When you choose a contract security provider what makes you pick one over the other?  Too often it’s because you like the sales person, when it is difficult to see what is different.

Companies like Summit Security make the difference by providing security service options that fit any security needs at your site AND provide a professional experience.  Summit Security makes a difference by:

- Online Reporting Through Smart Phones with Photo Verification

-Electronic Daily Activity Reports

-Automatic Email Notification

-Enhanced Supervision

-24/7 In House Dispatch Center

- Fire, Life, Safety Training

-Longstanding Management with CPP Certification

Tick the boxes of what your security company provides.   The difference will be obvious…and so will be the choice!

Where do you get information you need about security at your property?  If you have a contracted security provider at your sites the answer better be to them!

Your security guard company should not only be a place to get your guards but to get all the information you need to make a proper assessment of the security needs at your site.

Companies like Summit Security have management teams with over 20 years in the industry to provide you with the experience you need.  Your company, like Summit, should also have an American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) sanctioned Certified Protection Professional (CPP) on staff who can really drill down and analyse the security needs of your location.

In addition if you have a mid or low rise building your security company should have a Fire, Life and Safety trainer on staff to do a proper assessment and training at your building.

Security providers like Summit Security will be able to address all your security questions by just going to someone within the organization for the information.  At the very least the security professionals you contract with should  know exactly where to get the information so you have all the answers!

I could recite the standard complaints clients have given regarding their contract security providers accountability in my sleep.  After 15 years in this industry I have unfortunately heard them all.  But let’s face it, sifting through paper reports to cull out exactly what security officer observed and reported in the field is the poorest form of communication in security.

But technology provides contract security providers like Summit Security with a much more professional and accountable tool. By deploying real-time online reporting software, contract security companies can provide their security officers with opportunities to show their clients exactly what the officer is observing. Using this technology through smartphones, security personnel can take photographs, accompanied with text and in some cases audio files, to report their activities and observations throughout their shift.

Clients can sign on to computers and follow in real time the reports created on their property.  This level of accountability creates the true partnership that contract security providers like Summit Security want  with their clients.

Through the date and time stamped photos and texts clients can avoid the standard accountability phone calls to their security provider like, “what time did the guard actually arrive on site?” or “where was the guard on the property when the complaint came in?”  Now they have proof through the online reporting of the officer’s movements and what they observed through photographs accompanied with notes, to flesh out the picture of what was happening onsite.

Contract security providers have an obligation to provide their client with the best accountability tools the industry has to offer.  Transparency in their operations is a natural consequence of this high tech reporting solution.  A good point to consider if your security contractor insists you pay addition fees before they will provide this technology or worse yet, refuses to provide it at altogether.

Jon Timberlake, CPP and Vice President for Summit Security has created a Top 10 Safety Checklist for keeping you and your home safe and secure during this busy Holiday season.

These few tips may create  a difference for a safer Holiday season:

1.  Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.

2.  If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.

3.  Pay attention and be aware of your surroundings. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con- artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

4. Don’t fumble for house or car keys. Have them in your hand, ready to use when you reach the door.

5.  Remove all valuables and personal documents from your vehicle and do not leave them in plain sight. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle lock them in the trunk.

6.  Shop before dark if possible. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend.

7. Never park in an unlit area, no matter how convenient it is. Never park next to large vehicles or vehicles with heavy tinted windows.

8.  Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.

9.  Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window visible from the street. It’s too tempting for a potential criminal to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages.

10.  After Christmas day, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts in the house.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Random Patrol services are a critical division of any professional security company. For a fraction of the cost of a standing guard, random patrols provide a limited security presence at a property.

Random Patrol works ONLY if the Client has the same understanding, expectations and goals of the service as the security provider. Dissatisfaction with service occurs when the duties are not in line with the type of service contracted.

Here are a few security duties perfect for Random Patrol officers to perform. However, each has caveats that will need to be agreed upon for a patrol account to be successful:

1. Locks and Unlocks: A perfect fit for random patrol officers IF the Client understands other properties on the route will also have lock and unlock requests at the same time of night. FLEXIBILITY on lock-up times is critical or there is little hope for success.

2. Checking on Pools and Spas After Hours: An excellent way to discourage after-hours use of facilities, but expectations have to be realistic that some people will try to use these facilities between patrol checks. If a client wants to totally eliminate the chance of people using facilities after hours, a permanent standing guard is the only way to ensure 100% compliance.

3. Parking Enforcement: A way to ensure parking rules are being adhered to by performing random checks throughout the parking lots. Again there will be occasional violators who get by, but parking logs along with strict enforcement (yes this means ticketing and towing) will keep those to a minimum.

4. Walking Floors and Stairwells: Walkthroughs of floors and stairwells at random times will help maintain a security presence and act as a deterrent. Although not as effective as a standing guard, it’s a good alternative for a property with a limited security budget. Again, the KEY is for the security provider to help the Client understand that things can happen between patrols and the security company has no way to prevent those incidents.

