Improving Parking Lot Video Surveillance at Your Organization
Commercial parking lots, parking areas at industrial sites, truck yard parking lots, and other such areas require protection. No matter what type of lot you’re operating, it’s likely a natural target for criminal activity. Theft, vandalism, property crime, and other incidents are common in parking areas and, therefore, parking lot video surveillance is often required.
There are many reasons why crimes tend to occur in parking lots, including:
- Theft from vehicles or the theft of vehicles is common on many different car lots and this is especially likely at an automotive lot where there are many valuable vehicles.
- Many parking lots are very large, which makes it difficult to see what is happening in the lot. This opens it up to crime.
- Criminals like to work in locations where they cannot be seen. Parking lots tend to not be very well-lit. This gives criminals a chance to work and/or a place to hide before they strike or surprise someone
- Lack of organization
- It’s often difficult to know what’s going on in a parking lot. This can lead to confusion and, in confusing situations, crime can prevail.
Since there are several probable vulnerabilities in most parking lots, it’s important that your parking lot video surveillance strategy takes all of these potential weaknesses into consideration.
Other Reasons for Parking Lot Video Surveillance
In addition to crimes, there are many other reasons why parking lot video surveillance is important. For instance, in a large truck lot, parking management is critical. When drivers arrive at the lot, it’s important that everyone knows where they park their trailers. Otherwise, it becomes incredibly difficult to find the right vehicles and trailers in the future.
Not only does this lead to wasted time while drivers walk around the lot looking at trailer numbers, but it can also result in a driver taking the wrong trailer and cargo being delivered to the wrong location. Obviously, this isn’t something that any business owner wants.
Parking lot management is also critical in sensitive areas where all vehicles must be tracked and where only certain vehicles may park in certain spots. Without parking lot video surveillance, it becomes incredibly difficult to know where someone has parked and to verify that drivers are leaving their vehicles in their assigned spaces.
Finally, collisions and accidents happen in parking lots. If there isn’t anyone watching the lot, it becomes nearly impossible to determine what happened in a collision. This makes it infeasible to assign responsibility. Plus, in many instances, the fact that an accident has even occurred may not be noticed for quite some time. If no one is monitoring a parking lot, significant damage may not be spotted until some time later when an investigation is no longer possible.
Comparing Parking Lot Video Surveillance Options
There are several types of parking lot surveillance and parking management solutions. For instance, several companies use unmonitored cameras to capture footage in a parking lot. However, since these cameras are not actively monitored, they aren’t able to provide much value. Criminals will not be stopped before they strike, drivers cannot be immediately directed to the correct spots, and many details will be missed.
In some organizations, the lot management process is left up to security guards who also watch the front gate. However, with this type of system, there are several opportunities for error. The first is that guards usually note down parking spaces manually in a notebook.
If the next guard arrives and is unable to accurately read the notes, there could be a problem. Another issue is that a security guard at the gates may be able to assign a spot, but they won’t know if the assignment is actually followed. This can create significant problems.
Live video monitoring provides comprehensive parking lot video surveillance 24/7. Live security agents watch over these cameras at all times, ensuring that nothing is missed. Plus, monitoring systems also include two-way speakers so that agents can communicate with the lot. This helps deter criminals, but it can also direct drivers to the correct spots.
If monitoring agents see anything that shouldn’t be, they can easily use the speaker system to rectify the problem. If criminal activity is occurring, agents can immediately notify the authorities to the situation in progress.
Plus, monitoring agents can spot accidents, prepare reports, and provide video evidence of everything that happens on a lot. This improves your parking lot security and helps your organization run more efficiently. For more information on live parking lot video surveillance and monitoring, please contact us today.
Unfortunately, parking lot crime is quite costly. The first cost is the actual loss or damage that occurs during a crime. However, an unsafe parking lot can cause additional issues as well. If your business uses a parking lot for staff parking, company vehicles, or for visitors or customers, you want it to be safe.
No one wants to have their vehicle damaged or stolen. An unsafe parking lot can negatively affect the reputation of your business. If staff, customers, or visitors don’t feel safe at your property, this will hurt your business.
When it comes to parking lot safety and security, there are many different choices. It’s important to make the right selection, since parking lot crimes happen relatively frequently. Both violent crime and property crime (such as stolen vehicles, property damage, etc.) are common in parking lots.
There are many reasons why. To make choosing the right parking lot safety and security solution easier, it’s helpful to understand why parking lots are such a common location for crime.
Understanding Parking Lot Safety and Security Threats
One main reason why parking lots are a common scene for crime is their size. They’re usually quite large, and that makes it difficult for security guards to properly watch over them. It would take many guards (which will likely be quite costly) to monitor a large parking lot, and they still would not be able to see everything that happens.
It isn’t just the size of a parking lot that makes it difficult to protect. Parking lots are usually filled with vehicles, but there aren’t always very many people present at any given time. This is especially true at night. Many parking lots are not very well lit, and that gives criminals places to work where they won’t be seen.
Since both issues involve criminals being able to operate without being noticed, it seems natural that the solution is to monitor the property more effectively.
