Commercial security systems typically are those systems that are designed to protect a commercial interest, such as a factory, warehouse, store or office. The term could also refer to any security system sold commercially, but this is generally not the case. Components of these systems often include detection, surveillance, and communication tools. These systems may be monitored by an outside agency, patched directly into a police department's communications center, or be unmonitored, and simply meant to record information or scare off individuals.
One of the hallmarks of all commercial security systems are the detection components. Detectors can include motion sensing devices and even sound detectors. Some detectors are even designed to distinguish the sound of glass breaking from other normal sounds. Infrared detectors scan for unusual heat signatures, which may represent an intruder. To avoid false alarms, most can be set to varying levels of sensitivity, depending on the amount expected ambient activity in the area.
Surveillance may or may not be included in commercial security systems, depending on the needs of the business. Most of the time, this surveillance takes the form of security cameras that are set up to monitor both indoor and outdoor areas. Such cameras may go to a closed circuit television display that is monitored constantly, or may simply be recorded to a tape or computer hard drive. If an issue is later discovered, the recording is then pulled up and reviewed at that time. Otherwise, it is usually archived and then deleted after a specified period of time has passed.
Communication components may be localized, or used to send a signal to others not in the immediate vicinity. An example of a localized communication component is an audible alarm, which is standard with most commercial security systems. Silent alarms may be used to alert authorities or a monitoring center that suspicious activity has been detected. This is done by connecting the system to a phone line or Internet connection.
Though they are often sold under a brand name, commercial security systems may not receive as much mass market advertising as residential systems. These systems are often a little harder to package in mass units, when compared to residential systems because of the varying complexity of the locations where they are installed. Therefore, marketing tends to focus on individual businesses, rather than the market as a whole.
A sales representative or security consultant usually meets with a businesses interested in commercial security systems to come up with a customized plan. This plan will include identifying areas of concern or vulnerability, and devising a security strategy accordingly. The total price of a commercial security system is largely based upon the amount of hardware needed, and the monitoring services included.