Outside of the washer and dryer which generate revenue for a coin laundromat, the next most important piece of laundromat equipment is arguably the security system. A security system is not only protects the owner of the store, but it also protects the laundromat customers. This investment provides peace of mind to the owner and patron; it also will cause anyone thinking about committing a crime in the laundromat to think twice.
So, if a security system is so important, how many coin laundromats actually have security systems in place? Sadly, not enough. Here are just a few examples I’ve seen of laundromat security or the lack thereof.
- No Security – Some stores don’t have any security system at all. The store owner is either unaware of the benefits of investing in this kind of laundromat equipment or does not want to spend the money on this system at all.
- Fake Security – Other laundromats have a sign that states, “Warning: Hidden Surveillance of Premises”. However, upon further inspection, there really isn’t a security system. This is like having a “Home Security” sign prominently displayed in front of your house when you really don’t own one. While this might deter some potential crime from taking place in the Laundromat, what happens if a crime is actually committed? A store with an actual security system will have everything recorded as evidence for law enforcement officials.
- Security in Disrepair – I’ve seen other stores that actually take the step to invest in security but then fail to maintain the equipment (i.e. broken cameras). If I notice this, do you think a criminal is going to spot this as well?
What to Look for in a Good Security System
This feature is one of my personal favorites and a must for remote management. A good security system should allow you to view the store using the Internet any time. For instance, when I was speaking at a coin laundry association event in New Orleans, I was still able to check in on my store.
With this feature, I no longer have to be in the store every day. I wake up in the morning, walk over to my home office, and simply check in on the store. This kind of remote management allows me to not only observe my customers, I can also keep an eye out on my employees to see if they are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
By the way, the Internet service adds another perk. Although I had the local telecommunications company activate Internet service to my store so I could have an Internet capable security system, I was able to add free Wi-Fi service for my laundromat customers. This is one of those amenities customers come to expect to receive for free and will help you differentiate your store from the competition.
Number and Type of Cameras
The more cameras you have, the better. Here is just an example of how many cameras you might need.
- Front and rear door (2)
- Office (1)
- Two different angles covering the change machines (2 or more)
- The row of washers so there is no blind spot (2 or more depending on your store layout)
You’re looking at seven or eight cameras at a minimum.
As for the type of cameras, you should consider a dome camera. A dome conceals the angles and is difficult to tamper with. In addition, it will keep the bad guys wondering if you truly have a blind spot or not because they will not be able to tell where the cameras are pointing at.
Flat Screen Monitor
These days, the cost of a good flat screen monitor is reasonable. The most important consideration is not the type or brand of monitor you get; it’s the actually placement. The ideal place to put the monitor is in the laundromat office. The worst place you can put a monitor is hanging from the wall for all your customers to see the camera angles!
While there is an initial expense involved with a security system, it is just as important as the washers and dryers. A good security system will save you time and money. The security system helps me remotely manage my stores, which saves time. It also is a visible deterrent for criminals who might want to steal money from your washers or change machine, saving you money. I know I can sleep better at night knowing this important piece of laundromat equipment is working hard for me twenty-four hours, seven days a week!