Risk in Store
11 Things to Consider when Choosing a Security System for Your Retail Store

In our article "4 Retail Inventory Management Tips to Prevent Theft," we provided an overview of ways to stop theft. Here we'll go into more detail about how adding a security system can help retailers deter would-be criminals and improve their theft prevention plan.

11 Things Retailers Should Know before Investing in Security Systems

Security systems can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for a retailer. While it's not a mammoth investment, it's a sizeable one and you want to make sure you get it right. Finding the right security system can be the difference between stopping a theft and merely having a grainy video that shows something happened at your store.

Before you invest in a security system, keep these eleven factors in mind:

1. Save money.

It lowers the cost of Property Insurance.

Insurers may offer incentives if you secure your property. While it's not always the case, many will offer lower Property Insurance premiums for stores that have central alarm systems. These systems alert police and fire stations when they're triggered and can help prevent losses.

2. Modern features.

Modern security systems offer incredible features.

Video security systems can be accessed remotely. These systems can also be integrated with your POS system. That way, if you want to look for video on a specific transaction, you can search for it through your POS system's record.

3. Motion searches.

Many systems have motion searches to find suspicious activity.

If you're searching your video for suspicious activity, many modern security video systems have a "motion search" feature that pulls up video when someone walks through the frame.

4. Upgrade all at once.

Upgrading all at once can be smart.

Because a security system can now be integrated with your POS system, it may make more financial sense to upgrade these systems together. It may save some money to do it all at once.

5. Evidence in lawsuits.

Security systems can supply evidence in a lawsuit.

If a customer sues you in a ridiculous slip-and-fall lawsuit, you can use archive footage to prove their claims are meritless. (See General Liability Insurance for more on covering these lawsuits).

6. Secure your account.

Make sure your account isn't hackable.

If you have a video surveillance system that streams video online, you'll want to make sure the security company takes precautions to secure your online account.

7. Set up mail alerts.

Configure email alerts.

Many systems now have a feature that sends you an email alert if there's a functionality issue. If one of your cameras is getting spotty, you'll receive an email. While you might not check security video every day, these warnings will keep you informed if there's an outage.

8. Show off your cameras.

Hidden cameras are not always better.

Putting cameras in conspicuous places can actually deter criminals who are less likely to steal if they see that someone's watching.

9. Know your services.

Know what services come with your equipment.

It's one thing to get a security system; it's another to have a security firm that will help you review video and configure your store's set-up. Before you buy a security system, make sure you know what additional services (if any) come with it.

10. Look for extra charges.

Know what charges are extra.

Say you sign up for a fancy new video system. You might end up paying an extra $10 or $20 a month for the cloud system that allows you to login and view your video. These additional services are great, but just make sure you know how much your system will cost and don't assume that all services are included with the price of the camera.

11. High resolution cameras.

Higher resolution cameras may help you identify faces and license plates.

Sometimes it can pay off to have higher quality cameras. High-resolution cameras can clearly identify details like license plates and faces, helping you police find who was responsible for the crime.

Make sure to read to "8 Classic Retail Startup Mistakes to Avoid" for more tips on setting up your store, preventing theft, and managing your risks.

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