Parking Lot Cameras: The Ultimate Guide

You’ve got a commercial parking lot, so now you need to secure it against criminal activity. People question whether outfitting a parking lot with quality security is necessary, and the answer is a definite yes. Parking lots are vulnerable areas for loitering and crimes that include theft, vandalism, carjackings, and violent assaults. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 1 in 10 property crimes happen in parking lots and garages. 

The seclusion and abundance of places to hide in parking lots attracts criminals, who are able to steal property and target customers and employees as they travel to and from their cars. A lot of criminals target parking lots because they assume the area is not being safely monitored, letting them go undetected. Don’t make this mistake: installing high-quality parking lot security provides crime prevention, asset protection, and peace of mind to schools, warehouses, shopping centers, manufacturing centers, and all other commercial facilities.

Parking lot security camera installation

What’s the Best Way to Deter Crime and Loitering in My Parking Lot?

It is important to provide a parking lot environment that discourages criminal activity, which means installing plenty of lighting and cutting down on hiding places for burglars and abductors. Sadly, these measures alone aren’t enough to stop crime from happening. This means the most important step you can take for your parking lot’s safety is to make sure the lot is visible to security staff at all times, so staff can quickly detect and respond to intrusions if they occur. 

The best way to do this is installing parking lot security cameras, as a one-time camera installation provides 24/7 monitoring and recording of all activity in the area. Parking lot cameras can also keep watch over the perimeter of your building to prevent break-ins, vandalism, and burglary. Ensuring a secure camera system is in place is the most productive and cost-effective step you can take to dramatically reduce crime and loitering on any commercial parking lot. 

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Security cameras not only allow you to respond to security breaches in real time, but they also deter crimes from happening in the first place. Most burglars are experienced in looking for security systems before attempting a break-in, so putting noticeable, high-quality security cameras in your parking lot will persuade many of them to move on. If crimes do happen, surveillance cameras’ around-the-clock recorded footage provides recorded evidence of crimes, enabling identification of perpetrators and decreasing your business’s legal liability.

Installing reliable business, manufacturing, and shopping center live camera security will deter theft and random acts of criminal behavior from happening on your parking lot.

Best Parking Lot Security Cameras for 2020

It is important to choose the right camera based on the unique security needs of your commercial parking lot. Safe and Sound provides a range of equipment for top-of-the-line commercial facility, warehouse, school, and shopping center live security camera surveillance, featuring advanced analytics to identify everything that happens inside your parking lot. Here are our top picks for commercial parking lot security camera systems in 2020.

Avigilon

cloud based security camera

Aviglion can be partnered with cutting-edge artificial intelligence software for advanced facial and object recognition. Aviglion cameras can accurately tell the difference between cars, humans, and other moving objects — in fact, its AI self-learning software allows it to recognize and classify 50 types of objects. This motion detection cuts down on false alarms and lets you accurately detect everything that happens on your lot. Aviglion is easily integrated with numerous security applications, and features sophisticated License Plate Recognition software, letting you keep track of everyone who enters and exits a parking lot. Aviglion is a true leader in using analytics to detect dangerous individuals and suspicious activity.

FLIR

FLIR Authorized Dealer

FLIR (Forward-Looking Infrared) is a cutting-edge innovator of thermal imaging. FLIR produces a range of top-quality cameras that provide advanced threat detection through high-tech heat mapping, ensuring your parking lot benefits from the highest level of threat detection. FLIR’s InfraRed thermal mapping technology allows for advanced person and object recognition, making it an ideal choice for anyone whose top priority is parking lot safety. FLIR features a convenient cloud-based system and a scalable VMS model, making it great for expanding businesses.

Best Outdoor Cameras 2020

If cameras are placed outdoors, it is important that they are properly equipped to withstand rough weather and possible tampering, while maintaining high resolution in any lighting. Here are our recommendations for the best outdoor parking lot surveillance cameras for businesses in 2020.

