When you own a small or medium-sized business, maintaining an acute awareness of what happens within and around your establishment's walls is crucial to your business' success. While that may be the case, even the most ambitious SMB (small- and medium-sized business) owners can't be everywhere all the time. Fortunately, video surveillance systems have made keeping tabs on your place when you are not there easier than ever. And with the newest advancements in wireless security cameras, you can monitor everything with ease on your smartphone from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. Here's a bit more about strengthening your small business' security as well as some tips related to keeping an eye on your employees, monitoring your merchandise and everything in between.
First of all, recognize some of the benefits related to setting up a wireless security camera system in your place of business.
- For cameras in plain view, deter would-be criminals and dishonest employees from wrong-doing by the fully-visible set of eyes watching their every move.
- For more covert operations, you can observe the perpetrators in their natural state without tipping them off to the fact that they have someone looking over their shoulder.
Either way, with security cameras in place, there is always someone watching your business, and often, more effectively than you could ever hope to do on your own.
If you simply need to keep an eye on a single area, consider utilizing a small surveillance camera near a cash register, in a stock room or even next to an employee's workstation. Quality surveillance cameras can easily be found for less than $100 and typically include:
- Wireless N connectivity
- Wide pan and tilt range
- Smartphone compatibility with remote internet viewing
- Motion detection and night vision
- Embedded IR-Cut filter plus built in network video recording system
The Big Picture
If, however, you need more widespread coverage to include areas such as a warehouse or unloading dock, retail area or basic entrances and exits, consider the flexibility of a multiple camera setup. While typically running around $300 a piece, multi-camera installments can provide you with:
- Smart cameras that automatically record when they sense motion with infrared detection
- HD-quality video
- Night vision
- Wide range wide-angle lens
- The ability to record up to a week of surveillance even when the PC is off
The Lowdown on Liability
Once you have settled on your system, there are several peripheral things to keep in mind when selecting your surveillance setup:
- For insurance purposes, surveillance footage can help monitor hazardous work areas and prevent fraudulent workers' compensation claims.
- Do not record audio. Although people in public places can generally be captured on video without their consent, their voices are virtually off-limits.
- Set up signs in highly visible locations alerting to the presence of security cameras...just to be on the safe side.
In general, there are other basic things you can do to give the security of your business a boost:
- Always keep areas around exterior doors and entranceways well lit.
- Keep doors and windows locked during off hours or times when anyone is alone at the office.
- Don't store expensive items near windows or in plain view of passersby. This includes valuable merchandise and office equipment.
- When you do make large purchases for your store or office, immediately dispose of the boxes and don't leave them intact on the curb -- break them down and/or place in a covered cardboard recycling container.
What other security strategies do you employ at your place of business?
Author Bio: Chris Long is a Home Depot "on the floor" sales associate and a regular contributor on electrical topics for Home Depot's website. His interests include providing tips on security systems for the home to matching lighting with colors.
(Image: t0zz via freedigitalphotos.net)