With the upsurge in local crimes, securing your home or business has become a priority which shouldn't be given the cold shoulder. You cannot have eyes on your home, shop or office at all times, but a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) system can offer you 24/7 video surveillance. Whether you need to protect a domestic, commercial or industrial establishment or public grounds (streets, Governmental buildings, or transport systems), a professional CCTV supplier will be able to guide you in choosing the most secure solution for your needs and within your budget. From small cameras for your home to sophisticated systems for larger premises, the choice is endless.
Why is CCTV important?
Seeing a CCTV system has become a common occurrence and has gained more popularity lately. Why? It's a reliable device which offers several security functions due to its uninterrupted monitoring. A professional CCTV system provides maximum protection in case of intrusion, theft, vandalism, and any other criminal offence which you can be the victim of. It will deter burglars and vandals from attacking your premises and will secure all spots which you want protected. CCTV footage can provide precious evidence to the police and may determine whether the criminal gets the justice he deserves.
Protect all your valuable belongings and your family from intruders, and feel secure, knowing you can go to work and even on a long vacation with peace of mind. Through a surveillance system you can also monitor behaviour of people and animals, such as your dog's habits, your childminder's demeanour or your workmen's progress.
In business settings, security cameras enable employers to keep an eye on clients, their own employees and on their merchandise. You'll reduce the chances of shoplifting, and employees will be more honest and productive, knowing they're being monitored. Surveillance cameras may also be valuable in business operations, especially in retail establishments. By analysing the type of customers visiting your store, their buying trends and how they move along the aisles, you can review your shop's layout in an endeavour to increase purchases.
In certain environments, such as in schools and medical institutions, security cameras will prevent false abuse claims by students and patients. Your staff will be protected and they'll be able to carry out their job more efficiently, knowing they'll not be accused of crimes they didn't do.
Other security systems, such as burglar alarms and shoplifting alarm systems, may be used in conjunction with CCTV systems as these surveillance cameras will only serve to deter intruders and record their faces and motions.
What do you need to consider when choosing and installing CCTV cameras?
Before choosing a surveillance camera, you need to assess your needs and evaluate your space to pinpoint the most suitable ones. With so many different types available, here are some factors you need to consider before buying a CCTV system:
Type of camera
Security cameras come in various shapes, sizes and technologies. CCTV suppliers provide analog and IP (Internet Protocol) cameras, dome and dual dome cameras for a 360 degree surveillance, vandal proof cameras, spy cameras and PTZ cameras, which can either be wall or ceiling mounted.
While analog cameras have a digital video recorder where footage is stored on hard drives, more advanced IP models with a network video recorder, operate through internet and hence provide cloud backups. You can go back and re-visit any time frame you're interested in at any time. Live surveillance can be monitored 24/7 in HD resolution from any device with an internet connection. IP cameras are also used for traffic cams for live traffic situations.
Surveillance cameras may be purchased with a diversity of features and settings. Here are some important elements which you may want to consider:
- Live monitoring on your smartphone, tablet or pc
- Motion detection
- Cloud storage
- Zooming/tilting feature
- Multichannel recording
- Night vision
- HD or 4K resolution
- remote backup
- Smart home integration
- Wide field of view
- Infrared feature
- integration with access control systems
- Location of CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras can be installed in any environment, be it a healthcare, financial or educational institution, or a residential home. City surveillance is also locally installed to monitor traffic. You can have the best device in the market, but if it's not installed in a strategic place, its purpose will be defeated. Where you install them will determine their efficiency. Front doors, garages, street-level windows, obscured entrances and other vulnerable areas prone to intrusion are most popular locations, as are places where you keep all your valuable belongings, and cash counters.
Make sure you install them in a high place to prevent tampering, but make sure they're not too high, to an extent that faces are not recognisable. Indoor cameras should be installed on the ceiling, and outdoor ones should be installed on the second floor if possible.
Security cameras need to be enclosed in a protective housing, especially in industrial settings where they may get damaged, and need to be durable and weatherproof if they are to be installed outdoors.
Number of security cameras
In most cases, just one security camera won't suffice. The number of devices you need depends on the size and layout of the space, type of camera (wide angled or not) and whether you can include multiple channels to monitor more than one area simultaneously.
Visible vs Hidden cameras
Do you want to show you have cameras or not? Visible cameras will be able to deter intrusion or vandalism, but they would be more liable to tampering and damage. Installing fake ones in prominent places, and hiding real ones would be a good option to consider.
Lighting in the area
Lighting will affect image quality so make sure the camera has no backlighting, it's facing away from direct sunlight, and will not be affected by reflections. If it doesn't have night vision, consider installing lighting fixtures in the surrounding area.
Determine the right camera angle so you'll have the most vulnerable spots covered.
Prices of CCTV systems vary according to the type of device and features you choose to have integrated. Although you'll find cheap ones with low resolution and small coverage ranges, they will not serve their purpose as high quality cameras do. Speak with the qualified staff at CCTV outlets to find the best value for money.
Apart from providing CCTV systems, a number of suppliers may also offer on-site consultation, tailor made security solutions, installation, after-sales maintenance and 24/7 assistance. We recommend you steer away from DIY installation as professional installers will make sure the placing and angles of the cameras are practical and effectual.
Other security devices which they may offer include intercoms, fire alarms, video and audio access control systems, smoke detectors, face recognition systems and fingerprint readers.