How to Choose a Commercial Security Camera System for Your Business

Posted on 29th September 2017

Installing a professional CCTV system to protect your business makes sense from a security, asset protection and even insurance costs point of view but like any other technology, CCTV technology is advancing quickly and the variety and effectiveness of commercial security cameras can be bewildering. It is always a good idea to consult the professionals about your CCTV requirements but to help you get some idea in your mind before you do so, we have 5 points that you might like to consider about when choosing a commercial security camera system for your business.

Do you have any existing security issues?

It may well be that you are already experiencing problems that can be solved by the installation of a professional CCTV system. These can influence your choice of commercial security camera. For example if your premises has had break-ins or attempted break-ins you are likely to need a larger type of camera such as a box camera, that will act as a visible deterrent to intruders. Likewise if your issue is staff behaviour such as aggression or petty theft, a smaller, more discrete dome camera will be less intrusive (although it is important to remember that according to the Data Protection Act people have to be informed wherever CCTV is used).

Do you need an indoor or an outdoor professional CCTV system?

CCTV cameras that operate outside run the risk of being exposed to extreme weather conditions but it isn’t just outdoor cameras that need to be robust. Some indoor environmental elements, such as grease in catering kitchens, spilt drinks in bars and clubs and dust in manufacturing areas require CCTV cameras to have additional housing for protection. CCTV cameras are often designed to operate either inside or outside but there are other elements to an installation, such as mountings, housings or even inbuilt heaters that will make your CCTV system more suitable for your particular environment. 

Do you need to cover a large area with your commercial security cameras?

If you have large warehouses or outside situations that you would like covered by a CCTV system, you may be surprised by just how big the area you want to cover is. One helpful way to work this out is by doing a few measurements and maybe a drawing of the area. Pan-tilt-zoom cameras (usually called PTZ cameras) have zoom and directional capabilities that can be remotely controlled and cover a wide area, sometimes up to as much as 112°, allowing you to look in more detail if something of concern catches your eye. By choosing CCTV cameras with wide area capacity you can keep costs down because you will need fewer cameras.

It is worth remembering that you will require a network to run a CCTV camera system. For most businesses, a Local Area Network (LAN) will be sufficient but larger areas and businesses will require a Wide Area Network (WAN). The other thing to bear in mind is the relationship between wide area coverage and image quality. A high-resolution camera will cost more but will give you the clarity that you require to obtain detailed images over a larger area. It is worth remembering that prosecutions can only be supported by CCTV footage if that footage is of suitable quality.

Would having audio capability in your CCTV system improve your security?

Audio capability can be a very useful addition to a professional CCTV system, for example if you are going to use your system to understand staff disputes or customer complaints, knowing what people have said can make this much easier. CCTV cameras can record audio in two different ways. Analogue CCTV feeds audio input straight into the digital video recorder (DVR), which then digitalises the signal. IP CCTV cameras feed audio directly into the IP camera, which deals with the digitalisation. If you are considering adding audio capability to your CCTV system, it is worth remembering that encryption of audio data may help you to meet the security and storage requirements of the Data Protection Act.

Is your business likely to be expanding?

Hopefully as time goes on your business will expand and you may find yourself with additional requirements for your professional CCTV system. Older CCTV systems operate on a closed circuit basis, which means that they are wired together, making it difficult to add additional cameras. IP (Internet Protocol) cameras offer many advantages but one of the main ones is their ability to scale according to your business needs. When you add a CCTV camera to an IP network, there is no restricted wiring to break into and installation can be as simple as adding a new phone to a phone network. When discussing your future and present requirements, make sure that you ask about the pros and cons of various Video Management Systems (VMS), some of which give you the capability for remote supervision, ideal for those with multiple sites.

At Alert CCTV Systems we supply and install quality, branded CCTV products. We work closely with our domestic and business clients to assess their individual needs and budgetary constraints. For free no obligation advice on how to protect your place of business please get in touch with us here or call 01908 698 777 – or email us at 
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