Axis

Axis camera dealers

Axis’s durable and sleek designs, vandal-proof domes, and explosion-proof camera models make it a top choice for outdoor parking lot cameras. Axis cameras enable users to load multiple analytics, including Perimeter Defender, line-crossing detection, parking violating detection, and Fence Guard, to certain sites where they would work best. This gives users a flexible and thorough approach to parking lot security. Axis cameras feature License Plate Recognition, as well as 360 cameras that are ideal for capturing wide 360-degree expanses, making them ideal for viewing wide parking lot expanses. Axis PTZ cameras allow users to remotely control camera movements and target suspicious activity.

LTS

LTS Security

LTS makes high-quality, versatile, and durable HD-TVI and IP cameras, built to withstand rough weather and deliver clear and crisp footage in bad conditions. Many LTS cameras include infrared night vision, making them ideal for detecting parking lot activity at night. Sophisticated PTZ cameras allow users to control camera movements, which allows users to  intentionally monitor specific areas of a wide parking lot. LTS also provides advanced license plate cameras, making it a top choice for commercial facility, school, and shopping center live security camera monitoring.

Why Video Monitoring Is More Cost Effective Than Hiring Security Guards

Video monitoring and security guards both have pros and cons, but when it comes down to costs, security cameras carry clear advantages. Cost is a consideration for every business, and many decide on security cameras because they give you more bang for your buck than 24/7 guards. Since hiring a security guard means you cover the wages of a living person, it will cost you significantly more than video monitoring: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of a security guard was $29,680 in 2019 — and that number goes up if you live in a more costly area or hire armed guards. 

A good strategy can be to augment the reach of existing guards with security camera remote monitoring, as the two work ideally in combination. Security cameras can make the work of existing guards more efficient, amplifying the reach of every guard by giving them visual and audio access to multiple different areas in and around a parking lot. Guards can even talk down to people in the lot through speakers while viewing them live on camera, letting them know they are being recorded to deter crime. 

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Surveillance cameras that are compatible with artificial intelligence are another investment that can save costs and boost efficiency long-term, because these cameras can recognize faces, vehicles, and objects independently of human security guards. In this way, cameras with motion detection can greatly multiply security presence, strengthening commercial parking lot, school, and shopping center surveillance security without upping costs by hiring more guards.

How much does video monitoring service cost?

In contrast to a security guard’s rate of almost $30,000 a year, video monitoring service costs around $150 per camera per month — only $1,800 a year. At only 6% of the cost of hiring a security guard, while still providing constant parking lot and shopping center remote surveillance, this is the more cost-effective choice by far. 

Video surveillance system costs can vary depending on certain factors: wired cameras are more expensive to install since they often require trenching and running cables through walls. Luckily, Safe and Sound offers a broad range of wireless parking lot security cameras that feature quicker and easier installation at a lower cost, no trenching necessary. Higher-resolution cameras and cameras with special features such as License Plate Recognition also cost around $50 to $300 more, but can lead to long-term efficiency boosts and cost savings. 

Outdoor cameras also tend to cost slightly more than indoor cameras, due to their more durable designs and higher resolutions. This can be a good investment for parking lot surveillance, especially if intruders are able to see cameras and know security is in place, which can deter criminal activity. Safe and Sound security technicians remove the need to worry about costly mishaps down the road, as we continue to maintain your surveillance camera system for the rest of its lifetime.

Trenching or Wireless in an Outdoor Camera System

trenching-vs-wireless

The conventional way for security companies to install surveillance cameras is hardwiring the system, which requires digging trenches under parking lot asphalt, laying cable under it, and then repairing the asphalt again, as well as drilling holes in nearby structures for cable connections. This process can take up to three days per light pole, and adds major costs to installation. 

To avoid unnecessarily lengthy and expensive trenching, Safe and Sound experts design and engineer wireless camera systems that completely bypass the need for trenching and expensive post-installation repairs. Our technicians install wireless security cameras in innovative ways, such as using nano beams to wirelessly connect camera systems together across long distances. In one of our successes, we significantly cut back on crime by providing shopping center live video monitoring for the entire parking lot of a massive 1-million-square-foot shopping mall — all with wireless cameras. 

