What Is the Best Security Camera for Business Use?


In today’s security-conscious environment, security cameras are nearly as valuable of a business commodity as the products a company offers for sale. Commercial security cameras help to deter theft and keep the property safe when no one is there. Recorded video from surveillance cameras provides strong visual evidence that assists in criminal investigations. Even the sight of a camera will deter many individuals from engaging in criminal activities.

What Security Cameras Are the Best?

There are many types of commercial security camera systems currently on the market. Use the following information to help you select the best system for your company:

  • Day/night: Day/night commercial outdoor security cameras offer the clear visual images in all types of lighting conditions required for 24/7 exterior monitoring. They can help to prevent break-ins and vandalism, while also providing surveillance of parking areas.
  • Dome: Often installed in retail stores to detect shoplifters, dome cameras offer an unobtrusive, but not completely hidden security solution.
  • PTZ: Pan-tilt-zoom cameras are a good choice for covering large areas such as warehouses or manufacturing plants. They’re also among the most complex — and expensive — commercial security camera systems.
  • Bullet: These cylindrical cameras are typically used in conjunction with closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems to monitor designated high-risk areas. While bullet cameras cannot tilt, zoom or pan, they are usually waterproof, which enables outdoor or indoor use.
  • Spy: These compact cameras offer a covert security solution for monitoring activities in small areas. However, they provide relatively poor image quality, and there are certain legal/privacy restrictions regarding their use.
  • Covert: Covert cameras offer the benefit of disguise. They can take the form of devices such as alarm clocks, smoke detectors or other smaller items that tend to blend into the surroundings.
  • Infrared: Also known as night-vision cameras, infrared devices are used in businesses and homes for monitoring pitch-dark or dimly lit areas.
  • Varifocal: This flexible security camera solution works best for monitoring situations where the distances and viewing angles may vary. Users can zoom in and out without affecting the focus.
  • HD: High-definition cameras offer the best image quality, making them a preferred choice for protecting expensive items in stores or secure facilities. They’re able to zoom in without negatively impacting image quality.
  • IP:  Internet protocol cameras represent the most advanced security camera technology. They’re able to transmit video via the Internet. That, when combined with their wireless functionality, makes them the ideal choice for large security networking applications that require covering long distances.
  • Dummy: These “fake” cameras offer no monitoring or recording capabilities and primarily serve as an inexpensive visual deterrent. Many models include flashing red lights and other features that simulate a live camera operation.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Help You Explore Your Commercial Security Camera Options

Titan Alarm is your source for the best commercial camera systems in the Phoenix, AZ area. We also have the expertise to help you choose the right system for your needs and budget. Contact us for more information and to schedule a free on-site security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

What Is Access Control?


We’ve come a long way from the days when we could depend on a simple lock-and-key system to keep our homes and businesses safe. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made security systems much more sophisticated — and effective — than ever. One of the most important innovations in recent years has been the development of business and home security access systems.

The term “access control” refers to any method used to restrict entry to a property or specific areas on a property. While access control systems can be physical (security guard or watchdog) or mechanical (lock and key), it is the electronically operated systems that now provide the most reliable option for home and business security purposes.

The Evolution of Access Control Models

Regarding access control history, electronic systems made their first appearance in the 1960s to provide a more reliable alternative to lock-and-key systems in businesses. The original systems required individuals to type a personal identification number (PIN) onto a keypad to verify their identity. This technology also soon became the access control method for home security systems at that time.

The next access control technology innovation was the access control card, which was used in conjunction with a device called a card reader. The system required the individual to swipe or insert a card key encoded with specific information such as name, employee ID or Social Security number and access level into the reader, which was connected to a central control panel that would unlock the door electronically. By the late 1970s, the invention of non-contact proximity cards allowed an individual to hold the card key in front of the reading device.

The Future of Access Control

While variations of all these access control systems are still in use today, the technology continues to evolve. Many of today’s systems feature the integration of multiple technologies that offer a more robust security solution. Examples of emerging access control trends include:

  • Wireless access control devices: Wireless devices offer greater installation flexibility along with future-proofing capabilities to accommodate facility expansion.
  • Surveillance camera integration: Linking access control and video surveillance systems provide tighter security. The camera feeds and footage enable a faster response to an unauthorized entry attempt and can be helpful in follow-up investigations.
  • Greater privilege control capabilities: Many facilities contain designated areas for storing sensitive information. Advancements in access control technology give facility operators more options for creating pre-set rules for limiting access to these areas.
  • Open-source technology options: The continued evolution from proprietary to open-source technology will provide even more opportunities for integration with a wide range of security management platforms.
  • Integration with smart technology: The continued development of smart technology will allow home and business owners to operate and monitor their access control systems with their mobile devices even when they’re many miles away.

