8 Reasons Why Scrap Yard Security Needs Video Monitoring

Posted by Mark Mariotti on October 21, 2019

You have one billion reasons to invest in scrap metal recycling security. According to "Metals Theft," the U.S. Department Energy estimates the amount of copper stolen every year is $1 billion. Moreover, between the years 2011 and 2013, there were more than 40,000 claims for the theft of copper, aluminum, bronze, and brass. No wonder why thieves target scrap yards. They know their chances of finding copper and other precious metals are good.

While copper prices fluctuate, they've hovered between $2.50 and $3 per pound. It's understandable why thieves take the risk to break into a scrap metal recycling yard. The conclusion is clear from the data. Scrap yards need to beef up their security. The challenge is finding a solution that ensures a return on investment.

Thieves typically go after construction sites for copper. However, in recent years, scrap yards have gained a lot of traction. They repurpose used metals and promote recycling metal to companies to help them save on high-priced new metal mining production costs.

Scrap metal recycling yards aren't only prone to theft but other problems such as vandalism and fires. Fortunately, there is a cost-effective solution that can address all the problems, and no, it's not a guard dog or security guards.

An Effective Option for Scrap Metal Recycling Security

Why not security guards? Because for every guard you hire, the cost multiplies. They can't be everywhere on site, and most scrap yards are huge. You want a security solution that can see your entire property. You'll find the answer in remote video surveillance.

The scrap metal live video monitoring system consists of placing cameras in strategic locations around the property. Those cameras should appear in plain sight. That's because timid thieves tend to run away when they see those cameras. Although it helps, those cameras don't scare away all thieves. The next part of the scrap yard video surveillance equation is to have people watching those cameras. They are often not even on the site.

Here are the eight biggest reasons a scrap metal yard needs a high-quality video surveillance solution.

Why Do I Need Remote Video Monitoring in My Scrap Yard?

Remote video monitoring offers many benefits. Some of them will surprise you.

1. Can Deter Crime

When no one is watching the cameras or they don’t incorporate analytics, it makes it harder to prevent crime or catch it in progress. You may be wondering how video monitoring can stop crime if the person watching the cameras works away from the scrap metal recycling property.

Installing high-definition cameras helps make it possible for trained operators to watch your entire property. The technology blends smart analytics and human intelligence to maximize the chances of catching suspicious activity. If it's after-hours and the operator spots a suspect walking toward the property, he/she can act right away before the suspect does anything.

One way is to use an audio deterrent. This lets the operating monitor issue a warning to the suspect. This works some of the time. Some brazen suspects just cannot be scared off with a warning.

The next step is for the operator to call the police and stay on the line until they arrive on the scene. Using pan, tilt, zoom, (PTZ) cameras, the security operator can track the suspect's movements while keeping the police informed. Best of all, you will have a recording of what happened on your property and when it happened.

2. Can Protect Your Assets

You can put up cameras indoors, outdoors, at all exits, loading docks, and the parking area. A video surveillance system keeps a watchful eye on your inventory, cash registers, safes, and scrap parts. You'll gain peace of mind knowing everything is under observation.

If a suspect gets away with the crime before the police arrive, the high-definition cameras can capture identifying information about the suspect and any vehicle. Law enforcement has used the information to arrest suspects after they've left the scene of the crime.

3. Can Reduce Liability and Insurance Premiums

Liability is one of the hardest cases to win because you often cannot determine who is responsible. This is no longer a problem with a video monitoring system and continuous recording. Security consultants can review and analyze past footage to find the incident in question.

It helps you prove that you took the steps to create a safe and secure environment. Someone watching your property can identify and report potential hazards. Because of this, video surveillance helps protect liability.

If someone claims your property damaged their car, then video footage can show the car already had damage when it arrived on your property. The visibility of cameras around your property can reduce the chances of incidents occurring and help prove liability. An attorney can use the video recording as evidence in liability cases and protect you from false claims.

