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What Building Security Systems are Protecting Your Business?

By Jackie Berens

What Building Security Systems are Protecting Your Business?

Santa’s coming down the chimney, and so is a burglar. Are you keeping an eye on your office while everybody’s out?

Most people know that crime escalates around the holiday season. Whether it be burglary, cyberattacks, or theft, it’s important that your business is prepared for everything. Understanding the importance of implementing proper security measures into your building is essential to the safety of your team. 

What security measures should you begin implementing today to protect your business later?

Start by training your employees on proper protocol.

Inform your employees of the best ways to protect your business and those who work within it. Security efforts throughout your company will not work if your employees are not on board. This training should cover physical security protocols. It should also cover what to do if someone dangerous is within the facility as well as cybersecurity protocols. 

Be sure your upper management has a large role in the implementation of security training and protocols. Upper management’s buy-in is essential. It helps ensure the rest of your staff understands the importance of the training. It also leads to greater follow-through with implementation.

Aside from employee education, implement proper access control systems.

Access control into your facility is one of the most straightforward ways to protect your business’ assets, inventory, and most importantly, your employees. An access control system that functions properly and is custom-tailored for your company is a powerful management tool. It helps to restrict access to certain rooms or track movement throughout your facility. 

At VFS, our security experts understand what it takes to implement proper security controls. We design access control systems that also integrate into your intrusion alarm systems.

Another aspect to consider implementing is intrusion alarm systems.

Intrusion alarm systems not only deter trespassers, but they also alert you and the authorities when someone unlawfully enters your building. Because every client has unique needs for their security measures, we design your security plan to meet your specific needs. VFS’ alarm systems integrate into your access control and video surveillance to ensure you are covered in the event of an emergency.

Implement video surveillance technology to protect your business.

Video monitoring within your facility can help identify internal and external threats, like theft, vandalism, and workplace violence. Video surveillance deters people from actually performing these threats, while also making it easier to identify those that do. 

We connect your video surveillance system to your IP network. This means historical footage and live video can be viewed from a computer anywhere you have internet access. These systems can also work in conjunction with your access control system to ensure your business remains safe and secure.

Implementing video surveillance technology into your business’ security plans can also lower insurance premiums. As the insurance companies see it, your risk goes down immensely with proper security systems in place.

Lastly, review your security systems and protocols regularly.

At VFS, we implement security measures for your specific business needs. In doing this we also analyze where your business might need more or less security. We track each client’s activity and reliability using an in-depth reporting system.

These analytics dictate our recommendations and information on which systems you use the most. It also helps to inform us where your business has the potential to improve.

Understanding where your business’ security needs work is essential to keeping your people and your business safe from harm. When you have the proper systems and processes in place, you’re ready to handle anything that may come your way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business remain safe and secure.

top 5 causes of commercial fires

By Jackie Berens

Top 5 Causes of Commercial Fires

We didn’t start the fire🎶

While Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire is an extremely catchy tune, it’s not something you want to hear as a building manager. It’s important to have all the fire protection systems in place to ensure your building’s safety. Fire prevention should be your main priority.

Having all the important precautions in place is important, but you also need to understand why fires start in commercial buildings. Here are the top 5 causes of commercial fires, so you can be prepared when you need it most. 

Cooking Fires

One of the most common causes of fires in commercial buildings are cooking fires. Any business that has a kitchen area is susceptible to cooking fires. Some of these fires begin by human error, while others stem from appliance malfunction. Your kitchen should be considered a high-risk zone and should be adequately protected with sprinkler systems, alarms, and fire extinguishers.

Here are a few of the leading commercial buildings affected by cooking fires:

  • 64% of fires in healthcare facilities are related to cooking.
  • 61% of fires in restaurants are related to cooking.
  • 38% of fires in educational institutions are related to cooking.
  • 29% of fires in office properties are related to cooking.
  • 13% of fires in stores and mercantile properties are related to cooking.

Heating equipment-related fires

During colder months, most commercial buildings require additional heat in order for workers to remain comfortable. The equipment required to keep your building warm is susceptible to overheating and starting fires. This equipment might include central heating units, fireplaces, water heaters, and other heating appliances. Heating equipment accounts for 14% of fires in industrial/manufacturing properties and 11% of fires in office buildings.

Electrical and lighting equipment

Any electricity within your building carries inherent fire risks. Electrical fires can occur with overloaded circuits, loose connections, faulty fuses, imbalanced electrical loads, and other electrical and lighting problems.

Most electrical fires stem from older buildings’ electrical wiring. However, it is important to stay proactive and have your new building inspected. You should also perform preventative maintenance annually. 

Intentional Fires

Intentional fires account for 10% of fires that occur in commercial buildings. These fires tend to cause the most damage and unfortunately, result in the most civilian injuries and deaths.

It is important to implement active fire safety measures and include fire safety in areas that may seem uncommon. These fires typically occur in bathrooms, trash bins, garages, or open areas like a lawn or field.

Human Error

Human error and unexpected fires account for about 10% of fires started in commercial buildings. Unplanned fires happen. They may stem from a variety of situations. For example, employees may leave a space heater on or plug too many things into an extension cord. 

While you can’t stop carelessness, you can implement proper employee training programs. These programs help educate your employees on how to prevent fires and put them out when they do occur. 

