The Electronic Eye: Peace of mind at any time.

Author:Barbour, Tracy

Small businesses are using video security and surveillance systems as an integral part of their efforts to protect their physical assets from theft, vandalism, and other threats. Video security cameras also help maintain a safe environment for employees, customers, and other visitors.

The longevity of many businesses relies heavily on the use of video security and surveillance equipment, according to Christopher Meador, the owner of Northern Security and Surveillance. Any assets that are not bolted down are subject to being stolen, he says, but video cameras can be a deterrent. "Cameras, basically, keep honest people honest and criminal people wondering if they will be caught," he explains.

Steve Olson, ADT's sales manager for Alaska, also sees video security and surveillance as a crucial part of operating a business. Alaska, like the rest of the country, is dealing with an opioid crisis, and police are no longer detaining people for minor crimes, says Olson, who is based in Tacoma, Washington. People respect law enforcement, but they realize they are often on their own when it comes to protecting their businesses and homes. And they depend on video security and surveillance to fill the void. He says, "They know they have to prove someone has done something versus making a complaint and waiting for the police to respond."

Thomas Craig, director of sales and marketing at Cardoso Integrated Security (CIS) Alaska, has seen an increase in small businesses requesting surveillance for liability purposes. This can be for worker's compensation claims, mitigating customer claims that a business damaged their property while in the business' care, and even to prove to regulatory agencies that regulations are being followed. "It is now common for small businesses to have security surveillance systems as the technology has become affordable, and the ability to access your system anywhere Internet service is available provides many benefits," Craig says. "This allows small business owners the peace of mind to enjoy life while knowing they are a click away from seeing what is going on."

This was certainly the case with John Saffert of JPS Cars. The Eagle River auto dealer has had his share of security problems, from gas being siphoned from cars to vehicles being stolen. His location has been broken into several times, and six cars have been stolen in the past four years. But security became less of a problem once CIS Alaska installed a surveillance system with multiple cameras, motion detectors, and glass break alarms. "The cameras are nice for peace of mind because I can use the app on my phone to see what's happening on the lot," he says.

Video cameras are also a critical part of security at Michael's Jewelers. The Anchorage jewelry store is constantly enhancing its security system and recently upgraded its cameras. "This allows me to be able to monitor my store from basically anywhere that I have a mobile device," says Dave Robuck, who has owned and operated the store for thirty years.

Michael's Jewelers uses multi-layered...

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