Security Cameras: Necessities, Not Luxuries

Business owners face challenges and tough decisions every day. They often operate under paper-thin margins and have to carefully balance their income against their expenses. With such little room for error in determining what’s a necessity and what’s a luxury, business owners cannot afford to waste their money on anything that’s not critical.

With all the unavoidable costs that come with running a business such as employee wages, rent, and costs of goods sold, it can be easy to overlook a critical component that every business needs: a reliable security system.

A camera security system not only provides a business owner, their employees, and their customers with peace of mind; it can save business owners an enormous amount of money.

Peace of Mind and Increased Employee Productivity

The value of peace of mind cannot be understated in a business environment. For workers in the gas and convenience store space especially, the potential for crime can be a major concern. According to the FBI’s 2016 annual report on national crime statistics, there were 17,401 robberies in convenience stories in the United States, a 6.7% increase from 2015. Gas or service stations saw 8,178 robberies in the U.S., up 2.1% from 2015. And according to a study in the Journal of Safety Research, “workers in convenience stores have a 7 times higher rate of work-related homicide than workers in other industries.” (2 homicides per 100,000 workers vs. 0.28 per 100,000 workers)

Even outside of the gas and convenience store vertical, with all the recent televised mass shootings and with robberies on the rise, workers everywhere are looking for ways to feel safe. A camera security system provides that safety and peace of mind for workers, enabling them to concentrate on their work. On top of that, employees tend to work harder when they know there’s a surveillance system in place keeping them accountable. Obviously a “big brother” situation can have the opposite effect, but a simple camera presence encourages employees to be more productive since they know that their work can be reviewed.

Cost Savings

The cost of crime to a business can be extremely expensive. According to the Center of Problem-Oriented Policing, “the average cost to employers of a single episode of workplace violence can amount to $250,000 in lost work time and legal expenses.” And according to a 2010 report from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “victims of burglary offenses suffered an
estimated $4.6 billion in lost property in 2010
,” resulting in an average of $2,119 lost per offense.

Furthermore, according to the Greenwich Study of Security, properties without camera security systems are 2.7 times more likely to be robbed. By installing a
camera security system

businesses are protecting themselves against these potentially catastrophic events. Though robberies and incidents of theft can never be completely prevented, having a security system in place significantly reduces the likelihood of such incidents occurring, and it provides evidence for police and investigators to help them solve crimes and potentially recoup losses if these incidents do occur.

In addition to the cost savings from external threats, surveillance systems protect against internal theft, which can prove even more costly. A few statistics from a report by Jack L Hayes International, Inc. demonstrate how significant the costs can be:

  • Forty percent of small business owners file a commercial insurance claim within 10 years, and of these claims, the most common are for burglary and theft. Of the claims for theft, employees were the party responsible the majority of the time, and the value of items stolen by employees in these claims was six times the value of goods that were stolen by shoplifters.
  • In the restaurant industry alone, employee theft totals between about $3 billion to $6 billion dollars annually.
  • Seventy-five percent of employees have admitted to stealing at least once from their employer.
  • Only 5% of the value of items that are stolen generally gets recovered

As shown, employee theft can pose a serious problem to businesses. That’s why it’s critical for a security system to be in place to deter internal theft – as well as provide a means of documenting crimes and providing information in the event that incidents do occur.

Finally, on top of the cost savings from protecting against external and internal threats, a security system can help a business owner reduce their insurance costs.

With some insurance policies, if the business owner has a video surveillance system, insurance premiums can be reduced depending on the negotiated contract. Records from surveillance systems can protect insurance companies from fraudulent claims and scams, which cost American businesses up to 30 billion dollars a year according to an estimate from the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Having a surveillance in system in place can give a business the leverage they need in order to secure additional discounts from their insurance company.

Reducing Business Risk With A Security System

Overall, business owners face a lot of difficult day-to-day decisions in running a business. The decision to invest in a reliable camera security system that can provide them with peace of mind and reduce their costs should not be one of them.