A car dealership without video surveillance is a dealership waiting for disaster. This is because the very valuable inventory sitting on the lot is susceptible to theft and vandalism. Because Automobiles, depending on their make, model, year, and features, can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars in price to a few hundred thousand. In other words, a car dealership is leaving millions of dollars in inventory on a paring lot. That means millions of dollars is being exposed to the potential of theft, to harmful weather, and to vandalism for hours at a time. The only solution to this is surveillance via an IP camera. What is IP camera surveillance? An IP camera is a video surveillance security camera that is not like your old fashioned Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system. An IP camera provides you with a digital picture that can be accessed from anywhere. This is because the camera operates off of an IP network, hence the letters "IP," which stand for "Internet protocol." An IP camera more or less works the same as a Webcam. However, you can tap into this camera from your computer. This means you can go home for the day and keep an eye on your car dealership via your IP cameras by using your PC to login to each camera. What are the benefits of an IP camera? - Theft Prevention - Cars cannot be sold at a reasonable price if theft if always taking place. Through an IP camera, protecting the inventory is much easier. Having several IP cameras placed around a lot allows a view of the entire space. There is also the capability to pan, tilt, and zoom the IP cameras over the Internet. - Keep track of customers and visitors - With an IP camera, keeping track of customers is easier. For example, it is possible to see which cars customers are paying the most attention to. This can be great for marketing, for what kind of inventory you carry, and can keep the sales staff in check. With the remote recording capabilities, it is possible to keep track of customers and count them as they move in and out of the business. - Protect the property and the employees - IP cameras enhance the safety of the employees and the property. If there is a security staff in place, the cameras help the security staff keep an eye on things. This also allows for the staff to concentrate on those other areas that are important. This means the guards don't have to sit in front of a screen all of the time while something else needs to be done. - Integration - Integration is something that is very important and IP cameras take care of this. Any security system operating on a network that uses IP cameras is the key to making sure security systems stay "up with the times." This is because there are many functions such as motion detection so that the camera doesn't have to record all of the time. If security guards leave their station, they can receive an email alert on a cellular phone or other device that motion has been detected, and so much more. Even the installation is easy with the wireless functionality. This makes this a camera of the future. What to Consider When Installing Your IP Cameras There are several things that you have to take into consideration when installing your IP camera. There are questions that have to be asked: - How many vehicles have been stolen in the past? - What part of the dealership seems to be the most vulnerable to theft and vandalism? - What security systems are in place now? What about them is not working? - Are there any issues with organized car theft rings? Strategic Placing of IP Cameras The placement of IP cameras is everything. It is important to see as much as possible. The following offer some ideas about placing IP cameras: - Make sure the IP cameras are protected against the wind and weather with protective housings. - Make sure that the entire car lot is seen and that outlying spaces are seen as well. Different type of footage can be provided by different types of IP cameras that are networked together. It is then possible to access that network remotely from a PC via the Internet. - Don't forget the storage and maintenance areas. There is valuable equipment there that needs to be protected. Wes Fernley Feb 24th, 2009