This Area is Under Surveillance

What do you think that really means? Is someone really watching what you’re doing, right this minute? It certainly implies that surveillance is occurring.

Many companies have cameras and video systems installed to protect themselves from risk and liability, but posting signage that makes this statement: “This Area is Under Surveillance” may actually increase your risk and liability. You’ve implied that someone is watching – which could in turn create a false sense of security for those on-site – especially if no one is really watching or monitoring the camera views.

The truth is, most companies have installed camera systems for their deterrence and documentation qualities. It’s been said that industry-wide, 95% of the video recorded is never reviewed. I posed this statistic to a member of the loss prevention team for the world’s largest retailer and he said, “It’s more like 98% never gets looked at.”

Should you post signs or not?

If the reason for installing a video system is to deter incidents from taking place like vandalism, theft or assault, then signage supports the deterrence motivation. If the reason for the system is to protect your company from liability, because you never know who might file a frivolous lawsuit claiming their right to privacy has been violated, then signage supports their perceived “right to know.” If your video system is intended to “catch people in the act,” then you may not want to alert them to the fact that cameras are in use.

If you have implemented a video system, it would be prudent for you to consult with your attorney regarding whether posting signs is necessary, and then choose your words carefully!

Side note: It might be time for signage updates – cameras don’t really look like the above picture anymore!


Gloria Lubben
Executive Vice President/Director of Sales and Marketing

Gloria joined with Pat Van Haren in 1993 to found SecurAlarm and help forge its vision. Gloria is passionate about working where what we do to enhance security on behalf of our client’s matters. As a graduate of Calvin College, she takes her alma mater’s slogan of service personally: “My heart I offer to you Lord, promptly and sincerely.” Gloria has been active in the industry since 1983; as a consultant and trusted advisor to clients, as a respected competitor of industry related peers, as a teacher and mentor of teammates, and as a Certified Protection Professional since 1993. Today, Gloria leads the company’s Sales Team where she is able to mentor associates and share her years of experience and depth of knowledge in sales and the security industry. Gloria and her family enjoy the great outdoors; fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring different parts of the country!

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