3 Types of Business Security Systems to Help Deter Criminals

Why is it important that your business is protected by a security system?  Having a business security system is not just a good idea, it’s essential. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2019 there were over 1.1 million burglaries in the United States and burglary victims suffered an estimated $3 billion in property losses. Do you want to take that chance? A business security system will give you peace of mind that your business is protected. 

What is a Business Security System?  

A business security system is a collection of hardware and software such as motion sensors, cameras, door and window sensors, glass breakage detectors and temperature control sensors that can monitor your business and notify you and emergency services when your alarm is triggered. Typically, these systems monitor your property 24 hours a day. 

Types of Business Security Systems

There are three types of business security systems – a local security system, a wired (central) system, and a wireless system. Each system has pros and cons.  Let’s look at the various types.

1. Alarm System

Let’s start with the most basic type of security system, a local alarm system. This type of system is not monitored by a security company but typically includes door and window sensors and motion sensors. When a sensor is tripped, a loud siren is set off inside and outside the building in an attempt to frighten the intruder. A local alarm system is generally the most inexpensive and easiest system to install. Installation can be done by the business owner. Also, this type of system does not require a subscription or any ongoing fees to a security company. 

Downsides to this type of business security system are that it’s not that effective when the business is unoccupied. Also, an experienced thief can disable this system easier than the other systems. If you’re on a budget, this can be a temporary option if you are saving for a wired or wireless business security system.

2. Wired System

Now let’s look at a wired (central alarm) system. These are generally one of the most popular types of systems and can include a control panel, wired sensors, motion sensors and a wired camera. You can also have loud sirens installed with this type of business security system. When the wired system is tripped, a security company that is monitoring your business is notified. The security monitoring company will then either notify the business owner and/or any emergency services.  

Some advantages of this business security system are that it runs on either a cell phone signal or traditional phone lines and comes with a battery backup in case of a power outage. Also, the security company will notify emergency services quickly. A few negatives with this type of system are the need for a service contract or monthly fee with a security company. If the system is accidentally triggered and emergency services show up, the business owner may be charged for a false alarm. If a business moves from one building to another, there is a lot of work to remove this type of system.

3. Wireless System

The third type of business security system is the wireless system. This type of system is very similar to the wired system. The biggest difference is that a wireless system has – you guessed it – no wires. You can also get a wireless camera system with this type of security system. A wireless system is easier to move and install than hard-wired systems.

On the negative side, wireless systems are vulnerable to being hacked as the signals can be blocked. Some more inexpensive systems do not encrypt the signals between the control panel and the sensors. Also, because it is wireless, you will need a lot of batteries.

Where to Find Business Security Systems & General Tips

The three types of business security systems all come in do-it-yourself packages and can be purchased at many local retail stores. Some are easier to install than others and saving money with self-installation may be tempting. However, it is recommended to contact a security system professional to discuss your business security system needs and the variety of systems that are available to you. Installation should be done by a qualified professional who will know where to place the many sensors in your building to eliminate any blind spots.

Business Video Surveillance & Security System Best Practices

As a business owner, you have valuable merchandise, money, equipment and information stored in your building. Installing a business security system on your premises can help keep it all safe. If you found this post helpful, consider reading, “5 Reasons Your Business Needs Video Surveillance.” Additional resources can be found in our Risk Control Library. If you’d like to discuss your business insurance options, please contact your local Society agent.   


Jay graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.S.E. degree in Occupational Safety in 1985. He began his career working in the risk control departments of various insurance companies. He joined the Society Risk Control Department in 1999.

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