Parking lots can be one of the most dangerous places. This is due to the fact that they are so large and it is difficult to be able to keep an eye on the entire space. Crime is so prevalent, in fact, that statistics state 80% of crimes at malls, retail outlets, and offices occur in the parking lot. This makes their security needs quite unique, however a proper IP video surveillance system exactly what is needed. With IP cameras and their wireless capabilities, they are perfect to place on the outside of buildings and on light posts.

Benefits of IP Cameras in Parking Lots

Because parking lots are so dangerous, there are many benefits to having something as advanced as an IP camera monitoring the entire area. The benefits are:

- Theft Prevention - When a thief decides to victimize someone, they are usually successful because they wait for when no one is around. Unfortunately, security cameras are usually too far away from where the crime is occurring. If security cameras are visible all over the parking lot, these thieves will be less likely to break into cars or rob individuals. Store property is also protected. Megapixel IP cameras also provided added protection considering you can zoom in on the video image to get higher detail of the theif.

- Customer Safety - Customers respect a business that takes the time, effort, and money to install surveillance cameras around their parking lots. This gives them a sense of safety, which will most likely make them customers for life.

- Visual Verification - In the case that a customer may say they were injured on the property, you have visual verification of that. This is also true for someone injured at the hands of another. You will have image verification of that from security cameras placed in the area.

- Remote Access - A manager or other boss can see what's going on in the store when they are at home. IP camera remote access allows authorized personnel to log into the camera's network to see what is going on. Many businesses now do this at cashier stations and monitor what is going on from a corporate location that could be thousands of miles away. All they need is a PC and an Internet connection.

Configuring Your IP Surveillance Cameras

You need to determine what your security needs are in order to make your surveillance system work for you. You have to evaluate the security needs, such as:

- What is the greatest security threat?
- What is the current security system like? Is it effective with different types of lighting?
- Is there a certain parking structure in the parking lot?
- What has been the main security issue in the past 12 months?
- When is the parking area the busiest?
- Is visibility limited anywhere in the parking lot?

Setting Up Your IP Surveillance system

Make sure that IP cameras are placed near all entrances and exits so that visitors can be captured as they come and go. It is also important to place cameras where the entire parking area can be seen. This means that the cameras have to be mounted strategically in order for all of them to create a big picture of the area when combined together.

Wes Fernley
January 2009

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