We often get asked by our users: how many security cameras do I need for my business and where should I place them?
Whether you are a landlord or a small business owner, these are likely the questions you’ll contemplate before taking the plunge and investing in surveillance cameras. We get it—it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start.
Read on to find out how to determine step-by-step just how many security cameras you’ll need for your business.
Step 1: Location
The first step to figuring out how many security cameras are appropriate for your space is to reflect on the size of the space in question. As a rule of thumb, the larger the size of the property, the more cameras you will need—the smaller the size of the property, the less you’ll need.
But, ultimately, no two spaces are the same. Offices and warehouses with more complex layouts may require more cameras in order to cover blindspots.
In areas that are spacious and shaped simply, like courtyards, a single camera with a wide angle lens will be able to cover a large area, whereas offices with extensive corners, crevices and design features potentially create more blindspots.
Below is a list of areas commonly associated with business environments. Of the areas listed, consider which currently requires security camera coverage.
- Office Kitchen
- IT areas
- Wellness room
- Emergency Exits
Installing security cameras in all of these places isn’t always going to be necessary, which is why creating a list is a useful initial step in determining exactly how many security cameras you require for your business or property’s security.
Step 2: Reasons for Installation
Understanding the actual reasons for installing security cameras is necessary because it will not only affect the number of surveillance cameras you require, but, in turn, it will give you a good idea of your budget.
After all, when the things that you are securing are particularly valuable, investing in higher quality devices may be more worthwhile.
Below, you’ll find four of the most common reasons for security camera installation in a business place.
1. As a deterrent
Although the purpose of a security camera is technically to record footage of break-ins, their most valuable attribute is perhaps their ability to deter these from occurring in the first place.
In fact, experts suggest security cameras are a reliable means of stopping a burglar in their tracks—effectively preventing theft. Combined with other visual and auditory deterrents, like lights and alarms, security cameras take on the presence of a watchdog.
Recommended reading: Porch Pirates: 5 Ways To Stop It From Happening To You
Even with limited budgets, cost-effective security camera alternatives like AlfredCamera ensure that you can still deter thefts even without oppressive camera setups burdening from the walls of your property.
Use your connected device to voice chat in real-time with who—or what—ever is on the other side of the device being used as the camera.
Alfred helped as a deterrent and a good active guard dog ready to alert me of possible crimes. Not even Ring does such a good job!From AlfredCamera users
Capturing and recording video makes your security camera an invaluable source of proof. In the unfortunate event that a theft does occur, the footage captured by your camera will be a vital resource moving forward.
Therefore, it’s important to place high-quality security cameras in strategic positions in offices, shop floors, and warehouses.
Alfred caught an intruder in my shed, I was alerted immediately and if not for alfred I could have lost so much.From AlfredCamera users
See AlfredCamera in Action
3. For live broadcasting
Newer security cameras, including AlfredCamera, allow users to control and access footage on computers and smartphones. Need to step away from the shop floor for a minute? No problem – keep an eye on things via your phone.
I manage a tobacco store by myself so when I have to go to the bathroom or something instead of locking up the doors and putting the ‘be right back’ sign up, I set up Alfred. I don’t have to be stressed about it!From AlfredCamera users
4. For alerts
One of the major shortcomings of most security cameras that newer alternatives like AlfredCamera address is the lack of alert/notification when the camera does witness something.
Now, you can receive real-time alerts from your camera direct to your phone, immediately informing you if movement is recorded. This feature is referred to as motion detection.
Leaving an empty office unattended to head for a coffee break? If AlfredCamera sees anything, it’ll let you know right away.
It was very easy to set up. I used 2 old phones for the security camera and the phone I currently use for the viewer. It records automatically when it detects movement which is amazing!From AlfredCamera users
Step 3: Types of Security Camera
The relationship between security camera types and the number of security cameras needed is obvious; a high quality, 360 degree camera will be able to record vast amounts of footage and cover a large space.
Conventional fixed cameras, on the other hand, won’t—meaning you’ll probably need more of them. Once you’ve figured out the purposes of your camera and the locations you’ll need them for, it’s time to decide which type of camera best suits these requirements.
