Before commissioning a CCTV system you should seek expert advice about the sort of system you require. CCTV systems are more sophisticated than ever, and can be configured in many different ways to protect your business from theft, intrusion, fire, flood or burglary. Most companies do not have the expertise in-house to evaluate what kinds of cameras are needed, and the areas of your business that need protecting. Cameras now offer computer-like functions and features, like motion sensors and automatic mobile notifications. Some systems automatically convey notifications if there is an incident. Monitored systems offer greatly enhanced levels of protection.
Most reputable security companies will offer their advice free of charge and will help you decide between the different options. Your business will have access to immensely powerful surveillance systems at a range of different prices. A large degree of customization is also possible, allowing you to tailor a system to your business’s specific needs, so that it covers multiple locations
What to consider before purchasing a CCTV system
Larger businesses with multiple locations and complicated set-ups will need professional installation.
Type of camera
Analog cameras are being phased out in favour of IP cameras, which offer more features and capabilities – IP cameras are networked devices that capture images in a higher resolution and also enable automatic alerts, video analytics and more.
There are many features available from night vision to smart motion detection to pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ). Take advice on which features your business needs and design your system accordingly. For instance, if you need a system primarily to monitor your business at night you will require strong night vision capabilities and 24/7 alerts.
Camera locations are vitally important
Locations largely determine the type of cameras you need – for instance, a camera that is located outdoors will need to be weatherproof with PTZ functionality and motion alerts.
These allow for mobile notifications and automatic recording if there is movement within the camera’s field of vision. This is essential for times when your business is closed, and allows you to know if someone is moving around inside the premises.
For sharp images, you will need a camera that shoots at least in 720p high definition. A security system requires clear, identifiable images.
The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video. Video is a series of still images stitched together to create a motion picture – real time is typically measured as 30 frames per second.
If you plan to use cameras outside, make sure you purchase weatherproof models. Otherwise, water or dirt interferes with the clarity of the video feeds or causes the camera to malfunction.
Many security cameras shoot in what is known as low-light infrared, enabling them to capture clear footage in dark conditions. The more IR LEDs that a camera has, the better able it is to record crisp, clear footage at night. If capturing footage in the dark is a priority, make sure your camera has plenty of IR LEDs.
Some cameras don’t pick up audio, others do. Some even enable two-way audio, so a monitoring station watching the camera can communicate with a subject in the camera’s field of vision.
A monitored system represents the most enhanced level of security. However, most companies that offer this will put the monitoring out to a third party, with a consequent loss of control and accountability. If you require a monitored system ask if the company offering it has their own in-house monitoring centre that meets all the relevant professional standards.
CCTV can help protect your company and significantly increase your peace of mind. Not only can CCTV cameras deter criminals and help the police quickly catch any would-be thieves, but they can also improve accountability among your employees, helping you to monitor productivity, and may reduce your insurance premiums.
Perhaps GBSG can help your company choose an appropriate CCTV system? We offer a free, no-obligation security review for your business. Call us on 01775 821100 to arrange your review.