Most business owners understand the importance of security and protection. However, they may think installing a surveillance camera system may be too expensive. The opposite is true; it’s too costly—and risky—not to install video surveillance. This blog will weigh surveillance camera installation costs against their value to your business.
Understanding the Costs of Business Camera Surveillance Systems
Business video surveillance systems can cover a lot of ground, both inside and outside a business. Many systems today can integrate with mobile or web devices and can feed you or a security team video in real time so you can see what’s going on. Imagine receiving a text from your video surveillance software that lets you know there’s a trespasser in your parking lot.
There are myriad benefits a modern camera surveillance system offers that go beyond capturing video images of someone breaking into your building.
Today, you can watch customers or employees in real time. The video your surveillance system captures can be useful for insurance, handling worker’s compensation claims, or for law enforcement. You can even use modern camera technologies to scare off criminals by sounding audible and visual alerts.
Additionally, surveillance systems can also be a valuable tool in improving employee productivity by encouraging them to stay focused and discouraging non-work-related activities during office hours. It may also provide valuable operational insights that may help improve day-to-day operations and increase revenues, detect potential fire hazards or safety violations to prevent accidents and reduce property damage, and provide identity verification and remote access to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the premises.
For full protection, virtual guards can monitor your cameras, and as you’ll see, they are much more cost-effective than a traditional on-site physical presence.
But how much will installing a surveillance system cost you? The price of any technology installation varies by the number of features you select. When considering a new surveillance system, a variety of factors come into play that increase or decrease costs.
Wireless IP cameras save money on security camera installation costs; there’s no wiring needed. Wireless cameras are generally easier to set up as well as easy to use. However, the camera itself may be slightly more expensive.
Security camera installation cost is also affected by the type of cable used (e.g., Ethernet, coaxial, or wireless) and the distance between the cameras and the recording equipment. Expect to pay more if your system requires long cable runs or complicated wiring.
It’s a good idea if you’re worried that thieves or vandals could take out your cameras. This could add slightly to the cost.
You can select weather-hardened cameras that can stand up to some very rugged conditions. However, please be aware that outdoor cameras are typically more expensive because they need to be weatherproof and durable to withstand harsh environmental conditions.
Using visible vs. discreet cameras can have different benefits. Installing security cameras in plain view can discourage dishonest or inappropriate behavior, reduce the possibility of false claims, and deter criminal activity, such as theft, vandalism, and trespassing. Customers, staff, and visitors also feel more secure when they know they are being watched.
Moreover, visible cameras can prompt quicker responses from security personnel or law enforcement in the event of an incident as they can easily identify the location of the cameras and access the footage.
While the choice between visible and discreet cameras depend on your specific security goals, the environment in which they will be deployed, legal and ethical considerations, and your budget, using a combination of visible and discreet cameras is highly recommended to achieve a healthy balance between deterrence and covert monitoring.
While we don’t know why you would consider anything less than HD quality, the higher-end cameras are more expensive. However, if the resolution is poor, you’ll have a harder time discerning detail. Today’s cameras offer crystal clear viewing, not just in HD, but also with night vision viewing. This will help you see exactly what’s going on after hours at your business.
This is a tricky issue that requires a careful analysis of your business. What blind spots exist? Do you want to monitor the parking lot, where crime is often prone to happen? Consider the coverage area and the specific areas you want to monitor to determine the number of cameras you need to install. Evidently, the number of cameras, as well as the features you’ll need, requires some experience in setting up surveillance systems so look for a vendor with proven experience in this area.
Surveillance camera installation costs include more than just the installation itself. If you’re adding video surveillance to your business, the process will be typically broken out into three primary categories:
Hardware is typically the biggest cost of the entire system. You can expect to pay somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000. Typically, we see about $3,000 invested in hardware. But all of the factors we’ve written about (e.g., the number of cameras and their features) play a role.
First, you have to consider the cost of the camera. Basic analog cameras can cost around $50 per unit, while high-end IP cameras with advanced features can cost several hundred dollars each. Then, you’ll also need recording equipment (DVRs for analog systems or NVRs for IP systems), which may set you back another $200 for entry-level DVRs or NVRs and thousands of dollars for high-capacity, enterprise-grade units.
You’ll also need cabling (e.g., Ethernet, coaxial, or wireless) and connectors, junction boxes, and conduits for cable management. Collectively, these may cost you anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the scale of the installation.
To complete the setup, you’ll need monitors (minimum $100 per unit), additional external hard drives or network-attached storage (NAS) devices (for storing video footage for extended periods), power supplies, mounting brackets, housings, and weatherproof enclosures (for outdoor cameras), and additional hardware components such as power surge protectors, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) units, or audio equipment.
Installation and activation costs can vary from $300 to $700. Installation is less if your cameras are wireless. But they still will need to be hooked up through the cloud to record and store the video you capture.
Security camera installation and activation costs can vary widely based on the number of cameras, the complexity of the installation, the size of the project, and whether you are hiring a professional installation team or installing the security system yourself. For larger and more complex security system installations, however, hiring professional installers is highly recommended.
In general, security camera installation costs can range from a few hundred dollars for a small system to several thousand dollars for a comprehensive commercial setup. Some areas may also require permits for security camera installations.
Once the cameras are installed, they need to be configured (often included in the installation cost). This includes setting up camera angles, resolution settings, motion detection, and network settings.
If you’re using IP-based systems, you may also need to hire a specialist to set up a network infrastructure, configure routers and switches, ensure a stable internet connection, and configure your software and mobile apps.
Integration with Other Systems
Integrating your security cameras with other systems like alarms, access control, or smart home automation can also impact security camera installation cost.
Maintenance and Support
For long-term operation, you’ll need to factor in ongoing maintenance, software updates, and technical support to the overall cost. This can range from $100 to $500 or more per year, depending on the level of service required.
Business monitoring is particularly important for all-around protection. The idea of a virtual security guard service is that you have a trained team monitoring your video surveillance system 24/7. Instead of traditional security guards, who can be exorbitantly expensive, trained off-site guards can monitor your business and save you considerable money. Live guards cost an average of $13.50 per hour. Virtual guards at Pro-Vigil cost a fraction of that.
Let’s explore the point raised in that last bullet a little more fully: Is virtual surveillance more effective than a private security guard company? Virtual guards come out ahead on costs, but are there other pros and cons to consider when installing this service?
A live guard offers a physical deterrence. But a live guard cannot see all the nooks and crannies of your property simultaneously. Virtual guard services watch a bank of monitors connected to the video cameras at your property. They see just about everything going on in real time. They can also remotely activate your video surveillance cameras to zoom in or even sound an audible or visual alarm to scare away intruders.
Virtual guards do not have a risk of being injured on your property. A live guard could trip and fall or otherwise injure themselves. This could leave you open to legal trouble or worker’s comp claims.
Pro-Vigil knows a thing or two about surveillance system installation. We offer a full video surveillance package that includes 24/7/365 monitoring for 30-cameras that can cover every area on your property. Virtual surveillance acts in the same as a live security guard; but the savings are substantial.
If you’re weighing the surveillance camera installation costs, the most important question you should ask is: Can I afford not to install security cameras in my business? Pro-Vigil is one of the leading security companies in the nation and we can help design a protection package suitable for any need or budget. Talk with our team today to find out more.