Choosing the right security cameras for your CCTV system is an important decision for businesses of all sizes and industries.
With the range of cameras and equipment available, and the varying benefits CCTV cameras can bring to a business, making the right choice is now more important than ever before.
Below are 10 considerations to ask yourself before investing in a new CCTV system for your business.
1 – Will the security cameras be used indoors or out?
Whilst most cameras can be used both inside and out, it’s important to consider features such as mounting and housing. If the camera is to be used in cold environments, choosing one which is durable and incorporates an inbuilt heater means it will be operational despite the temperature.
In the transport industry, for example, it’s also wise to choose a robust solution that can operate reliably in harsh environments and where there may be a high level of vibration.
But it’s not just external cameras that need consideration. In factory environments, for example, cameras may need to be protected from dust or heat.
2 – Do you want your cameras to be discreet or act as a visual deterrent?
The location you’re considering and what you need to monitor with your CCTV will help determine whether obvious or discreet cameras are required. Larger cameras can act as an obvious reminder to people that they’re being monitored, reducing the chance of theft. Smaller, dome cameras are the best choice for discretion, and PTZ (pan tilt zoom) cameras are the best choice if you want to cover a large area and follow subjects.
3 – How large is the area you want to monitor?
The best type of cameras will depend on the size of the area you want to cover.
As mentioned before, PTZ cameras work best for larger areas. They’re generally more powerful cameras with the ability to view a wide area and zoom in on particular activity. Using PTZ cameras can also reduce the number of cameras needed when covering such areas, keeping costs down whilst retaining high quality images.
On the opposite scale, smaller areas are likely to require static cameras.
4 – Do you need audio integration?
Combining audio into a CCTV system makes it possible for security to hear and speak with possible perpetrators.
It can also be used as an independent detection method triggering recordings and alarms when audio passes a certain threshold.
5 – How clear do you need the video quality to be?
The resolution you need can be determined by the area you want to cover. For example, if you want to monitor potential shoplifting, having a high-quality image that can be used for identification purposes in the event of prosecution is vital.
Alternatively, lower resolution cameras could be relevant for smaller areas such as offices. Whilst it’s often thought that high resolution cameras are best, they’re not always needed for every space. It’s more cost effective to assess each area to be covered by what exactly you’re wanting to monitor.
6 – How will the lighting affect the CCTV recording?
It’s important to place cameras effectively according to lighting conditions, especially with external cameras. Varying amounts of sunlight and sufficient daylight during the darker months can all affect effective placement of the cameras.
Other factors to consider is background glare from security lighting, sun or light reflection from windows facing the site, or specialist lighting such as strobe lighting in nightclub environments.
Many cameras now use IR filters and artificial illuminators to ensure clarity of images day or night.
7 – Will you need to add more cameras in the future?
Having a flexible and scalable surveillance system should be a consideration. Traditional CCTV systems are closed circuit meaning that everything is hard-wired and difficult to scale.
It is therefore wise to choose IP cameras which connect over a wireless network, allowing you to easily scale any system as you need. Adding IP cameras to a network is simple and quick, and there’s no wiring to change or update.
8 – How could your business benefit from effective surveillance and monitoring?
CCTV systems benefit businesses by not only monitoring theft, but increasing staff safety and confirming incidents. Employees can feel safer knowing they’re being protected.
Video footage is also valuable for confirming incidents such as theft, work place violence, property damage and vandalism. This information is essential when suing for damages or reporting to law enforcement.
But a good camera system can bring other benefits in terms of wider business operations and analytics.
For example, in the retail industry, CCTV systems can provide data and customer insights, helping to improve the customer experience and business profitability. Understanding a customer journey throughout a store, which promotions they take notice of and using facial recognition to determine the age and gender of customers can all provide significant benefits to a business.
9 – Would VMS analytics be of benefit?
If video footage is to be constantly monitored, an effective VMS system is vital given that the average amount of time someone can focus on video footage is only 20 minutes. VMS or in-built analytics alerts you to suspicious activity and apply analytics, helping to improve the way you run your business.
Built-in motion detection and intelligent algorithms provide useful, actionable information, such as the total number of people that walk into a shop. Compared against sales, retailers can assess conversion rates and the best times of day for promotions.
10 – How to select a suitable VMS solution
The requirements of a video management system, including how you plan to use it, should be detailed clearly before a CCTV system is designed. The key issues you have as a business that has driven your purchase of a CCTV camera system will outline the aspects of the VMS solution you need.
For example, management of multi-sites or the requirement to travel may require personnel to have the ability to access their CCTV system from any location. Each VMS solution should therefore be tailored to you and your business.
If you’re considering installing a new CCTV system, looking to upgrade your current CCTV system or need a maintenance schedule for your existing camera system then why not book one of our Security Consultants to visit your business, conduct a free site survey and provide a no hassle quotation?