Video Surveillance for Car Dealerships and Garages
Car dealerships are the perfect environment for video surveillance, both because of the value of the inventory and its susceptibility to theft. Automobiles, depending on make, model, year and features, can vary in price from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars. Dealerships also leave a large majority of their inventory out in parking lots – leaving million dollar inventories exposed to theft and harmful weather for hours at a time.
Benefits of Dealership and Garage Surveillance
Prevent Theft – Like other retail stores, the dollar is the bottom line for auto dealerships and garages. Protecting their inventory and potential profit is an essential aspect of sales, and with expensive inventory security becomes that much more important. Video surveillance cameras placed around lots can help prevent thieves from taking cars, as well as identify any thieves who do take cars.
Track Customers and Visitors – The ability to track customer habits, especially correlating data between which cars customers look at and which cars they decide to purchase, can be valuable information for marketing, inventory, and dealership sales staff. Video security cameras, especially those equipped with intelligent video analytics technology, can help you count and track customers as they move around your business.
Protect Buildings, Employees, and Customers – Surveillance cameras can help by keeping your security staff posted about any security issues that arise throughout the day. Modern security cameras allow staff to be more flexible in their duties with features like video alerts and mobile viewing. Instead of sitting in front of a monitor all day, security guards can actively patrol your grounds and receive alerts from cameras.
Future Integration – A networked security system utilizing IP cameras is the key to any future technology integration and advancements. An integrated security system at an auto dealership or garage has multiple possible uses, including:
- Integration into ID card timekeeping system for tracking employee hours
- Integration into physical security systems such as door locks and car alarms
- Integration into building systems like heating and air conditioning
Risks of Auto Surveillance
Privacy – Be careful to only install security cameras in public places like showrooms, parking lots, work rooms, and lobbies. Any area where a customer or employee has expectations of privacy, like a bathroom or break room, should be left private.
Damage – Cameras, especially those monitoring outside locations, are susceptible to damage from the weather. A damaged camera can lead to interruptions in recording, which can put your inventory at risk of theft or vandalism.
Over Reliance – While video surveillance may be an effective security solution for an auto dealership or garage, it should not be used as the sole security option. Rather, a system of security cameras should work to enhance an existing security system like car alarms and security guards.
Things to Consider When Installing an Auto Surveillance System
The perfect security system for any business depends on a wide variety of factors. Consider the following when choosing a security system:
- How many thefts have you had in the last year?
- What part of your dealership or garage do you feel is the most vulnerable, security-wise?
- Have you ever experienced problems with organized car theft rings?
- What kind of security systems do you currently have in place?
Best Practices for Dealership and Garage Security Cameras
- Make sure outdoor cameras are placed in protective housings to shield them against weather and wind damage
- When placing outdoor cameras, be sure to not miss any areas of your lot, especially outlying spaces. Different types of cameras (bullet cameras and dome cameras) provide different types of footage and can be networked together to create a comprehensive system
- Place cameras in storage and maintenance areas to prevent theft of valuable equipment and/or customer belongings