Earn kudos for leading the charge for a security upgrade

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in Human Resources

Issue: Companies that lack any kind of security system run a 4.5 times higher risk of burglary and vandalism.

Benefit: Small-scale security systems have become more affordable and easier to manage.

Action: Pitch simple, low-cost ways to improve security using the tips below. Sell it as a money-saver and earn praise for big-picture thinking.

If your organization lacks any kind of security system, don't wait until a major loss to become concerned.

Businesses without a security system are 4.5 times more likely to be victims of burglary and vandalism than those with one, new research shows.

Advice: Propose a basic, low-cost plan to upgrade security. Sell it to top brass as a way to prevent losses (and possibly cut insurance costs) in the long run.

The good news: Small-scale security systems have become more affordable with the arrival of new vendors.

The average price of a smaller-business security system has dropped by half, falling from $1,509 in 1990 to $749 today. Some basic commercial systems cost less than $250.

Still, most small security systems still aren't off-the-shelf products. To find the right system, work with IT and appropriate directors to weigh your priorities first. Is burglary your biggest threat? Or do you need a broader system that can automatically summon help in emergencies, such as a fire or a flood? Also, make sure any vendor you choose will design a system to your needs.

Best security system vendors

Some of the security industry's biggest names now market systems for smaller organizations. Here are three of your best choices:

1. Brink's Business Security 3000 system. Basic features: a one-touch medical emergency button, a chime to alert you if a protected door or window opens. Standard installation: $299. Go to the Business Solutions section at www.brinkshomesecurity. com.

2. ADT's PremisePro system. This all-around, penny-pinching system gives basic protection against burglary and intrusion, plus customization that lets you choose motion detectors, paging notification, etc. Standard installation: $249, with monthly fees that start at $35. Go to www.adt.com.

3. GE Security's Simon and Concord systems. Good for very small businesses, Simon is a wireless system that can accommodate sensors for doors, windows, smoke and water, plus turn on and off lights. Con-cord is a better choice for fast-growing businesses, and it can handle more sensors than Simon. For details, visit www.geindustrial. com/ge-interlogix/products/productlines. html and click on Concord/Advent or Simon/Allegro.

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