Video Surveillance Systems – What To Look For?Jason Siddall
When it comes to ensuring the safety and security of your business premises, assets and staff, alarm systems and other, physical security barriers are good places to start. But what happens if you experience a break-in, and valuable stock is stolen? Having the entire burglary captured on video by strategically positioned security cameras gives you a huge head start when it comes to identifying the culprits. In addition, surveillance video systems help boost employee productivity and are also very useful when it comes to resolving business disputes.
As a business owner, it’s worth asking yourself whether your existing security system will really do what you need it to when you need it the most? Are you adequately prepared, with a system that meets your needs, and that’s easy to install, operate and maintain?
Ease of use is an often overlooked feature of security camera surveillance systems. It’s no good installing a state-of-the-art system that no one actually knows how to operate. Features such as live viewing and being able to export data, for example, are essential components, but they must be intuitive and simple.
Of course, larger, corporate businesses may well have their own designated security teams who are more familiar and experienced with highly technical equipment. For most companies, however, security and surveillance are not separate job roles, but rather additional tasks assigned to an existing employee. This is why ease of use is so important.
Choosing The Right Video Surveillance System For Your Business
In addition to being easy to use, your security camera surveillance system should have other important features, including:
Smart Applications And Analytics
Not many companies have the resources to employ someone to monitor their security surveillance 24/7. Applications that send notifications when the system is activated are perfect for this scenario. Motion-activated cameras, for example, will send a notification when they detect movement within their programmed range. You can then check the live video feed to assess whether or not there is a potential threat. This is a huge saving on both time and costs.
Because many video surveillance systems are only monitored occasionally, and possibly by several different people, a simple user interface is critical. Most security systems are controlled by some kind of central hub – which can be something as simple as an office computer. Because this computer is also used for everyday work functions, you don’t want a security system that places huge demands on it, taking up vast memory and slowing everything down. Look for video surveillance software that lets you switch easily between live feeds, and quickly access recordings if needed. Clear and simple navigation is also essential.
When you invest in a video surveillance security system, you want it to work consistently and reliably, with minimal downtime and easy maintenance. It also needs to be well-protected again potential cyber attacks, to avoid threatening your entire network. Look for a system from a reputable supplier that’s well respected in the security industry. You need a validated, end-to-end solution that meets your needs while still being easy to use. After sales support is essential, so that you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing if there is a problem with your system, it will be quickly and professionally rectified, with minimal inconvenience or downtime.
There are several significant benefits of using an IP-based video surveillance system. One of the biggest advantages is that you can access network-based security cameras remotely, from anywhere. They are also infinitely scalable, meaning your IP-based security system – although initially more expensive – is far more future-proof than cheaper, analogue systems, which need to be replaced more often as their software can’t be updated. In addition, it’s easy to expand IP-based systems beyond security and surveillance. You could also, for example, include controlled access or network audio systems, set up so that all your functions work seamlessly together to provide a comprehensive, all-in-one system.
Other considerations include:
- High definition (HD) – The minimum requirement for a video surveillance security camera is one megapixel, although two-megapixel cameras are common. You also need a smooth frame rate of at least 30 frames per second.
- Low light capability – for external cameras, this is a priority, as light conditions change throughout the day. Consider a camera with a wide dynamic range, as it can easily adjust exposure to compensate for backlight that might otherwise be blinding.
- Range – Unless your video surveillance cameras are going to be used inside a bank, or another high-risk environment, it’s not essential that you cover every inch of your premises. Remember that the more cameras you have, the more bandwidth and data storage you need. Most businesses find that having fewer cameras, but covering key areas, is the most suitable option.
As a Smart building contractor, Strategic Asset Management Solutions specialises in protecting business’ assets, people and data. Talk to us about a video camera surveillance system that’s easy to install, easy to use, and right for your business.