A Guide to Effective Car Dealership Security
Protect your car dealership from theft, damage and liability issues.
This article looks at the various security threats facing Car Dealerships and provides actionable solutions to resolve them.
03 February 2020
Like most businesses, car dealerships face a wide range of threats when it comes to protecting stock and ensuring the safety of staff and customers. Common security challenges include the risk of theft and vandalism, employee and customer safety, anti-social behaviour, loitering, and security blind spots. Given the range of security issues facing car dealerships, it is critical that effective and reliable solutions are implemented to protect valuable stock and provide peace of mind.
Ways to Improve Car Dealership Security
Criminals prefer to work under the cover of darkness rather than under a spotlight. With the advent of powerful LED systems, lighting up your premises can be done for a reasonable price. Effective lighting compliments video surveillance systems but is not necessary for it to function. This is because modern surveillance systems can also utilise InfraRed lighting and thermal imaging cameras.
This is an obvious one for many dealership owners but worth mentioning nonetheless. GPS technology is relatively inexpensive with many manufacturers and sellers offering deals on bulk orders and systems designed for car dealerships.
Keep Keys and Fobs Well Protected
Too often, car dealerships leave keys and fobs in obvious locations giving the sales team easy access. While convenient, this presents an opportunity for thieves and criminals. Keys and fobs should always be kept in a secure location, out of view and only accessible by dealership staff. Leaving keys on wheels and under sun visors is asking for trouble.
Make Towing Difficult for Thieves
Criminals will often try to tow cars out of a dealership. Towing can be easier than bypassing alarms, forcing locks or stealing keys. Once the car is towed off-site, the thief can work on the car at their leisure. The easiest deterrent for this type of robbery is to make sure all vehicles have the e-brake on and wheels fully locked to the left or right.
Implement a Sign Out Process
A strict sign-out process helps to keep an accurate log of all vehicles coming on and off the premises. Ensure someone is responsible for checking the log to make sure no car is out longer than the designated period of time. This will help the Gardaí follow-up on the theft while the trail is still fresh.
Choose a Monitored CCTV System
CCTV monitoring is the best deterrent against crime and liability issues while also being more cost-effective than a manned solution.
Modern Video Surveillance
In recent years, video surveillance has integrated cutting edge technology allowing intelligent software to assess video feed for potential threats. This type of system is referred to as Proactive Video Monitoring. A proactive video monitoring system uses the latest high definition IP cameras to provide a clear picture with a long-range of vision. Intelligent algorithms then assess the video feed to distinguish between threats and non-threats.
If a threat is detected by the intelligent surveillance software an alert is immediately sent to an Intervention Specialist for further verification. An Intervention Specialist is a highly trained security expert responsible for handling security alerts. It is their job to quickly assess a situation via live video feed. Within seconds they will assess the correct level of intervention. A typical intervention protocol follows this sequence:
- Threat detected
- A live voice warning
- Gardaí alerted
- Designated keyholder alerted
- Situation live monitored until resolved
How Monitored Video Surveillance Protects
Mitigate against false claims and liability
Insurance claims can be a financial burden to any organisation. However, car dealerships can be particularly vulnerable since they attract high volumes of both foot and vehicle traffic as members of the public browse the inventory showroom and lot. Whether a patron has accidentally slipped and fallen, or a vehicle collision in the parking lot has occurred, you will have quick and easy access to historical footage.
Proactive video monitoring systems provide you with the software to access your camera feed and recorded video from your desktop or on a mobile app. Claims can be quickly investigated and closed.
Improve Business Operations
The integration of ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras can provide you with a comprehensive history of license plate data for all vehicle details entering and exiting your dealership. This adds a further layer of recourse in a wide range of scenarios on your property, not to mention accidental damage to dealership inventory.
Health and Safety
Keeping staff and customers safe is a priority for any business. You can rest assured knowing footage from your dealership showroom, parts area and lot can be quickly and easily recalled upon should you need to investigate employee or customer issues.
Deter Theft and Vandalism
Detection analytics employed behind the high definition cameras immediately notifies an Intervention Specialist at a remote monitoring centre of human movement. At this point, trained specialists will immediately connect to view a live camera feed of the activity and challenge the intruder in accordance with your personalised site protocol. The intruders will be challenged with a stern audio warning and the Gardai notified. This action has a proven track record of preventing crime before it happens.
Reliable, Effective and Always-On
As with any system relying on hardware, there are potential points of failure. A unique feature of Netwatch proactive video monitoring is a constant health check; the entire system is programmed to continually perform self-health checks. This is a unique feature of the Netwatch System and results in a fully maintained system. If required, a Systems Engineer is dispatched to carry out repairs.
Proactive Video Monitoring Benefits
Save on Security Costs
Security solutions can be expensive but the results are worth it. Of the many solutions available, proactive video monitoring provides the greatest impact per euro spent. This type of system results in less nuisance and costly call-outs.
Alarms are visually verified by trained Intervention Specialists ensuring each incident is handled quickly and appropriately. False and unnecessary call-out costs are eliminated as the dealership and Gardaí are only notified when a threat or intrusion has been visually verified.
Faster Response Times
A call-in from a professional Intervention Specialist is treated with greater urgency than a general call to the Gardaí. A threat that has been visually verified in this way results in a quicker to response time – an important aspect in a situation where every second is crucial.
More Cost-Effective Than Manned Solution
Video surveillance systems do not get sick or require annual leave. They don’t fall asleep on the job or have unsavoury personal connections. Video surveillance systems are reliable and on the job 24/7 365. Another important consideration is the area covered by manned solutions. Foot patrol can only cover one small area of the property at a time, whereas a video surveillance system will constantly scan every part of your premises and its perimeter simultaneously – it’s always on.
A Scalable Solution
There will be times when you need to quickly expand your security system. Adding additional sites or expanding an existing location is easy, especially when using a fully managed service. A fully managed service takes care of installation, upgrades and maintenance as well as the most important bit; monitoring the camera feed for threats.
When you install video surveillance across multiple dealership locations, you will have access to live and recorded video from your laptop, tablet and/or phone from all sites. The unique propriety software gives access to remote site management features for your dealership locations, while you are on the move or at home.
Proactive Video Monitoring for Car Dealerships
At Netwatch, we know the challenges faced by car dealerships. Our mission is to improve the efficiency of your business while giving you confidence that your valuable inventory is protected to the highest possible standard. Managing a car dealership is tricky. Whether you have parts deliveries after hours, cleaners entering your showroom in the evenings, or staff staying on late working on cars or admin work.
Keeping track of who’s allowed where has its difficulties. Netwatch has been providing proactive video monitoring services to car dealerships for almost 20 years. Netwatch can build you a tailor-made solution to meet and exceed your security needs while ensuring the integrity of your business is never compromised.
Setting Trends in Car Dealership Security
For almost 20 years, Netwatch has continually reinvested in research and development. This has resulted in the creation of world-class alarm handling software called Cratos, allowing Netwatch to distinguish itself as the industry leader in car dealership security.
The technology employed behind each high definition camera enables Netwatch Intervention Specialists to immediately intervene in the event of unauthorised movement. Our exceptional team of developers are constantly innovating this intelligent software powering the system.
Netwatch has remained the chosen partner for car dealerships over the last two decades due to its consistent delivery of our core vision “to lead the world, in safeguarding what our customers value most through our culture of care, innovation and passion for people”.