or other recording device with adequate storage. If the storage capacity is inadequate, the system cannot store the data and cannot function as expected.
Additionally, inadequate storage capacity can lead to data loss, as new footage will overwrite older footage to make space for the new data.
For a successful security camera installation, we recommend spending slightly more on a storage system that will exceed your current needs.
Successful Security Camera Installation is Possible With System Links
At System Links, we have the knowledge and experience to avoid common issues when installing CCTV systems for our Southern Colorado clients. If you are interested in purchasing and installing a CCTV or access control system installation, System Links has the services you need to get the job done right the first time. Contact us today for your free on-site consultation and quote.
by Liz M. | Jan 16, 2023 | Blog
Access control and cybersecurity systems are the two halves of the whole security policy that your Southern Colorado business needs to stay viable in a world with ever-evolving technology.
But that may seem easier said than done. Southern Colorado businesses have to take a multi-faceted approach to protect their data, and that includes installing access control systems to protect their physical assets and systems, and cybersecurity systems to protect proprietary data, client information, and compliance with regulations.
Yes, this may seem overwhelming, but combining these two systems into one robust security policy is easy with the right help.
Access Control and Cybersecurity Go Together Like Peas and Carrots
Does comparing access control and cybersecurity to peas and carrots seem like a strange analogy? Peas and carrots each offer distinct benefits to our physical health, and their tastes complement each other perfectly. Likewise, access control and cybersecurity may bring different benefits to Colorado businesses. But when combined into one security policy, you have the perfect combination of physical and digital security.
What does each system bring to the table on their own, and how can they work together to ensure the health of your business? Keep reading to find out.
Providing secure access to your business is what both access control systems and cybersecurity do – but while one (access control) can protect both physical assets and manage data accessibility, the other (cybersecurity) deals primarily with protecting your systems against data breaches and digital attacks.
You see access control systems every day, perhaps without even realizing it. From retail stores to office buildings to schools and everything in between, access control systems are the leading way for businesses to protect their employees and physical assets.
These systems identify and authenticate individuals who try to access a specific resource, determine whether they have the appropriate permissions to access that resource, and grant or deny them access accordingly.
By implementing an access control system, businesses have a greater level of security and control over who can access certain areas of their premises, such as data centers, laboratories, and storage units, to certain employees.
Additionally, access control systems allow Southern Colorado businesses to monitor and track the movements of employees and visitors to ensure everyone follows established security protocols.
Access control systems also provide businesses with an audit trail to track who accessed a particular area and when. Businesses can use this feature to identify potential security threats and maintain high levels of security throughout the business.
Related: How Much Will an Access Control System Cost in 2023?
You may think cybersecurity is a buzzword that only recently became part of our collective vernacular. But the truth is that, even though the need for a robust cybersecurity policy is more critical to businesses than ever before, the need to protect electronic data has been around since the very beginning of computer science.
What is cybersecurity? Put simply, cybersecurity is the practice of protecting networks, systems, and programs from digital attacks. These strategies, techniques, and tools aim to secure a computer system, network, or program from malicious activities and other security threats.
Cybersecurity requires a comprehensive approach that includes multiple layers of security – including antivirus software, firewalls, encryption, and user authentication and authorization.
As the world becomes ever more digital, the need for even small Colorado businesses to strengthen their cybersecurity policies is growing exponentially.
How The Two Systems Work Together To Protect Your Business
Separately, both access control systems and cybersecurity policies protect valuable resources from unauthorized access and prevent malicious attacks. And now that we know the differences between the two systems, the next question is they complement each other to provide a comprehensive security policy for Southern Colorado businesses.
Access control allows an organization to define which users have access to which resources and cybersecurity policies provide the framework for how those resources should be used and protected.
When businesses use these two solutions together, they ensure that access to sensitive information and resources are limited to only authorized personnel, while keeping malicious attacks from taking advantage of vulnerable systems.
Together, access control systems and cybersecurity policies provide organizations with the ability to monitor and protect their data and systems, create a secure environment for their users, and ensure the safety of their assets.
SystemLinks Colorado: Access Control Solutions You Can Trust
As you see, merging access control and cybersecurity systems into one cohesive security policy is essential for keeping Southern Colorado businesses secure and operating efficiently.
System Links is the Southern Colorado access control installer you can trust. Not only do we have a phenomenal reputation for taking care of our clients, we also have the knowledge and expertise to integrate access control systems with cybersecurity – ensuring your valuable business assets stay protected.
