Installing CCTV in your business?
All business owners want to protect their businesses. From start-up companies, to generational family businesses to large scale corporations. It is true across any industry, regardless of whether you handle large amounts of cash, store valuable equipment, house expensive tools or store a variety of stock for resale.
If you are in a quandary about whether the best security for your business is a high-quality CCTV system and need some pointers about what to consider before installing a system, you’ve arrived at the right place.
The reason so many companies are opting for CCTV systems is because they can provide advance warning of crimes on your premises and provide real-time evidence captured on camera to assist prosecution.
The added bonus is that because when CCTV is made obvious, it also acts as a deterrent. Thieves are opportunists, who do not like to be caught in the act – after seeing a professionally installed CCTV system they will likely find an easier target.
What you need to consider before you install CCTV for your business
#1 Installing CCTV in your business has legal obligations
If your business is operating a CCTV system, you have a legal obligation to inform the public due to data protection laws. Signs must be “clearly visible and easily readable” – something like the standard ‘CCTV in Operation’ usually is sufficient.
Members of the public are by law legally allowed to request access to view any recordings made of them on your system. Businesses must provide this within 40 days of their request.
If you decide to make an impact with your signage, advertising the fact you have CCTV operating you will increase the effectiveness of your camera system which will begin acting as a deterrent. You can even opt for reflective signage, so they are obvious and visible even after dark when thieves are more likely to strike.
#2 CCTV in the dark
Not all cameras will capture film with no light. Installing an integrated lighting system if you haven’t already could be a sensible idea. Censored lights which switch on when they detect movement can be a really useful investment for the safety of your employees and visitors if they are likely to be on premises after daylight hours. They will also surprise the thieves or
vandals, illuminating them like this could ensure they flee before any damage has incurred.
If lighting is not a viable option for your business premises, then you could opt for an infrared camera which will record even when there is no light. During the day they can record in colour and after dusk, they will switch to thermal imaging and record in black and white, dependent on the specification of the camera of course!
#3 How many cameras will I need for my business?
This is dependent on many factors – the size, location, the nature of your business and the budget you have to work with not to mention – the objective of the CCTV system. If you need some help putting this plan together, we can help, there is no one system that fits all.
Some advice we can give is that – if your CCTV isn’t installed correctly or you don’t order enough cameras – it can become more costly down the line.
#4 CCTV camera locations are paramount to security
As a general rule the most obvious location for a camera is at the entrances and exits to your building. To be extra secure you should then install the cameras at regular intervals around the perimeter of your building. If your budget or space limits this, then simply cover any weak spots like windows, additional doors or fire exits would be a good idea.
If you are more concerned about what is happening when people enter your business, then you may place them internally. Select key areas of vulnerability, like cash registers, stock rooms, places where equipment is stored etc. The benefit of having the cameras inside means you can monitor staff and customer interactions and productivity within your establishment.
#5 CCTV Monitoring and Storage
Advanced CCTV systems allow owners to monitor on their Laptop, tablet or smartphone via an online interface. Business are not expected to store recorded data infinitely, but the police recommendation is a minimum 31 days.
Like all important electrical devices,it is recommended that CCTV footage is stored on a hard drive or cloud-based storage system should be backed up.
#6 CCTV Maintenance
CCTV systems can only continue to be an effective method of security if they are properly maintained. We would recommend getting an annual assessment to check for faults, knowledgeable engineers can keep you up to speed with changes in data protection and point out any weak spots in your system.
Taking the time to consider the above points you are now better equipped for discussions with your CCTV installer and ensure you end up with the service provision that you really need.