Titan Alarm, Inc. offers the latest, most innovative access control devices and systems to residential and commercial property owners in the Phoenix, AZ area. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation, on-site security consultation today.

Learn More About Access Control

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.

What is Home Automation?


Home automation is a process that enables to homeowners to mechanize the control of devices and systems such as lighting, heating and cooling units, appliances, electronics and security systems. The homeowner can operate these fully integrated sub-systems via one master controller unit located in the home. Additionally, the homeowner can typically manage these “smart” systems remotely with an Internet-enabled desktop or laptop computer, smartphone or tablet.

What Are the Benefits of Home Automation?

As home automation industry technology continues to evolve, more homeowners are taking advantage of the numerous smart home benefits. These include:

  • Energy efficiency: A smart home is an energy-efficient home. The ability to remotely turn off appliances and lights when not in use and program your HVAC unit to automatically adjust to changes in temperature can result in substantial savings on your monthly energy bills.
  • Comfort: The ability to remotely control your home’s temperature helps you improve your level of comfort. For example, you can automatically adjust the temperature on your way home for from work so you don’t have to enter a house that’s too hot or too cold.
  • Access control: If you travel a lot, a home automation system allows you to remotely unlock doors to let people in to look after your pets, water the plants, etc. while you’re away. You can also program the system so that doors unlock and relock at predetermined times.  No more hiding a key under the welcome mat or worrying that your neighbor will lose the key.
  • Convenience/time savings: If you’re like a lot of busy folks these days who are always on the go, you’ll appreciate the convenience of operating household appliances or adjusting the thermostat with your mobile device, even if you’re miles away from your house. And you won’t have to waste precious time running back home because you forgot to turn something on or off.
  • Safety and security: Automation can make your home a much safer place. In addition to automating or remotely controlling the operation of door locks, you can control the lighting to make it look as though someone is home while you’re away. You can also turn on interior lights prior to entering your home at night to make sure no one is lurking in a darkened room.

Another important home automation safety benefit is the ability to increase your property awareness via your home security system’s video surveillance cameras. You can view live or recorded camera feeds on your computer or mobile device 24/7, so you’ll always know what’s going on in and around your home. This gives you additional peace of mind if your kids come home from school while you’re still at work or if you leave them in the care of a nanny or babysitter.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for Your Home Automation Needs in Phoenix, AZ

At Titan Alarm, we stay on top of the latest home automation trends to ensure we can provide the most effective smart home technology solutions to Phoenix-area property owners. Contact us to schedule a free home automation consultation today.

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Types of Businesses Most Likely to be Targeted by Thieves


How likely is it that your Phoenix-area business will become the target of a robbery, break-in or employee theft? While just about any business that handles cash or keeps anything of value is vulnerable to theft, some are at higher risk than others. In this post, we’ll list the most common types of businesses targeted by thieves and offer a few business security tips that can prevent you from becoming the next victim.

Retail Stores

Retail businesses are targeted by robbers for several reasons. Many are open at night, and in some cases, around the clock, which provides convenient access for thieves. They also keep cash on hand and typically have few employees on duty. While retail robberies are most often associated with convenience stores, they also occur at supermarkets, gas stations, liquor stores and jewelry stores. Employee theft is also an issue in many retail outlets.


A reporter once asked notorious bank robber Willie Sutton why he chose to rob banks, and he responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” Although banks typically present a more difficult theft challenge than retail stores, the lure of large amounts of cash make them a favorite target of robbers. While most banks now have sophisticated business alarm systems in place, they do not completely prevent robberies from occurring.

Warehouses/Distribution Centers

The major theft prevention issue in warehouses is not robbery or burglary — the main threat typically comes from the inside. Most warehouses are large structures containing several “blind spots,” which makes it difficult to monitor all employee movements. Employees who have worked in the warehouse for a long stretch of time have the opportunity to determine the facility’s most vulnerable areas. In many facilities, it’s relatively easy for employees avoid detection when attempting to steal goods.

