When a business owner hears “video monitoring system,” the first and sometimes only thought that comes to mind is “I’m not worried about being robbed.” This is true for many businesses that do not handle cash or store valuable inventory. For example, the FBI reported the most likely businesses to be robbed in 2018 were commercial houses (such as bars, restaurants, malls, and retail stores), convenience stores, gas stations, and banks.
However, if you run a business that is relatively unlikely to be robbed, such as a law firm, accounting office, or insurance agency, you can still benefit from video monitoring cameras. Here are five reasons businesses should have video monitoring systems:
Even if your business is not likely to be robbed, there are other forms of outside threats that can victimize your business. Mass shootings, for example, have increased in both frequency and numbers of victims over the past five years. While these events seem to unfold differently in almost every case, a video monitoring service with commercial access control systems might help you to stop a mass shooter before entering your business.
Identity theft has also increased. Identity theft resulted in about $17 billion in stolen goods and cash in 2017. A video camera system that monitors every customer who enters your business can help prevent losses due to any of those customers using stolen checks, credit cards, or debit cards.
Most businesses are reluctant to admit it, but crime can be committed from inside a business. Video monitoring systems can help to deter employees from committing crimes and help police identify those who do.
For example, employees can embezzle or steal from your business. Whether it is a few dollars from the cash register or inventory out of the warehouse, these losses can add up. Video surveillance companies can help businesses monitor employees to stop insider theft.
Employees can also victimize your customers by stealing, harassing, or even assaulting them. This will not only tarnish your business’s reputation, but could create legal liability for the business if reasonable measures, such as video cameras, could have stopped an employee’s criminal behavior.
On your premises, you have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to discover hazardous conditions and either mitigate them or warn the public of them. If you do not, you may be liable for the harm arising from those hazardous conditions.
The classic examples of these types of cases are burned out light bulbs in stairwells and puddles on the floor. Closed-circuit video cameras can help you to identify hazardous conditions and correct them.
Just as importantly, video monitoring systems can also help you prove whether an alleged slip-and-fall ever occurred. For example, if a customer claims that she slipped on the floor near your bathrooms because of a puddle, you can check the video recordings to determine whether she actually slipped and, if so, whether there was a puddle there to cause the fall.
Just as you can monitor your premises to make them safe for customers, you can also monitor your premises and employees for risks to employee safety. For example, real-time video monitoring can help you to identify and stop risky employee practices before an employee is injured. Employees who misuse equipment or deliberately bypass safety controls might not only harm themselves, but create a dangerous environment for all your other employees.
If an accident does occur, video of the accident can help you to identify the chain of events that led to the accident. This will help you to develop solutions for preventing similar accidents in the future.
Businesses are subject to many internal and external regulations. Franchises and branch offices, for example, must comply with corporate-wide policies. Similarly, all businesses must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
Video monitoring systems can help businesses ensure that laws, regulations, and policies are being followed. For example, a restaurant can use video systems to ensure that employees are handling food safely and complying with health codes. The video recordings also help them to defend themselves in the event that health inspectors allege code violations.
Deterring crime is just one role of video monitoring systems. Video cameras can also be used to monitor employees, identify hazards, and ensure compliance.