Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV) are a way of life. When used properly, they can reduce crime, increase the safety of your workforce, and help detect and prosecute criminals. Although everyone is familiar with Commercial CCTV systems, how they work and the impact they can have on your security is not always quite so clear. There is no doubt about how useful they are, but the installation needs to be carefully handled and the right equipment selected like any part of your security.
What are the types of CCTV systems available?
At the most basic level, there are two kinds of CCTV. Wired systems require running a series of cables to a central monitoring area and Wireless systems that utilise the internet to transmit the images. Both systems have pros and cons, and we will be happy to run you through them in detail. In short, though, if you choose a wireless system, it will potentially be more stable (because it doesn’t rely on the internet or wireless devices). Still, with newer wireless options, this is less of a consideration. The actual installation will take longer if you go wired and, because of the need to install the actual cables themselves, will likely be a little more disruptive. That also means that it will not be easy to remove or change the location of cameras once it is installed.
There is usually a much easier route to upgrading or changing the system with wireless CCTV systems.
However, wireless is more challenging to install if there are problems with interference or obstacles that degrade or block the signal. The distance can also be a challenge with wireless systems, and they will probably need signal boosters for larger areas.
Ultimately, it all comes down to your individual needs and the installation location.
Different commercial CCTV camera options
Most people tend to think of wall-mounted, tube-shaped or rectangular cameras when you mention commerical CCTV. However, while these are very common, the dome camera is also commonly used for commercial systems. You have probably seen the little plastic domes in retail locations, receptions, and public transport. They are small and discreet, so they are a great option if all you are interested in is monitoring a small, well-defined area such as a section of a shop front or work area.
When it comes to any optical devices, including CCTV cameras, it is still the case that the bigger the lens, the clearer the picture. These days though, you can also capture high-definition video with some tiny cameras, so, despite being compact, the domes cameras produce good images in the right conditions. They can often swivel through nearly a 360-degree field of vision as well.
The wall-mounted rectangular or round case cameras, sometimes called box and bullet cams, are commonly used in locations where you require a prominent installation that has additional options. The larger cameras tend to be more robust where malicious, criminal, or environmental damage is a risk. If you are looking for High Definition or 4K video, you will probably want to consider the box or bullet. They can also have flexible, remote-controlled or automatic movement and ‘see’ further than the smaller lens cameras. Another advantage is that they are more capable of clearer low light and infra-red images, which can be important for secure compounds or external surveillance.
Sound and extended capabilities of Commercial CCTV
Whether your CCTV includes sound capabilities can be a bit of a contentious area. Your CCTV must not invade anyone’s right to privacy, and recording conversations is potentially open to interpretation as being invasive. However, talkback and sound activation are great ways of making the most of your system. We covered the legalities in point three of our recent blog, debunking some of the myths around CCTV, which also has links to the government advice on the legislation around surveillance systems. Other recent innovations, such as facial recognition, are well worth investigating. Entry systems and intruder detection can take your security to a new level and make access control convenient and easy.
Crime Prevention, Protection and Detection
As you probably noticed, we mentioned the level of visibility for the commercial CCTV system several times in this article. Prevention is one of the main reasons for considering surveillance as a security measure. No criminal wants to be seen and identified, so a visible security system is an effective deterrent. While simple devices like fake cameras will not fool career criminals, they will be considerably less likely to tackle a sophisticated system. Commercial CCTV prevents crime and protects your premises from vandalism and malicious attacks, as well as helping identify and apprehend those who commit it.
CCTV can vary from a simple monitoring system to a highly sophisticated network of cameras that integrate with your access procedures, fire detection, and overall security.
As with every security system, CCTV is only as good as the design and installation, though, so call us on 0800 254 5645, and we will be happy to have an initial chat about what will work for you.