There's more to security camera placement than finding a spot that points to the front door or the cash register.
No business owner likes getting a midnight call from the security alarm company. You're groggy and not fully awake, and it takes a few minutes for the news to sink in. Your store alarm is going off, and police are on the way. You throw on some jeans and a sweatshirt, grab your keys, and head to the car hoping it's a false alarm.
A 2016 study of 23 large retail stores reports that police and security personnel caught 438,082 shoplifters and "dishonest employees." While only 12% of those apprehensions were store employees, they accounted for over one-third of the total value of cash and inventory.
Shoplifting and employee theft aren't the only two theft problems a small business will face. According to the retail loss prevention news source D&D Daily, burglaries are increasing, and the bulk of those burglaries are happening between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. when your store is closed.
So what is a small business owner to do? Among your options, buying and installing a security camera system may be one of the more cost-effective solutions. But for a camera to work, you have to consider security camera placement. A poorly placed camera is almost pointless, and these mistakes will have thieves chomping at the bit to break into your business.
Rookie Mistakes: Security Camera Placement
1. Poor lighting
The website surveillancereviews.net points out that a security camera follows the same rules as any camera—especially when it comes to lighting. Too much backlighting will give you a beautiful silhouette, but you won't be able to recognize any facial features. So the effectiveness of an indoor camera pointed toward your front door may be diminished by bright outside lights.
2. Improper camera angle
The same website also suggests placing your cameras at or near head level so you can more easily identify an intruder. A camera at too severe of an angle makes it difficult to discern the facial features of an intruder. A high angle is great for covering more square footage, so combining the two placements can work, but if you only have one camera, make sure you can use it to identify any burglary suspects.
3. Using cameras that aren't up for the job
Buying the wrong camera, too few cameras, or poorly made equipment won't help you when you need the visual information a good camera can offer. You get what you pay for, so skimping on your security system often ends up as a bad return on your investment. Discount Security Cameras points out that poorly made cameras may not work, have poor images, stop working, or include buggy software.
4. Do-it-yourself installation
Video security is a specialized field. SecurityCamExpert.com points out that it's far too easy to ruin your equipment if you install it improperly. A reputable security company will provide you with a warranty and expert consultation if you have questions or experience problems.
5. Forgetting that a camera is just one part of your security system
A security camera may deter some crime and it may help you identify a suspect in a theft, but a camera is just one part of your overall security system. One of the most simple and effective ways to prevent a break-in is to lock your doors and set your alarm.
Additionally, part of the benefit of proper security camera placement is that potential criminals will be deterred when they see them. Be sure to keep your cameras visible. Beyond that, it's important to have a security plan in place and protocols for how to handle events like armed robberies, shoplifting, burglaries, and even other occurrences like fires and floods.
As for preventing employee theft, one way to minimize internal theft is to create a positive work environment. Happy employees are more likely to be loyal and honest. Better still, happy employees create happy customers.
Did you know you can incorporate protection for inventory and cash losses with a business insurance policy through Pekin Insurance? Get in touch with your Pekin Insurance agent today and ensure the health of your business for the future.