Armored Access Blog

Calculating ROI of a Security System

Written By
Bill Marusza
October 31, 2016

Return on Investment (ROI) for a security and surveillance systems is understandably a debated topic, but why?

If a business decides to install a security system on their property, there is no assurance that it will ever have to be used. This can be seen as a positive because your property is never burglarized or bad because the system was never actively used.

Surveillance and security have costs, and the truth is there’s no foolproof way to calculate a system’s ROI, though, there are some things to consider that will help you calculate some pretty accurate estimation.

What is the difference between ROI and Loss Aversion?

The average person having a security system installed isn’t expecting to be burglarized, but instead preparing for the possibility. This is the concept of loss aversion versus return on investment. Security systems help prevent you from being burglarized, they don’t generate money for a household.

Most people would consider a surveillance system worth the money if a an item were stolen from your home and then returned upon apprehension. The thought that this is a return on investment is purely because there was a transaction.

Now, if the same security system deterred burglars from coming near the house, and the same stolen item was never stolen, is does the system provide the same return on investment? No.

It actually saves the homeowner more money in the long run because most break-ins involve broken glass on door and other means of forcible entry that will need to be paid for. Also, consider the cost in time alone with talking to law enforcement, giving statements and having to recover your stolen items.

Surveillance Systems and Unknown Benefits

In addition to that, surveillance cameras are now used for much more than catching burglars and vandals during afterhours. Imagine you’re the owner of a small grocery store and you’ve just been informed of a lawsuit being filed for an injury a customer sustained on your property. Without evidence or witnesses you will be held liable. This could result in an extremely expensive event that your store may not recover from. On the other hand, video surveillance might show the customer is lying about details giving your business a viable defense against liability.

Surveillance also plays a role in loss prevention.  Growing businesses constantly have needs for updated securities and every business will find ROI in different ways. Properties like hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies have needs to restrict access to areas that contain drugs, special equipment or personal medical records. Other businesses may use access control to limit entry into areas with sensitive information about the company or their employees. For retail and grocery stores, threats like shoplifting and product loss are a high risk and every item that goes missing is an added expense to the company.

Still need more convincing? Surveillance systems are also used to increase business. They provide information on total customers and shopping behaviors, peak hours and even how well advertising attempts are performing in the store. How many employees or personnel do you really need working? Learning employee productivity can eliminate unneeded labor costs.

What are the risks of installing a security system?

The most risks of installing a security system come when home owners decide to install systems themselves which were purchased online at “discount retailers.”

The problems with DIY kits often start with the lack of proper tools and equipment to properly install cameras in the house. Without proper installation practices, hardware can often be installed poorly, leading to damage to the home and system.

Furthermore, many people who choose to install security systems don’t know the best focal point for the cameras. Lenses that are incorrectly focused might as well not be there at all. If careful attention is not paid to the camera angles, you could be subject to blind spots in your surveillance.

Once the system is installed, homeowners are still responsible for upgrading the software and equipment for the system rather than having a professional take care of the upgrades for them.

Another thing many people don’t consider when installing a DIY security system is that when they “skip” the monthly service fee, they also lose essential emergency services like immediate 911 calls and flood and fire detection.

Arguably, the security company you choose poses one of the biggest risks to your home security.

Many national security firms will subcontract their work to people who may not have gone through a vetting process to ensure their work is to the highest of standards. We always encourage customers to check their security company’s credentials and make sure the person coming to install your security system works directly for the company you hired.   

Contact us at Armored Access for all your security and surveillance needs today.  

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