5 Benefits of a UL-Listed Central Command Center
Choosing a monitoring solution that is UL-Listed is crucial to the performance of your surveillance system.
Not all security systems with video surveillance are UL certified, and technically speaking, they don’t have to be in order to provide adequate service for the typical situation. However, security for most businesses and homeowners is not a matter to be taken lightly. To simply be “typically adequate” is not enough security to provide you the comfort and peace of mind a good system should allow for.
Video surveillance specifically, or more generally the building alarm and security system, can reach a proven industry fail safe standard by being listed as compliant with UL certification requirements. These standards refer not only to the quality of equipment used, but also a redundant backup system to continue to provide service should there be a lapse or even complete failure in the primary method. There are several points of potential failure within a security system, the UL certification proves the service provider has acknowledged and addressed these issues to maintain your peace of mind in knowing you won’t have a service lapse.
Back Up Power Source
The video surveillance in your building may have a simple battery that charges during normal grid operation to keep your system up and running during a temporary power outage. This is sufficient in most cases. Depending on the nature of your business, the services you provide and the material goods stored in your building, you may also need solar panels or a generator to provide more than what is provided by just the stored battery power. If you’re in an area that is at risk for natural disasters that can take the power grid down for more than a few days or if your business is of the type that has to maintain operations during a power outage the generator becomes more important.
The central command center that monitors your video surveillance is exactly the type of business that needs to stay up and running when the power is down. The central command station needs a backup generator in order to maintain constant security without lapses. To have lapses defeats the purpose of the video surveillance aspect of security it is unacceptable in a command center and one of the primary requirements of a UL certified security provider.
Multiple Phone Service Providers
As clear as the importance of backup power is, often overlooked is the need for a redundant phone system as well. Even if every other aspect of the security and video surveillance system is state of the art, it’s useless if the phones go down and there is no way to report a potential problem.
Previously it could be difficult to gain permission to use different phone carriers in the same building. Modern technology makes the process much easier. With cell phone, satellite and internet phone services available there are a variety of options for setting up redundancy in communications. Moreover, phone companies are more willing to negotiate for customers and work together to provide multiple access phone service. As rare as it is for phone service to go down, a central command center can’t afford to lose communications ability even briefly during a repair or upgrade to its primary system.
The Importance of Building Design Above Code
Of course the building is up to standard building code which is a bit more stringent with a commercial building than residential expectations. A UL certified central command center building should exceed those requirements, again, because of the importance of its purpose and necessity of remaining functional.
- Fire safety is the first issue to address. A more elaborate sprinkler system along with special attention paid to fire resistant building materials can help to prevent a fire, or at least limit the damage in the unfortunate event of a fire.
- Heightened structural integrity is especially important so as to prevent major maintenance issues that could potentially require down time.
- Plan for company growth. The central command center should have the room for more offices and employees as the security company takes on more clients and incorporates more video surveillance responsibilities.
- The building should be designed to accommodate future advancements in technology so operations don’t have to shut down for major renovations.
Just like any other business, a security company’s employees are a valuable aspect to daily operations and their efficiency. The staff has to hold a certain level of responsibility ascertained through an extensive interview process and background check. The check goes beyond the typical criminal records review that would disqualify a potential employee. It also searches for anything in the applicant’s past that could indicate a security risk.
- Having been charged with multiple crimes but not convicted could show that the candidate has a history of being around criminals although they didn’t actually get caught in the commission of a crime.
- Financial problems displayed by poor credit or high debt levels could be a precursor to a willingness to commit crime.
- An affiliation with friends or family that are known criminals may not preclude employment, but is certainly a red flag in a potential candidate.
On Site Security
The security company needs to be secured itself in order to maintain the security of its clients. There are ways to make their own building inherently more secure than the typical business office.
- It starts with a method that does not rely on technology but instead uses the time honored method of watchfulness. With only one entrance, a designated security guard records everyone who enters the building with an ID check.
- Although the company can monitor their own video surveillance, an outside resource should also monitor it. It can be conducted by another facility owned by the same company or it can be outsourced to a different security company.
- The computer system is a vulnerable point for hacking and should have a specialist to run the protection software and assure that employees use passwords that can’t be guessed.
The job of a security company is to take on an immense responsibility for the safety of others. There is a process made up of many components to achieve this task, and like a chain, it’s only as strong as its weakest link. The UL certification demonstrates that the company has conformed to the latest industry standards and can perform the job reliably and efficiently. With the knowledge that your security company meets UL certification requirements you can rest easy knowing your building is safe and secure whether you’re there at the time or not.