How To Choose And Install A Video Surveillance System
Do you want to increase security at your place of business? Click here to learn how to choose and install a video surveillance system for your building.
Keyword(s): video surveillance system
Think a basic alarm system is enough to protect your office?
A video surveillance system can be your first line of defense against a threat to a space you want to keep safe.
Video surveillance allows you to see a perpetrator or other suspicious behavior first-hand.
This is information helps authorities handle cases efficiently and is a useful tool in providing you with knowledge about what exactly took place at your business.
Technology in this field is more advanced than ever, giving business owners the opportunity to customize their security system and purchase it at an affordable price.
You no longer have to forgo safety in favor of saving money. And purchasing a video surveillance system may end up saving you more, in the long run, should an incident occur.
But with so many security options out there, where do you start?
We’ve broken down a straightforward approach for deciding which system is right for you.
Assess the Needs of Your Business
No one knows your business better than you.
Ask yourself the following…
How will the system be used?
You may want to simply protect against theft and ensure safety. Perhaps you’d like to track employee productivity or customer behavior.
If you own a retail store, for example, you’ll likely want your system to have clear images where you can zoom in and see specific items to monitor theft.
However, if you own and operate a small office, you may not require the same amount clarity on your image to keep your business safe.
The purpose of your surveillance system will help you decide which product is right for you.
Where will the system be used?
Decide whether you want to surveil the entirety of the space or only a portion.
Perhaps you’d prefer to put cameras outside or in the parking lot that surrounds your office.
If you want to start off with a few cameras and leave room to expand the surveillance system, you’ll want to select an IP option. An IP based system will allow you to seamlessly add more cameras to your business should you need to over time.
Other systems will be hardwired and adding more cameras will be costly and time-consuming.
Once you’ve determined these factors, you’ll have more information to guarantee you select a system that fulfills the needs of your business.
Decide on a Budget
Are you a small business or more substantial operation?
The size of your company will matter when choosing which type of system you want to purchase and how much you want to spend.
Decide which features are a must and which are not essential to managing the safety of your business.
More bells and whistles don’t always mean a more efficient system and unnecessary extras may result in unnecessary costs.
You don’t have to break the bank to get the protective benefits and overall safety of a comprehensive security system.
Consider the Camera
There are two types of cameras used in video surveillance systems: internet protocol (IP) cameras and traditional analog cameras.
IP cameras are integrated into your internet system and allow you to receive data through your computer. You can also easily add more cameras if and when you need them.
These tend to be more advanced and can typically cover a larger area more clearly than an analog camera.
Decide whether your cameras will be used to deter a potential threat or if you’d prefer to have a hidden camera that is more discreet. Cameras intended as a deterrent are typically larger whereas dome cameras are less visible.
The lighting around the area you want to surveil will also determine the type of cameras you purchase. Articifical illuminators and IR filters can increase or decrease the amount of light a sensor is receiving to ensure your surveillance is not affected.
Does Your Video Surveillance System Need Audio?
Many video surveillance systems come equipped with an audio option.
This is useful if you feel it’s important to hear and speak to the area under surveillance and is a terrific tool in dissuading a potential perpetrator.
With audio capability, you also have the option to set a threshold of sound that will trigger an alarm the way a designated amount of weight will trigger a motion detector, signaling an intruder.
If this is not a necessary feature, you’ll want to be sure to note that when selecting a system, so you avoid paying for a component that goes unused.
Select a Recorder
All this footage has to be stored somewhere so you can watch it back and access it whenever needed, share it with authorities or review it internally.
The camera you choose will inform the type of recorder it is compatible with.
An HVR (hybrid video recorder) is the only type of recording system that works with both analog and IP based cameras. Its versatility makes it a fail-safe option for whichever camera system you decide to go with.
Once you’ve selected a recorder, you’ll have to determine how much storage that recorder will require.
If you’re running a large system with several cameras, you will need more recording space which means you’ll have to purchase more data.
To figure out how much storage you’ll need, estimate how many cameras you’ll be installing, how many hours of the day or night they will be recording and how long those recordings will need to be saved.
An easy storage solution is to upload your videos to the cloud.
The cloud has more bandwidth and space for storage and allows users to access their footage when necessary remotely.
The cloud may require a monthly subscription to upload high volume files regularly, but it’s a secure and streamlined way to store your surveillance footage.
You can’t put a price on your safety.
Taking steps to protect yourself, your employees and your business by purchasing a video surveillance system is a proactive step in securing safety and peace of mind.
With an informed and strategic approach as outlined above, selecting the right system for your business is simple. If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them with us in the comments.