Furthermore, you can potentially reduce your insurance premiums. When you report that your property has a video monitoring system, it can lessen your risk. The fewer risks in your business, the lower the premiums.

4. Can Help Keep Employees and Customers Safe

As the manager or owner of the scrap metal yard, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone who enters and leaves the property. Trained operators can be on the lookout for potential hazards and report them.

They can also identify blind spots, problems, and patterns in how people move around the property. If they spot someone doing something risky, they can report it to management. You may keep scrap piles in a less-than-ideal location. With video surveillance, you can now store it in the best area of the property as cameras can watch over it.

5. Can Gain Quick Access to Evidence

Should an incident occur, or you receive a liability claim, you can call in the analysts. They can use their tools to quickly find suspicious activity. Once identified, they will provide high-quality footage that can provide the proof you need.

The key to making the video work as evidence is the use of the right cameras. Not all cameras can provide the needed distinguishing information. Prevent this from ever happening by asking your security vendor about their camera resolutions and capabilities. Here's a video of how cameras watch a truck and collect identifying information.

6. Can Monitor for Potential Fires

Metal recycling fires have grown by 63 percent in 2018 per WasteAdvantage Magazine. A search for scrap yard fire news reports reveal incidents in which the fire spread quickly and the damage hurt the business. It can also create a public health hazard, something that will affect the reputation of the business.

In many of the news reports, the cause is rarely immediately clear. It makes it hard to take steps to prevent it. Thus, a good option is to add video surveillance to scrap yard security to help catch early signs of fire and report it before it spreads.

7. Can Help Prevent Employee Theft

The fact is that crime in the workplace costs U.S. companies $50 billion annually per a CNBC report. It has cost businesses an average of $1.13 million in 2016. The reason internal theft is a common occurrence is that employees know the security system and its weaknesses.

They are in the best position to commit a crime and get away with it. Video monitoring can make it harder. Having operators watch your cameras off-site can reduce the chances of internal theft. The operators watching the cameras can't steal considering they're in a monitoring center far away from your property.

Yes, you should tell employees about your remote video monitoring system. It's not about them thinking you don't trust them. Put a positive spin on it by explaining it will protect assets from theft and ensure everyone's safety.

8. Can Saves Money

As previously stated, scrap yard video surveillance can save money by lowering insurance premiums. It can also increase the chances of deterring crime in which little or no damage occurs. This minimizes the cost of repairs and replacements.

Additionally, video monitoring costs up to 60 percent less than a security guard. All you pay is for the hardware and the monthly monitoring fee. You can see an ROI within four months.

How to Implement Live Video Surveillance in Your Scrap Yard

In searching for a proactive video monitoring solution, you want to select a vendor who knows the scrap metal yard industry. The security solution you need is different than the needs of a construction site, shopping center, and office building.

Another thing to search for is the right technology that can make out identifying information. Ask the security vendor for videos that catch criminals in the act. In watching the videos, check the picture quality. Here's a clip of how monitoring deters a scrap yard trespasser.

Scrap yards often request night-time video monitoring when no one is on the property. The next question to ask is whether the cameras can handle day and night-time video surveillance.

It is possible to get a right-sized solution that meets your security needs. Stealth Monitoring's security consultants listen to your needs and propose a solution that satisfies your requirements.

Here are some Stealth services available for scrap metal yards:

  • License plate recognition: Scans every license plate on the property.
  • System health check: Verifies your camera system works properly.
  • Long-range surveillance: Makes out faces and information from further away.
  • Video review and analysis: Searches through hours of video footage to investigate issues.

The growing number of fires and theft on scrap yards prompts managers and owners to seek a security solution. Undoubtedly, you want to protect your property and employees. Video monitoring can do that as well as help improve your operations and save on costs. You can get a faster return on your investment when you choose Stealth. To learn more, pick up your free copy of Live Video Monitoring: More Than Just Catching Criminals or contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring