From break-ins to hazardous chemical exposures, warehouses face various security threats that are crucial to prepare for to protect your property and employees. Surveillance cameras are an essential place to begin your security and emergency response plans. They let you monitor suspicious activity, track inventory, and deter the biggest security and safety risks. These functions are bolstered when combined with other security features, such as alarms and 24/7 monitoring.
Continue reading to learn how warehouse security cameras can improve safety and reduce risks.
Warehouse Security Risks
The security risks that face warehouses impact inventory, staff, and productivity. Incidents vary in severity and frequency, often based on the type of warehouse and safety preparedness. Fortunately, most potential threats can be identified via regular risk assessments, training, and security protocols.
Below are some of the most common risks associated with warehouse security.
Theft, Burglary, and Vandalism
Theft, property damage, break-ins, and other criminal actions are unfortunately frequent at many warehouses, especially those with valuable inventory and equipment. Even if no theft occurs, trespassers may vandalize or otherwise damage your property, increasing company costs and disrupting operations. Fortunately, visible cameras, fencing, efficient lighting, security patrols, and monitored alarm systems can diminish most of these threats.
Worker safety should be among the top concerns at warehouses due to the risks of using equipment and working with potentially hazardous substances. Forklift accidents are among the top concerns, responsible for 70 work-related deaths in 2021. Many of the dangers of warehouse equipment can be evaded with training, signage, better lighting, and basic safety standards.
Safety risks facing warehouse employees include:
- Heavy machinery and equipment
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Spills and unmarked wet floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Unsafe storage practices
- Disorganized walkways
- Lack of walkways around forklift areas
- Poor personal protective equipment (PPE) stock
Warehouses without proper access controls leave their facilities open to intruders, allowing unauthorized individuals and occasional animals to enter and exit as they please. This lack of security contributes to theft, property damage, workplace accidents, and other security concerns. Fortunately, most of these risks can be mitigated with access control systems, such as employee identification cards, security pins, and monitored entry points.
Fire and Weather Hazards
Fire and weather hazards are concerning for most properties, but especially so for many warehouses. Facilities that store flammable materials carry extra fire risks and often require additional security, including regularly inspected fire alarms, safety training, and suppression systems.
Weather incidents such as earthquakes, storms, and heavy winds can create further issues and safety threats. So, you should consider possible weather risks in your area when overseeing warehouse operations and crafting your emergency response plan.
Hazardous chemicals and other materials can pose unique risks to warehouse security. Improperly handled materials can cause spills, injuries, chemical exposures, and other accidents. Additionally, hazardous substances that aren’t stored or ventilated properly could create further issues.
These bad practices threaten employees’ health and warehouse operations, as an exposed chemical could halt workflow and shut your facility down. To avoid these risks, your warehouse staff should have thorough training, proper equipment, coherent organization, and a way to monitor safe practices.
While relatively uncommon, structural failures are another serious risks that most warehouses must prepare for. This type of property damage can be caused by improper maintenance, weather, age, and numerous other factors. The only way to plan for this safety risk is to arrange regular maintenance inspections to catch issues before they develop.
In the modern workforce, it’s vital to consider and plan for cybersecurity risks, such as stolen personal information and encrypted company files. Cyberattacks can impair productivity and security by holding important shipping files for ransom or using supervisors’ credentials to access company information. Ransomware, phishing, and stolen credentials are increasingly common in relevant industries in 2023, and all staff should be trained accordingly.
How Warehouse Security Cameras Improve Safety
Dependable business security comprises multiple layers, from access codes to safety preparedness, though security cameras may be the most crucial. This is because they let you monitor, store, and respond efficiently to nearly all activity — especially when paired with professional live video monitoring.
Below are the most significant ways security cameras improve warehouse safety.
Security cameras help stop crimes in progress or before they happen by allowing appropriate teams to respond quickly. With motion detection alerts, property managers and security responders can identify suspicious activity as it happens. By triggering an alarm, sending out security, or calling the police, you can effectively stop the crime and protect your warehouse and staff. This is especially useful for stopping theft, vandalism, and other costly crimes.
In many cases, you may not have any crime to prevent, thanks to the mere presence of your cameras. Potential trespassers may avoid your property altogether if they know there’s a higher risk of getting caught. Studies show that security cameras are particularly efficient at deterring vehicular theft, which is important for employee and truck parking.
The presence of cameras can also deter unsafe practices and allow managers to monitor warehouse activity more closely. This ensures employees stay compliant with safety protocols, such as when using forklifts, and lets managers respond to inappropriate or dangerous practices. Employees who suspect they’re being watched are less likely to break the rules, increasing warehouse safety and productivity.
Depending on the cameras you use and the alarm system you pair them with, most security setups let you monitor your property’s live video feed at any time. This remote monitoring lets supervisors and security teams view suspicious activity while away, such as overnight or while on another side of the property. Plus, most easy-to-use apps allow you to switch through different camera feeds from almost anywhere for unbeatable accessibility.
By saving security camera footage, you can retain a coherent trail of all warehouse activity, including inventory, work hours, and warehouse access. This heightens security by letting you keep track of all suspicious incidents, from identifying vandals to seeing when employees access rooms they aren’t supposed to.
Consider a situation in which an inventory of high-value items doesn’t add up. In this scenario, you can use the cameras’ footage to track the items’ history, including every time the packages were moved and every employee who touched them. From here, you can more easily determine if the stock was miscounted, misplaced, or stolen and take appropriate action.
Security footage can also be used as evidence in insurance claims and when taking legal action. This way, if an insurance company investigates your claim regarding an accident, you can provide footage of the incident as proof that your team follows safety protocols.
Workplace Insights and Training
Surveillance cameras allow warehouse managers to directly monitor their teams, even when out of the room. In doing so, they can keep a closer eye on productivity and spot areas for improvement. They can also oversee specific procedures as they happen, such as forklift use or the arrival of a complicated shipment. This feature is especially important for safety, allowing supervisors to ensure all employees comply with applicable security protocols.
Improve Warehouse Security With Live Video Monitoring
Surveillance cameras can drastically improve your warehouse security plan by deterring crime, shortening response times, increasing accountability, and letting you monitor live footage. Combined with 24/7 live video monitoring, warehouse security cameras ensure someone is always available to respond to suspicious activity. Get a quote today to learn how Alarm Detection Systems can protect your business.
About Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Alarm Detection Systems is one of the largest alarm firms in the country. Family-owned since 1968, we provide business alarms, fire alarms, card access, security cameras, and home security systems. Proudly servicing Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin in the Midwest. Call us at 630.844.6300 for more information.