5. Responding to Noise Complaints: This can be an effective use of a Random Patrol service but also THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD. Noise complaints are when a security officer responds to a noise complaint and asks the residents making the noise to observe the quiet hours of the community. Proper reporting of the incidents give Property Managers assistance in getting repeat offenders under control.

IMPORTANT: too often communities use calls to their security service as a replacement for police response. This can be dangerous to the security officer and residents in the community. NEVER call private security services for 911 calls, domestic violence or drug enforcement. These are calls that should only be made to local law enforcement.

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Today we hear “cutting edge technology” and our minds race to the devices and gadgets of all shapes and sizes that we use in our daily lives. But the indisputable winner has to be the telephone, or more accurately, the smart phone. From its humble beginnings the telephone has grown to be the technology at the center of everything we do. It wakes us up, gives us the weather, driving directions and enables us to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world.

In security it can also be the lifeline of how we conduct business. Companies like Summit Security depend on the smart phone as a tool for real-time reporting. Summit’s real-time reporting software, RealtimeDAR, allows security guards to report on their smart phones with text, photo and audio files. Our guards can report literally everything they observe as they make their rounds.

Summit’s clients benefit by having instant access to the real-time reporting online 24/7. The transparency it provides gives clients a clear picture of their properties plus 100% accountability from their security company. Both are critical pieces of communication for a successful partnership.

The smart phone has surpassed its humble beginnings and the biggest winners are the clients who use “smart” security companies who know how to capitalize on this ever growing technology.

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Summit Security is committed to finding new ways to service the communities where we do business. That commitment, partnered with a need that we identified within the Senior community, marked the beginning of our new division, Summit Wellness Check.

Our Wellness Check service provides scheduled visits to adults in their homes, primarily Seniors, who live independently but want that additional safeguard of a regular wellness check, to ensure their environment is safe and secure. Visits can be scheduled daily, semi weekly or once a week depending on the need of the Senior.

A “checklist” is completed at every single visit by the Wellness Check Ambassador (who is also a licensed security officer) through a smartphone in real time. The report is uploaded to the Summit Security website online. Authorized family members or friends can go online at any time and view the notes from the visit, recorded in text and photos via Summit Security’s online reporting software, RealtimeDAR. This provides the most accurate and up-to-date information on the status of our Wellness Check clients in their home.

Summit Wellness Check is another example of how Summit Security works to create valuable client services and client relationships that provide security, accountability, peace of mind and transparency.

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Summit Security is proud to announce its recognition by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies with corporate offices in San Diego. Summit would like to thank all of our Clients for their part in helping us grow to this place of prestigious recognition.

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In today’s economy it’s sometimes difficult for businesses and community associations to pay the bills. Revenue to support costs, shrinking margins and decreased collections on HOA fees and foreclosures really put a dent in cash flow.

The obvious place companies and communities  look for relief is in vendor contracts. They ask vendors to cut prices for the services they provide. Sometimes there are no other options.

Cutting costs at the vendor’s expense can jeopardize that critical partnership with your current vendor. Your need to cut costs can sometimes translate to increased costs and lost profits to your Vendor. This is the time for open communication AND realistic expectations about service.

Here are a few steps to keeping a fair and open dialog when looking to cut service costs:

1. Ask your current Vendor FIRST if they can work with the new price BEFORE you look to another provider. It is only fair that they get a chance to continue to work with you if they can.

2. Decreases in your budget often will translate to fewer services provided. It is rarely possible to give the same AMOUNT of services for less money. Quality, however, should never change.

3. Prioritize what is important or needed in your services and ask your Vendor his or her opinion. A trusted vendor may still be able to provide the service and also may have ideas on how to work with your reduced budget.

4. Be open to sacrificing your WANTS for your NEEDS. Sometimes, just because you want it does not make it a critical security service for the site.

5. Remember that your Vendor is a business that has to operate at a profit to survive. Your economic woes are a mirror to the ones every Vendor is experiencing in this economy. You should not expect them to sacrifice their livelihood and that of their employees ONLY to your benefit. The age old adage “you can’t get something for nothing” has never been more true.

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Often in the security service industry we overuse words like partnership, customer service, operational excellence, in an effort to communicate to our clients that we understand their needs and we know internally how meet to them… what steps to take to accomplish their service goals.

One word that is seldom used but arguably one of the most powerful in a client/service provider relationship is Loyalty. Countless books have been written about the Philosophy of Loyalty, but in its simplest form it can be the defining virtue that cements a relationship. In a poor economy and a “you get what you pay for environment” Loyalty is often sacrificed for the bottom line.

The client who is committed to getting the best security services at their site will ALWAYS be successful if they have Loyalty, both from their service provider and to their service provider. Loyalty is a wholehearted commitment to a cause and cannot be one-sided or self-serving to be successful. In business, Loyalty binds the client and security provider together in their service.

So the next time you are looking to create Loyalty with your security provider, get together and create a common ground of commitment to each other—to the goals you want to accomplish and to the employees who provide the service.

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