Safety Zone

Many small businesses avoid security systems on the grounds that they’re too expensive. Modern technology has changed all that. We’ve gathered together some of the best inexpensive security solutions for your small business.

Let's face it: Sometimes people other than your customers are trying to break down your doors. No matter where your business is located or what type of business you run, there's always the danger of theft. Luckily, modern technology allows for security systems that won't break the bank, and, even better, many that don't require an expensive installation process. We've brought together some of the most innovative new products for keeping small businesses secure. Keep in mind, however, that our suggestions are meant for simple security needs. If you have a business that requires a hefty security system by its very nature (such as a jewelry store), be sure to contact an expert to determine which system might be right for you.

Also, consider the source of your security concerns. Sadly, the most dangerous source of theft for small businesses comes not from the outside but rather from the inside. In 2004, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported that companies with fewer than 100 employees ended to lose a median of $98,000 a year from employee theft. With today's inexpensive spy cameras, you can discover who's running off with your money.

LukWerks Digital Surveillance System ($299)

If you just want the bare bones, you can’t do better than the WiLife’s new LukWerks Digital Surveillance System, an off-the-shelf system designed for the most basic security needs. There’s no need to install wires throughout your business: LukWerks uses a HomePlug networking system that uses the existing the electrical wires throughout your business. Simply attach the receiver to your PC, mount the surveillance cameras in the rooms you want to monitor and plug them in to a wall socket. Images and video will then be transmitted to the installed software on your PC over the Internet. Both indoor and outdoor cameras are available. LukWerk’s cameras also include an innovative motion detection system. If anything sets the sensor off, the system will call the owner and send the video clip or image to his or her phone. If your concern for security is a little more basic, WiLife also offers a spy camera system in which the camera is disguised as a digital alarm clock.

What We Like: Low price, sensitivity settings for the motion detectors.
What We Don't: The cameras do not automatically come with an infrared attachment. It must be purchased separately. Also, the system is best only for basic monitoring. If you want a product that will notify the police of any burglaries, consider calling a professional monitoring service in the event of a break-in.

GE Simon Wireless Security System ($299)

It’s usually marketed for the home, but hundreds of small businesses have experienced success with the GE Simon, a simple, affordable, and user-friendly alert system. GE’s Simon package contains 24 sensors for doors and windows and even includes the ability to alert you in case of a fire or water intrusion. While certain companies can install the system for you, many business owners have found that installing the system on their own is an extremely simple process. You can also program the GE Simon to contact either a central station or your cell phone in the event of an intrusion, or you could program it to contact them both. Since the system uses voice cues, you can talk to the system and learn what the problem is over the phone. If you decide that there’s no problem, you can tell the system to ignore the problem. As an added bonus, you could even program light fixtures throughout your business to turn off at certain times.
What We Like: The GE Simon is a sound, effective system for the price. Even better, a number of companies will offer free monitoring for the Simon for a year.
What We Don't: The Simon cannot be expanded, which means that you're stuck with the 24 sensors. If you need more, you'll need to upgrade to a larger system. For most small businesses, however, 24 will be more than enough.


It's mobile, strong, and intelligent, and best of all, it takes no technical skills to install. Features include exceptional intrusion detection, 24-hour monitoring, and a bonus defense mechanism that goes far beyond mere surveillance. Prices vary, and weekly maintenance costs are necessary. See your local distributor for details.

Spy Gear Tri-Link Alarm System ($40)

Got a ridiculously tight budget? Consider the Spy Gear Tri-Link Alarm System by Wild Planet Toys. All three alarms are linked, so your intruder has little chance of getting away! The Tri-Link comes with a laser trip wire that will sound if a thief crosses it. If they’re too smart for that, another alarm can be placed near your valuables; if they’re moved, an alarm will sound. As a last resort, a dart blaster will shoot any intruders with soft plastic darts who try to get away. Seven AAA batteries required.

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