Did you know that fraud and theft cause a business to lose up to 7% of its revenue each year? For some businesses, that could mean thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. With a surveillance system, you can reduce theft and keep your business and assets protected.
The average cost to install a surveillance system ranges from $2,320 to $3,910. You need a few main components – the cameras, monitors, NVR hard drive, cables, and ongoing monitoring. It’s also a good idea to hire a professional to install your security system.
Want to learn more about the cost to install a surveillance system? Keep reading and check out the most frequently asked questions at the end of the page.
- The Average Cost to Install a Surveillance System
- Cameras: The Different Types and Their Costs
- Other Hardware
- Installation Costs
- Type of Surveillance System
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it Cheaper to Buy the Parts of a System Individually?
- How do I Determine the Number of Cameras I Need?
- Can Own a Surveillance System Lower My Insurance Costs?
- Can Install a Surveillance System on My Own and Avoid Installation Costs?
- What’s the Cheapest Security Camera?
- What’s the Total Cost to Install a Surveillance System?
- Is Installing a Surveillance System Worth it?
The Average Cost to Install a Surveillance System
To install a surveillance system in your business, you should expect to pay between $2,320 to $3,910. The minimum price of $2,320 assumes no professional installation (i.e., DIY installation) and WI-FI cameras (no analog cables). We determined the price based on 12 cameras – either dome, bullet, or box cameras. Each of these cameras has a marginal price difference.
Should you choose to install thermal cameras, you should budget an additional $700 per camera or $8,400 for 12 cameras. Keep in mind, that the exact number of cameras will depend on how big your business is and the nature of your business.
The below table outlines each component of a business surveillance system and its corresponding cost. Note: it does not include ongoing monthly costs such as monitoring or insurance. You can learn more about those costs below.
|Cameras (12 total)||$1,500|
|Monitors (3 total)||$420|
|Network Video Recorder (NRV) Hard Drive||$300|
|Upfront Monitoring Fee||$100|
|Without a Professional Installation||$2,560|
|Without cables (WI-FI cameras)||$2,320|
Now that you have a summary of the main costs of a surveillance system, let’s take a deeper look at each item you will need to set up the system, beginning with the different types of cameras.
Cameras: The Different Types and Their Costs
When you install a surveillance system at your business, you can choose between various cameras. Each camera ranges in price and quality.
Average cost: $125
Notorious for their black dome, these cameras are some of the most popular. The dome is 100% transparent on the inside but fully tinted on the outside. From down below, you can’t tell where the camera is pointing.
Not only are dome cameras discrete, but they’re also resistant to the outdoor elements and come with night vision technology. You can use these cameras both inside and outside. Lastly, dome cameras are extremely hard to break or tamper with, making them much more effective against vandals.
Average cost: $100
As the name suggests, box cameras come boast either a square or rectangular design. They are not as discrete as dome cameras but are a bit more affordable. The main benefit of box cameras is that you can easily swap out the lens, depending on your security needs.
While it varies on the brand, many box cameras have advanced features such as auto white balance and noise reduction. You can install box cameras both over Wi-Fi or with cable connections.
Average cost: $100
Many business owners have to choose between dome, box, and bullet categories, as they all fall within a similar price range. Bullet cameras are the middle ground between dome and box cameras. They’re small and often shaped like a small bullet. Instead of mounting them within a ceiling tile as you do with a dome camera, you typically have to mount bullet cameras against the top portion of a wall.
Bullet cameras are not as discrete as dome cameras, nor do they have the same range. However, after installing a bullet camera, you can easily point it toward the area you want to monitor. Since bullet cameras are easy to spot for your average vandal, they’re more susceptible to damage. On the other hand, bullet cameras may scare off criminals because they are more visible than dome cameras.
Average cost: $700
Thermal cameras are some of the most advance and expensive on our list. They’re best suited for businesses with very valuable assets that they need to continuously monitor. Thermal cameras detect what’s not visible to the human eye – heat. Even if the intruder is not directly facing the camera, thermal detection can detect him or her.
Another benefit of thermal cameras is that they don’t trigger false alarms as some security cameras do. For example, bullet or box cameras might make your alarm sound off because a leaf blew across the lens. A thermal camera, on the other hand, would not trigger a false alarm. Many business owners integrate thermal cameras with IP cams for maximum security.
Wireless IP Cameras
Average cost: $225
Box, dome, and bullet cameras could all be wireless IP cameras. A wireless IP camera is simply a camera that does not use an analog cable, but rather transmits the video over a wireless network. Wireless IP cameras are more expensive than analog cameras, but increasing competition has led to a decrease in prices.
Why might you choose to secure your business with wireless IP cameras? You can control these cameras over virtually any wireless device – laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Many of these cameras have built-in features, such as the ability to send you notifications when the motion detector is triggered.
Average cost: $250
A pan tilt zoom (PTZ) camera is very similar to a dome camera. At first glance, it’s easy to confuse the two of them. PTZ cameras have a discrete dome that’s transparent on the inside. The major difference is that they have enhanced features, such as better zoom and remote control.
Because of their added features, PTZ cameras are slightly more expensive than dome cameras. PTZ cameras may come in handy for those with large spaces that need surveillance or those that find that dome cameras are not doing the job.
Even though many security cameras are compatible with phones and tablets, you probably want a security monitor for your business. The most common type of monitor is a CCTV monitor, which can support the following connections: HDMI, VGA, USB, and AV.
CCTV monitors can typically display the video of up to four cameras at a time. These monitors retail for about $140 (for 15”). You should buy at least one monitor for every four cameras. So, if you have five cameras, you would need two monitors.