Below are the various modifiers that distinguish security cameras available on the market today.
1. Wired vs. Wireless
More and more people are enjoying wireless security cameras. They’re cheaper, easier to install, and, as a result, considerably more convenient.
Cameras that feature dual-mode WiFi (2.4 GHz band and 5.8 GHz band) guarantee a much stronger network signal, lessening the chances of dropouts.
Wireless security cameras can be mounted and installed outside the office or in front of doorways to get the live footage around the business premises.
Today, wired security cameras are replaced by PoE (Power over Ethernet) security cameras, which transmit video and power through a single network cable. As one would imagine, the major benefit of a wired camera is that you are far less likely to have any offline network problems or WiFi signal issues.
2. 1440p vs. 1080p vs. 720p
A far cry from traditional CCTV cameras, security cameras can now record in very high quality, up to 1440p. Super HD security cameras like this are particularly useful in outdoor settings, where they can observe an entrance, courtyard, or parking space.
Since 1440p captures clearer images, it’ll be able to record car license plates and human faces in detail largely irrespective of the quality of outdoor lighting.
However, if price is a major deciding factor in your setup, 1080p and 720p cameras will do the job perfectly well.
3. Infrared vs. Conventional
A common misconception about burglary is that it only occurs at night. Though there are conflicting reports, FBI data suggests as many as 45% of burglaries occur in the daytime.
With that in mind, the necessity of infrared (i.e. night vision) is debatable.
Most offices, shops, and other business places are lit during the nighttime in order to deter break ins. So long as both the external and internal areas are all well-lit, with no blindspots, paying extra for infrared may not be necessary.
If lighting the space at night is not an option, then consider deploying some cameras with night vision capabilities.
4. 360 degrees vs. 180 degrees vs. 80 degrees
Some fixed security cameras have an 80-degree (or slightly wider) viewing angle, while others have a 180-degree or 360-degree viewing angle. The latter is known as an ultra wide fisheye security camera.
By using cameras with ultra wide angle lenses, you will ultimately have to buy less of them, since the area they will cover will be significant. You can also use narrower lenses on cameras that feature fully rotatable heads, much to the same effect.
But these all come at a price, so alternatives may be more affordable—even if you wind up having to buy more of them.
For instance, this Amazon bestseller retails for a modest $179 for a pack of eight security cameras, whereas this bestselling competitor, which features a 360 tilt, 1080p recording capabilities, and a rechargeable solar panel, costs $199 for a single camera.
For comparison, the former works out at just over $22 a camera.
Another downside to wide-angle lenses is that many of the 360 degree and 180 degree panoramic CCTV cameras won’t perform at the quality associated with narrower lenses.
In fact, you may expect deterioration of details like license plates and faces, so if you need more detailed images, consider narrower lenses.
If you’re considering security for your business, why stop there? A home needs it too! Learn how you can maximize security at home by checking out these tips from AlfredCamera users on best locations for camera placement.
Bonus: Real-life Tips for Camera Placement from AlfredCamera Users
We’ve asked our users to share how they are using AlfredCamera to improve security in their home, so you can take ideas to apply to your own space.
The top 3 places where they like to place their cameras for both indoor and outdoor settings are as follows:
- The front yard
- Living room
- Front door
For more inspiration, check out a range of different ideas in our Alfred’s 100 poses photo album.
Are cameras enough for home security or business security?
Yes, security cameras are enough for home security. They can deter thieves from breaking in, provide proof of a break-in, record live footage, and even alert you if movement is detected. However, other factors must be considered, especially if you are trying to improve security for a business. Of these other factors, lighting is perhaps the most significant, since it is a key deterrent and will also be crucial to getting the most out of your camera.
Where do I install security cameras outside?
Security cameras should be installed inside and outside a business place to get the most out of them. All entryways and most ground floor windows should be visible. In courtyard areas, have the camera positioned several feet from ground level, pointing down in order to maximise the amount of observational space the camera covers.
With a wealth of options, both expensive and inexpensive, investing in security cameras can seem like a confusing task. But by considering step-by-step the location, reasons for installation, and the different types of cameras available, you can quickly whittle down your options and figure out just how many security cameras you’ll need for your business place.