Modern warehouses face a wide range of threats — including conventional, physical break-ins and, as digital systems become more sophisticated, cyberattacks.
Despite the variety of security threats, simple techniques can go a long way if applied in the right way. Video cameras are often the foundation of a warehouse’s security strategy. Smart security cameras come with features that can help a surveillance network go even further in keeping a warehouse safe.
This is why video surveillance is essential for modern warehouse security systems, no matter a facility’s configuration or its unique security needs.
Key Benefits of Video Surveillance in Warehouses
There are three main benefits to conventional video surveillance technology — reduced risk of threat, improved building security and remote monitoring.
Internal and external building cameras help reduce the risk that warehouse inventory is stolen.
These cameras, if visible, will also help to deter theft and unauthorized entry. If someone knows they’re being recorded, they’re typically less likely to attempt a break-in or steal goods from a warehouse.
If a break-in does occur, the video recordings from these cameras will provide valuable information to pass on to your internal security team as well as local authorities.
Both external and internal cameras also allow warehouse supervisors and owners to check in without being there. Many modern surveillance systems enable managers and supervisors to stream video footage, giving them a remote look at the floor and surrounding area.
This remote monitoring can help managers track employee productivity and potentially catch workflow issues that may reduce warehouse efficiency or put workers at risk. For example, a manager may notice that a certain narrow aisle creates a bottleneck that slows down daily work. Another manager may spot safety violations or a lack of necessary PPE.
Smart Surveillance and the Internet of Things
New and emerging security technology can make a warehouse’s surveillance system even more effective.
IP and IoT surveillance cameras are connected to the internet, meaning they can constantly stream security footage over the internet to a centralized warehouse system. Modern cameras can be both wired and wireless, and power over ethernet technology makes it possible to control a camera and provide an internet connection with the same cable.
Some of the most advanced smart security cameras can detect known faces, distinguish between people and other sources of motion, and provide two-way audio. This allows them to act as a kind of digital doorbell.
Depending on the camera and smart security system used, managers may also be able to receive alerts about unusual activity, as well as reports on what kind of footage the warehouse’s surveillance system has recently captured.
These cameras can also simultaneously play video and record it directly to the cloud rather than on-site storage. Because cloud storage can be upgraded as needed, you’re less likely to run out of space for new footage or be forced to delete previously recorded information to free up space.
Smart security cameras can also interface with various security technology — including door sensors and alarms.
In some cases, it may also be possible to integrate a network of smart security cameras with warehouse monitoring technology, allowing managers to use them for both surveillance and process optimization.
Best Practices for Warehouse Cameras
Surveillance cameras work best in open areas, like above the warehouse floor, where they can cover a large amount of ground without being obstructed.
Poor lighting can be a safety risk and make security cameras less effective. If you find that one of your cameras is pointed at a dimly lit area of the warehouse, extra lighting may improve your surveillance strategy and help provide you with the best-quality footage possible.
It’s also best to cover important entrances and exits with security cameras, including shipping and receiving areas. Surveillance will help prevent unauthorized access and allow managers to track who is entering and exiting the warehouse.
Fixed cameras overlooking areas where valuable goods or information is stored can provide an extra layer of security.
Once a warehouse manager has covered the main areas of a facility — major entry points and the floor — they often expand the surveillance network to the perimeter of the property. This will provide some advanced notice on potential unauthorized access, as well as additional information in the event of a break-in or theft.
Using Surveillance Cameras to Bolster Warehouse Security
Security cameras are an essential tool in any warehouse security plan. With the right combination of video cameras and security technology, managers can more effectively defend their operations against unauthorized entry, vandalism and theft.
Footage from surveillance cameras can also help warehouse managers in process optimization or in identifying unsafe working habits. With an internet-connected camera, managers can monitor conditions at their facilities no matter where they are.
Bio: Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine. She has over 3 years covering stories about warehousing, logistics and distribution.