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Theft and security breaches are a top concern for commercial parking lots. Security cameras can help prevent these incidents by allowing parking lot operators to observe the goings on at their premises, prevent crime before it happens and get alerted to any suspicious activities. The right parking lot security cameras can act as a virtual security guard, not only to deter crime, but also to provide valuable evidence if a crime occurs.

Security cameras are available in various sizes, shapes and styles to fit your specific needs. You can purchase covert and well-hidden cameras, larger, visible security camera systems, or ones that work best in low visibility and have built-in protection against the elements.

If you need complete parking lot security but aren’t sure where to begin, a good place to start is by identifying the areas of your parking lot that you want to monitor. Next, determine the type of camera that will best suit your needs and best fit existing security measures such as parking lot gate systems.

This guide provides insight into these considerations and helps you understand parking lot safety, the different types of security cameras for parking lots available and the benefits from investing in this advanced technology.

The benefits of parking lot cameras

As a parking lot owner, you are responsible for the safety of your employees, customers and their belongings. However, there are always risks involved in parking in any public place. In order to reduce these risks, you can install parking lot or parking garage cameras. 

Here is how commercial video surveillance cameras for parking lots can help operators strengthen security: 

  • Reduce crime: According to a study by Cornell University, parking lot security cameras are considered one of the most effective tools in deterring crimes. The presence of a camera for parking lot security is instrumental; it lets perpetrators know that there is a greater chance of being caught on camera and subsequently identified and arrested. Statistics show that security cameras have helped to reduce crime by up to 51%. This is especially true for crimes of opportunity, such as car break-ins and vandalism.
  • Monitor activity and provide vital evidence: If a crime occurs on your property, parking lot security camera footage can help you identify the suspects. This can be invaluable in assisting police with their investigation and potential arrest, as well as for auditing incidents and security on a regular basis.
  • Improve customer safety: Parking lot security cameras can also help you increase customer safety. You can monitor areas of the lot that may be more prone to accidents, such as stairwells and crosswalks. By watching these areas, you can help prevent general accidents and injuries. When people feel that their safety is monitored, they feel more secure. This is especially true for anyone who may feel unsafe in a parking lot at night.
  • Reduce insurance costs: If you have a history of crime on your property, your insurance premiums may be higher as a result. Through installing parking lot security cameras, you can show your insurance company that you are taking steps to reduce crime and improve safety. This may lead to a reduction in your insurance rates.

Choosing the right security cameras for your parking lot

A variety of security breaches can occur in a parking lot or parking garage, from theft and vandalism to hit-and-run accidents. Choosing the right parking garage security cameras or parking lot surveillance cameras can improve commercial and business security, as well as improve school security systems and retail security. With the use of mall parking lot security cameras, for example, businesses can increase visibility and help protect property. Parking lot security cameras for schools can also help educational institutions maintain property safety for students and faculty.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing security cameras for your parking lot:

What type of security cameras for parking lots do you need?

When it comes to parking lot security, the type of camera you may need depends on a few factors. First, consider the layout of your parking lot. If it is a large parking lot with multiple entrances and exits, you’ll need a camera to cover a wide area. A PTZ IP camera is a good option for this, as you can remotely control it to pan and zoom in on any activity.

Another factor to consider is the lighting conditions in your parking lot. If it is poorly lit, you’ll need a camera with good night vision. Infrared cameras are ideal for this, as they can see in low-light conditions.

Finally, think about what you want your security cameras for parking lots to capture. For some small parking lots, a basic parking lot camera system will suffice. But if you want to capture license plates, you’ll need a camera with high resolution.

Infrared PTZ cameras

Parking lots are often the target of security breaches, so it is essential to have a reliable business security system in place to deter and prevent crime. Infrared PTZ cameras are the perfect solution for robust parking lot security.

The camera’s high-definition imaging and pan/​​tilt/​​zoom (PTZ) function provides comprehensive coverage, while infrared imaging allows for night vision. Infrared PTZ cameras are also weather-resistant, making them ideal for outdoor security applications. With infrared PTZ cameras, parking lot owners can have peace of mind knowing that their property is well-protected at any angle, in any light.

License plate capture cameras

License plate reader cameras are high-quality cameras designed specifically to capture number plates. The high-definition stream management and wide-angle lens make it easy to capture clear images of license plates. Additionally, these cameras have a built-in infrared illuminator that allows them to capture images even in low-light conditions.

Explore Avigilon’s security cameras

  • Vandal and tamper-resistant options available

  • Flag incidents involving vehicles with built-in analytics

  • Identify license plate characters on vehicles going up to 100 km/​​h

  • Flexible cloud-based and on-premise offerings 

  • Exceptional image clarity, even under challenging conditions

Dual head cameras

Dual head cameras are a next-generation security camera that features excellent video analytics. The camera’s two heads allow for a wider field of view, making it easier to monitor large areas. And, with self-learning video analytics, the camera can actually get smarter over time, making it even more effective at detecting and preventing crime.

