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Cost-Effectiveness of Video Surveillance Monitoring vs. Security Guards

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    Video Surveillance

    As a business owner or construction site manager, you know protecting valuable assets such as building materials, tools, and heavy machinery from theft or vandalism is important to keeping your budget and timeline on track. Putting sharp eyes on every part of your project at once — and doing so 24/7 — would likely require a prohibitively expensive number of security guards, however. That’s where live video surveillance monitoring comes in. 

    The process of switching from manual surveillance to live video monitoring or adopting such a system for the first time might seem a little overwhelming. This guide will explain the differences between security guards and surveillance systems, as well as some tips for choosing the right solution for your work site.

    Protecting Your Building or Work Sites

    The first step in protecting your assets is to identify them and conduct a risk assessment. Start with listing all of your buildings or worksites and making note of all access points into them. Ask questions like:

    • Where are people able to access my site?
    • Do you have security doors or high fences with securely locked gates? 
    • Who is able to access my site, i.e. do they need keys or are there openings that will let the general public in as well?
    • Is there adequate lighting in place to see vandals or thieves?
    • What about traffic patterns around or through the sites? 

    You want to recognize any areas that might allow bad actors easy access and think through how that access might occur. Analyze each property and identify potential problem areas so you can mitigate them. Anything you can do to impede or slow a criminal’s access into your property will act as a deterrent. 

    3 Tips for Protecting Your Valuable Assets

    Criminals can wreak havoc in your building or worksite. Besides the monetary damage they do, it takes valuable time to deal with the aftermath of their actions. They might even derail a project by stealing or damaging material or equipment. Their actions may also affect the sense of security or actual safety of you, your employees, and your customers. Taking simple steps now to protect your assets can pay dividends later in the form of less pilfering, destruction, and discomfort.

    1. Inventory any valuable assets you may have on the property.
      These may range from cash and credit cards to tools and equipment. Even materials and supplies are tempting targets for thieves.
    2. Operate with the knowledge that anything that can be easily snatched probably will without adequate security.
      Store expensive items inside a physical shelter (rather than out in the open) and advise workers to take their tools and belongings home with them after each shift. This process might also include adding a safe in an office or purchasing drop cloths to keep building supplies out of sight of thieves or vandals.
    3. Consider additional methods for protecting your property.
      Having a dedicated security team that is watching your property around the clock will ensure you are able to cut back on losses from theft and vandalism.

    Protecting your assets can save a lot of time, money, frustration, and higher insurance premiums later on. It also makes a security team’s job easier by stopping them from spreading their resources too thin. 

    Security Guard or Video Surveillance System?


    You may be trying to decide between security systems with video surveillance monitoring, and both on-site guards and remote video surveillance are good options. Here’s a little more about each.

    Security Guards

    Security guards will patrol your property in real-time and report problems by radio.  Here are some things to consider before hiring security guards.

    • Large buildings or construction sites can take a significant time to patrol. 
    • A guard can only see what’s going on in his or her immediate vicinity, which leaves other areas vulnerable.
    • Security guards must be at the right location or monitor screen at exactly the right moment to detect intruders.
    • Extreme weather can make patrolling outdoor sites difficult. 
    • At a minimum, security guards require a guard room or shack with heating, electricity, and easy access to toilet facilities.
    • Security guards may be subject to threats, intimidation, or bribery.        
    • Human error is a factor. 
    • Security guards can get sick, fall asleep, suffer lapses in concentration, develop attention fatigue, or otherwise fail in their responsibilities.

    If security guards follow a regular patrol path, it’s possible for savvy criminals to learn how to avoid them or may quickly realize guards can’t be everywhere at once. A guard’s presence will likely deter some nefarious actors, but not all.

    Surveillance Solutions 

    Commercial Video Surveillance Monitoring

    Security cameras can have a huge impact so long as you have an adequate number of them and CCTV feeds. Unlike security guards, motion sensor-activated surveillance can monitor an entire property at once, including rooftops and other areas that may be out of reach for security personnel. Here are a few other facts:

    • Video monitoring systems installed around the perimeter of your property are less expensive than fencing.
    • Live remote monitoring means your security team can work from anywhere, and will identify potential problems and respond quickly and appropriately.
    • Those responses include using strobe lights and microphones to scare criminals away before they can act on their intentions. 
    • In most trespassing attempts, a live warning along with flashing strobe lights is enough to send trespassers packing.  
    • Live monitoring includes notifying law enforcement of intruders.
    • This includes giving police a description of the criminals, and providing time- and date-stamped evidence as well as a detailed step-by-step video of their actions. 
    • High-quality video technology features infrared night vision, thermal imaging, and remote zoom, which can detect things beyond human eyesight’s capabilities.
    • Such surveillance technology also features higher, sharper resolution images than traditional analog security cameras, which is important when identifying and convicting suspects.

    Real-time video surveillance cameras can give you better peace of mind about the safety of your property. They can not only deter break-ins in progress, but also do so without potentially putting a guard’s life in danger. 

    Video camera Surveillance Monitoring

    Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Your Security Options

    Before choosing a security solution, you’ll want to consider cost, reliability, and effective response times. All factor into ensuring you’ll get the help you need while staying within your budget. Remember, skimping on security can cost you a lot more in the long run.

    • Surveillance monitors don’t charge overtime or holiday pay. 
    • You’ll also save on benefits packages. 
    • A qualified team of experts can design and install a custom CCTV system that meets your specific needs.
    • Portable systems are available to meet temporary security needs.
    • The most reliable systems operate on the grid, off a generator, or from solar-power, and are not negatively impacted by extreme weather.
    • Our systems will never call in sick, get distracted, or face intimidation.
    • Unlike unmonitored surveillance cameras or burglar alarms, live monitoring can prevent crimes from taking place. This saves you money, time, and frustration. 
    • Police respond quickly to verified crimes in progress, and verification can come from a guard on-site or live monitoring. Either way, a higher priority response time increases the likelihood of an arrest. 

    A combination of a camera and CCTV-based surveillance system with guards in the buildings may offer the solution you need. A consultation with a security professional can help you better understand your options.

    If you’re looking for the right security system for your construction or business site, contact Mobile Video Guard today to speak with one of our experts. We will answer any of your questions about video surveillance monitoring and how they can solve your security problems while also saving you money.


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