At VFS, we are dedicated to ensuring that your building and your employees remain safe from harm. We partner with our clients to develop the best fire protection solutions and safety training based on your business’ specific needs. Fortify your building, protect your employees and gain the peace of mind you deserve knowing that VFS is protecting your business.

be alarmed. be very alarmed

By Jackie Berens

Be Alarmed. Be Very Alarmed

Be alarmed, be very alarmed. Not about ghosts, witches, and warlocks. About your building’s alarm system! It’s time to invest in Fire Alarm systems that work effectively and keep your business safe from harm. Not only will it save your business, but it will also save you money. Here’s how.

Protect your people

One of the biggest reasons to invest in a commercial fire alarm system is to protect your team. Your people are your biggest asset and are the people who care most about your business. It is so important that they are protected with the best and most reliable fire alarm systems on the market. Just as important as the system itself, is the company you entrust to inspect and maintain them! Entrust VFS Fire & Security Services to support the integrity and reliability of your fire alarm systems and the safety of your people!

The cost of recovery

Recovering from a catastrophic fire can bring about a greater investment for your company than protecting your business in the first place. Even if one catastrophic fire can be prevented, the investment in a professionally installed fire alarm system is worth it. Not only do they help you prevent fires while you’re in the office, but they also prevent them when you are away. With proper design, early detection, and advanced technology you can avoid potential damage and loss of assets from an unforeseen fire. 

Have your alarm system installed professionally

A fire event can have devastating consequences for businesses and their employees. A professionally installed fire alarm system can help to prevent or lessen the severity of such events. Through proactive measures such as staying up-to-date on required inspections, professional maintenance,  and mass notification systems VFS can help protect your employees, your customers, and your property. 

Save on insurance

Insurance companies offer discounts for systems that guarantee their investment in your building. When you implement a top-of-the-line commercial fire alarm system, insurance companies feel safe insuring your business. As an insurance agency, if a fire alarm system saves your building during the night, when you’re on vacation, or if any other unforeseen circumstance occurs, they will feel much better about their investment. The average savings on insurance for installing a commercial fire system is around 20%! 

At VFS, safety is our top priority. We offer top-of-the-line fire alarm systems installed and maintained by licensed professionals to keep your business and people safe! Our team offers in-house design, inspection and testing, maintenance and repair, mass notification systems, safety training, monitoring, 24-hour emergency service, and preventative maintenance. Want to know more? Contact us!

"run like hell" is not a fire safety protocol

By Jackie Berens

“Run Like Hell” is Not a Fire Safety Protocol

“Run like hell” is not a fire safety protocol. For large corporations, organization is key. For both the safety of your employees and your building, you must prioritize implementing proper fire safety protocols. We’ve put together our top 5 tips for improving fire safety in your building. 

Perform a fire assessment and craft the perfect fire safety plan. 

Fire risk assessments should be regularly scheduled to ensure your business has the necessary processes and procedures in place in case of emergency. This assessment will likely include identifying fire hazards, evaluating and reducing the risk, and crafting a plan.

You likely have an old plan, created by a far-off company and tucked away in a drawer, never to be seen again.  This is also not a great fire safety protocol.  For the plan to work, everyone needs to know what the plan is. Be sure to run drills periodically throughout the year. All employees should share problems that arise in those drills with management to avert problems in a real emergency. 

Your fire safety plan should include employee education, fire escape routes, fire drill, and a plan to ensure that all team members have an evacuation plan that fits their needs. The plan should be detailed and robust, to ensure you are prepared for anything that may come your way!

Implement the proper technology. 

We don’t just mean fire extinguishers placed randomly around the office. This means fire detection and alarm systems that can overcome potential loss of power, emergency lighting to guide your team in the dark, industrial fire sprinkler systems to help prevent the spread of a fire, and monitoring to alert the authorities to your emergency. Having the proper technology in place will allow your team to stay safe and your building to come out with limited damage.

Display signage to help lead your team to safety.

Communicate proper health and safety information through illuminated signs, which can include fire safety warning signs, fire-fighting equipment signs, and marking dangerous substances. Be sure the signage is easy to ready and communicates the message clearly.

It’s not just about the flames… don’t let your business go up in smoke.

Smoke can be just as deadly as flames if your building has a fire. Be sure to have the proper equipment in place, like smoke and fire curtains, to limit the spread of smoke damage as well as the damage caused by fire. 

Make sure your staff is educated.

Imagining worst-case scenarios is not just for Sci-Fi TV writers… While it can be easy to forget to address the real dangers of fire when you haven’t experienced it, this can be a business’ greatest downfall. Ensure you give your employees annual fire safety training to teach them about the common causes of workplace fires. Address how to prevent a fire, and what to do if a fire takes place in the workspace.

“Run like hell” doesn’t have to be your fire safety protocol. Take these steps to improve your office’s fire safety. Want to know more? Contact us today!

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What Building Security Systems are Protecting Your Business?
What Building Security Systems are Protecting Your Business?
how to properly prepare for a fire disaster-- not like dwight schrute
How to Properly Prepare for a Fire Disaster
top 5 causes of commercial fires
Top 5 Causes of Commercial Fires
be alarmed. be very alarmed
Be Alarmed. Be Very Alarmed
"run like hell" is not a fire safety protocol
“Run Like Hell” is Not a Fire Safety Protocol