Remote Video Monitoring vs. On-Site Security: A Comparison

Examining the pros and cons of each security approach could make your decision easier!

Key takeaways:

  • Developing a security solution for every business is essential, and onsite guards and remotely monitored surveillance are two popular options.
  • Remote video monitoring is a cost-efficient, flexible, and highly effective approach, whereas onsite security allows for faster onsite reactions but involves higher costs.
  • Choosing the option that fits best with your preferences and budget helps ensure the right decision.

Businesses of all sizes rely on some form of security to deter thievery, vandalism, and other crimes. Monitoring staff can also be a concern, given that internal theft costs American businesses at least $50 billion annually.

Onsite security that places a trained guard at a business during pre-defined hours is one option that’s often considered. Personnel may be hired to work at night, during the day, or around the clock, depending on the requirements and budget.

In contrast, remote video monitoring involves installing surveillance cameras, alarms, and other devices in strategic locations at a commercial or industrial property. Trained security professionals watch the feed offsite, allowing them to intervene by warning of intruders remotely and contacting the authorities when necessary. 

Both methods have their place and benefits — so here’s a basic comparison of video surveillance and onsite security. 

The benefits of monitored video surveillance

Installing monitored security cameras at a business provides reliable 24/7 surveillance and ensures there’s never a moment where you don’t have some level of protection. In addition, a trained security professional will observe the feed and intervene remotely if there’s a break-in or other suspicious activities. They can immediately contact the authorities and company staff, plus deter crimes in progress using onsite loudspeakers and alarms.

The mere presence of security cameras acts as a deterrent while providing after-the-fact evidence of any theft, trespassing, or unsafe activity on the property. These benefits can also reduce instances of internal theft or fraud because employees know their employer has ways to identify perpetrators and hold them responsible. 

You can place remote video monitoring cameras nearly anywhere in any environment, including on temporary job sites. These systems help keep costs down because they don’t involve hiring additional full-time employees or their contractor equivalents to watch the property. The pros of video monitoring are extensive, making it a worthy option for most businesses.

Onsite security benefits

Of course, remote monitoring isn’t the only game in town, as you could opt for an onsite security guard. Hiring a guard doesn’t necessarily mean a property won’t have cameras — just that it’s less likely they’ll be monitored remotely. 

The main benefit of hiring security guards is the quick, onsite response. Since you have someone on the property who can address criminal activity, there’s no need to wait for the police to arrive if a criminal is intent on breaking in and committing a crime. A security guard also acts as a visual deterrent, as criminals will be less likely to enter if they know a trained professional is waiting for them. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that some of these benefits are also available through monitored surveillance. For example, cameras and signs denoting them also act as deterrents. And while remote security personnel can’t physically intervene onsite, they can intervene quickly. Many intruders will think twice and flee if confronted with blaring alarms and a loud voice warning them to stop doing what they are doing through a speaker.

Some challenges specific to onsite security

The main limitation of in-person security is its expense. Hiring a security firm to monitor a property onsite means paying for at least one additional employee (or the contractor equivalent) and possibly more if you require personnel around the clock. Moreover, with the current labor shortage adding to the challenge of finding employees, onsite security might not even be an option for a business. 

The size of the property also influences how much an onsite security solution costs and its effectiveness. A massive building or yard, for instance, could require two or three security guards to keep it safe. Settling for one guard could make it very challenging to respond to issues.

Finally, employing onsite security could make owners liable for damages in certain situations. For example, a company could face legal consequences if the security team wrongly detains someone or injures a trespasser. 

Making the decision: surveillance with remote monitoring vs. onsite guards

The security solution you employ will come down to the location’s size and needs, budget, and personal preferences. Onsite security may provide a more significant deterrent in some settings, along with the option of an immediate onsite response. But remote monitoring is more flexible and cost-efficient while also being highly effective. 

If you decide to go with remotely monitored surveillance — or use it in conjunction with onsite staff — Mobile Video Guard is here to help. Our team can develop a custom security solution to satisfy your needs while ensuring your property is monitored by highly trained offsite security professionals. We can also monitor multiple sites simultaneously. 

Contact Mobile Video Guard to learn more about our security solutions or get a quote for your organization today.

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