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Tips On How To Choose The Right CCTV System For Your Business

Tips On How To Choose The Right CCTV System For Your Business

Many businesses have invested in CCTV systems at their property to keep their building, stock and employees safe whilst deterring theft, vandalism and providing peace of mind as management and owners can visibly see the entire premises.

However, with so many types of CCTV, it is essential that you have the best CCTV footage possible for your business needs. From number plate recognition to thermal imaging, modern CCTV has the potential to protect your business in many ways. In this article we are going to explain the different kinds of CCTV and our guide on how to choose the best CCTV for your business.

Quick Read:


What CCTV Options are there?

When referring to CCTV many people think about the type of camera that they want to have installed. There are many different cameras that have varying purposes. We've created a list below to explain a view of them.

 

Type of CCTV

Information about the Camera:

ANPR/LPR

ANPR otherwise known as Automatic Number Plate Recognition is typically used in car parks and at businesses to identify cars, motorbikes, vans and lorries using number plate recognition.

Internal and External Dome Camera

Internal and External Dome CCTV is usually quite discrete and records in a fixed field of view and are designed to operate in different light conditions. They can be vandal proof.

Bullet Camera

Bullet Cameras are more conspicuous and seen so can be a better deterrent. This form of camera can be better at seeing further distances. 

Thermal Image Cameras/Infrared Camera

Thermal Imaging cameras are particularly used for heat detection in buildings. This paired with infrared helps to see in darker areas. 

Varifocal Cameras

Varifocal cameras are typically used for security cameras as they have the ability to adjust the zoom so you can focus on objects or areas that are close and far away.

Network Cameras

Network cameras tend to have higher definition footage than other cameras, making them fantastic for identifying people.

High Definition Cameras

HD or High Definition Cameras are fantastic for identifying people or cars and are popular in businesses or areas that may be subject to theft or criminal damage. 

PTZ

PLT stands for Pan, Tilt, Zoom. These cameras can be manually operated or can be programmed to survey fixed areas.



1. Will the CCTV cameras be used outside or indoors?

When planning your CCTV system it is important to consider what you want your CCTV to cover and where it should be placed. Many CCTV Cameras work in both indoor and outdoor settings, but it is crucial to consider the mounting options (most reputable CCTV installers will be able to help you with this). 

Most CCTV can be used in a variety of areas but there are some essential things to consider such as the nature of the business and it’s conditions such as temperature, dust and vibrations. If your CCTV is going to be used in hot or cold weather or settings such as in food warehouses, it is important to consider it’s features such as its durability and if it is designed to operate in different temperatures. Some CCTV options have inbuilt heaters to help them to remain in operation during adverse weather conditions. 

2. Do you want the cameras to be discreet or act as a visual deterrent?

When considering your CCTV systems you need to consider what or where you want to monitor, the location of your cameras, and determine if you want your cameras to be discreet and hidden or act as a visual deterrent.

There are several options of cameras available for CCTV, internal and external dome cameras allow for discretion and for others to be less aware of the cameras. If you want to use the CCTV as a visual deterrent. Bullet Cameras offer a more noticeable method of monitoring activity in a specific area, and can allow users to see further. PTZ Cameras (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) offer a more conspicuous option to cover a vast area and follow individuals manually or survey a fixed area. This can also be beneficial to workplaces too, if you’re experiencing theft, low productivity or poor punctuality your camera may help you to find the problems and provide solutions. 


3. How detailed do you need the footage?

The nature of your business and requirements will determine the detail and therefore the resolution that your cameras need to have.  Many people believe that all areas should have the highest quality cameras, however these are not always the most cost effective, and some areas such as smaller offices or small waiting rooms can use a lower resolution camera.

If you are particularly interested in protecting the property, goods or equipment, higher resolution cameras may be useful to help protect against crimes such as theft or burglary as this will help to identify the individuals which may be helpful for future prosecutions.


4. Is it important to grow your CCTV system? Will you need to add more cameras at a later date?

It is always important to consider having a  CCTV system installed that has scalability and flexibility. Modern CCTV such as cameras using a wireless network such as IP cameras, allow you to scale your system easily and as you require, with minimal wiring or updates. 

CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television, this means that the older and more traditional CCTV systems work by using a hard-wired closed circuit system that can be difficult to scale and have limitations on scaling for larger installations as they have a limited number of camera inputs; for example, if your DVR has availability and room for 6 inputs you can record 6 cameras, however when you decide to scale this you have the option to replace the entire port to one with more inputs, or add another independent system. 