Construction Sites

Construction sites contain valuable equipment that is attractive to thieves. Perpetrators include construction workers who walk off the jobsite with expensive tools, as well as burglars who target unoccupied jobsites during the nighttime hours. The temporary nature of most construction jobs usually makes providing effective site security a daunting challenge.

Transport Sites

Large trucks that transport goods are another prime target of thieves. Tractor-trailers filled with valuable merchandise present significant security issues, particularly when the trucks are left unguarded in a freight yard or when drivers leave them unattended on the road.

How to Reduce the Theft Risk at Your Business

Steps for making your business less vulnerable to robbery and theft include:

  • Improving visibility by altering the layout to eliminate blind spots
  • Keeping the interior and exterior of your facility well lit
  • Paying close attention to property upkeep
  • Posting signs that prohibit trespassing and loitering
  • Installing modern business surveillance systems and alarms

Titan Alarm, Inc. Is Your One-Stop Headquarters for Business Security Systems in Phoenix

. We can design and install a customized business security system that will dramatically lower your risk of robbery and theft. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

The Reasons People Shoplift


If you own or operate a retail store or other type of business that sells goods to the public, about one out of every 10 people who enter your establishment having shoplifting on their mind. If you haven’t made theft prevention a high priority at your place of business, your company’s profits could literally be walking out the door. In this post, we’ll explore the various reasons why people steal and provide a list of some of the most shoplifted items.

Why Do People Shoplift?

To implement an effective theft prevention system at your business, it’s helpful to understand why people feel compelled to steal. Contrary to what many people believe, most shoplifters do not steal to satisfy a physical need or due to a lack of financial resources. In most cases, a psychological compulsion or mental illness is the driving force behind shoplifting. Approximately one-third of shoplifters suffer from depression, and many shoplifters are diagnosed with kleptomania, which is a recurrent, irresistible urge to steal.

What Are the Most Stolen Items?

The most common items targeted by thieves include:

  • Meat: Expensive cuts of meat are a primary shoplifting target in grocery stores — it’s relatively easy to conceal a steak underneath a jacket or slip it inside an oversized pocketbook.
  • Alcohol: Teenagers often shoplift bottles of liquor since they are not of legal age to purchase it in most states. Peer pressure and the “thrill” of breaking the law are common motivators in many teenage liquor thefts, and kleptomaniacs who are also experiencing alcohol dependency issues often target the more expensive booze items.
  • Electronic gadgets: Small electronic gadgets and devices are a major shoplifting target in electronics stores and mass merchandisers that do not keep them under lock and key. Their small size makes them easy to conceal.
  • Over-the-counter medications and personal care items: Most OTC drugs, as well as personal care items such as razor blades, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc. come in small packages, making it simple to slide them into jacket pockets or purses.
  • High-end clothing: The theft of high-end clothing is on the rise in many retail outlets, particularly expensive sneakers. The most brazen thieves will try the clothing on in a fitting room and then attempt to walk out the door undetected.
  • Trendy toys: It seems that every holiday season there is at least one extremely popular toy that hits the market — and becomes of a prime shoplifting target.
  • Tools: Many types of tools, especially power tools, are coveted by thieves in hardware and home improvement stores.

Make an Advanced Security System a Key Component of Your Business Protection Plan

Installing a state-of-the-art security system is an important business safety step that will limit your shoplifting exposure. If you operate a business in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm can design and install a customized system that includes video surveillance and other valuable theft prevention features. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation security consultation today.


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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How Schools Can Better Protect Students and Teachers


Threats to safety at school take many forms these days: bullying is a major issue in many schools, and there are growing concerns about active shooter situations and even acts of terrorism. Protecting students and teachers is a top priority in elementary, middle and high schools in Arizona and across the Unites States. In this post, we’ll explore the various teacher and student protection solutions available to school systems. Schools can:

