You have your store all laid out, but something is missing. Owning a store is a large responsibility. If you do not have the proper security measures in place, the weight of this responsibility can lead to sleepless nights wondering about the safety of your store. In today’s business climate it is imperative to have a security system in place to guard your pride and joy when you aren’t around. Owning your own business is a 7 day a week lifestyle, but you have to sleep! Security for your business can be a daunting task. You have to make the right decision up front to save additional costs and hassles in the future. This article will help you make the right decisions regarding security measures to safe-guard your store from the dreaded break-in.

What level of security will help you sleep soundly at night? The minimum security measure is a door that locks, but you need more to keep your asset safe. The basic package every business needs is an alarm with 24/7 monitoring. Typically these systems are installed for free with minimal detection zones. For example, a basic system should be installed for free with a door sensor and a motion sensor. The larger the store the more sensors are required. A typical security installation for a 2,000 sq. ft. store should be under $420. Alarm systems are straightforward and easy to understand. However, there are two necessary items that come off like an add-on from a slick salesman. Cell backup and a battery are a must for any security system. These features will keep your alarm in protection mode even when the phone lines go down or the power goes out. No alarm system is complete without monitoring. The monitoring service is the active human connection to your alarm system.

Typically the alarm company will sell and install the alarm at a discount to get your business into a contract with their monitoring service. It makes sense that these two items go hand in hand. The police can’t be called if the alarm doesn’t go off, and the alarm simply screams into the black of night without the monitoring service attached. The most important factor by which to measure a monitoring company is their response time. A solid monitoring company should respond to an alarm event in under 1 minute. Every monitoring company should be able to provide their average response times. Monitoring services are typically under $50 per month with a 3 year contract. Installing an alarm system with monitoring services gives you a solid layer of security. Adding security cameras gives you more control and teeth to your security system.

There are many security companies that offer camera systems with their alarm installation. Typically the alarm system and the camera system are two separate systems working independently, and they should be purchased separately. Passively, a camera system is a great visible deterrent to would-be thieves. Actively, the system is your visual connection to the alarm event, and it is a tool in apprehension of the criminals. The successful prosecution of burglars almost always involves security camera footage. There is one major decision regarding a camera system for your business: Do you go with a stand-alone DVR unit or a custom PC based system? This decision is dependent on your computer expertise and your situation. A stand-alone DVR system is straightforward, it comes with an instruction manual, and professional installation is easy to find. A PC based system is more customizable for multiple store locations and expansion. However, the PC based system comes with a higher price tag and requires maintenance expertise to manage the system over time. The necessary component of any security camera system is remote viewing. Remote viewing capabilities can save you heartache and resources in the event of a false alarm, real time footage during an alarm event to coordinate with authorities, and it can multi-task as a general business aid during hours of operation.

Planning your security system to protect your storefront is a necessary business practice in the world today. When done right, your security system will provide you with a blanket of protection, and the teeth to pursue assailants. A good night sleep is priceless. SVBS

Jay Fratt Headshot Photo

Jay Fratt is the owner and founder of Smokin Js retail stores, established in 1997.  He has had numerous experiences with break-ins throughout his 18 years in the retail business.  Five suspects in last three robberies attempted at Smokin Js retail stores have been apprehended and prosecuted.  Store security is an unfortunate expertise of the retail veteran.  Currently Smokin Js has four locations in Washington State, one in Michigan, and an online retail store at