Security Cameras: How Do They Cut Costs and Promote Workplace Safety?

Posted by Eric Nauta on March 1, 2021

Security, no doubt, appears high on the list of business priorities. To help ensure the business remains protected, owners and property management install security cameras to watch the exterior of the business. These areas include the parking lot, all entrances and exits, and any places that store equipment and inventory.

Security camera systems can do much more. They can monitor for threats that occur inside the building. They play an important role in maintenance, safety, and operations. The pandemic also reinforces the need for security cameras to keep the public medically safe. Here's a look at how video surveillance can cut costs and boosts safety.

The Price of Security Vulnerabilities

You not only want to look at the cost savings associated with security cameras but also the price of not closing any security gaps. Security vulnerabilities cause businesses to lose money. How much? It depends on your industry.

Take a look at the cost of not bolstering security:

Additionally, violent and property crimes affect every industry. The FBI's Crime Data Explorer reveals The No. 1 location for violent crimes is a home. However, the two locations right behind are highway/alley/street/sidewalk and parking garage/lot with roughly 135,000 incidents in 2019. That's an average of 2,600 occurrences each week! The types of crimes categorized as violent crimes include robbery, homicide, rape, and aggravated assault.

Unfortunately, that's not the worst of it. Property crimes far exceed violent crimes. A property crime may involve motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny-theft, or burglary. In 2019, 7,000 property crimes happened in parking lots every week! That's 1,000 per day! On average, almost 4,500 property crimes have taken place in the street, alley, highway, or sidewalk.

Take a look at the weekly average of property crimes in 2019 by business location:

  • Department or discount store: 5,628 property crimes per week
  • Grocery store: 2,422 property crimes per week
  • Specialty store: 1,832 property crimes per week
  • Commercial or office building: 1,813 property crimes per week

Property crimes cost more than the price of repairing damage or replacing items. Other associated costs may include medical bills, lost wages, number of days of missed work, pain and suffering, and others. Calculating the full cost of security vulnerabilities isn't possible.

You can't put a number on the cost of brand reputation. Recall how the massive hackings have affected companies that have experienced a security breach. These hacks compromised millions of people's personal information. Without a doubt, large-scale hack attacks created a publicity nightmare for the affected companies.

How Security Cameras Close Security Gaps

Although video cameras close safety and security gaps, they cannot do it alone. The best approach is to create multiple layers of physical security. The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) RedBookLive explains the effectiveness of layered security with three elements: detect, response, and delay:

"It is therefore always important to ensure suitable physical security measures are in place and that those measures provide sufficient delay to enable the intruder to be detected and a suitable response mounted in order to apprehend the intruder."

Why should you trust LPCB's recommendation? LPCB sets the standards to ensure the effectiveness of security products. In other words, layered security covering these three components increase hardiness. Video security cameras with surveillance contains all three. The most effective video surveillance monitoring relies on a combination of artificial and human intelligence.

Watching cameras for hours on end can easily cause any human to tune out. Artificial intelligence steps in and adds needed support to monitor the business. As soon as AI spots something, it alerts the human who takes proper action.

Multi-layered perimeter security may involve some or all of the following:

  • Access control system
  • Lighting
  • Fencing or gates
  • Strategic landscape design
  • Video surveillance

You can further heighten the effectiveness by unifying the security. In other words, all of the components work together as part of an integrated security system. This simplifies management, automates the right processes, and reinforces security.

An integrated security system may contain these:

  • Access control system
  • Video cameras
  • Monitoring
  • Video analytics
  • Audio warning speaker
  • License plate recognition

An integrated system can, for instance, combine video cameras with an access control system. This allows you to match the time stamp on the access control with the video. Otherwise, the following scenario may happen.

Management finds out that someone who does not have authorization accessed a secured room at a specific time. The access control system helps them confirm the time. However, finding the associated video footage will take longer than it would in an integrated system. Someone will have to browse hours of videos to pull up the footage for the exact time and date of the incident. A unified security system skips this part and saves hours.

Security Cameras Help Increase Profits by Deterring Crime and Injuries

Medically-consulted work-related injuries cost a company an average of $42,000 according to the National Safety Council. Moreover, the number of days lost due to work-related injuries in 2019 adds up to 105 million! Out of that, 70 million were from injuries taking place in 2019. What about the remaining 35 million? Those come from injuries in prior years. Injuries can continue to cause workers to miss work for a long period.

Of course, some industries see higher numbers because of the nature of the job. This is true for construction. Investing in security cameras to prevent work-related injuries almost pays for itself with just one avoided injury. Additionally, the company can dodge potential liability issues and its expensive lawsuit.

Employees who feel safe will stay longer and clients will come back. Retention can impact the bottom line. Small Business Trends points a Harvard Business School study that proves a small 5 percent increase in retention can boost profits by up to 95 percent! Thus, the steps you take to bolster security can help retain customers. This, in turn, drives up profits.

For example, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) reports apartments have an 85 percent greater chance of burglary than single-family homes. That said, it does not surprise anyone that apartment tenants want security as an amenity.

Each security camera can have a specific goal. Artificial intelligence can verify the accomplishment of the goal. For instance, the goal of the camera watching the front entrance is to confirm no one breaks in and everyone who enters has the proper credentials.

Another camera watching the loading dock monitors for safety processes and that only assigned personnel works there. A camera tracks all vehicles entering the property and can capture license plates in case of an incident. The license plate can help locate the person of interest.

Employee theft can become a problem. They know the layout of the property. They know the location of security weaknesses. Unlike security guards, cameras can see the entire property at all times and spot internal theft.

Choosing the Right Security Camera System

Safety and security should be the concern of every business. Policies and procedures can only do so much. They mean little if few people follow them. Security cameras can help verify people comply with the policies and procedures. They also spot problems, find opportunities, and reinforce training.

As you review your security budget to determine how much you can spend, avoid the temptation of picking the first and most expensive new security technology. A robust solution does not guarantee the best protection. Such a security system that requires too much work to use or has a low level of convenience will not provide the maximum effectiveness needed.

Step back. Make a list of your security requirements. Talk to multiple companies. Let them do the talking. Use this video surveillance company checklist to help you ask the right questions.

You can implement an effortless video surveillance system by working with a security company that specializes in these systems. They typically have a turnkey system to manage the entire process. In short, they install the security cameras, ensure the cameras work, monitor them, and conduct system health checks to verify they still work at optimal levels.

Properly selected and implemented security cameras offer many benefits, such as:

  • Helps make everyone feel safer
  • Provides proof of break-ins, incidents, and fake claims
  • Identifies hazards and unsafe practices
  • Helps prevent expensive, time-consuming lawsuits
  • Helps reduce liability and associated premiums

The ideal video surveillance system depends on your needs. It will not be easy to determine the return on security investment (ROSI). Besides, you cannot put a number on the cost of peace of mind for employees, clients, visitors, and vendors. You will avoid any publicity that results from crimes and injuries that occur in the business. There's no putting a price tag on that.

In working with the right security company, you will not find a cookie cutter-security solution. Security companies that get results do so by customizing the security camera system for your business. To learn more security camera technology and its ROI, check out this free guide on Remote Video Surveillance: More Than Just Catching Criminals or contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Video Monitoring