  • Install fences: Fences create a visible physical barrier that will deter intruders. Fences are especially important for protecting students on elementary school playgrounds. Consider constructing a fence with blunt top projections to prevent intruders from climbing over.
  • Establish choke points: Most school buildings are large structures containing multiple entrances — which also provides multiple opportunities for intruders to find their way inside. Creating a choke point, which entails locking all entrances except one closely monitored access point, allows school staff members to control who enters the building at all times. If it becomes necessary to unlock multiple doors to accommodate a large influx or departure of students at the beginning and conclusion of the school day, these entrance points should also be monitored.
  • Train staff to spot security threats: Another important school protection step is providing training for teachers and other staff members so they can detect a potential security threat in the early stages. Local law enforcement agencies can provide valuable security tips and may even be available to conduct in-person training sessions.
  • Provide emergency response training: A security emergency can create chaos that is counterproductive when attempting to maintain school safety. Training your staff to function as a coordinated team — including individual responsibilities to each team member — can significantly reduce confusion and improve the chances of a positive outcome.
  • Implement a visitor management system: Establish a system for verifying the identity of individuals who arrive on campus claiming to be parents or invited guests. Software systems are available that can provide valuable security information, including whether the visitor is a registered sex offender.
  • Use guards and metal detectors: It may be necessary to resort to implementing more “extreme” security measures in schools with a history of violent behavior. Metal detectors can screen for weapons such as guns and knives. Many school systems have enlisted the services of security guards or local police officers to patrol the building during school hours.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Meet Your School Safety and Security Needs in Phoenix, AZ

Titan Alarm is a reputable security solutions provider serving Phoenix and all of Maricopa County. We can work with school administrators and security personnel to design a customized, state-of-the-art system with 24/7 monitoring that addresses the security risks in your campus’s most vulnerable areas. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation security consultation today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.

The Benefits of Installing an Energy Management System


As home energy costs continue to rise, homeowners everywhere are seeking the best ways to lower their energy bills. In Maricopa County, Arizona, where the average high temperature during the summer months exceeds the 100-degree mark, keeping home cooling expenses under control presents a major challenge.

Many homeowners are discovering the advantages that home energy managements systems (HEMS) offer in terms of energy conservation. These energy management systems make use of specially designed computer hardware, software and sensors to control HVAC units, lighting, electronics and household appliances with greater efficiency. Using the power of home automation, these state-of-the-art energy management solutions enable you to create a preset schedule for the operation of your home’s systems. You can also use your mobile device to manually operate the systems even when you’re not at home.

Exploring the Many Benefits of Energy Management Systems

Key HEMS benefits include:

  • Less wasted energy via prescheduling: The ability to preschedule when your systems operate can avoid a needless — and expensive — waste of energy. For example, a heating/cooling system that is programmed to your family’s schedule and preferred temperature settings, and that automatically monitors and adjusts the temperature as needed, can reduce energy consumption by approximately 25 percent on average.
  • Making manual temperature adjustments remotely: Imagine this scenario: You’ve been outside throughout a blistering Phoenix summer day, so you want your home to be nice and cool when you arrive. You’ve programmed your HEMS so the air conditioning won’t be blasting while no one is home, which would be a big waste of energy. Using your mobile device, you can manually crank up the AC at the right time so that when you finally step inside your home, it will already be at the perfect temperature. You won’t have to wait forever for your home to cool down!
  • Occupancy sensing: Leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms is one of the biggest energy wasters in many homes. Some energy management systems include an occupancy sensing feature that will automatically turn off the lights when someone leaves the room or when it remains unoccupied for a certain period of time. You won’t have to worry about whether you’ve remembered to turn off the lights after you’ve already left your home.
  • Increased security: A HEMS allows you to preprogram the operation of lights throughout your home, which can be an effective deterrent to burglars. For instance, you can have the lights go on and off in specific rooms during the nighttime while you’re away on vacation. This makes it appear to burglars that someone is at home. And if you’re coming home late at night, you can use your mobile device to turn on the lights before you arrive. You won’t have to worry about stepping inside a dark — and possibly unsafe — home.

Titan Alarm, Inc. can install a custom-designed HEMS in your Phoenix area home. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of our highly efficient energy management system for the home today.

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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How to Survive a Robbery


If your business handles cash or stores or displays valuable items, you could easily become the target of a robber. A robbery is different from a burglary in that the victims are confronted by an armed individual who demands cash or property. Consequently, a robber typically poses a greater risk to your personal safety than a burglar who makes every effort to avoid detection.

While being the victim of a robbery is a frightening and a potentially life-threatening experience, you can increase your odds of survival by following these safety tips:

  • Remain calm: While most robbers do not want to harm anyone, they are usually desperate — which makes them highly unpredictable. Victims who appear stressed could further agitate the robber, possibly increasing the risk of a violent outcome. While staying calm under such trying circumstances is difficult, it can significantly enhance your safety during a robbery.
  • Cooperate: Another important robbery survival tip is to obey the robber’s commands. Robbers want to get what they’re after and flee the premises as quickly as possible. Cooperation reduces the likelihood that the robber will view you as an obstacle or threat. However, do not volunteer to do anything more than what the robber specifically tells you to do.
  • Stay quiet: Robbers are not interested in engaging in conversation. They will view your attempts to talk to them as a distraction and could cause them to become even more agitated. Speaking should be limited to providing brief, direct responses to the robber’s questions. If you need to clarify a command, keep your question short and to the point.
  • Do not resist: The robber will likely view any attempt to resist or fight back as a threat. Do not attempt to reach for a weapon or overpower the robber. Any sudden movement could have disastrous consequences. Always ask permission before taking any action.
  • Observe as many details as possible: Any information about the robber you can provide to the police will greatly improve the chances of apprehension and a successful prosecution. Make a mental note of as many details as possible about the robber, such as approximate height, weight, clothing, type of weapon and any distinguishing or unusual physical features.
  • Lock up immediately after the robber leaves: There’s always a chance the robber could return to the scene — perhaps due to a fear of leaving incriminating evidence behind. Make sure to lock the door and immediately call the police when the robber exits the building. If possible, note the direction the robber takes when leaving.

Installing a Security System: An Essential Robbery Protection Step

An advanced security system can reduce the chances of a robbery, as well as provide important visual evidence should a robbery occur. If you operate a business in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc. can provide custom surveillance camera installation and design that will provide the reliable robbery protection you need. Contact us for more advice on protecting yourself during a robbery and to schedule a no-obligation on-site security consultation.

Learn More About Commercial Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Tips for Emergency Fire Evacuation at Your Business


Did you know that there are more than 6,000 office fires in the United States each year? Virtually any business is vulnerable to a devastating fire, and the risk is even greater in facilities that store or handle flammable liquids or other combustible materials. A fire can break out with little or no warning and create panic among your workers. If you don’t have a carefully crafted fire evacuation plan in place, you could be placing many lives in danger.

Developing an Effective Emergency Evacuation Plan

A well-designed business evacuation plan will serve as an easy-to-follow guide that outlines the actions your employees should take in the event of a fire. A good place to start is performing an assessment of your building’s fire safety systems.

This entails determining the availability and location of equipment such as pull alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and sprinklers, and replacing or upgrading equipment as needed. You should also take steps to identify and eliminate potential fire and safety hazards such as piles of trash, blocked doorways and burned out exit lights.

Elements of a Business Emergency Plan

A business evacuation plan requires organization and employee participation to be effective. While your emergency fire plan should be tailored to your unique workplace environment, a solid plan will consist of the following fundamental elements:

  • Assigning escape routes: Every employee should know the fastest, safest evacuation route to take based on their location in the building and proximity to exits.
  • Establishing procedures for “mission critical” employees: In some workplaces, it may be necessary for a few workers to remain behind to perform certain shut-down operations prior to exiting the facility. It will be necessary to develop specific evacuation procedures for these individuals.
  • Developing accountability procedures: Your plan should indicate a centralized location away from the building where your employees should meet after evacuation. Create a procedure for taking a head count of employees to ensure everyone has exited the building safely.
  • Assigning specific duties to employees: Your fire evacuation plan should designate certain employees who are responsible for administering medical assistance until first responders can arrive at the scene.
  • Rendering assistance to visitors: Visitors to your facility will not be familiar with your business evacuation plan, so you’ll need to develop procedures for assisting them.

Your business evacuation plan should be in writing, with a copy given to every employee. The plan should also make provisions for regular fire drills so your staff will know exactly what to do and where to go when a fire breaks out. Practice can minimize the inevitable confusion that occurs during any fire emergency — and can make the difference between a successful business evacuation and a tragic event resulting in serious injuries or loss of life.

If you operate a business in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm, Inc. can design and install an advanced commercial fire alarm system for your company. Contact us to schedule a free on-site consultation today.

Learn More About Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 2, 2018.