How Many Security Cameras Do I Need to Protect My Business?

It’s true that budgetary restrictions may limit your initial approach. However, failing to design an adequate security network leaves you almost as vulnerable as if you didn’t have one at all.
How Many Security Cameras Do I Need

One common question security companies get is, “How many security cameras do I need?” There are two answers: A short answer and a longer one, which is related to how to place security cameras. On average, a business will need around 16 to 64 cameras for complete safety. However, this depends on the size of the property you’re trying to protect, your budget, and a host of other factors.

How Many Security Cameras Do I Need?

It might be tempting to take a “place it and go” approach to security cameras. However, figuring out how many cameras you need as you go isn’t the best approach. 

If you’re asking yourself how many security cameras you need, you should first look at your property as a whole. Why would you add cameras to only one part of your business and leave another exposed?

How Many Security Cameras Do I Need?

It’s true that budgetary restrictions may limit your initial approach. However, failing to design an adequate security network leaves you almost as vulnerable as if you didn’t have one at all. In other words, making a plan for a full complement of security cameras can help determine the most critical spots, even if you can only afford the budget to install a handful now. 

There isn’t an easy formula that dictates how many security cameras you’ll need per square foot. However, there are several considerations you should synthesize into a camera security strategy. Let’s go over a few.

Security Strategy Checklist

  • What is your goal? This will dictate not only the number of cameras you need, but also the type. Consider:
    • Are you trying to ward off intruders or catch them in the act? 
    • Do you only need the cameras after hours, during business, or both? 
    • Would you like the system to sound an alarm when a perimeter is breached? Should you have night vision? 
    • How do you want to be notified of a problem? 
    • Is your goal just to monitor your property, or do more?
  • What is the property layout? Think about the different locations you want to cover to keep your investments safe. This will dictate how to place security cameras. Consider:
    • Do you have a large expanse of parking lot? 
    • Are there hidden, dark nooks and crannies for intruders to hide in? 
    • How large is your property? 
    • How many stories are the buildings?
    • Do you want the cameras to record customers or employees?
  • What are the most mission-critical parts of the business?
    • Where are the most valuable assets on the property?
    • Are there restricted parts of the business?

These areas may necessitate more cameras, or a different type of camera feature suited for the asset. 

  • Where are you vulnerable?
    • Do you have glass windows and doors that can be jimmied or broken into?
    • Do you have equipment vulnerable to theft on the property?

Think from a criminal’s perspective. Ask yourself what vulnerabilities your business has.

  • What else do you need? Talk with your security professional to design the overall architecture of your surveillance system with the right features. This can include wide-angle lenses for large expanses. Live remote surveillance services can watch your cameras 24/7. Audio and video deterrents can scare off criminals with sound and lights. You even have the choice between wired and wireless camera systems, depending on your situation.

All these decisions are dictated by the budget, of course. However, we recommend starting by assessing the ideal configuration for the business, and proceeding accordingly. The budget may dictate cutting back on the number of cameras or the features needed. Camera placement can also be tweaked or changed slightly according to your security professional’s recommendation. 

This next section will look more closely at the most common areas for placing business security cameras.

Tips for Placing Security Cameras

Five Useful Tips for Placing Security Cameras

  • Leverage hidden and visible cameras. There are benefits to both. For example, if a criminal can see the camera, it might serve as a deterrent. But if the camera is hidden, it might catch employee theft. Installing cameras high off the ground with tamper-free housings serves a dual role of deterrence and vigilance. The criminal may assume the cameras they see are the only cameras you have. But they don’t have to be!

  • Cover the entire perimeter. Shoot for 360-degree coverage of potential hiding places and egresses in and off the property.

  • Focus on restricted access areas or any secluded spots. Try to cover parking lots, dumpster pads, alleys, or any nooks and crannies in and around the business. You can keep your eyes on the entire property by having a security team monitoring for suspicious behaviors.

  • Use cameras as your “eye in the sky.” Place cameras as high as possible. You can even make the cameras mobile. The general rule is: the higher the camera, the less likely they’ll be tampered with. This also widens the surveillance zone for each camera. However, go too high and you may miss details, so again, be strategic.

  • Get a detailed security assessment. This includes a walk-around and discussion of your goals, concerns, and budget. These assessments give you a chance to learn more about today’s innovative camera technologies, like IP-camera hosting and artificial intelligence.

How Many Cameras Do You Need?

How Many CCTV Cameras Do You Need

At Pro-Vigil, we know we must walk a line between protecting your business and going beyond your budget. Our security assessment and analysis process work closely to individualize your security footprint. Ultimately, we want each camera to multi-task by offering more than one simultaneous return on your investment. 

Today, there are myriad ways to use security cameras to keep your business safe. Pro-Vigil is the nation’s leading expert in protecting your property with proactive remote video monitoring. Talk with our team today for a safer business tomorrow.

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