Top features for parking lot security camera systems

Security cameras are now commonplace in most businesses, and their use in parking lots has become increasingly popular. There are a number of different types of security cameras available on the market, each of which has its own set of benefits and unique features. One feature that you should ensure your parking lot security camera system offers is license plate recognition and analytics.

Weather and vandal resistance

Parking lots are often subject to a wide range of harsh conditions, from scorching summer sun to below-freezing winter weather. That means that any parking lot security cameras installed outdoors need to be able to withstand whatever nature can dish out. 

Additionally, parking garage and surface lot cameras are prone to vandalism, especially in high-crime areas. For the best return on investment, choose parking lot cameras that have IP66/67 weather ratings for water resistance, and offer a IK10 impact rating for vandal resistance.

AI analytics 

It’s nearly impossible to monitor your parking lot at all hours of the day, especially if you have a large area to cover, or multiple sites in your parking lot camera network. Some security cameras for parking lots providers offer models that have built-in analytics, which can assist security operators with detecting and identifying potential issues using artificial intelligence. 

For the best experience, look for parking lot cameras that offer advanced security camera analytics that can distinguish between different types of vehicles, such as trucks and motorcycles.

License plate recognition (LPR) analytics

LPR analytics are instrumental in safeguarding your parking lot. This technology can automatically read license plate numbers, and the parking lot security camera footage compares them against a watch list of vehicles of interest. If a match is found, you’ll be instantly notified so you can take action. Benefits of LPR analytics include: 

  • Deterrence of crime: Would-be criminals will think twice before trying to break into any cars knowing their license plate number will be recorded and compared against a watch list.
  • Improved customer service and operations: Vehicle analytics can give greater insight into movement and traffic in parking lots, helping operators streamline processes. This information can also be used to help you promptly resolve any parking issues and improve and even automate operations. 

Additionally, LPR data can be used to identify vehicles that are frequently present in the vicinity of reported incidents. By analyzing LPR data, parking lot operators can proactively identify potential security threats and take steps to mitigate them.

Add LPR Analytics to any Avigilon camera

Equip your parking lot security cameras with Avigilon License Plate Recognition (LPR) analytics to create unique watch lists, receive security alerts and take action based on accurate license plate information linked to live video.

Budgeting for cameras in parking lots

Security cameras for parking lots can range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. It all depends on the brand, the features and the quality of the camera. 

Fisheye and dome CCTV cameras are a great option for parking lots on a budget. Because they provide panoramic views with a single camera unit, you’ll be able to get good visibility without installing more parking lot security cameras. 

On the other hand, multisensor cameras can be beneficial for those looking for a top of the range camera. With high-quality video and intelligent recording, these cameras will play a major role in keeping your parking lot safe and secure.

The size of your property will also affect the cost of a parking lot security camera system as well as the structures you need to monitor. Large outdoor lots will likely need more cameras to cover the area, and the cameras will need to be weather-rated for potentially extreme temperatures and conditions.

Where should you place parking lot security cameras?

When placing parking lot cameras, it’s essential to consider the coverage area, field of view and lighting. A common location is generally near the entrance, as this allows the camera to capture the license plate numbers of vehicles as they enter. If you want to place the cameras in a hidden location, you’ll need to choose a covert camera. However, if you want the cameras to be visible, then you can choose an overt camera.

Some of the challenges associated with using security cameras in parking lots include ensuring that the cameras are correctly positioned and angled in order to capture clear images. This is why it’s recommended to get a professional security camera installer to install your parking lot security cameras.

The cost of poor parking lot and garage security

If you own a parking lot, the last thing you want is a security breach. Not only is it bad for business, but it can also end up costing you a lot of money in damages.

Here are three potential costs of not having proper security cameras for your parking lot:

  • You could be liable for any injuries that occur: If someone is injured in your parking lot and you don’t have proper security cameras, you could be held liable. This means that you would be responsible for any medical bills or other costs associated with the injury.
  • Increased insurance rates: If you don’t have security cameras in your parking lot, your insurance company may perceive your business as being high-risk. This could lead to your insurance rates going up, ultimately costing you more money.
  • You could lose business: Customers who feel unsafe in your parking lot may take their business elsewhere. Customers are increasingly aware of the importance of security and safety in today’s world, and if you can’t offer that, they may go to a competitor who can. Proper security cameras are essential to keeping your employees and customers safe. The costs of not having them can be significant, both financially and for your reputation. 

A final word on parking lot security camera systems

A study by The Urban Institute found that after parking lot cameras were installed, there was a decrease in reported crimes of motor vehicle theft. The study also found that after security cameras were used in conjunction with bike patrols and other physical security methods, the number of crimes committed dropped by 53%. When you invest in a parking lot security system and are choosing a security camera, parking lot cameras will be instrumental in improving the safety of your parking lot and reducing criminal activity.

Have questions? We can help

Our video security experts can help you implement the right security system for your business.