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Business Alarm Systems: Choosing your security camera system
Whilst the advantages of integrating CCTV cameras into your business security system are obvious, finding the right set up isn’t always so. However, installing security camera systems is an important investment, so you need to make sure you get it right first time.
What CCTV options are available?
Not all security camera systems are the same, so it is crucial to research your options. Price will be an important factor in this, but it is important to remember the system is safeguarding your business so investing in high quality security cameras and servicing will certainly pay off in the long run.
- Analog security cameras send an analogue signal back to the storage device allowing footage to be recorded straight to video. In order to maximise space on the tape it is set to run at a low speed (with images captured on time lapse). This sometimes makes it hard to see people moving quickly. However, it is an affordable set up and footage can be converted for digital storage.
- Digital security cameras send a digital signal directly to a computer, achieving high DVD quality images, with excellent resolution in upper-range models.
- Domed security cameras are very discreet, with the camera tucked in a vandalism-proof casing, giving the operator flexibility to track a particular individual without being detected.
- Infrared security cameras provide particularly clear images at night and in low light, perfect for businesses that mainly operate in these conditions.
- Wireless security cameras are portable, easy to install and becoming increasingly affordable.
- Covert security cameras can be hidden in all manner of objects, such as a clock or fire alarm.
- Video surveillance monitors: The type and size you require will depend on how images are being watched, although regular televisions or computer monitors are usually adequate as long as they have compatible connections (such as VGA or Scart).
- Recording system: It is important to find a way of recording and storing footage which preserves the quality. This is crucial if your business surveillance footage is needed as evidence in court. Digital images can be easily compressed and stored on a hard drive, whereas videotape must be kept in a dry and dust-free environment.
Deciding what security camera system is right for you
To ensure your business CCTV installation is effective, it must be customized for your property and it must satisfy the following constraints:
- Desired level of security
- Coverage: do you need internal or external security cameras, or both?
- Positioning: are your cameras at risk from vandalism?
- Type: which CCTV cameras need to be fixed (i.e. over an entranceway) and which need to be tracker cameras?
- Footage storage: where will recorded images be stored, for how long and who will have access?
Speaking of budgets…
Your CCTV budget will need to cover the costs of all equipment, installation and maintenance throughout the life of your security camera system. The cost will vary according to the sophistication and quantity of cameras you install. Security Cameras range from a few pounds into the hundreds, whilst a monitor and a recording device (such as a hard drive and DVR) can be as little as a few hundred pounds. CCTV Installation costs can range from a few hundred to thousands of pounds. Do also take into consideration the potential disruption to your business during installation, as well as the extra costs of choosing an after-hours service.