Effective Parking Lot Security Monitoring
Naturally, criminals do not want to be seen. This is why they often strike parking lots. However, this weakness can be eliminated with a strong security monitoring system such as live remote monitoring.
Unlike traditional unmonitored security cameras, live remote monitoring cameras are watched by a trained security staff 24/7. This is a powerful benefit since this sort of monitoring allows agents to actively work to deter crimes and prevent theft and damage.
Active security is important. Active security means that someone can intervene to prevent a crime before it happens. Consider the difference between onsite security guards and traditional alarm systems and unmonitored surveillance cameras. With alarms and unmonitored cameras, no action is taken to stop a crime before it happens.
An alarm system sounds once a crime is already in progress, meaning that the damage has already been done. For instance, if you have a fence around your parking lot, the alarm may be triggered by someone cutting the fence. Even if the criminal isn’t able to commit any other crimes, you’ll still need to deal with the expense and hassle of repairing the fence.
Unmonitored cameras are typically used more for capturing evidence than for preventing crime. That’s because most of the footage captured by these cameras is only watched after an incident has already happened. This, unfortunately, doesn’t stop crimes from taking place.
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With live remote monitoring, cameras are watched 24/7 by professional security teams. This means they can interject as soon as they see a suspicious situation. Remote monitoring systems also include two-way speakers, so agents can inform someone lurking outside your fence or hiding behind a car in the lot (for example) that they’re being watched and that the police will be called if they do not leave immediately.
This is considerably more effective at deterring criminals than an alarm system or an unmonitored camera.
Live remote monitoring also improves parking lot safety and security more than traditional onsite guards. Not only can remote agents watch the entire property at once (which isn’t possible with guards), but they can also see clearly in challenging lighting conditions, such as at night.
High-definition cameras can capture clear footage in situations where guards would otherwise have trouble seeing.
Using Parking Lot Security Cameras
Parking lots are common sites for crime. They tend to be dark, sparsely populated, quite large, and there are often many valuables (such as vehicles and their contents) that are tempting to criminals. Since many parking lots are physically quite large, it becomes tough to protect them. Security cameras can help. If positioned properly, surveillance cameras can monitor an entire property, keeping it safe.
Of course, not all security systems are created equal. When it comes to asking how often parking lot security cameras are checked and other specific questions, it’s important to understand the details of each system and how different types of security cameras function.
How Often are Parking Lot Security Cameras Checked?
In many cases, parking lot security camera footage is only checked when it needs to be. At many properties, surveillance cameras are not monitored. This means they record footage and, if there isn’t any reason for anyone to check the footage, it will be overwritten or deleted after a certain period.
In other cases, cameras may only start recording when they are triggered. For example, a camera could be set up so that it only records video when motion is detected.
If a crime happens, such as if a car is broken into, security teams will check the footage. This can give them the evidence they need and potentially help them catch the person who committed the crime. However, this is only helpful after the fact. The damage has already been done. Criminals know this.
They know that, in many cases, parking lot security camera footage is not looked at until a crime has happened. If a criminal conceals their identity (by wearing a mask or hood, for example) and leaves the scene quickly, they may be able to get away with their crime.
However, the questions around how often parking lot security cameras are checked can be resolved in many ways. One of the most convenient and effective ways is to use live video monitoring.
Remote Video Monitoring at Parking Lots
Live remote monitoring involves installing cameras and other tools (such as two-way speakers) at a property so that security agents can monitor it remotely. This means the location will always be protected and action can be taken to stop crimes before they occur.
For instance, if live monitoring agents notice that someone is lurking at the property, checking cars, or otherwise acting in a suspicious manner, they can react before any crime takes place. This is important, since crimes cause damage and damage requires money and time to repair. If you can prevent a crime before it happens, you’re eliminating a lot of hassle.
When monitoring agents notice something suspicious, they can interject and work to prevent the crime from happening. For instance, agents can use two-way speakers to communicate with the person, ask them what they are doing, and inform them that police or security guards will be contacted if they do not leave the property.
Knowing that police could be called before any crime actually happens typically scares criminals into leaving the scene.
Plus, if the police are called while the criminal is still on the scene, they may place a higher priority on the call. Unfortunately, traditional alarm systems – even those that are designed to contact police directly – often sound false alarms.
When police are called and told that live agents are watching suspicious activity, they know that there is a real issue, and this helps them prepare to respond.
When you choose live remote monitoring, you don’t need to ask “how often are parking lot security cameras checked?” or deal with uncertainty, false alarms, and costly break ins. The live monitoring station will actively work to deter criminals.
Unlike traditional onsite security guards, remote monitoring teams can watch over an entire property at once. Guards, who usually make their rounds throughout a lot, can’t see everything at once. This gives criminals the chance to hide and wait for an opening. That doesn’t happen with monitored cameras.
For more information, please contact Birdseye Security Solutions today. We can help you choose the right security for your business.
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Vice President, Bison Transport
Regional Facility Manager, C.R. England
One of the largest carriers in Canada today, Bison Transport serves Canada and 48 nearby states.
C.R. England - Worlds largest refrigerated carrier with terminals across North America.