Thinking about installing video security? Print
Written by Tim J Dabbs   
Thursday, 10 March 2011 11:51

To use or not to use a Video Security System. 

You don't need to look far to see video security systems in use. Most every street corner has cameras. Commercial buildings and even residences are bristling with them. However, some security agents argue that Security Cameras are merely reactive rather than proactive devices. For example, there is no city on earth that has more cameras than does London, England. Yet despite the prevalence of CCTV cameras, the cameras did not prevent the London bombings.

In reality there are several forms of Video Security Systems. The most basic: CCTV cameras that are merely recorded to a memory device. There is no one watching these cameras, but should an incident occur, there is a recording of the incident and possible proof of culpability. This assumes someone can identify the culprits.

Another form of CCTV systems is like those used in casinos; the cameras are constantly being monitored and it is assumed that were something to happen, security personnel would be able to interact immediately.

A third form of system allows the system to monitor the premises, record both locally and to a remote server, and then, if motion is detected, send alerts to designated responders via email on the internet. In some cases, still photos and video clips can also be sent along with the alert. Live network and internet access is also part of this type of system.

Video security systems have their pros and cons. Here are just a few examples:

-Cameras may provide a greater sense of security. Visible cameras indicate that the business cares enough to spend money on their customer's security. Often customers feel comforted in just knowing that the facility is being monitored.

-Visible cameras often act as a criminal deterrent. While no camera acts as a total deterrent the criminal does not know if their presence will be recorded and will hopefully take their criminal activity elsewhere.

-Video security acts a major deterrent in stopping internal theft or pilferage. Stores often lose a great deal of money from acts of pilferage, internal stealing and employee theft. Video security has proven to be a highly effective tool in limiting these problems.

-Video recordings can provide conclusive evidence of a criminal activity. If the criminal is in the right position then these cameras can be extremely helpful in obtaining a conviction.

Realities: The cost of equipment and installation must be considered. Many modern systems have built in many of the “bells and whistles” of more expensive systems; but generally speaking, the more features, the greater the cost.

When thinking about a “security camera”, one needs to consider the basics:

1.  how will the activity being viewed by the camera be recorded and viewed? A computer type recording device with a hard drive is usually required. Some systems have “self contained” memory, usually an SD card. Some may be networked to another storage device for storage.

2.  How will the camera be powered? All cameras require power either by batteries, solar, wind or standard electrical power.

3. how will the video signal be recorded? Running cable from the cameras to a recorder can be quite extensive. Wireless video transmission is another option, but usually requires “line of sight” capability. Installation may be challenging depending on the desired aesthetic result.

-If you are going to use CCTV cameras, know what are your objectives. CCTV cameras are a major investment, make sure that you have clear and precise objectives and know exactly what you hope to achieve by placing these cameras in strategic locations.

-Make sure you know the limitations of the CCTV cameras. For example, if the crime takes place in a location that the camera is not recording, then it was basically of no use. Some cameras take clearer images than do others. If the image is not recognizable, once again the camera created a false sense of security.

-Do not use dummy cameras. Perhaps the worst thing that you can do is to place non-working cameras around your premises. These create a false sense of security and may in the end lead to either a marketing disaster or a potential legal problem.

If installing these cameras; make sure that you plan not only for current needs but also for future needs. How easily can these cameras be upgraded? Do you have a plan should you need to change the cameras' placements and use? Also ask if the cameras can be tampered with or what it would take to simply "disarm" the camera.

-Make sure you know the costs of replacing and repairing these cameras. There is nothing in this world that will not either need to be replaced or changed at some point. If you work with a reputable dealer these problems should be considered before purchasing cameras.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 12:06