Businesses should not take any risks when it comes to security, whatever level of protection you are looking for it is important that you know who is coming in and out of your building. Being able to prove who was where and at what time can be absolutely vital for legal reasons and should the worst happen, CCTV evidence could prove more useful than anything else.
There are various types of CCTV systems that can be installed, with the two main choices being IP and Analogue. Analogue is fast becoming outdated so we have decided to focus on IP CCTV.
IP CCTV cameras will convert video footage and images that they capture into data, which is then transmitted to either a central PC held within the office or to any location of your choosing.
The digital technology used offers benefits such as greater flexibility and high-quality images, making them a cost-effective solution.
As with all our favourite pieces of tech here at BTT, IP CCTV is future proof!
The best bits about IP CCTV
The IP CCTV systems we install all have the following;
Mobile app– You may not always be on site, so you may need to be able to access your CCTV footage, remotely. You are able to view your CCTV footage live or in playback mode. All of the systems we install have a mobile app in which you are able to view, live what is occurring on your site(s).
Analytics / Notifications– You will be able to analyse how many visitors you have to your site. For example, some retail parks have CCTV installed where it activates a notification if a car leaves after the 3-hour limit, so they are issues a car parking ticket. They can also see how many cars in total have visited the park etc.
Smart Search– You are able to “draw a line” around a certain area and watch the activity for that specific area.
Surely, I could just use a Plug and Play CCTV System?
The ‘plug and play’ cameras that you can pick up from most stores tend to have basic security features such as recording, playback and remote viewing.
What we will say is that although they are cheaper, we have had customers come to us after 18 months because they are losing viewing quality. On the other hand, we have a customer who had a BTT system installed 10 years ago, their cameras are still going strong. Whilst these wholesale DIY options are cheaper, they aren’t as robust so you are likely to be replacing them often, meaning it will work out a whole lot more expensive over time.
Professionally installed cameras provide you with the knowledge that your cameras are installed correctly, with best viewing angles and best practice for recording. A commercial system is scalable which means it can be designed to fit you and your business.
Did you know that there are rules about CCTV Surveillance?
Before you start installing CCTV there are some rules you need to know about;
The Data Protection Act instructs you to do 4 things. You must:
- Put up a sign to let people know CCTV is being used and why (it must be clearly visible and easily readable)
- Be able to provide images within 40 days to anyone you’ve recorded (you can charge up to £10 for this)
- Share images with the authorities, e.g. the police, if they ask for them
- Keep images only as long as your business needs them.
(Extracted from Gov.uk website, view original source )
Additionally, you must notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as to why you’re using the CCTV which is subjected to a fee. Remember, if you set up a system to survey any criminal activities you can’t then use it to “catch your staff out” unless of course, you specify that as the reason.
Notify ICO here.
CCTV Systems require a bit of planning and whilst we can come to you and conduct a (free) security audit, you may also want to conduct your own audit, so here is a checklist of things for you to do:
A few key things to consider before you take a walk around your site:
- Why do you need the CCTV in place? Is it only to act as a deterrent? Health and Safety? Or do you need it for production purposes?
- Do the cameras need to be discreet?
- Do you need a live feed, perhaps to a control room?
- Do you need somewhere to store the recordings?
- Do you need the cameras indoors or outdoors? Or both?
Take a walk around your site and look at:
- Location – Where do they need to be located? Are there any blind spots that need covering?
- Height – How high do you need the cameras to be?
- Privacy – Are there any specific areas where you need to be careful about breaching other businesses privacy or even a residential area?
- Power access – Can you easily get power to the cameras? Will you need extra cabling?
- Lighting – Any sun traps where the sun will block a clear visual? How about areas that will require monitoring at night – is there sufficient lighting?
Now, it’s time to think more about the system:
- Image quality – How clear do you need the image to be? Do you need to see down to a finite detail?
- Lighting – Do you need low-level lighting or a camera to be able to see in pitch black, darkness? Or does it need to have the ability to see infra-red?
- Audio – Do you need audio?
- Fixed or rotational – Do you need the camera to zoom and focus, pan or does it just need to be in a fixed position?
- Broadband – Do you have sufficient broadband for the cameras to transmit the recordings?
- Hardware storage – How many days of footage do you need to be stored, in case you need to utilise playback?
- Maintenance – Who is going to be checking that the cameras are operational on a regular basis?