Contact us today to schedule your free on-site consultation and quote.
by Liz M. | Jan 2, 2023 | Blog
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at SystemLinks is whether security cameras are superior to doorbell camera systems. We can emphatically answer yes! However, you may think we are understandably biased, being a CCTV security camera and access control sales and installation company. So, this month we are sharing seven ways home security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras for keeping your home and family safe.
Customizable Field of View
One of the biggest reasons security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras is the ability to change the camera’s field of view to capture more of what is going on around your property. Whereas doorbell cameras such as Ring have a fixed viewing range, security cameras are customizable to capture what you need where you need it.
Do you really need to capture video and receive notifications whenever your neighbor passes your home while walking their dog? Or are you concerned, as most homeowners are, with activities that actually occur on your property?
Home security cameras typically come with higher resolution than video doorbells. The most common resolution for home security cameras in the market includes 2MP (1080p), 4MP (1440p), 5MP (1920p) and 8MP (4K/2160p).
Doorbell cameras currently max out at 1080p resolution, with some as low as 480p. A higher resolution generally means a sharper image. Home security cameras can capture more detailed footage, making it easier to identify people, objects and events.
Night Vision Capabilities
Most criminals prefer to act under cover of darkness. While doorbell cameras may have night vision, the capabilities are minimal compared to home security cameras.
For instance, most home security cameras have infrared sensors that allow them to see even in total darkness. The night vision range of home security cameras can be anywhere from 10 to 100 feet, depending on the model. Most doorbell cameras provide night vision up to 30 feet.
Additionally, home security cameras usually come with adjustable night vision settings, allowing you to customize the camera’s performance, avoid light flares, and provide better security for you and your family.
Adaptive AI Detection
Motion detection is another area where security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras.
Imagine being in an important work meeting with your phone alerting you whenever a cat crosses your lawn. The word “distracting” does not even begin to describe interruptions.
However, modern security cameras are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that recognizes and learns to ignore the non-threatening movement. This is especially helpful on residential streets with heavy traffic, outdoor pets like cats or other everyday neighborhood activities.
Home security cameras can provide you with the comfort of viewing your entire property from an app on your smartphone, but with greater customization options and notifications.
Security Cameras Can Provide Quality Plus Quantity
Like most things in life, when choosing between home security cameras installed by a professional and doorbell cameras installed by the average DIYer, you get what you pay for.
Security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras because of the quality of the equipment, available features, and the ease with which you can add additional cameras to your existing security plan.
Home Security Cameras Are Less Susceptible to Tampering
Another way home security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras is that they are less susceptible to tampering because of the equipment’s options for placement, hard-wiring, and durability.
Related: Best Ways to Protect Your Home Security Camera from Hackers
On the other hand, doorbell cameras are relatively easy to tamper with because they are easy to access. Intruders can tamper with doorbell cameras by physically removing them or disconnecting the power source. They can also disable the camera by blocking its view or accessing its settings.
Additionally, criminals can hack your camera using your WiFi, tricking you into letting in a stranger by showing you a video of someone you know.
Ownership of Equipment and Videos
The final reason why security cameras are superior to doorbell cameras is ownership. With security cameras, you own the cameras, the DVR, and most importantly, the videos.
Most doorbell camera companies require a monthly or yearly subscription to record and keep video footage for later viewing. Even then, there is a time limit on how long you have to access the videos (typically around 60 days). You are out of luck if you need that data after those 60 days.
Conversely, by installing a CCTV system that sends video footage to your own DVR, you can choose how much or how little video data you want to keep and exactly how long you want to keep it. If you want to keep the recording of your spouse slipping on the ice to show at family gatherings 15 years from now, you can. The only limitation to how much video footage you can keep is the size of the expandable hard drive on your DVR.
You Might Like: Using Security Video as Legal Evidence: What You Need to Know
With System Links, Home Security Cameras Are More Affordable Than You Think
One of the main reasons many Southern Colorado homeowners choose doorbell cameras with DIY installation is that they think professionally-installed home security cameras are out of their budget.
At System Links, however, we believe that every homeowner, every Southern Colorado family, deserves to feel safe and secure in their home. We have camera packages that include installation at reasonable prices. And every installation we do comes with three years of free basic service calls, a warranty unprecedented in the security camera and access control industry.
Call today to schedule your free, in-home security consultation and quote. We look forward to working with you toward a more secure future!
by Liz M. | Dec 19, 2022 | Blog
When we answer the phone at SystemLinks, we often hear the question, “how much will an access control system cost me?” Many variables are involved with installing access control systems – the system itself and the number of doors or access points, for starters – but that doesn’t mean your budget and options are unattainable.
