Over the last couple weeks, many business owners have had to shutter their doors. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a shutdown of non-essential business around much of the country. Additionally, these current events have led to the halt of new business owners buying empty commercial properties and opening their new businesses. The combination of businesses closing and new businesses failing to open has led to more empty commercial property than usual. In this post, we share some tips to help business and property owners secure vacant business properties.

We will begin with a look at one of our most effective methods of monitoring an alarm system. Interactive cellular monitoring provides a tremendous amount of commercial security for empty buildings. From there, we will look at the value of installing surveillance to watch over your properties. We will also share some details about environmental sensors. These sensors prove especially useful in empty properties, as weather-related damage can ravage a building if gone undetected for long. Finally, we will take a look at how access control can add security in these unique times. Now, let’s begin by looking at how interactive cellular monitoring can help secure vacant business properties.

Use Interactive Cellular Monitoring to Your Advantage

Most business locations have an alarm system installed to secure against burglary. These systems can create both an audible siren response and a police dispatch after detecting a breach. Many of these systems communicate to the need for a police response the old-fashioned way, through landlines. In the past, traditional hardwired phone lines were needed to monitor a business for burglary. However, if you read our post on Unique Security Monitoring Options, you know that security monitoring has gotten much more advanced since the installation of many of these systems. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of interactive cellular monitoring. Let’s begin with a quick introduction to cellular monitoring in general before getting into some of the unique interactive features we offer.

Advantages to Cellular Monitoring Over Phone Line-Based Monitoring

When we create a cellular monitoring path for an alarm, we start by installing a cellular dialer. This dialer acts like a dedicated cell phone that allows the alarm to communicate with our central station. “So,” you may wonder, “How does this add security over landline monitoring?” We’re glad you asked! The cellular dialer uses a cell network to dial out, allowing the alarm to communicate even when the phone lines go down.

This becomes especially important when a customer needs to secure vacant business properties. Burglars get bolder when they feel confident that nobody will hear an alarm siren. In the case of an abandoned building, burglars will often cut the phone lines as a precaution against an alarm dialing out. This tactic does not affect security systems with cellular dialers installed! Similarly, if the phone lines go down due to a storm or other environmental factor, cellular dialers keep their alarm systems online and communicating efficiently with our central station. At this point, you have an idea of what cellular monitoring entails. Next, we’ll look at the unique security offered by interactive cellular monitoring.

The Unique Benefits of Interactive Cellular Monitoring

Interactive cellular dialers, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, provide even greater security than most. When we use the word “interactive,” we are referring to the ability these dialers provide to control an alarm and receive alerts remotely. Our customers who have this service can use any internet-connected device to arm and disarm their security systems. The Alarm.com mobile app puts smartphone-based alarm controls in the hands of these customers at all times. Additionally, Alarm.com users can create customizable notifications based on alarm activity. For example, many customers like to receive instant alerts if someone disarms their alarm system. Furthermore, alarm activations also create instant alerts that go to customers even before the central station starts making phone calls.

These security measures work wonders for owners of vacant business properties. What if an employee with sticky fingers comes back to the building during a shutdown? Interactive cellular monitoring can immediately alert the building owner that the security system has been disarmed. From there, the building owner can activate the alarm remotely to sound the sirens and create an immediate police response. Additionally, Alarm.com can alert users to events such as power outages and low alarm sensor batteries. This creates a unique connection between alarm users and their vacant business properties not available without interactive cellular monitoring. Next, let’s look at another popular addition to any plan designed to secure vacant business properties.

Install Cameras to Watch Over Your Property

A yellow sign with a black camera

Installing cameras can help both solve and deter crime in vacant business properties.

We always recommend that business owners install alarm systems with cellular monitoring. However, these systems only do so much to help solve or prevent crimes. When an alarm siren rings, burglars generally get off the property as soon as possible. More often than not, the police arrive well after any the guilty parties have left the premises. On one hand, this quick flight can prevent a burglar from wiping the business clean and creating a devastating situation for the business owner. On the other hand, businesses still incur some loss and damage even after a short break-in. At this point, finding the culprits and determining what happened can greatly help business owners get everything straightened out. This is where a commercial surveillance system comes in handy.

We often install cameras to monitor both the inside and outside of commercial properties. This can help the authorities identify criminals if a crime does occur on your property. Additionally, the mere presence of cameras can help prevent a crime from happening in the first place. Burglars scoping out empty properties and seeing cameras may well move on to another location. Combining the security provided by both surveillance systems and burglar alarms can go a long way in helping you secure vacant business properties. Now, let’s examine how installing environmental sensors can add a unique level of security.

Add Environmental Sensors to Create Weather-Related Alerts

We offer a variety of sensors to help customers track environmental conditions at their property. Sensors designed to detect freezing, flooding, and high or low temperatures keep owners of vacant buildings informed if an environmental condition threatens a property. We connect these sensors to the security system on site. This creates communication from your alarm to our central station if the sensors detect an issue. In turn, this leads to a phone call alerting you to any issues that these sensors detect.

Of course, quick detection of a flood, frozen pipes, or dangerous temperatures in your building could lead to addressing the issue in time to minimize damage rather than having to perform expensive and extensive repairs. Furthermore, adding these sensors often carries an unexpected bonus. Our post on Smart Security Tips to Save You Money pointed out that installing certain security products can trigger an insurance discount. In many cases, adding environmental sensors lowers insurance rates. The combination of additional security and lower insurance payments make adding these sensors a no-brainer for many customers. Last but not least, let’s examine access control and how it can help those looking to secure vacant business properties.

An employee using an AMAG access card to unlock a door

Access card readers, such as this one made by AMAG, help business owners control and track access to their properties.

Install Hardware to Control and Track Building Access

Many business owners install access control hardware as a way of controlling and tracking building access. These systems utilize electronic locking hardware to operate specific doors within a business. Rather than using a key at these doors, users approach a reader and present a credential. Occasionally, these credentials take biometric forms. We can install readers that use fingerprint, palm, or even eye scans as a credential. However, more often than not we provide cards or fobs as a credential to hold in front of a reader. Users who present an approved credential will then be able to open the door after the reader interacts with the door’s electronics to unlock it. Business owners can assign each card to open certain doors at specific times, giving them tremendous control over who can open which doors, and when.

As an added bonus, access control systems will create a notification if someone attempts to use their credential at the wrong doors, or at times they are not authorized to access the building. For owners of vacant business properties, this feature can prove especially useful. If employees attempt to make an “off-the-record” trip to the office while it’s empty, they will find that their credential does not unlock the door. At that point, you will know who made this attempt, and when. For more information on these systems, check out our post explaining The How, Where, When, and Why of Access Control. The security and peace of mind provided by these systems make them a great addition to any commercial security plan.

Creating a Complete Plan to Secure Vacant Business Properties

We hope that this post has given you some valuable tips to secure your commercial property. Whether your property is a temporarily closed business or a commercial building on the market, security should remain a top priority during these times. If you have any questions about the material in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will happily answer any questions you may have to help you secure your property. Additionally, we can visit your property and assess your security needs based on what we see. Together, we can help you create a plan to keep your business secure both during these unique times, and once business gets back to normal!