A-Z of business security solutions

As a business owner, you have many important responsibilities, and keeping your people, premises and assets safe and secure is one of the top priorities.

Whether your business is big or small, commercial or retail, there are a vast range of security solutions to choose from. Each business will have its own best-fit solution.

Here’s an introduction to some of the most common business security solutions used in fit-out and M&E projects.

Access control systems

Access control has an important role to play in business security. Its purpose is to provide quick, convenient access to an area or doorway for people who are authorised, while restricting access to unauthorised people. It’s also a good way to keep track of people entering and leaving the building so you know exactly who is on-site at all times.

Access control systems can be integrated with doors, turnstiles, speedlanes, guards and gates to keep areas secure. They can also be integrated with intruder alarms and CCTV solutions.

Different access control systems make use of various available identification technologies: swipe card readers, key fobs, biometric readers and others. When determining which is right for your business there are a number of factors to consider, including the flexibility of your employees and the layout of your premises.

Key benefits:

  • Increase ease of access
  • Protect against intruders
  • Eliminates the need for traditional keys that can be lost or stolen
  • Saves money on locks and security personnel
  • Keep track of who comes and goes
  • Provide access to multiple buildings and locations

Biometric identification

Biometric identification adds a layer of verification to access control systems. An individual wanting to enter a doorway or area of a building may use their card to identify themselves before presenting their fingerprint to prove they are who they claim to be. This added level of protection is ideal for high-security areas.

Key benefits:

    • Increase ease of access
    • High level of security and assurance
    • Hard to fake or steal

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CCTV systems

CCTV systems are the most efficient way to cut the risk of breaks in, theft and vandalism to your building. CCTV systems can be installed in commercial properties, retail outlets, warehouses, leisure and hospitality venues and other buildings. Having visible CCTV cameras outside your building helps deter you from being targeted.

24/7 video surveillance can be accessed both on-site and remotely, giving you eyes and ears on your business premises at all times. Modern systems provide full on-the-go access to live camera feeds via the smartphones of designated staff members, enabling an immediate response to alert and alarms even when offsite. Meanwhile, all footage is automatically saved to robust and secure media for later playback at any time.

A CCTV system will usually require a network of different cameras. CCTV cameras come in a variety of formats from multiple manufacturers to suit different locations and spaces. Some of the most commonly used CCTV cameras are:

  • Bullet cameras - typically mounted on walls and ceilings, with good zoom capability
  • Dome cameras - perform the same function as bullet cameras but are less obvious when mounted
  • Turret cameras - allows you to redirect to a precise field of view without remounting and are particularly useful in low light
  • PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) cameras - can be used to track a person or car across a range and can zoom or focus on number plates in real-time
  • Fisheye cameras - ideal for car parks and large warehouses to provide a panoramic view

Key benefits:

  • A deterrent against intruders, theft and vandalism
  • Enables 24/7 monitoring of activity - both remotely and on-site
  • Footage can be reviewed and provide evidence in case of an incident

Integrated security systems

Integrated security systems combine a range of solutions to help businesses manage risk more effectively and gain more control over security. It is a multi-layered, multi-technology approach that combines security with occupant safety and wellness.

Key benefits:

  • Robust security solution
  • Enhance occupant safety
  • Highly efficient
  • Reduce need for training in multiple systems

Intruder alarms

An intruder alarm is the first line of defence for your business property and acts as a great deterrent. Intruder alarms can work alongside access control and CCTV for a truly integrated security solution.

24/7 alarm monitoring systems signal when the alarm is activated so you can be alerted right away. Monitoring systems use channels such as GPRS, allowing for the message to get through even if phone lines are down.

There are two main types of intruder alarms - wired and wireless. Wireless intruder alarms tend to be easier and cheaper to install, more flexible and less disruptive. A wired alarm, on the other hand, tends to need less maintenance as it’s hard wired into the mains electricity rather than relying on its battery. When it comes to performance, both are equal.

Key benefits:

  • A deterrent against intruders, theft and vandalism
  • Peace of mind when you’re off-site
  • Automatically sends an alert in the case of an incident
  • Reduce insurance premiums


Keyholding is a specialist security service where a contracted security company holds a set of keys to your commercial or industrial premises in a secure, off-site location. The security company responds in the event of an emergency, incident or burglary, which is then handled by trained and reliable security personnel off-site.

Key benefits:

  • Guaranteed response
  • Reliable
  • Takes the onus away from staff

Lone worker solutions

Lone worker solutions provide safeguards against the potential risks of working alone. Over six million people in the UK work either in isolation or without direct supervision and often in places without close interaction with others they trust.

When an individual presses an ‘SOS’ button on their lone worker device, it connects to a receiving centre where an operator can assist. A two-way communication system enables the operator to communicate with the lone worker and to contact the appropriate emergency services in real-time, guiding them to the user’s precise location.

Key benefits:

  • Increase protection for lone workers
  • Staff feel confident they are safe
  • Know where your workers are

Managed security monitoring

Managed security monitoring covers the monitoring of all security systems in the network. It is the first line of defence, with monitoring taking place at an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which is manned by people 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Specialist staff monitor a range of systems, including intruder alarms and CCTV cameras as well as fire alarms and smoke detectors.

Key benefits:

  • Enhanced security protection
  • Eyes and ears on your site at all times
  • Incidents can be responded to immediately

Panic alarms

A panic alarm is an electronic device that assists in alerting somebody in emergency situations where a threat to a person or property exists. All non-domestic buildings with more than one storey are required to provide a panic alarm in areas where people cannot easily exit the building, so they can call for assistance and wait for help to arrive.

Key benefits:

  • Increase sense of security
  • Can be saving in the event of an emergency
  • Alerts can be sent to emergency services

Security gates and barriers

Security gates and barriers can be used to protect the entrances, exits and perimeters of a building or site. They can be automated and integrated with CCTV and intercom technology. All barrier, gate and perimeter solutions are designed to be low maintenance while optimising security and managing access and the movement of people, goods and vehicles.

Key benefits:

  • A deterrent against intruders, theft and vandalism
  • Greater control over who enters your premises
  • Look professional and attractive
  • Eliminate the need for security personnel

Whether you’re a retail business, hospitality venue, commercial property or school, it’s essential that you make installing security at your premises a priority to protect your people, buildings and property. It’s always a good idea to speak to an expert who can advise you on the right solutions for your business.

Access Control

Darren Gibbons
Written by Darren Gibbons

Darren is a security systems, life safety and fire protection specialist and Managing Director of Ace Fire & Security.