The following is a summary of the average costs per door for some of the most popular types of access control systems:
Traditional, Physical Keys and Locks
Traditional lock and key solutions may be the most affordable solution for access control, but more and more Southern Colorado businesses are exploring other options. Why?
When an employee leaves the company, physical keys are often lost or forgotten, resulting in a substantial cost for rekeying locks and replacing keys. In such a situation, it is critical to maintain a secure environment and replace door locks or rekey locks.
For an experienced locksmith, cutting a new key should take less than two minutes, and replacement keys will vary in price from $2 for a simple key to $70 for a coded one. If you rekey your doors, you will spend between $500 and $2400 on them.
Changing the lock is more time-consuming and costly, and you will still need new keys. Furthermore, you’ll have to pay even more if you need an emergency or after-hours service.
Keypad Access Control
On average, access control system costs for keypads range from $500 to over $1,500 per door. Keypad entry systems install quickly, but the wiring in your building will ultimately determine how long it takes. In most cases, the installation of hardware on the exterior of the building is required.
One drawback to keypad-enabled access control is that hacking the keypad is relatively easy for an experienced intruder. In fact, even a novice can hack a keypad by watching videos on YouTube.
Additionally, while changing the code on a keypad is relatively easy, the system administrator must be physically present. Another hidden cost with keypads is that when you change the code, everyone accessing the building must remember it, which often results in lockouts and support calls.
Key Card and Key Fob Access Control System Cost
Access control system cost for key cards and key fob entry ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per door. In addition to the hard costs of readers, panels, wiring networks, and training, $3 to $10 is added per card or $5 to $50 per key fob.
Key cards and fobs generally require more installation time than keypad entry systems but are quicker to install than biometric systems. You must install some hardware outside the building for this entry system to work. Because getting a card or key fob to the user requires an on-site presence (or mailing them out), adding and removing users will require physical contact with the user.
If a network is available on-site, remote management is available for many entry systems. However, to manage the system, many installers charge a service fee from $10 to $100 per door per month. And to have the latest features, you will need to upgrade your software annually.
When a key card or key fob is lost, the property manager must remove the lost fob and manually add a new one to the system. The time it takes the property manager to administer the system is an estimated 15 minutes per tenant per year. Managing a system with 500 employees or residents every year would cost an additional $2,500.
Intercom (Buzzer) Access Control Systems
There are various price points when it comes to intercom systems for access control. A basic buzzer system is typically $750 per door, and integrated video storage and access control system costs can reach up to $10,000 per door.
The installation will take at least 4 hours per intercom, depending on how complex the wiring is in your building, and an administrator must actively manage the system. Adding or deleting a new user can take as much as 15 minutes, and the more sophisticated systems might come with hefty monthly support fees.
Biometric Access Control Systems
Rather than using physical key cards, key fobs, keypads, or traditional locks and keys for access control, many businesses invest in biometric systems that authenticate users by scanning their fingerprints, handprints, hand geometry, iris patterns, and facial features.
Because of the increased security available, biometric access control systems cost one of the most expensive out there, at $2,500 to $10,000 per door. In addition to your electronic locking hardware, you must install a biometric scanner, a network connection, and computer hardware and software, all of which increase the access control system cost.
Installation of biometric hardware should take about 1 to 2 hours per door, but setting up the software and connecting it to the network may take several hours. As with most other technologies, hardware will need to be installed on the exterior of the building.
While biometric access control is one of the most secure systems available, they have drawbacks. The systems are vulnerable to false positives (allowing someone in who should not be) or false negatives (keeping someone out who should be allowed in).
Smartphone-Enabled Access Control
One of the most cost-efficient access control systems, and one that we are excited about at System Links Colorado, is smartphone-enabled access control.
The cost of installing smartphone access control systems depends on the manufacturer and the type of access. An existing electronic door lock can be wired to a smartphone reader or a commercial smart lock.
If your smartphone reader uses NFC, outdoor installation may be necessary. If it uses WiFi, ZigBee, or Z Wave, you will require the support of a large-scale network. The cost for these types of smartphone-enabled access control ranges from around $500 per door to over $10,000,
However, emerging technology from manufacturers like VIZPin, which uses Bluetooth, allows Southern Colorado businesses to avoid a significant financial outlay and retain high levels of control of their building access and assets.
VIZpin’s Bluetooth access door controller with an integrated Bluetooth reader can be installed in seconds and does not require any hardware installation outside the structure. The prices start at $299 per door.
