Tips & Tricks for Warehouse Security
Industrial warehouse security presents a unique challenge for security integrators thanks to their contents and construction. As a manager or owner, you face a variety of threats from both would-be criminals and employees. With shipments moving in and out, workers running to and fro, and heavy machinery going back and forth, there’s a lot of potential for theft and injury. Your security cameras will need a clear view of your workspace or storage area, and your access controllers need to keep the right people in the right places.
Solving the Challenges of Warehouse Security
The way warehouses are built doesn’t help the installation of your warehouse security systems. High ceilings make wiring difficult, requiring a lift to run the appropriate cabling and conduit. While warehouses are sturdy, their construction limits the usefulness of wireless security systems. Radio, WiFi, and cellular signals have a hard time going through concrete; even with wireless repeaters, they tend to bounce off and generate interference instead. You’ll need a hardwired system if you want reliable security, but that means a little more work to get everything installed.
Security cameras can only cover so much of your property. To cut down on blind spots and increase response time, your main security office should be as centrally located as possible with a good view of your warehouse. Keeping work areas clear of clutter minimizes cover for thieves to exploit and gives you a clearer view of any potential problems, accidental or otherwise.
Separate Specialized Spaces
One way to make sure no one takes anything from your shipping or receiving docks is by keeping them out in the first place. Putting a physical barrier between areas designated for different tasks compartmentalizes your security, and adding access control limits entry even further. Establishing site rules and restricting access makes it easier to monitor the traffic in and around your facility.
Control Access, Inside & Out
Controlling entry and exit is important for your warehouse, and not just for the exterior doors. Your entire inventory is valuable, but certain items are more attractive targets for thieves and burglars. Computer parts and other electronic equipment are prime examples, but anything expensive should be locked up and fenced off in a cage or stored in a different room entirely.
Count and Monitor Employees
People-counting cameras are another valuable asset for warehouse managers. Knowing how long a number of people stay in a room or area gives you more data to fine-tune your security setup or analyze if anything goes wrong.
Get Intrusion Detection
The commercial equivalent of a residential burglar alarm, warehouse intrusion detection systems are a little more complicated. They can often include deterrents as well as sensors – electric fences can prevent a lot of attempted incursions. Door and window contact sensors are often paired with glass break detectors to trip an alarm when someone tries to break into your facility. With remote alerts, you’ll also be notified immediately no matter where you are.
Use a Variety of Cameras
Your warehouse needs surveillance cameras, no doubt about that. Your cameras should be at least 4MP in quality, What kind of cameras you install depends on the layout of the building and your company’s needs, but it’s always best to use a variety to eliminate blind spots – both physical and technological. Wide-angle cameras cover a vast area and are ideal for open spaces. Pan-Tilt-Zooms can track individuals or follow a preset scanning pattern for a more dynamic solution. Rugged bullet cams make an excellent outdoor solution for securing your premises.
Get Remote Monitoring & Alerts
Instant notification and remote viewing are critical in the event of an emergency, especially for your warehouse. A good commercial security system forwards event notifications and alerts to your smartphone in real-time, letting you see and handle potential problems even if you’re not on-site. Integrated systems that combine intercoms and cameras allow you to talk to people on-site.
Consider a VMS
You may want to consider adding a dedicated Video Management System to your warehouse security suite. A flexible VMS platform can integrate most, if not all, of your various security systems into one unified interface. VMS provides additional benefits as well, from dedicated servers and data redundancies to automated triggering of alarms and sirens based on camera inputs. They’re especially useful if you have more than one site to secure – a central VMS gives you access to all your sites from one security office.
Coordinate Your Systems
Combining your warehouse security systems makes them even more powerful. For example, angling a camera to see an access controlled door lets you see not only when and where someone went, but also what they were carrying. Mounting an intercom system or speaker next to your cameras – if they’re not already built-in – allows you the same 2-way intercom functions of a doorbell cam.
Keep your Warehouse Safe and Sound
Whether you’re manufacturing, shipping and receiving, or just storing your merchandise, the tips above will help you secure your sites – but they’re not a full security plan. As with all commercial security systems, a professional installation is best. Security consultants create a custom warehouse security blueprint optimized for your space and offer warranties and repairs on your security equipment in addition to providing or connecting you with a monitoring company. For more information about how security consultants can help keep your business protected, contact Safe and Sound Security for a free security walk-through.