These issues don’t tend to exist with the  modern alternative to traditional CCTV systems. The modern systems tend to work using IP Cameras that allow businesses to easily scale their installations as their budget and needs grow. This can be particularly helpful in retail settings, warehouses, campuses, multi level buildings or across several sites.

5. What parts of your business could benefit from effective CCTV and monitoring?

CCTV systems help businesses by increasing staff and customer protection, monitoring theft and crime, helping to identify incidents and helping employees to feel protected.

CCTV installations are becoming increasingly popular in workplaces to identify concerns or problems within warehouses or shop floors where individuals may become injured. This surveillance can help to relay the lead-up to the events and explain why accidents have previously happened. 

Alongside helping to identify crime, a good CCTV system can also help in business such as helping security to do their job, but it can also be user for providing insights into shopper behaviour, the people in store, and helping shops to follow COVID restrictions which can help with customer service, marketing and store management. 

This technology can help businesses to gain awareness of their customers and clientele whilst also monitoring the peak times for shopping or people coming into the business which can help with the marketing times if customers feel uneasy post-pandemic. Alongside this, CCTV technology could also be beneficial for the running of businesses that don’t have clock in/ clock out systems to check staff arrival and departure times, ensuring that staff arrive on time and ready for work. This can help management to better understand the shift patterns of their staff and identify if there are any members of staff that may need more support and recognise if there are any patterns.

Our expert tips for purchasing CCTV 

There are so many CCTV options that are on the market that  it can sometimes become overwhelming to try and find the perfect system for your business. Many choose to try and self-install CCTV in the hope of saving money, however this can often present many problems for users. 

  • The highest price CCTV isn't necessarily always the best equipment for your business. The installation of your CCTV largely depends on the area that you are choosing to put the CCTV and the image quality. It is essential to know what cameras you need for example, an ANPR camera would not be beneficial in an office. 
  • Not all cameras and  CCTV systems are compatible with each other.
  • Does it have an app? Can you view it anywhere or only using the same network? If it does have an app it is important to look at the customer ratings and reviews and when the app was last updated. If the app isn't regularly updated then there is a chance that it won't work correctly with your mobile device. 

Our team specify and design CCTV systems that are bespoke for your company. This means that we guarantee all of your cameras will be integrated and be compatible with each other element. We encourage our customers to use specific apps that work alongside the installed systems to help management and building owners to view their CCTV worldwide to check that the building is secure. 

 

Benefits of having your CCTV Systems Maintained and Serviced.

From this article there has been a conversation about protecting staff and customers alike. However, CCTV is only as good as the regular maintenance and servicing of the system, therefore it is essential to check you or have a trained professional to check your CCTV system at least once per year.

A trained professional will look for any obstructions or angle changes to the cameras, ensure all wiring is fitted correctly, check for motion detection (on certain CCTV systems), guarantee that the camera lens is focused and that all cameras are working properly such as the pan, tilt and zoom. Alongside this they will conduct a visual inspection of the main components of the CCTV including signs of deterioration and damage in connectors, cabling and power supply.

In addition to the cameras and wiring, a trained professional will be able to check the functionality of the control equipment, monitors, DVR, multiplexer and VCR and remove any dust build up or grime on the monitors and control panels (helping to prevent overheating and damage), check the date and time stamp and ensure that the footage is clear by adjusting the contrast, colour and light settings.

 

Livewire Systems Routine Maintenance Packages

Our team has a wealth of knowledge in installing, servicing, and maintaining an array of sound and communication systems including CCTV. We actively encourage all of our clients to keep ahead of the wear and tear in their system, with many choosing our annual maintenance and servicing package to give them peace of mind that their system is in top condition for when they need it.

We regularly install, maintain and service the following systems:

  • Audio Visual  (Projectors, Screens)
  • Background Music
  • Commercial CCTV 
  • Emergency Intercom
  • Hearing Assistance
  • Public Address (PA)
  • Sound Masking
  • Specialist Intercoms
  • Webcasting
  • Voice Alarm

Our team is available to install any system, including commercial CCTV within your premises. We encourage you to contact our team if you have any queries or think that you could benefit from a sound or communication installation. 

If you are worried about your existing systems or want peace of mind, please contact our team of professionals. We can help to fix your problems, or provide alternative solutions to your issue. 

Phone: 01254 377 007

Email: hello@livewiresystems.co.uk


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