I was walking around work the other day and I noticed two security cameras that were pointing directly at the wall. While I think the cameras were disabled, I did question their placement—in the hallway to the break room and bathrooms with no direct access to the rest of the office building.
Obviously, this was a good example of where not to place cameras. But where is the best place to install security cameras? Is there a magic formula that helps you discover the best spots?
Most of deciding where to put cameras is simple logic. You want to put them where there is actually something that needs to be watched (aka not the wall in the hallway to the bathroom). Here’s a short list of places to put security cameras that will give you the most valuable insights:
- Exits and entrances—This will help you see who is coming and going, but it will also help you know how long they are in your business. Furthermore, if they are prominently displayed the cameras can act as a deterrent for criminal activity.
- Checkout stand/cash registers—This one is obvious. This is where money is kept and transactions are carried out. Unless something unusual happens, this is the last point of contact with the customer, and they are typically located near the exit. It is the ideal spot to slip products into pockets or even the place to commit a grab and go theft. Self-checkout lanes are making theft at these locations even easier. People can purposefully ring up the wrong product, not scan some of the products in their cart, or again slip things into their pocket.
- Reception/main lobby—Even if your business doesn’t have many visitors, nearly everyone enters through the reception area. This high traffic area sees everything from prospective hires to the delivery driver.
- Delivery docks/warehouses—These areas are where the raw materials, finished products, and goods are delivered. They are a hotbed of activity. However, often they need security during the off hours when there are minimal employees on-site. This can not only help protect your inventory, but your employee(s) as well if they are working the graveyard shift.
- Secluded areas—This can be an alley between buildings, your parking lot, and even by the dumpster. Secluded spots are easy places to hide as well as commit property crimes like vandalism.
When you are installing cameras at your business, take a look around. Look for these areas and others where criminals might strike. Each business is different, but it is better to anticipate where potential crimes might happen then to put a camera up after the fact.