Is Your Business Using the Right CCTV System?

IR Camera

IR Camera

A closed circuit television system is a vital part of your business security system, but it’s only as good as the equipment you choose. The right CCTV system can make all the difference when it comes to preventing and uncovering losses to your business. Does your system need an upgrade? Consider these features before you make a choice.

Color or Black and White?

There are arguments for both sides when it comes to the debate between black and white and color cameras. Black and white usually provides a clearer picture due to higher resolution. Color, however, can provide information that can be important to an investigation. Where your cameras are used – indoors or outdoors, in public locations or employee-only areas, as well as the distance from the area being recorded – can help you to make this decision.

Camera Resolution

There may be nothing more important when it comes to getting usable information from a recording than the resolution of the camera. Higher resolution results in a clearer picture, more details, and the ability to zoom in without losing focus. It’s a good idea to select the highest resolution your budget can manage. This may mean choosing black-and-white cameras if you can’t achieve the necessary resolution with color, but it’s important to take all aspects of your recordings into consideration before making that decision.

Selecting Lenses

There are a variety of lenses available for security cameras, and it’s important that you choose the one that fits your needs. The focal length and field-of-view required depend on what you need to capture with the camera. License plate cameras, for example, will need a different field-of-view than those used for customer transactions.

The FBI recommends that the area of interest take up approximately 15 percent of the camera’s field of view, so if your lenses do not meet this guideline, consider a change. It’s also vital that you make certain that you have the right focal length for the distance between the camera and the subject of interest.

Light Level and Infrared Cameras

The level of light in the area of interest makes a difference in the type of camera you will need. Low-light areas require infrared-sensitive cameras, and they will do best with black and white for a better picture due to the sensitivity of the detectors. On the other side of that coin, infrared-sensitive cameras can affect how darker colors appear on recordings, making them a poor choice for well-lit areas. Your business may require a combination of both types to fully cover all areas.

Analog or Digital Cameras?

Today’s new digital cameras have a lot of appeal because they are a newer technology, but they are not always the best choice. Analog cameras tend to perform better in low-light situations, but digital (IP) cameras record at higher resolutions. Digital cameras may have more problems with dropped frames and latency in the recording, and they do not have the same number of resources for encoding, hardware, and software as analog cameras do. It’s important to consider your budget, where the cameras will be used, and the kind of resolution you require before you make a decision between digital and analog.

The Right Security for Your Office or Storefront

Security Video

Security Video

Security is a top priority for anyone who owns a business with an office or storefront. Choosing the right security measures within the bounds of your resources, and for the particular needs of your company, can be a difficult task. From simple measures you can implement easily to more advanced security options, there are many possibilities to consider.

Basic Security Measures

The most basic of security measures are commonly overlooked. Locks, especially deadbolts and window locks, are the first line of defense, but in order to be effective they must be used properly. Deadbolts should be installed on every door and locks on every window that can be opened. Ensure they are always in use, and remind employees of the same. Use caution when issuing keys to the premises and keep records of who has keys; make sure employees no longer working for you return all keys.

If money is kept on site, a safe is the best place to secure it. Cash and other valuables on site should be secured inside the safe on a regular schedule throughout the day. Ensure that only trusted employees have access to the safe’s combination and that it is installed in a secure location.

Install security doors and, if necessary, security windows that are break-resistant. Fences and lighting are also basic security measures that can reduce your risk of a loss. Parking areas should be well lit at night. Motion lights above doors are a good way of deterring intruders as well as making your entries safer for employees.

Video Surveillance and Alarm Systems

Technology can go a long way toward increasing the security of your office or storefront. Video surveillance is available in a variety of price ranges and can be a simple single camera or complex multi-camera system. Video surveillance can work as both a deterrent to crime and as a record of anything that happens on your property.

Alarm systems can also range in complexity. Motion sensors, sensors for breaking glass, and door and window alarms can all work together to create a comprehensive security system. These systems can be directly connected to a monitoring service that will notify police or other emergency services of a problem. These may also be combined with camera surveillance monitoring.

Other Security Measures

In some cases, a live security guard or canine security may be the best choice for your business. It’s important to consider both the cost and liability risks of such security measures, as injuries resulting from an encounter with an armed guard or guard dog can be the basis for lawsuits.

Choosing the location and layout of your office or storefront carefully is a pre-emptive security measure that many do not take into account. If possible, choose a low-crime area and design the layout of your premises for good visibility.

Carefully vetting your employees can protect you from theft or other crime from within the company. Background checks are a vital tool to ensure you hire the right people.

Emergency Measures

Another aspect to security that is often overlooked is emergency preparedness. Ensuring that fire safety rules are in place and enforced and that all employees and customers have a clearly marked escape route and plan can reduce injuries or worse. Make sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are all operational and checked regularly .

Ensure all employees are aware of safety and security procedures and review these measures regularly. Provide first aid kits at the minimum. Depending on your type of business and location, you may also want to consider emergency food kits, flashlights, spill cleanup kits, and other medical equipment such as a defibrillator. Make sure employees are trained in the use of all emergency equipment.