Cameras vs. Guards in Condominiums and Gated Communities

Posted by Michelle Johnson on 9/23/2016
Camera vs guard

The popularity of video surveillance cameras has increased in recent years. Some condominiums and gated communities even opt for video-only surveillance systems, but at what cost? Here's why you may not want to give up on your guard patrol just yet.

Deggy Guard Tour Solution

Guards Can Patrol on Foot

Security guards have the ability to patrol on foot or via vehicle. Since most surveillance camera systems lack mobility, they're limited in the amount of activity they can observe or monitor. In contrast, security guards can move around and scope out the condominiums or gated community for any suspicious activity.

Surveillance Systems May Cost More Than Guard Patrol

When it comes to deciding whether a camera system is a better option than a guard or guard patrol, consider all the costs involved and the amount of assistance you need. Although the U.S. national average of a security guard's salary is less than $28,500, as of 2015, it can be less expensive than buying a full surveillance system when you add setup costs and backup expenses. That's why it makes sense to do the math. See if you would save by hiring guards versus going with video-only surveillance.

You Still Need Security Guards to Monitor Activity

Current technology limits security cameras to alerting you or a police official of an undesirable activity, such as a gate breach or burglary in a condo. To fully take advantage of these systems, it's ideal to have someone monitoring activity in real-time. That's where security guards come into play.

Video Surveillance May Have a Slower Response Time

When your video surveillance camera monitors suspicious activity, it's not going to tackle the person or even send an alert to the right authorities unless you've paid for a high-tech system. These video surveillance systems that can send alerts are often expensive. Waiting for police to arrive can mean an additional seven minutes to an hour if the issue is prioritized. This doesn't include traffic. However, an on-site security patrol can provide immediate action. They're also often patrolling and monitoring the grounds anyway for safety reasons.

Security Guards Can Make Decisions Based on Human Judgment

Humans may not be perfect, but neither are video surveillance cameras. The reality is that people make mistakes. A tenant may have forgotten his pass code to get on the property or his home. Alarms can go off by accident, and false alarms can cause unnecessary alerts to the local police department. A security guard can determine if an alert is warranted.

Security Guards Are Better in Instances That Might Cause Bodily Harm

If a tenant or owner is in danger, a security guard can react quickly to deter bodily harm. Additionally, your guards can collaborate with one another using checkpoints with guard tour solutions to ensure everyone is in their rightful place. That way, if on-site backup is needed, your team can quickly respond.

Security Guards Can Deter Criminals Better Than Cameras

Equipment can be destroyed with little consequence in comparison to harming a person. Criminals are more prone to take their chances with cameras than with guards. Hefty guards can also appear more threatening than cameras.

Video Surveillance Cameras Can Malfunction

Video cameras can malfunction, but your security guard is not a robot. You can rely on your security guard to work when needed.

Final Thoughts

If you're thinking of opting for cameras versus a security guard patrol, consider all of the pros and cons. Keep in mind that safety is a main concern of all security guard patrols. Furthermore, don't forget that there needs to be some level of human involvement to help make decisions in real-time.