How to choose the right CCTV for your business

  • 21 Jul 2022

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If you want to take a step back and start by understanding the benefits of CCTV for your business, read the first article in this two-part series here.

Where to start?

The best CCTV for your business is one that can be tailored to your specific requirements, so begin by thinking about what you need it for. For example, do you want to record footage that can be viewed retrospectively? Or are you planning to use a combined CCTV and alarm system which can be monitored and responded to in real time? Ideally, the process should start with a professional evaluation of the security risks and challenges your business faces every day, combined with a site survey and discussion about the approach to monitoring and response. Only then can you be sure of getting a tailored solution that delivers the appropriate type and level of CCTV protection, fully compliant with GDPR, local bylaws, insurance, and company policies.

What are the most common types of CCTV camera? 

Forget the black and white, grainy images of the past. Thanks to the continued advancement of both analogue and IP (Internet Protocol) video technology, most CCTV cameras now record in High Definition (HD), providing clearer images which make identifying people and vehicles much easier. However, there is a variety of cameras available which offer different features:

  • PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) – allow the camera to pan left or right, tilt up and down and zoom in or out. These cameras tend to be monitored and operated live by surveillance or security officers.
  • Hemispheric/dome – offer an uninterrupted 360° field of vision and are ideal for a wide range of environments, both indoors and outdoor.
  • Optical fixed bullet camera – works well in situations where you want long-range video coverage.

What is the best CCTV system for security at night?

Many cameras include thermal/infrared features that are good for night-time surveillance or in locations with no/low light. Infrared cameras can pick up moving figures in darkness, thermal image cameras can see over long distances and thermal radiation (indicating body heat for example) can be picked up through visual barriers.

How many security cameras will I need for my business?

That depends on the requirements of the site and the risks that you want to mitigate against. Each case will be different, but here are some typical small business sites and the areas that might benefit from IP HD CCTV coverage:

  • CCTV for shops – entrance and exit points, tills, all areas that your customers have access to. Storage and back office, staff and/or customer car parks
  • CCTV for offices – IP HD cameras at entry and exit points (e.g., reception), storage areas, location of expensive equipment, staff car park
  • CCTV for manufacturing sites – entry and exit points, production lines, loading bays, warehousing and storage, plant and machinery, car, and lorry parks.

 

 


What’s the difference between analogue and IP CCTV?

An analogue camera sends CCTV footage over cable to VCRs (video cassette recorders) or DVRs (Digital Video Recorders), where the footage is stored and can be played back locally. IP cameras are all-digital cameras that can send larger amounts of data over cable to be stored on your network or in the Cloud. Many security camera systems today are hybrid systems incorporating both analogue and digital components.

Are IP cameras the best for a small business?

Yes, typically as they offer the most flexibility – for example changing the viewing field by zooming in or out – and overall, they provide higher quality video.  

What is a smart CCTV system?

Some CCTV systems can be connected to a secure network via the internet, allowing you to view your cameras from wherever you are in the world. All you need is a smartphone or web-browser, complete with compatible App. As well as streaming images directly to you, such systems can also be programmed to send you notifications, triggered by events such as movement.

Is a WI-FI camera system suitable for my business?

There are many Wi-Fi camera systems available but if you’re going down the DIY route, do research them carefully. Remember, Wi-Fi can suffer from buffering and interference that can adversely impact the performance of the camera and quality of the footage. And it may not be secure, especially if it’s possible for a would-be intruder to simply cut the cable…

Will my CCTV system need servicing or maintenance?

Yes, to ensure the cameras and feed continue to operate properly the equipment should be inspected annually and serviced by a qualified engineer.

To sum up…

CCTV is an effective way to protect your small business ­– but it’s about more than just buying and installing the equipment. Securitas UK’s end-to-end service can help you at every step, from site and security risk assessment, supply and installation, monitoring and response services, and regular maintenance. Get in touch to find out more.

  • Research commissioned by Securitas and conducted by GCL – February – May 2022
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