That is an access control system cost most businesses can live with!
The Best Way to Know How Much Installing An Access Control System Costs is to Request a Free Quote
In this article, we have provided rough estimates of per-door costs for access control systems. However, the best way to find out your cost and ensure you select the proper access control system installation for your Southern Colorado business is to request a free quote from System Links.
We will start by scheduling a free, on-site security assessment, where we learn about your business, your assets, and your security needs. Then, we will prepare a custom quote with the best options. We stand by our quotes, so you never need to worry about hidden costs or fees.
Get started today by speaking with one of our security and service advisors.
by Liz M. | Dec 5, 2022 | Blog
Another holiday season is upon us, and whether you are staying home or traveling, you are likely interested in holiday home security tips to keep you and your loved ones thoroughly enjoying the festivities.
As your safe haven, home security is likely a concern year-round. But alongside the pleasant traditions that accompany the holiday season, home burglaries also increase during the holidays. Taking simple precautions can significantly enhance your home’s safety and security during the holidays and throughout the year.
The idea that keeping your lights on can deter burglaries should be no surprise. Thieves are less likely to break into well-lit homes. Start by replacing bulbs in your outdoor lamps and make sure sensors on solar lights are not obstructed during the day so they can have a strong glow throughout the night. If your yard is very dark, consider installing motion-sensor lighting to deter criminals from approaching your home.
Indoors, install timers on lamps and TVs, or consider converting your home into a smart home, where your smartphone controls the lighting.
Lock Your Doors and Windows
Locking doors and windows is an obvious security measure for all homeowners. We include this reminder for holiday home security because the holidays increase activities and visits from friends and family. Remembering to lock your doors and windows after deliveries or coming into the home with your hands full can be a challenge. Prioritize this simple step, and your holiday home security will increase exponentially.
Another of our holiday home security tips is to avoid hiding a spare house key under a rock, window ledge, or flower pot near the door. If you are afraid of locking yourself out of your home or want to leave a key for a visiting family member, a better idea is to leave the key with a trusted neighbor, or if that’s not possible, move it to a location away from the door. Better yet, upgrade your door handle and lock to a smart lock. These modern innovations make keys obsolete and can make your home more secure.
Enlist the Help of Your Neighbors
Home burglaries affect more than just the individual homeowner. Everyone in the neighborhood has a vested interest in keeping crime away from their homes. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, and develop an acquaintance that can benefit you both by keeping an eye on each other’s property. If you are traveling this season, see if they are willing to keep your house looking ‘lived in’ by getting the mail, parking in your driveway occasionally, or clearing the snow off your walkway.
Be Careful With Your Garbage
You may not have thought about this holiday home security tip, but your trash could invite thieves to break into your home. Think about it. If you are a criminal looking for a good target, are you more likely to hit the home where you cannot see what they got for Christmas or the home that places boxes from Apple, Samsung, or other high-ticket items on the curb next to their garbage can?
The best idea is to break down your boxes, put them in opaque trash bags, and then place the bags inside the garbage can.
Take a Tip From Santa
Old St. Nick may have it right by dropping off gifts on Christmas Eve. A Christmas tree positioned in front of a window is a beautiful sight. However, placing your tree where a trespasser can easily see beautifully wrapped presents may provide all the temptation needed to mark your house as an easy target. Move your tree to a less visible spot and delay putting presents out until Christmas Eve, just as Santa does.
One of the most significant issues for holiday home security is package delivery. The convenience and economic benefits of online shopping are indisputable. Unfortunately, you are not the only one who has noticed. So-called porch pirates relish in the knowledge that in any given neighborhood, half of the homeowners use online shopping to complete their holiday to-do lists. So what can be done to lessen the odds of your home being the target of porch pirates?
Being home to accept all deliveries is generally not an option for most busy homeowners in Colorado Springs. Consider changing your delivery locations to your office, Amazon Hubs, or a trusted friend or neighbor who is home and can hold onto your packages until you can retrieve them. If these not are viable options, just being aware of your projected deliveries and collecting them from your doorstep as soon as possible can keep you from falling victim to criminals looking for an easy score.
Save Your Social Media Posts
A holiday home security tip that many need to remember is to refrain from publishing your travel plans and pictures on social media until after you return home. The excitement of seeing new places or reconnecting with friends and family is undeniable, and you should take all the pictures your phone or SD card can hold! But immediately posting these memories on social media can alert criminals that you are gone and your home is ripe for plundering.
