Why It Doesn’t Pay to Cut Corners with Security

Posted by Matthew Clark on March 5, 2021

Recent events have put a huge spotlight on gaps in physical security. On top of that, company leaders feel a lot of pressure to find ways to survive and stay in business. In doing so, they cut costs and go cheap wherever possible. They want to hold on to their employees as well. That further reinforces the need to watch costs.

The crisis has changed how people live and work, and it will not end anytime soon. Some habits will continue long after the pandemic ends. One outcome of the crisis is the need to increase security. Commercial property managers suddenly have found themselves needing or expanding video surveillance to watch their empty or almost empty buildings.

They search for security providers with the cheapest equipment and the lowest monthly fees. They may opt not to use real-time monitoring services.

The Problem with Cheap Security Options

Most businesses tend to rely on alarm systems, door contacts, window alarms, security lights, or a mix of these. These do not deter experienced thieves. Sometimes they do not scare off teens stirring trouble. They know they can get away before the police arrive. They trespass the business knowing full well that they might set off alarms.

This may convince you to invest in a basic web-based camera. You only have to pay for the product and maybe a small monthly fee for storing the video in the cloud. These inexpensive security cameras are made for residential use. They do not have the quality you need to identify intruders and other important information.

If you can afford the cost of security guards and have them keep an eye on the monitors, you pay far more than you should be for this type of service. It's mind-numbing watching the monitors for hours. Not only that but also you pay a high price for the security guards.

Even close up, it's not easy to make out the person. Too many stories of wrongful arrests have made the news. It's not a risk you want to take in the days of cancel culture. If you do not choose the right video surveillance solution, it could decrease effectiveness and put your business at risk for liability issues.

What good are security cameras if you cannot make out faces or any other identifying information? Even with today's advanced technologies, there are many security cameras with resolutions that will not suffice. Additionally, buying the highest definition camera alone doesn't maximize your security. It leaves out the proactive and monitoring equation, two things that make video surveillance more effective.

Not all security firms have a plan for everything. What happens if the power goes out? What happens if the video breaks? How long do they retain the data? How detailed are their analytics? Do they proactively conduct health checks on the system?

Opt for Monitoring with Artificial and Human Intelligence

A company that specializes in video surveillance operates differently than security guards using video surveillance equipment. The guards simply sit in a room watching many monitors. A video surveillance company uses a combination of artificial and human intelligence to maximize security.

Picture yourself watching multiple monitors all day for suspicious activity. That kind of monotony will make it easy to overlook things. When you team up video surveillance with analytics and trained monitoring operators, you can drastically lower the chances of errors and missed things.

Video analytics relies on artificial intelligence. The security developers program AI to scan for a diversity of scenarios. When AI detects one, it instantly notifies the operator on duty. The person investigates it and takes action. This could be issuing an audio warning on the remote speaker, contacting the business, or calling emergency.

Combining video analytics and human intelligence create a more powerful and cost-effective security solution. It turns security into a proactive one. It helps deter crime and prevent damage. The hardest part is finding the right security company with the technology to create advanced video analytics.

Security cameras that work alone are merely eyes. If something happens, you will not know until after the fact. You may show up at your business only to find broken glass splattered everywhere. Clearly, something happened overnight. Now you have to dig up hours of recordings and then watch them to hunt down the suspicious activity. All this time is better spent on your business.

Video surveillance companies have the resources and training to be proactive and find things quickly. They cost far less than security guards. Do-it-yourself video cameras don't have the power to catch suspicious activity before damage occurs. They also require a lot of time to search the footage.

Prevent False Alarm Fees with Video Verification

Out of all the alarms that have gone off in your business, how many were false? Maybe it'd be easier to answer how many were actual alarms? Many innocent things can set off an alarm. Even something as simple as dust in the alarm system can cause it to scream. A plastic bag blowing in the wind can trip cheap video surveillance systems.

How many alarms do you think turn out false? The number will surprise you. Research from Arizona State University Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (COPS) reveals 94 to 98 percent of alarms are accidental or innocent.

Do you want to waste 20 minutes of emergency personnel's time? Wouldn't you rather they go to a real emergency? Unfortunately, the report confirms false alarms drain 20 minutes of responders' time. Instead of wasting time on non-events, they need to use it to go to fires, crime scenes, and medical emergencies.

Every American city has different regulations for how they charge for false alarms. In some cases, they may not charge for the first one, but for the ones that follow. The price may increase with every incident.

Canada also charges fees for false alarms. A REMI story divulges the average cost of false alarms for small buildings is approximately $500 for each vehicle that arrives on the scene. For apartments and condos in Canada, the cost can run around $1,400 per incident.

Besides wasting city resources, a false alarm can cost a lot of money. Not just for your business, but also for fire and police departments. False alarms cost police departments 6.5 million personnel hours and $600 million per year as reported in the International Association of Chiefs and Police report.

Alarm video verification can stave off the costs and penalties associated with false alarms. And if there's indeed an emergency, verification often leads to faster response as emergency personnel will know what's happening.

Security Guards

The cost of security guards is out of the question for many businesses. For those that can afford it, security guards can cost more than what you pay them. First, the cost multiplies with every security guard you add. Second, they can only catch what they see in front of them. They can't watch the entire property.

Third, and something many businesses don't consider, is the price associated with security guard liability and a potential lawsuit. What's more is that security guards may not be able to do what you think they can. It depends on your state's laws, training, and licensing requirements.

If you want eyes on your entire property at all times, video surveillance can do that for up to 60 percent of the cost of security guards. This lets you retain more of your profits.

Additionally, video surveillance cameras record and save everything. The footage gives you the evidence you need. Because video surveillance is proactive, suspects can be captured on-site. For those who get away, the high-quality recordings can help catch suspects.

Security guards add an element of unpredictability and human error. The trained monitoring operators watching the cameras are located nowhere close to your business. They work from a safe place far away, so their lives are never in danger. You don't have to worry about their fight or flight response failing your business.

Unlike security guards, video surveillance can help decrease liability. For additional cost savings, it may reduce your liability insurance premiums.

Selecting the Right Security Solutions

Here's the best example of why it's worth paying for quality, knowledge, and experience. Cutting a wire is effortless. It only costs $1 to cut one wire. But knowing which wire to cut? That's worth 1000 times more as it saves lives.

Every day, video surveillance technology advances to be more effective and more affordable. Video surveillance companies with experience and resources constantly evolve to stay ahead. Not all of them have a relationship with law enforcement like Stealth does. Because of this, law enforcement will typically respond faster when they get a call from the company.

What security solution you need depends on your requirements. Determining the return on security investment (ROSI) proves challenging. More so if your business hasn't run into a major incident. Additionally, ROSI cannot capture the cost of peace of mind for clients, employees, vendors, and visitors. Security staves off negative publicity that comes with crimes, injuries, and death that occurs on a company's property. No one can put a number on that either.

Cookie-cutter security also will not ensure the best security for your business. The right one is customized for your industry and property. Use this list of questions to ask a video surveillance vendor. Visit the vendor's website. Look for testimonials and security videos. To learn what security options are ideal for your company to maximize your security ROI, please contact us.

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