If you own or manage a business, you should absolutely give serious consideration to installing a business video surveillance system. It will provide a very necessary layer of protection not only for your building and your inventory, but also your employees.
Once you install a surveillance system, you’ll likely experience a certain peace of mind that simply wasn’t there before.
And yet there’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right video surveillance system. Certain systems, of course, are designed with specific businesses in mind. So let’s take a deeper look at some of the more important considerations.
Focus Your Search on HD Video Systems
While older analog versions of business video surveillance systems exist with low resolutions, you should focus your search on digital systems that provide clear Internet Protocol (IP)/high definition video. State-of-the-art IP surveillance systems run coax cables between multiplexers and cameras. These cameras are hooked up to the Ethernet Local Area Network.
Look for this type of system with cameras that have as high of a resolution as you can find. This video clarity will help you identify important details about suspects in the event that your business is breached.
IP surveillance systems are also desirable because they permit more camera control, have simple cabling and permit power reticulation over these cables. Focus your search on IP-based systems with megapixel panoramic cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom. This way, you’ll get a sharp image of perpetrators that will leave no doubt about their identities.
Choose a Camera That Filters Glare
One of the common challenges with surveillance video is undesired glare. Sunlight, street lights, shiny surfaces and even your own business’s lights can interfere with a clear picture. Don’t let glare interfere with your camera’s view. Choose an IP or analog camera that filters out as much glare as possible. Also, look for infrared cameras that will reduce the glare from the headlights of surrounding traffic. By investing in this type of camera, you won’t have to alter your business’s current lighting.
Consider a Panoramic-Style Camera
Panoramic-style cameras are ideal for businesses that need extensive coverage. This type of camera provides a wide view of corridors, entry points and other spaces. This is the ideal solution for a medium- to large-sized business that has ample space and multiple doors. If your business operates 24/7 and there is a considerable amount of property to secure, such as parking lots and various wings of buildings, you’ll be best served by investing in an ultra-wide dynamic range camera. This camera is ideal for producing clear night images that captures video across a large range of space.
Will Your Camera Be at Risk of Vandalism?
Another important consideration is potential vandalism. While it is prudent to install a surveillance system, it won’t serve its purpose if vandals compromise the cameras. Be sure to install your cameras as high as possible so that thieves can’t access them. When you are shopping for your surveillance system, opt for one that provides cameras that are encased within a protective enclosure. This will guard the camera from vandals as well as inclement weather.
Consult With Your IT Department and Develop a Plan
Before investing in a surveillance system, you must consult with your IT department and develop a plan. It can be a bit of a challenge to integrate a new security system if you already have an existing network in place. The integration can create bandwidth challenges as more and more video is transmitted over your network. So plan the network’s design before investing in a new surveillance system. Businesses that opt for high-definition cameras will use up a significant amount of bandwidth. So consult with your IT personnel to make sure the system you’re considering can be supported by your existing network.
Larger businesses with plenty of space to monitor should consider installing cameras into distinct systems. This way, one system won’t bear the entire data burden. It’s not always necessary to use the same style of camera throughout the property. You can use a certain megapixel camera in one space and transmit the feed to a DVR or NVR so that bandwidth doesn’t bleed over.
Be Aware of Legal Regulations in Your Area
Before settling on a particular surveillance system, you should make yourself aware of the legal challenges involved with monitoring your business. While there are federal and state laws that govern video surveillance, silent video surveillance is legal. Don’t risk breaking the law by installing a surveillance system that records audio. This is especially important for retail outlets and businesses with office environments. There is very little precedent in this area of the law, so it’s a bit of a grey area that’s very much up for interpretation by the courts.
Pennsylvania has some of the toughest video surveillance laws in the U.S., so as a resident of Bucks or Montgomery County, you need to be aware of these laws in order to avoid violations. Otherwise, harsh penalties can result.
If you install surveillance systems that record audio in a public or semi-public facility, you might be in violation of federal and state privacy laws, and you may be subject to civil and criminal liability as a result. These privacy laws are in place to prevent employers from snooping on the conversations of employees and customers.
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At Holicong Security, we provide a wide range of video surveillance products and services for businesses. We believe that the best security solutions are ones that protect and grow with your business. Contact us today to discuss the best selection of video surveillance products for you.