From the time they were first introduced into the market to the present day, CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras have revolutionised safety and security.
With advanced features and technology, surveillance systems have become a popular choice among both residential and commercial property owners.
Hailed as one of the most effective crime deterrents out there, CCTV cameras can be relied upon for constant monitoring of an area.
Previously, if you wished to keep an eye on your property, you either had to be physically present to watch over every single corner which, let’s be honest, isn’t a very viable solution, or employ security guards, which could be both expensive and prone to human error.
CCTV cameras don’t just deter crime but also help solve it through recorded evidence. The footage may be used to settle disputes and also as legitimate evidence in court.
This feature, in particular, makes CCTV cameras feared by criminals all around the world and a favourite among law enforcement agencies who advocate their use in public as well.
One thing to note here is that merely installing CCTV cameras on your property isn’t enough to reap all their benefits. You need to make sure that they are installed correctly.
What can you do to ensure that the security systems are installed correctly? And what does correct installation even mean?
Here’s our guide on how to correctly and properly install CCTV cameras on your property and a CCTV camera commissioning and installation checklist to follow to make the process even easier:
CHECKLIST FOR CCTV CAMERA INSTALLATION AND COMMISSIONING
Before you set out to install a CCTV camera on your property, you need to determine why you need a surveillance system and what problem you wish to solve with its usage. This assessment will give you a better idea of the requirement and help you make an informed decision.
Setting out your problem must be the starting point for preparing the specification. Some of the common problems that you might wish to address include theft, intrusions, break-ins, shoplifting, vandalism, employee behaviour, and general health and safety.
You also need to determine the ideal location for the systems since that will play a huge part in the overall efficiency of the cameras along with helping you decide which type of CCTV camera to choose.
Once you have your reasoning, location, and type of CCTV camera figured out, you can move on to the next phase which is the commissioning and installation process.
As mentioned above, when installing a CCTV system, you need to make sure that it is done properly and that the equipment is safe to use and working efficiently.
Certain best practices can be carried out by following a commissioning and installation checklist which includes the following:
The camera’s physical specifications
When installing a CCTV camera, the first thing that you need to do is purchase good quality cameras that you can rely on for uninterrupted surveillance.
You must tighten the housing and mount fasteners and screws, and weatherproof the outdoor mounts against glare, rain, wind, and dust. Clean the lens if it is dirty so that the recorded footage is clear and not smudgy, and also label the camera if it is required.
Make sure that the device is protected from being tampered with or stolen by placing it out of reach and enclosing it in a vandal-proof casing.
The camera’s view setup
It is very important to strategically place the CCTV camera so that it covers the entirety of the area that needs to be monitored.
You must aim and focus the camera according to your requirements and test out the results by taking snapshots in full light conditions, during the night, and with harsh light.
If the system is placed outside, such as outside the boundary of the house, special care must be taken to not infringe on other people’s privacy and adjust the camera’s field of view to record only what is allowed by the law.
Network/IP CCTV cameras provide a lot of benefits to their users, the main one being remote CCTV monitoring. However, when transmitting footage over the internet, you need to make sure that it is safe and secure from cyber-attacks and hacking.
When setting up the system, you need to update the firmware to the latest version and change the admin password from the default.
Turn off guest networking and sharing and install a firewall between your device and the internet connection to maximise protection. For added protection, you may also enable two-factor authentication for logging in.
If you wish for the recorded footage to be saved for later viewing, you need to have enough storage or else you would have to manually keep deleting previous footage to make space for more which can be a hassle.
According to CCTV laws, you cannot keep saved footage after a certain time and must delete it anyway, but you still need ample storage to accommodate the footage for the allowed time.
There’s the option of storing it on the cloud or using local storage, such as a microSD card placed inside the camera or a separate hard drive.
Once your CCTV system is up and running, you need to make sure that the lighting levels are adequate for the cameras to record clear footage.
If not, you need to install proper lighting to illuminate the area or else you risk unclear and grainy recordings defeating the purpose of installing CCTV cameras there in the first place.
You may also opt for CCTV cameras with night vision that helps them see better and farther during the night, with some high-end models even offering colour night vision.
Notices and signs
While you are allowed to install a CCTV system on your property if you have a legitimate reason for doing so, you are required to put up notices and signs stating that the area is under CCTV surveillance.
When monitoring employees and staff members, they need to be notified of the use of the cameras in writing and explained the reasons behind it.
Also, special care must be taken to not install cameras in private areas such as toilets and changing rooms.
You can’t just install your CCTV cameras and forget about them. It is a continuous process that requires regular upkeep and maintenance to ensure the systems are always in full working order.
Maintenance checks help identify issues before they become serious problems that risk the system not operating as it should.
Sometimes, if not rectified immediately, these minor faults can render the entire system useless, giving criminals just the right opportunity and moment of vulnerability that they are always looking for.
As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to have the systems looked over at least once every month to ensure that they are functioning properly and providing the maximum level of protection.
A thorough in-depth check is recommended once every year by a professional service to assess the overall health and condition of the system and rectify any potential problems before they turn into actual issues.
HOW MUCH DOES CCTV INSTALLATION COST?
Gauging the exact cost for CCTV installation can be somewhat challenging due to the wide variety of options available, in addition to other factors such as the size and type of the system.