Instead, stay in the moment and keep your posts to a minimum.
Increase Holiday Home Security with Surveillance Cameras
Time and time again, statistics have shown that installing security cameras is one of the most effective ways to prevent theft and vandalism. Criminals are less likely to target your home or business if they know there is a possibility of El Paso County prosecutors using security video as legal evidence to seek their conviction. The possible score is not worth the risk.
Are You Ready to Amp Up Your Holiday Home Security?
If ensuring holiday home security is on the top of your to-do list, there is good reason to contact a fully licensed and insured professional home security camera installer rather than going the DIY route.
Professional installers know where to install home security cameras and can ensure they are correctly calibrated to capture vulnerable areas where criminals can sneak in. Too often, DIYers find out too late that the camera meant to capture activity at their doorstep points to the sky or that the recordings are out of focus.
System Links has the experience, cameras, and know-how you need to secure your home year-round. Contact us today to schedule your free security assessment and receive your free security camera installation quote.
by Liz M. | Nov 21, 2022 | Blog
As industry leaders in access control and asset security, System Links is always on the lookout for cutting-edge technologies, and one of the trends we have been watching is the emergence of smartphone-enabled access control systems. But what exactly is smartphone-enabled access control, how does it differ from token-based systems, and why is this technology the future of access control?
What is Smartphone-Enabled Access Control?
By smartphone-enabled access control, we mean allowing access to a secure location based on the connection of a smartphone (and not a physical token or a biometric device). Typically, you grant this access the same way your phone connects to your car, Alexa, or other smartphone-enabled devices – via Bluetooth.
Smartphone As An Alternative To Token-Based Access Control
Smartphone-enabled access control is an alternative to the more traditional token-based access control systems where employees need to use physical proximity cards or fobs to enter secure areas such as the workplace or office buildings. Smartphone-enabled access control systems authenticate users through an app or software installed on the smartphone.
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Why Using Smartphones Is The Next Step For Access Control
Allowing entry with a smartphone, the most widely used device in the world, is the next logical step for the security of a building, room, or system. Why? For four main reasons:
Smartphones Eliminate the Need for Tokens
One of the biggest challenges to Colorado businesses that utilize traditional access control systems is their employees. Even the best employees can share, lose, or be victims of theft. And worse yet, employees are often not anxious to reveal their indiscretions to their employers, leaving the security of the building and the business at risk.
Some businesses have gone another route for access control and utilize keypads for entry. However, this system is fraught with issues as well. First, forgetful employees may need to write down the code, and the note can be easily lost. Second, sharing codes between employees and visitors is even easier than sharing a keycard.
Switching to smartphone-enabled systems eliminates the above potential security risks. Very few individuals share their phones with others, and most individuals carry their phones with them at all times.
Easy Integration with Current Access Control Systems
One of the things that we love about smartphone-enabled access control is how easily these systems are to integrate into a business. Companies with access control via traditional tokens can smoothly integrate smartphone technology into their existing systems. This can be a valuable consideration for companies desiring to transition into a modern access control system gradually.
Convenience of Software Upgrades vs. Hardware Upgrades
Any Southern Colorado business owner with experience in traditional access control systems knows that the initial cost of installation and maintenance of the included hardware can be inconvenient and costly.
On the other hand, smartphone-enabled access control has comparatively low installation costs, and most maintenance is as easy as updating software or an app on your phone.
Granting and Revoking Credentials With the Swipe of Your Finger
A considerable advantage of smartphone-enabled access control is the ease with which administrators can grant and revoke user access. With a simple swipe of the finger, a new employee can access all business areas relevant to their position. Conversely, employees who are no longer part of the company can have their permissions quickly revoked by the same simple swipe of the administrator.
Additionally, business owners and managers can permit access during specific times and receive alerts when employees attempt entry at unauthorized times. Again, all of this is done efficiently through your smartphone.
Smartphone-Enabled Access Control is the Future of Security
As with many other sectors, the security camera and access control industry is shifting into new territories. Modern access control has come a long way since the days of tokens and keypads. We have moved from being a hardware-centric industry to a software-driven industry. This shift paves the way for innovations and growth opportunities.
Smartphone-enabled access control systems are one emerging trend that System Links is proud to promote in Southern Colorado. This exciting technology is not only cutting-edge but also provides a cost-effective solution for local businesses seeking to protect their assets through asset control.
If you want to learn more about smartphone-based security for your home or business, please contact us to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to being your guide to the future of security!
Speak with one of our security camera and access control specialists today!