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Some people express concerns that wireless cameras are less secure than wired ones — but wireless technology has come a long way in recent years, and more businesses than ever are switching over to wireless cameras as they demonstrate clear and reliable security coverage. For small and medium applications, and even for large enterprises if done right, wireless cameras can provide all the quality and flexibility needed, enforcing top-notch business, warehouse, school, and shopping center live surveillance. Wireless cameras connect to a wi-fi network and use cloud storage, doing away with the need for internet cables and only requiring a power source. Using wireless cameras saves time and money by avoiding trenching, providing a more cost-effective solution without compromising quality.

Do I Actually Need a License Plate Reader?

License plate recognition (LPR) systems can provide a valuable asset to any business’s parking lot surveillance. LPRs instantly scan all vehicle license plates that come within range of cameras, both night and day, linking the plate number to actual footage of the vehicle. This allows users to identify every vehicle that enters and exits their parking lot, taking the guesswork out of visitor management and reducing legal liability. In many cases, users can easily identify and track down criminal offenders if their license plate number is captured on video. LPRs let you white-list and watch-list specific vehicles, and in combination with access control, you can deny vehicles without valid credentials entry into secure areas. It is also possible to search video footage for suspicious vehicles, majorly boosting efficiency and enabling quicker response to security breaches.

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LPRs may not be necessary for every business, but they can go a surprisingly long way in providing parking lot protection, even for small operations. LPRs provide value for anyone who wants to track the presence of dangerous individuals on their parking lot or better precaution themselves and their security staff to deal with offenders. They can also help with police investigations and stolen vehicle location, which makes them a worthy addition to any school, warehouse, commercial facility, or mall parking lot security cameras. Safe and Sound offers a range of top-quality LPR cameras, designed to capture clear and accurate license plate numbers at any time of day, even in rough weather.

Installing Artificially Intelligent Security Cameras to Deter Crime in a Parking Lot

Keeping parking lots safe is a serious business, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Cutting-edge technological developments have produced security camera software that uses artificial intelligence to make video monitoring easier and more effective than ever. Safe and Sound offers a range of “smart” cameras with AI-powered abilities that can accurately recognize and classify specific people, objects, and events. AI allows users to white-list and watch-list specific people and vehicles, which the cameras automatically recognize from its database. 

AI has the ability to independently “learn” as it goes, majorly enhancing its ability to recognize people, objects, cars, and potential intruders. Behavior analytics also enable unusual movement detection, letting cameras detect unusual activity and potential criminal behavior with increasing accuracy. This is extremely helpful to security staff, as it points out incidents that could have gone unnoticed, facilitates detecting potential crimes before they happen, and allows far greater control over visitor management. Combined with access control, AI cameras make it easy to regulate who gains entry into parking lots and other secure areas, and to deny entry to black-listed individuals. This makes AI cameras an ideal addition to school and shopping center real-time video monitoring.

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Intelligent cameras reduce costs and increase security team efficiency by cutting down on the time and effort involved in tracking people at a scene. The facial recognition feature massively improves parking lot protection, as it instantly identifies perpetrators in a way that can be more accurate than the vision of human guards. This facial identification is the first thing the police look at for evidence in the event of a crime. With AI, users get real-time face recognition and customizable face recognition settings, as well as the ability to search footage for specific people. This makes it easy to find who you are looking for without having to sift through hours of footage. 

Since AI reliably detects intrusions into parking lots, it can also enable security personnel to quickly respond to events, especially when a known offender is involved. Once security staff are alerted of the intrusion, they can even talk down to the intruder through speakers installed in the parking lot, to let them know they are being watched and recorded. This is likely to make anyone think twice before committing criminal activity.

The safety of your commercial parking lot should not be overlooked. Protect your parking lot from criminal activity by making sure a well-installed surveillance system is in place. Safe and Sound experts design, engineer, and install high-quality parking lot cameras for warehouse, school, office building, industrial facility, and shopping center remote surveillance. Our technicians personally meet with you to design a camera system that is suited to your needs. We install security camera systems that offer a combination of sturdy quality and modern convenience, providing an unbeatable experience to businesses of every size. Contact us today to find out what our experts can do for your parking lot security.

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