Much of the “business security” discourse centers around protecting what’s inside your business. Considering the value of what’s contained within your facility—employees, inventory, sensitive documents, cash, and more—interior security is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, this focus on the inner workings of a business means exterior protection occasionally falls by the wayside.
Security cameras are amongst the more oft-neglected external security measures. They are common, essential features in hallway intersections, over cash registers, or in warehouses or storage rooms, but are all-too-frequently dismissed as a “luxury” for businesses looking to cut costs or who have under-evaluated the risks facing their facilities each and every day. Unfortunately, some business owners and operators don’t understand the benefits of having a comprehensive surveillance system until they desperately need one—and didn’t have one functioning at the time of a break-in, accident, or other serious event. The fact is, outdoor security cameras are essential facets of a complete security solution—and the more your business stands to lose, the more vital they are to protecting what matters most.
While most business owners understand the importance of keeping an eye on the front door or the storefront windows, dangers can arise in a number of business-adjacent outdoor areas. Between pedestrians, car thieves, and careless car drivers, parking lots are bustling centers of risk—risks that can be mitigated or at least recorded by the presence of security cameras. Work yards where projects are completed outdoors can carry risk in both the capacity for employees to injure themselves and for parts and inventory to be stolen after work hours. Farmers tending high-value crops, airports, junkyards, detached buildings and storage sheds, and more all stand to benefit from a professional surveillance solution.
In addition to overly focusing on internal dangers, some businesses forgo outdoor camera solutions due to lack of understanding about the capabilities of a modern commercial-grade surveillance system. It goes without saying that leaving high-tech electronic equipment at the mercy of the great outdoors comes with a unique set of challenges. Firstly, moisture from precipitation and condensation can wreak havoc on electronic components, including power supplies, cabling, and the cameras themselves. Secondly, placing cameras outside increases the risk of vandalism. If a camera can be seen by a would-be burglar, it may become a target for obfuscation or even destruction.
There are technical issues involved with engineering complex outdoor camera systems as well. Most modern surveillance systems (IP cameras) require an internet connection to function. Keeping an eye on buildings, sheds, parking lots, work yards, and the like becomes complicated fast without a plan to maintain a steady internet connection. Cameras installed outdoors also have unique installation issues that indoor cameras do not. Proper coverage of, say, a farm field or parking lot may require cameras mounted on poles, the corners of buildings, or potentially cameras with telescopic lenses to see vast distances. Furthermore, high-clarity camera systems with dozens (or more) cameras require massive amounts of storage space, the engineering of which can become both highly complicated and prohibitively costly.
The number of obstacles involved in designing outdoor camera systems seems overwhelming at first glance. However, recent advances in surveillance technology paved the way for a robust outdoor security camera system that covers vulnerabilities while holding up against the elements. While you still shouldn’t put an indoor surveillance camera out in the rain, commercial surveillance equipment manufacturers have developed security cameras specifically built to withstand various issues stemming from exterior placement, including weather proofing and vandal resistance.
Surveilling wide-open spaces requires a variety of coverage options. A dome camera mounted on the side of a building may miss an occurrence just out of view. A standard bullet camera may not see far enough in the distance to make out license plates numbers or faces in a way that makes the footage useful for security purposes. For these reasons, outdoor cameras often come in a variety of models with a variety of features, including (but not limited to):
Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) capabilities
Remote zoom and focus
Facial recognition software
Infrared and night vision
These features and more can help cover most unique outdoor security concerns, but it still leaves one core issue: how do you get internet to out-of-reach or remote outdoor business cameras? Luckily, a professional security company can set up devices known as point-to-point wireless bridges to provide the cameras guarding the second with the appropriate Wi-Fi connection to beam footage back to the network video recorder. With help from these devices, a network of camera systems can cover a wider physical outdoor area than ever before, allowing you to keep an eye on your business both inside and out.
Knowing that a modern security camera system is possible in your business is half the battle. However, crafting the perfect solution for your facility requires addressing a number of questions, including:
What types of cameras cover my unique security vulnerabilities?
What are the limits of certain camera features?
How many cameras will I need for full coverage?
How much storage space will my recording device need?
How will I know my cameras are installed properly?
How do I maintain my system after installation and protect my investment?
Every business will have a unique answer to each of those questions. However, the right company—one well-versed in business security and one with experience with the latest and greatest surveillance technologies—should be able to guide you through the technical and logistical processes of design and installation. At EPS Security, we pride ourselves on our hands-on approach with engineering, installing, and maintaining our customers’ video surveillance systems. Our consultants and engineers will walk your facility or reference a blueprint to select the right cameras from world-class vendors like Digital Watchdog®, Honeywell®, Exacq® and AXIS Communications®. Our technicians, trained at our in-house EPS Training Center, will use their wealth of experience to install and test your system to ensure viability. And when the time comes to clean your camera lenses and perform maintenance checks on your system, our Preventative Maintenance technicians can be dispatched to ensure your system performs as well on Day 1000 as it did on Day 1.
Threats to the outside of your business can cause just as much chaos (and costly damage) as those to the outside. Don’t be caught in the dark at precisely the wrong moment. Let EPS Security guide you to a security camera system custom-tailored to your needs and discover the protective benefits of an EPS surveillance system for yourself.