The hidden costs of investing in cheap thermal security systems

The hidden costs of investing in cheap thermal security systems

March 05, 2017

Imagine for a minute that you’re head of security and safety at an energy production facility. Or managing director at a large international airport. What’s the cost to your company or organization of a large and dangerous explosion? Of the lives that could be lost? How will such an event affect your company’s credibility, insurance, reputation?

Security is not an investment that provides a measurable return, like a new business venture, or a financial plan. It’s an expense that, in time, ideally pays for itself in cost savings. When considering the kind of security system to invest in, proactive vs. reactive strategies will almost always make more sense for your bottom line. Thermal security camera systems are one such strategy, but before choosing one, there are a few things you should know. If your decision is based solely on budget, you may end up costing yourself far more in the long run.

The best thermal camera systems deliver extremely clear imaging at a variety of distances, with multiple field of view options, and come from companies that provide a high level of service to their customers and integration partners. The best companies should be willing to demo systems for you, and should stand behind their products, assisting with setup, and integration, and suggesting fixes for problems unique to your facility or environment.

The systems come in a variety of types, configurations, and resolutions, and are priced accordingly. Features like high resolution, integrated analytics, continuous zoom, easy integration with existing security infrastructure, and IP capabilities are just a few qualities that can set a system apart, and give you the scope of coverage and situational awareness necessary for high value asset protection.

Resolution is particularly important for detailed threat assessment. Systems with better imaging capabilities will allow operators to easily identify potential threats, while systems with lower resolution and inferior imaging capabilities may miss the threat entirely. Recent technological advances in image processing have made military grade thermal imaging accessible for commercial applications, and the clarity of these systems provides a level of protection never before possible. While more expensive than other options, the value provided by investing in the best thermal imaging systems on the market is exponentially higher than the cost of the systems themselves.

Any decision about how much to invest in a security system must involve a consideration of the potential risks when running your cost-benefit analysis. When the value of your operations and the stakes of not properly protecting your facility are so high, only one answer makes sense, and that is to choose the best thermal cameras available. When buying a security system, loss prevention is the real product that you are shopping for, the camera system is simply a means to achieve it.