If you’ve decided that it’s time to invest in CCTV for your business, you might be wondering can you do it yourself or do you really need a professional to do it for you?
You want to protect your business but the cost of installation sounds scary. Most likely you want the easiest fastest way to get your CCTV installed without breaking your budget. Our blog explores the pros and cons of DIY vs Professional installation helping you to understand which option might be best for you.
Why have CCTV in your business?
You might be wondering why should you even consider having CCTV in your business in the first place?
CCTV is key in a business to protect yourself as the owner, your staff and your customers. It allows you to relax knowing your business is protected, and if something does go wrong you can easily track what has happened and why. This means you are never left doubting your staff or loyal customers.
When used properly CCTV can positively improve the way your staff work and improve your customer experience. If you want to find out more about how CCTV can improve your business, then check out our blog … (link to 6 advantages)
The regulations you need to consider
There are three main laws to consider when installing CCTV.
1. Data Protection: In order to comply with current Data Protection laws you must contact the ICO (Information Commissioners Office), which can be done through www.gov.co.uk website. You must explain how you plan to use CCTV and why you’re using it.
2. Human Rights Act: In simple terms this act means you have to respect that your employees having the right to privacy. Ensure your monitoring of employees is not intrusive and keep employees informed of when, why and where they are being monitored.
3. Freedom of Information Act: This act allows members of the public to request access to CCTV footage through public authority’s. You must be able to provide images when appropriate.
Although CCTV can be great for your business, if you fail to follow the law, then you could find yourself in trouble very quickly. It will cause more headaches and worries than it will solve.
The Pros and Cons for DIY vs Professional Installation of CCTV for your business
Pros of DIY CCTV Installation
1. Cheaper than getting in a professional
Installing your CCTV system yourself can be more cost effective than paying for a professional. But this is only true if everything is plain sailing, if you encounter a problem then the costs can quickly spiral.
If you have any doubt about being able to safely install your CCTV, then it’s always better to call in the professionals! Especially when there are so many regulations and rules you need to follow.
2. Quicker to do it yourself
Doing it DIY might be quicker, especially if you already have your CCTV equipment ready to go. You can do it at a time which is convenient to you and your business rather than waiting on a professional to schedule in time to install it.
However, it’s important to remember that it won’t be a quick five-minute job! And if you’re unsure you could find yourself in tangled mess, stuck on the phone to customer services for hours trying to figure out exactly where you have gone wrong. If you leave it to the professionals, you know the job will be done in a certain time scale and it leaves you free to carry out other important tasks.
3. You control the way it’s set up
You might want to ensure you position the camera to capture a particular area of your business or customise in a certain way. Installing it yourself means you’ll have more of an understanding of the system, the custom options and what it covers. It gives you the control that it’s been done exactly how you want it.
Most professionals will set it up in a standard way, but if this isn’t what you need, then you can simply ask them to alter it to meet what you require. Most professionals will be happy to help ensure the CCTV works in the most effective possible for your business, whilst still complying with regulations.
Cons of DIY CCTV Installation
1. You have to carry out the manual work
You might think it the installation will be a quick job, but if you don’t have knowledge of the CCTV systems you can find yourself stuck googling ‘how to’s’ for hours.
Think about it, do you really give up your precious weekend time to spend hours trying to figure out how to install your CCTV cameras?
2. There will be no aftercare help
Once the CCTV is set up, if you’ve had a professional install it then they can easily talk you through how to use it. If you do it DIY, you’re left to figure it out on your own.
If you’re good with technology, you might be able to figure it out. But when you have certain guidelines you need to follow in regard to storing and deleting footage, it’s really important you fully understand how to work the system.
Having a professional show, you, will stop you having issues with controlling your system later on.
3. You have no Experience
No amount of googling and watching tutorial videos can make you an expert in the way CCTV professionals are!
We all like to think we can figure things out, that’s why when it comes to assembling furniture so many of us try the freestyle method chucking the guide book to the side. But you can’t freestyle or improvise when installing a CCTV system! You could end up damaging the system or causing yourself technical issues at a later date.
If you’re unsure at all, you should call the professional!
Pros of Professional CCTV installation
1. There is no extra work for you
Once you’ve scheduled your appointment with the professionals and let them into the building, your job is done! You have time to grab a coffee, relax or get on with those other pressing jobs you need to get done!
You don’t need to worry about reading the instructions, figuring out how you’re going to install it. And you’ll have no worries at a later date that you’ve messed somehow.
2. You can get advice
You professional can provide you with advice not only on how to work your CCTV, but on how you can upgrade it. Lots of CCTV systems come with a basic start package that you can then build on, and professionals can advise what equipment might work best for your business.
They also can help you understand the rules and regulations surrounding CCTV as well as general knowledge on how to maintain your system.
3. They can supply cameras
Picking a good quality camera is really important, when you’re trying to have an effective CCTV system.
It’s so easy to get sucked down a rabbit hole of online shopping and reading the reviews, and when comes this kind of technology you can find yourself thinking you’ve got a great deal when you really don’t!
If you use a professional they can supply good quality trusted brands, at a reasonable price.
Cons of Professional CCTV installation
1. They can cost more
Yes, initially it can seem like they can cost more, and if you know what you’re doing you can probably do it cheaper than professional can. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can find yourself spending lots of money on unnecessary equipment and getting extra help to fix mistakes you have made.
You get what you pay for, and if you buy low quality cameras and do it DIY, you won’t be able to achieve the same great results that a professional can.
Therefore, more cost-effective option for you, might be to actually invest in a professional at the beginning.
2. Need to work to professional’s timings
Whilst you can order your CCTV equipment and install it as soon as it arrives, if you want professional help you need to wait until they can fit you in their diary. If they need to do a site visit before they install it then you will have to wait even longer for them to come visit you. Therefore if you need CCTV installed immediately won’t work for you.
Is DIY worth it?
If you know what you’re doing, DIY can work out well for you. But if you don’t have any experience or prior knowledge, it’s probably not worth trying to tackle the job yourself! It can cause complications later down the line, leave you with extra stress, and even cost you more than it would by just getting in a professional in the beginning!
Overall it depends on your individual circumstances if you decide DIY is best for you. If you want more information about CCTV installation why not check out our page.