“CCTV in operation.” How many times have you seen that sign somewhere and suddenly become more conscious about yourself and what you’re doing? That’s the power of CCTV.
CCTV stands for closed-circuit television and makes use of video cameras and recorders to monitor the interior and exterior of a property.
They are considered one of the most effective deterrents against threats such as burglaries and vandalism and there is a reason why every other business has one in place.
Due to the countless advantages that they offer, more people are installing the systems on their premises and you are likely to find CCTV cameras in office buildings, factories, supermarkets, stores, other commercial properties, public places, and even privately owned homes.
Read on to find out all the advantages of installing CCTV cameras and how to choose the best one for your business:
ADVANTAGES OF CCTV FOR BUSINESSES
CCTV cameras not only provide safety and security to a business’s employees and customers, but also its property, contents, and equipment.
Here are all the reasons why every business must have CCTV surveillance:
- Crime deterrent
Criminals actively avoid targeting businesses with CCTV cameras since it plays against their biggest ally; stealth. No one would want to commit a felony and get caught on camera, and this holds for all kinds of criminals including burglars, intruders, and vandals.
- Recorded evidence
The mere sight of a CCTV camera is enough to deter criminals, and the few who take their chances and target a business under surveillance are most likely to be recorded. The CCTV footage helps law enforcement agencies catch the perpetrators quickly and easily.
- Avoid external and internal theft
All businesses face threats from both the outside and within the premises known as external and internal threats respectively. The external threats arise from burglars, thieves, and vandals, while internal threats constitute theft and damage done by disgruntled employees.
- Employee and staff security
Employees are the backbone of any business and their safety must be of utmost importance. CCTV not just protects them from outside threats but also encourages good overall behaviour. Knowing that the owners care so much about them will motivate the employees to work better and be more productive.
- Customer satisfaction
As is with employees and staff members, customers appreciate the effort businesses make for their safety and security. Also, for some businesses, it is logistically impossible to personally observe and monitor all of their customers and the quality of service they receive. CCTV cameras allow remotely monitoring the activities around the business ensuring topmost customer satisfaction.
- Sensitive area monitoring
Every business has certain restricted areas such as private offices, locker rooms, and vaults that have sensitive information in them that you wouldn’t want people to access. CCTV cameras help keep all unauthorized access at bay by discouraging anyone from even trying to enter the area.
- Healthy environment
A healthy working environment where everyone feels safe is of great importance to a business and its growth. Offences such as violence and sexual harassment are real issues that need to be taken extremely seriously. CCTV cameras function as inhibitors for such threats, giving everyone in the workplace a sense of security and safety.
TYPES OF BUSINESS CCTV CAMERAS
The market is filled with different types of CCTV cameras varying in their features and functions, all of which have one thing in common: they capture clear footage irrespective of the time of day, light availability, or extreme weather conditions.
You must make sure you have the right kind of system installed at your business to guarantee its effectiveness and efficiency. Here are the many options to choose from:
- Dome CCTV camera
Named after its shape, the dome camera is typically installed indoors and on the ceiling of a room. Its stand-out feature is that it’s hard to tell which direction the camera is facing, making it difficult to dodge if someone even tries to. They are widely used in retail stores and office spaces.
- Bullet CCTV camera
Another one taking its name from its unique shape that resembles an oversized bullet, the bullet camera is typically installed outdoors where long-distance surveillance is required. Due to their placement, they come in a protective casing and are weather-resistant.
- Day/Night CCTV camera
These CCTV cameras are ideal for use in both types of lighting conditions; light and dark, and can be used for 24×7 surveillance. They are typically placed outdoors, have a wide dynamic range, and can withstand direct sunlight, reflections, and glare.
- Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) CCTV camera
As the name suggests, this camera gives the user the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom the lens for better surveillance. They are extremely responsive and are used for accurate monitoring and a clear view of the subjects in question. Due to their special controls, they are ideal for use in highly sensitive areas where monitoring is required in real-time.
- High Definition (HD) CCTV camera
CCTV cameras come in varying recording capabilities and qualities. One of the defining features is the frame rate at which the camera records the footage. HD CCTV cameras do so at a high frame rate and crisp HD quality. This allows them to capture clear footage giving the user the ability to zoom without losing picture quality.
- Infrared/Night vision CCTV camera
Sometimes the areas that need to be monitored are not well-lit and monitoring them with regular CCTV cameras becomes a challenge. That’s where infrared/night vision CCTV cameras come into action. They can record footage in poor lighting as well as absolute darkness using infrared LEDs.
- Network/IP CCTV camera
Network/IP (Internet Protocol) cameras use the internet to transmit recorded footage over a far distance. Unlike their analogue counterparts, IP cameras do not require a local recording device. They work using both wired and wireless technologies and are relatively easy to install.
- Wired CCTV camera
Wired CCTV cameras, also known as DVR (digital video recorder) systems, are used in conjunction with a recording device connected to a power source and the internet using a cable.
They can either be powered through a separate cord connecting the power and internet or by using a Power over Ethernet (PoE) cable, requiring just one cable providing both power and internet connection.
- Wireless CCTV camera
Wireless CCTV cameras are connected to a power source via a cable and connected to the internet over Wi-Fi, uploading the recorded footage to a local storage device or the cloud.
The main difference between a wired and wireless CCTV camera is that the recorded footage in wireless systems is transmitted from the camera to the recorder wirelessly, whereas wired systems work entirely over cables. Both, however, require wired power.
CHOOSING THE BEST CCTV CAMERA FOR YOUR BUSINESS
To get the most out of your CCTV camera, you need to choose the best one for your business and its security needs. Having the right kind of equipment is one of the determining factors of the surveillance system being effective.