Network Video Recover (NVR) Hard Drive
The network video recovery (NRV) hard drive plays an important function – storing the video footage captured by your security cameras. The more cameras you have, the larger amount of storage you need. Fortunately, these hard drives are relatively cheap for the amount of space that you get. For example, you can buy a 2 TB NRV hard drive on Amazon for around $220.
Most security surveillance bundles already include an NRV hard drive, so you will not need to purchase it separately. However, if you buy a bundle, you should take note of how much storage the NRV has. You should also consider buying a backup NRV in case something happens to your primary one.
If you decide to install an analog surveillance system, you will need to buy cables. The price of cables varies greatly depending on the layout of your surveillance network. In our pricing estimate, we budgeted $20 in cable costs per security camera. For this price, you can buy a 100-ft. BNC cable.
For most surveillance systems, you’ll need to hire a professional to install them. On average, having a professional install your business’s surveillance system costs $1,350. The below factors impact the price of installation:
- The location of your business
- The size of your business’s building
- Whether the cameras are wireless or wired (wireless are cheaper and easier to install)
- The number of cameras that you need to install
- The type of cameras that you are installing
Some surveillance systems include the cost of installation. If you buy a surveillance system that does not include the installation, you will need to hire a local contractor that specializes in surveillance systems.
Unless you have 24/7 security staff or cameras that alert you at every sign of movement, you will need monitoring software. The cost for security camera monitoring ranges from $15 to $35 per month. Security camera monitoring companies use either real humans or artificial intelligence to monitor your surveillance video and alter you of any threats.
While nearly all monitoring companies charge a monthly fee, some may also charge an activation fee as well. The activation fee costs around $100 on average. If you plan to hire a company to monitor your security cameras, then you should build this activation fee into your initial budget.
If you finance a surveillance system, you have two options: financing through the seller (if available) or financing through a bank. While most sellers do not charge upfront financing fees, banks charge a loan origination fee ranging from 1 to 6%.
When you determine the overall cost of your surveillance system, you’ll need to factor in the cost of interest. Depending on the purchase price of the surveillance system, you will likely take out a loan ranging from one year to five years. The standard APR for a business loan ranges from 3 to 7%.
It’s important to have a commercial property insurance policy if you have an expensive surveillance system. This type of insurance coverage will reimburse any expenses if you have to replace the system due to theft or vandalism. While a commercial property insurance policy covers much more than your surveillance, it’s important to allocate a percentage of the cost. On average, commercial property insurance costs between $500 to $3,000.
On the other hand, installing a surveillance system can lower the cost of your insurance premiums. If a thief sees your security camera, he or she might be less likely to steal from you, making your business less of a risk to the insurance company. When calculating the total cost of installing a surveillance system, you should consider any amounts that you have saved on insurance premiums.
Type of Surveillance System
Would you like to install a wired or a wireless surveillance system? Well, this will affect the overall cost of installation to some extent.
Generally, installation equipment and parts for a wired system are cheaper, but wireless systems are way cheaper to install (installation labor costs are lower).
So, how does the pricing for these two surveillance system types differ?
Wired Surveillance System Cost
Wires make for a much tougher install. This is mainly because holes need to be drilled, wires installed and conduit kept in place.
In most cases, professional help is recommended. The installation cost of a wired system runs higher than that of a wireless system, often between $150 and $200 per camera.
However, installation parts and components for a wired system are quite affordable. The good thing about wired surveillance systems is that they cannot be hacked remotely or jammed.
Again, most of the leading brands come with a battery backup, which comes in handy during power outages.
Wireless Surveillance System Cost
Wireless security systems are comparatively easy to install. This makes them the best surveillance system choice for a do-it-yourself (DIY) project.
With these types of surveillance cameras, you can save money by installing them on your own.
For a DIY project, you will spend $0 on labor costs, but a professional will charge you about $100 for each camera installed.
Although the cost of installing wireless surveillance cameras is low, the equipment and installation parts are relatively costlier to buy.
Leading wireless surveillance system brands also offer remote access capabilities. You will also find such a system easier to move from one building or room to another.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to learn more about the cost of installing a surveillance system before you buy one for your business? Take a look at the most frequently asked questions.
Is it Cheaper to Buy the Parts of a System Individually?
More often or not, you can buy a surveillance system in a bundle and save money. It’s not only convenient, but it will have all the items you need to set up the system.
How do I Determine the Number of Cameras I Need?
There’s no set rule to help you determine the number of cameras you need. It depends on how big your business is, and the nature of your business. A business could have anywhere from 12 to 64 cameras.
Can Own a Surveillance System Lower My Insurance Costs?
Yes, owning a surveillance system can lower your monthly insurance premiums. Many insurance companies will reduce your premiums after you install a surveillance system.
Can Install a Surveillance System on My Own and Avoid Installation Costs?
Yes, you can install a surveillance system on your own and avoid installation costs. However, you should err on the side of caution. Some surveillance systems’ warranties are voided if you do not install the system properly. If you have a large space, it’s a good idea to have a professional install the system for you.
What’s the Cheapest Security Camera?
Both box and bullet cameras are the cheapest, depending on their features. On average, these cameras retail for about $100.
What’s the Total Cost to Install a Surveillance System?
The total cost to install a surveillance system ranges from $2,320 to $3,910.
Is Installing a Surveillance System Worth it?
Yes, installing a surveillance system is a must for any type of business. A surveillance system protects you in a variety of ways. First, it can deter thieves or help you catch thieves if you hand the footage over to the police. In addition, it can protect you from fraudulent insurance claims from both customers and employees.
Even though installing a surveillance system can cost up to $3,910, you are certain to recoup the initial installation cost in the long run.