The following article was contributed by Streamline Telecom, a NYC-based structured cabling and security contractor.
Your small business was built on your dreams, your hard work, and, realistically, your hard-earned money. It only makes sense that you should protect every aspect of your business – your employees, your customers, your inventory, and your building.
You may already have an alarm system in place but consider how adding surveillance cameras to the mix could keep you ahead of the game. They can offer you security from theft or vandalism as well as peace of mind.
It’s time to consider how failing to use surveillance cameras can potentially impact your business.
Having security cameras in place can protect your business in several ways, beyond catching criminals in the act. Here are some ways security cameras can prove useful to your business:
General Peace of Mind = More Productivity— When you have effective security measures in place, such as security cameras, you can focus on actually running your business instead of being preoccupied with potential threats.
Employees will also become more productive when they have a visual accountability measure in place; those that deal with handling money from customers are particularly susceptible to this— a video playback can prove proper handling of cash and correct change counted in the event of a dispute.
Workplace Safety— The presence of security cameras can be an effective deterrent against violence in the workplace and sexual harassment. Nearly 20% of people that responded to a HuffPost poll reported that they had been sexually harassed by a coworker, and nearly 17% of fatal injuries in the workplace were the result of workplace violence.
Surveillance may discourage these types of incidents. In addition, if something were to happen, you would have recorded evidence to present to authorities.
Protection Against Fraud and Lawsuits— Workers Compensation and Insurance Fraud are unfortunately all-too-common problems. If you have video surveillance, you may be able to prove that the individual is faking an injury or even set up a scenario where they would be hurt intentionally.
Insurance Discounts— Having enhanced security measures in place may qualify you for discounts on your business insurance. After all, when you protect your business with video surveillance, you are less of a claims risk for the insurance company. It’s in their best interest to encourage you to install any and all security measures.
Improve Business Operations— Video surveillance can reveal problems with staff; employees giving their friends perks, taking excessive breaks, or generally shirking responsibilities. These things may not necessarily directly impact your company’s security, but this information can definitely affect your bottom line.
Theft Control – This is, of course, is what most people think of first when they are considering installing security cameras. Visible cameras can be a powerful deterrent against theft.
If an individual does steal from your business, your video can lead to their capture, identification, and prosecution. Non-retail businesses are not immune to theft— the company’s physical property and intellectual property are also at risk.
It all adds up. A shoplifting event here and there, a burglary and theft, false worker’s compensation claims, building damage from vandals, and lowered employee assurance due to harassments that go unreported can all do serious damage to your business, even if it seems to be a little bit at a time.
According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States data, there were 1.5 million reported burglaries and 1.7 million reported shoplifting thefts in the US in 2016. Without security cameras, you have an increased possibility of becoming part of this statistic, significantly reduce the chance that the criminal will be properly identified and risk the chance of not being compensated for monetary losses and property damage.
Having cameras placed just anywhere without much thought behind it is about as helpful as not having any surveillance at all. You need to be sure your equipment is being implemented effectively. So, what are the best places to mount security cameras for maximum coverage?
Exterior of the Building – Cameras mounted to give views on the outside of your building can give you important footage in the event of a break-in or robbery attempt. Cameras that cover the walkways, entrances, and parking lot areas can give you valuable information like car make and model, license plate numbers, and potentially the faces of suspicious individuals.
Monetary Transaction and Reception Areas – Having cameras trained in on areas where money is exchanged gives you a record of everything going on around cash registers and safes. Have the camera at an angle where you can see the customer’s face, but also the hands and upper body of the customer and employee. Monitoring reception areas is equally important, as you can take note of a patron’s behavior as they are just arriving at your business.
Entrances and Exits – Keeping tabs not only on who is coming in and going out but also when is especially important. This will allow you to capture faces of those entering and exiting, when they are coming and going, and what they are coming and going with.
Storage Areas and Other Out-of-the-way Places – These areas are especially important to cover, especially if you carry inventory. These areas are prime spots for unscrupulous employees and thieves. Areas of interest you’ll want to cover: inventory storage spaces, closets, break rooms, walk-in coolers/freezers, and waste collection areas.
With all of this said, installing a security camera system is more than sticking a camera on a corner and letting it roll. A full evaluation of your property to ensure the best coverage including accounting for tricky lighting situations, choosing the right cameras for the space, and proper installation should be performed by a professional.