Taking a proactive stance towards protecting your commercial buildings by installing CCTV surveillance system is definitely beneficial, as sadly there are still far too many business owners who wait for an incident of theft or vandalism to occur before going in search of a suitable system. Sometimes, this because insurers have made it a stipulation of ongoing cover.
In this article we discuss the process of choosing a CCTV system and what features you might want to look out for in a CCTV system that is right for your commercial premises.
Define the rationale for installing CCTV
As specialists in installing CCTV surveillance systems, our advice would be to focus on the rationale as to why you should have CCTV.
Known as defining “your operational requirement” this exercise determines subjects such as what the system will be used for, how the system will be deployed, how the system will be operated and what you will be doing with the data stored. For the majority of commercial building owners, the safety and security benefits of a good well-designed system will provide many safety, security and revenue protection benefits.
You should also consider if aesthetics are important, as no-one wants to have a beautifully designed building, only for its decor to be spoilt by the sight of ungainly camera’s mounted to walls and ceilings. However, the practical approach would be to ensure there is a careful balance between aesthetics and the need to ensure employees and authorised visitors feel safe and secure whilst deterring those who have malicious intent!
Fortunately, modern CCTV systems and surveillance cameras are much sleeker in design and many manufacturers offer varied mounting types and sizes, offering both fully overt and other discreet versions to blend in with décor.
Does your commercial building need a CCTV System?
Most commercial buildings will benefit from installing CCTV, not just buildings in higher risk areas where the threat of criminal or terrorist activity is high.
A well designed and installed system will give many benefits as the image data will be of high definition will allow good identification of subjects and incidents captured. CCTV can be used for staff and visitor security, as well as to assist in health and safety, marketing and general day to day running of your building. For example, CCTV can be used to identify areas where customers may enter areas such as reception areas and sales trade counters so that staff able to meet visitors on demand rather than having a member of staff present at a reception desk on a continuous basis when they could be fulfilling a useful role elsewhere.
What areas should you protect?
The most common areas that benefit from having CCTV installed include:
ENTRANCES: Camera’s will usually be positioned externally and internally to record people coming and going from all entrance points. Properly installed camera’s will allow good identification of persons entering and leaving the premises from all buildings on site such as offices, storage building, workshops.
CAR PARKS & DELIVERY YARDS: Parking and delivery areas can also be protected. Positioning cameras at strategic points helps to reassure visitors and employees that their vehicles will be safe. The presence of CCTV will also help to deter criminally activity. Modern CCTV systems can also have built-in ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and integrate into an access control system to provide total control of vehicles that are allowed enter.
RECEPTION/FOYER: CCTV can be used to monitor theses area for safety and security and alert staff when visitors are arriving so they can be greeted accordingly.
WAREHOUSES: Overt or covert camera’s in warehouses and store rooms can help to prevent theft, particularly if valuables or sensitive information is being stored.
CORRIDORS: Cameras strategically placed in corridors, will allow data and images of persons entering and leaving meeting rooms and offices to be recorded.
BACK OF HOUSE: These include service exits, stairwells and IT server rooms. You may not think it’s necessary to provide security in these locations, but these areas can be subject to criminal or other activity. Surveillance cameras in these areas will deter any activity, and also provide good security and health & safety monitoring.
What CCTV system to install?
Determining how many and the type of cameras you need, where they are to be positioned, what they will monitor, and for how long, are critical questions that should be answered.
It is best to appoint an approved installer, like Tecserv UK which has SSAIB accreditation, who will be able to assess your needs and recommend the right CCTV surveillance system and manufacturer.
Some of the features and benefits you may want to consider are:
- Facial recognition
- Movement detection
- Infra-red capability to enable clear day & night images
- Analytics and reporting requirements
- Recording requirements
- Data storage options
- Connectivity options
Tecserv UK has distributor agreements with most CCTV system manufacturers and will be able to help you scope your project requirements and choose the best system.
Monitoring CCTV camera’s
Sometimes the best location for the monitor screen is to have the station discretely positioned on a key individual’s desk. However, some businesses, particularly if part of a larger group with multiple depots or office locations may prefer all systems to be linked and monitored centrally in a security control room operated by a trained security team.
Installing CCTV in your commercial building
If you would like to show your employees and visitors that you care about their safety and security, installing CCTV is a great way to demonstrate this and give added reassurance.
If your office or commercial building requires CCTV, or you’d like to discuss the maintenance or upgrade of an existing CCTV system, please get in touch.