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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in vandalism

We recently received a request to look at site plans for a shopping center.  This property management company needed to place exterior security cameras at strategic locations.  They are concerned about their investment.  So what were their main concerns on the exterior?

Pictured above is an infrared (IR) camera

Vandalism and illegal dumping.  These are two costs that property managers need to cover.

Interior cameras, needed to reduce theft and control employee behavior inside the stores themselves, are certainly concerns of the businesses leasing from the property management company—the tenants—and are typically handled by the individual stores.

Even though no one is stealing, vandalism and illegal dumping in various dumpsters create quite a cost to the property management company outside.

Questions that security integrators can help with in these situations are when to use IR (infrared), IP / Megapixel and when to use analog security cameras.  Sometimes, all three have their place in the same site application.

Sometimes a basic goal may be to just establish a presence with the cameras as a deterrent or to identify people or vehicles with which you are already familiar.  IP / Megapixel security cameras may not be necessary in these cases.  But most of the time, customers want to be able to identify the vandals and illegal dumpers (whom they don’t know) so they can turn video over to the police and use it in the court system.  As security professionals, we agree—you should aim to identify with ultimate clarity.

In this case, IP / Megapixel and Infrared cameras will provide the clarity and night vision that you need.  Your security consultant will be able to calculate how many of each that you need in terms of coverage.

Speaking of coverage, IP / Megapixel will typically cost more on an apples-to-apples basis compared to an analog camera, but you will need fewer of them on the exterior.  Plus, as alluded to earlier, if you’re going to go through the time and effort to have the project completed, you might as well install security cameras that can actually identify the offenders to authorities.

It may cost more on the front end, but why save money in the beginning just to have a solution that is not going to give you the results that you need.  Don’t get the wrong idea, analog cameras certainly have their place, and may still have a place on the exterior of your shopping center, but don’t forsake IP / Megapixel cameras due to cost.

And of course your video recording software is a major part of the solution as well.  Make sure to talk to your consultant about recording on motion, setting certain fields of view to record, setting certain times of the day/night to record, etc. 

For instance, if illegal dumping is occurring in your dumpsters, you can basically outline the dumpster using your software, and once that line is crossed during the time parameters you set, it will record any motion inside the designated area.

Again, if it’s happening at night, an infrared camera may be the solution, or a day/night camera (one that uses black and white recording in the dark—color doesn’t help at night) in combination with motion sensors lights that are triggered by the person, so the target area is illuminated for the cameras to pick up the illegal dumpers.

So there are many options for exterior video surveillance if you’re a property manager or other business professional.  And of course homeowners have many of the same options.

Thanks for spending some time with us.

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