For instance, there is no point placing a regular CCTV camera (with no infrared/night vision) in a dark area. The system simply won’t be able to capture the footage and it would be just as good as not having a CCTV camera in the first place.
Here are a few questions to help you make a more informed decision when choosing the best CCTV camera for your business:
- Hidden or visible camera?
The cameras visibility, whether it is a visible or hidden deterrent, will play a huge part in determining the type of CCTV you choose.
Hidden CCTV cameras are, as the name suggests, hidden from plain view usually using an obstruction to hide it, whereas visible CCTV cameras are obvious and placed in a way to make their presence known.
Regardless of the type of camera you choose, it is mandatory to put up a sign informing the individuals in the area that they are under surveillance.
- Indoor or outdoor?
CCTV cameras come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and varying features and functions. Some are best suited for indoor use while others are made specifically for outdoor use.
Indoor cameras are usually smaller, lightweight, and less intrusive compared to their bulkier counterparts. CCTV cameras placed outside also have resistance against extreme weather conditions such as heat, rain, and snow, and are made to be tamper-proof.
- How big is your business?
The size of your business and the area that needs to be monitored will play a pivotal role in deciding on the best CCTV camera.
A smaller area might work with a static, fixed system, whereas a larger area might need additional features such as zooming capabilities.
For larger areas such as huge business parking lots, the best option is to opt for a PTZ camera that allows you to adjust the lens and its angle according to your requirements.
These systems allow you to cover a large area using just one camera, reducing the costs of having multiple static cameras installed, along with providing great quality footage.
- Camera quality and resolution?
In simple terms, camera resolution is the amount of information the image or video can store. As is obvious, the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture.
CCTV cameras come in a range of resolutions and choosing the right one for your business depends completely on what you need the surveillance system for.
A higher resolution camera would offer better quality footage making identification easier. Therefore, if your purpose is to monitor potential burglaries or shoplifting incidents, it would make sense to go for high-quality footage so that it’s easier to focus on the details.
- Size of the system?
CCTV cameras need to be flexible and scalable if you wish to expand the network by adding more systems to it.
Naturally, growth in business would mean expansion, and would eventually lead to a bigger area needing to be monitored.
If you are unsure about how much your business would grow in the future and how many more CCTV cameras you would require, having a flexible and scalable CCTV system is the way to go.
Traditional CCTV systems are generally hardwired, making it difficult to scale. Therefore, if you’re looking for flexibility and scalability, you should opt for IP surveillance systems that work wirelessly, making it possible to scale the system according to your requirements.
If you are unsure about choosing the best CCTV camera for your business, you can contact us right away and talk to our security experts for professional advice.
CCTV LAWS FOR BUSINESS
Due to the many advantages that CCTV cameras offer to businesses, it is a great thing that many are adopting the practice making them and their surroundings safer from threats.
While CCTV usage is encouraged by the law, there are a few things that all business owners must know and do to use the systems responsibly.
Since CCTV cameras involve recording people, the government has laid down a few laws protecting their rights to being recorded along with their privacy.
The four main acts that make up the CCTV legal framework in the country are:
- The Data Protection Act (DPA): controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses, or the government.
- The Freedom of Information Act (FOI): regulates access to information held by public authorities by obliging them to push certain information about their activities and allowing members of the public to request information.
- The Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA): controls how surveillance and biometric data can be used, and how they must be kept secure.
- The Human Rights Act (HRA): concerns the rights of individuals about their privacy.
CCTV CODE OF PRACTICE
- Having a proper and legitimate reason for installing CCTV cameras such as security threats and risks.
- Registering as a CCTV operator and paying a data protection fee to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
- Responsibly administering the surveillance system by establishing clear responsibilities and procedures, along with documenting all aspects of data control.
- Ensuring the safety of all the data being recorded.
- Ensuring that the recorded data can only be accessed by authorized personnel.
- Putting up clear signs if CCTV cameras are in use and informing everyone in the vicinity that they are being recorded.
- Taking permission from and informing staff in writing that they are being monitored, along with explaining the reason behind it.
- Not using the CCTV cameras for illegal use such as spying and not putting up cameras in private areas of the workplace such as toilets and changing rooms.
- Disabling audio recording on all CCTV systems since it is a huge invasion of privacy and is largely discouraged.
- Providing the recorded data to individuals within one month of them requesting to access their footage.
- Storing the data only for as long as it is needed, the duration for which varies from business to business.
- Willing to share recorded images and video footage with the authorities and helping them in any way possible.
- Regularly maintaining and reviewing the system to ensure it’s working as it should and is compliant with all the CCTV laws.
MAKE YOUR BUSINESS AND PROPERTY SECURE
Calder Security offers a comprehensive solution for surveillance cameras that are state-of-the-art and comply with business CCTV laws and regulations.
Here’s how Calder Security can help:
- We offer professional installation and design every commercial CCTV system bespoke to each business, conducting every aspect from surveys, design and specification to installation ourselves.
- Our professional maintenance services ensure that your CCTV system works in its optimal condition all year round, guaranteeing effectiveness and compliance with the law.
- We also offer professional CCTV monitoring services that help detect security breaches as they are in progress for the appropriate action to be taken, even when the business premises or property are empty.
- We understand that CCTV can malfunction for several reasons and that the issues must be resolved instantly to not put your security in a vulnerable state. Our expert repair services carry a comprehensive range of parts, equipment, and service kits on their vans to ensure that fixes are dealt with efficiently because burglars don’t just wait until repairs are done.
We are Yorkshire’s leading independent security company working in the field for over 40 years. You can contact us here for a quick consultation or call us on 0800 612 9799.