To give a very general idea, a one-camera home CCTV system, complete with DVR (recorder), monitor, wiring, and full installation would cost around £540 to £660. Each additional camera thereafter would be around £120, so a 3-camera system, for example, would cost roughly around £780 to £900.
Factors that affect the total cost of CCTV installation include:
Size of the system
As is obvious, the bigger the system the higher the cost of installation. A bigger system means more cameras and more time and effort required to install all of them.
Domestic CCTV camera systems are generally smaller, comprising of just a couple of CCTV cameras installed in all high-risk areas.
Commercial CCTV systems, on the other hand, are more complex and require special planning to cover the entire property and the ability to be scaled up or down if need be.
Type of CCTV camera
With so many options to choose from, there is a perfect CCTV camera out there for everyone and every requirement.
You may choose from simple systems that merely record the footage to advanced systems that include features such as motion sensors, remote monitoring, and facial recognition. Naturally, the more advanced a system is, the higher the cost of installation will be.
For a more definitive quote, you can call us and have our security experts pay a free visit to your property to assess the type and size of the system required.
TYPES OF CCTV CAMERAS
There are different types of CCTV cameras made for specific purposes. The most popular ones include:
- Bullet CCTV cameras – one of the most common types of CCTV cameras in the world, their recognisable look makes them a highly visible deterrent against burglaries and intrusions. They are ideal for outdoor use and in applications that require long-distance viewing.
- Dome CCTV cameras – another very popular choice that gets its name from the vandal-resistant dome-shaped casing that the camera sits in. They have a discreet shape making it difficult to see which way they are facing and allow wider angles to be monitored via 360-degree rotation of the camera.
- C-Mount CCTV cameras – bulkier in size and come in a rugged casing that protects them from harsh weather conditions. They have detachable lenses that can be switched to adapt to the distance and field of view without losing focus.
- PTZ Pan/Tilt/Zoom CCTV cameras – can pan sideways, tilt up and down, zoom in and out of objects, and can adjust the right angle of the camera to record the area of interest. They allow more control over what is being monitored and are the ideal choice for remote monitoring.
- Day/Night CCTV cameras – built to effectively work during both the day and night-time, regardless of the lighting conditions. They are ideal for places that require round-the-clock outdoor CCTV monitoring.
- Infrared/Night vision CCTV cameras – use infrared technology to record images and videos in absolute darkness. They can also withstand fog, dust, and smoke, and record coloured footage during the daytime while capturing black and white footage during the night.
- Network/IP CCTV cameras – connected over a network that allows both the live and recorded footage to be accessed from anywhere in the world via the internet. They are the best choice for remote monitoring and allow storing archived footage on network video recorders (NVRs) and digital video recorders (DVRs).
- Wireless CCTV cameras – made for the sole purpose of minimising the installation time and use of excess wires for a cleaner appearance. Due to their discreet appearance, they easily blend in with the surroundings working as a hidden deterrent and are ideal for situations where good presentation is key and the display of excess wires might ruin the aesthetics.
- High Definition (HD) CCTV cameras – come in a variety of resolutions ranging from 720p going all the way up to 4K, delivering high-quality images with zooming capabilities. They are particularly useful in high-risk areas where the foot traffic needs to be monitored closely and the perpetrators need to be easily identified and caught using the recorded footage.
WHO CAN INSTALL CCTV CAMERAS?
CCTV cameras are an important investment in keeping you, your property, and its assets safe and protected. For smaller systems, you may be tempted to pull a DIY but we strongly recommend against it.
Regardless of the type and model of the CCTV system, having it professionally installed by a security company is a smart move. There are so many things an experienced security company, such as Calder Security, can guide and help you with.
We offer a comprehensive range of security solutions that include professional CCTV installation, monitoring, maintenance, and repair. Our expert CCTV services include:
We are expert SSAIB-approved security system installers and supply only high-quality CCTV equipment from trusted brands such as Hikvision, one of the world’s leading CCTV manufacturers.
We supply both analogue HD and IP systems as well as advise you on which system would be most appropriate for your security needs.
Our team of professionals don’t just install the CCTV systems and leave, but also provide full training on the equipment making sure you are comfortable with it and know how to use it properly.
Our CCTV monitoring services ensure that your property is being watched over by professional monitoring staff when it is unoccupied or most vulnerable.
The real advantage of detecting a break-in while it is in progress is the action that can be taken to deal with it, such as notifying the keyholders or alerting the police.
We use only Trusted Remote Video Receiving Centres (RVRC) and offer peace of mind that any incident detected would prompt an appropriate response.
Annual servicing is vital in keeping your CCTV system in good working order. Even if it seems that the system is running fine, the checks and measures involved in a professional service help with the early detection of potential issues.
During a service, we undertake a visual assessment of all equipment, check connections and cabling, clean the cameras, lenses and housing, assess playback and recording quality, and test remote signalling (if applicable).
We also offer CCTV maintenance contracts that include a regularly maintained system by professionals, 24-hour coverage, reduced call-out and labour charges, and a reduction in insurance premiums.
Even well-maintained CCTV systems can develop faults such as loose connections, cameras failing, recording issues, playback not working, or poor-quality images.
If your system fails to record properly, loses clarity of picture, experiences drop out, won’t playback, or faces any other issue, our experienced engineers can diagnose and repair any faults quickly and with minimal disruption.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 for a quick consultation with our leading experts right away!