Installing a brand-new CCTV system in a commercial building can seem like a big undertaking. Whether you are replacing an old system or putting surveillance technology in place for the first time, there are many different factors to consider. In this article we look at three main planning considerations.
The first factor to consider is what hardware you need, and this isn’t always a straightforward choice. An important change has taken place in CCTV technology over the past few years. People talk less these days about CCTV cameras and more about CCTV security systems. The main difference is that previously cameras were seen as stand-alone units. Cameras were analogue devices which were controlled and monitored manually, and that incorporated their own data storage tapes or hard drive.
CCTV security systems use cameras as their eyes, but they are very much part of a wider security network. This network can interconnect with door security mechanisms, video analytics software, off-site storage devices and much more. Investing in a security system massively increases your scope for usage, moving beyond mere security into the realm of business intelligence, monitoring and process data gathering.
So before you rush into buying a system, think about what you need the hardware for. Is it simply to deter thieves and vandals, or have you got wider needs of your business? These are all questions we can help you with, so please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your circumstances.
A new or upgraded CCTV security system will involve capital spend, but this should be seen as an investment that will bring positive returns. If you plan your investment strategically to align with your business goals, you should see returns fairly quickly.
Furthermore, the sums involved may be far less than you realise. A big chunk of the investment cost for older CCTV networks was the wiring and power infrastructure required to support it. You would physically need to run power cables to every camera location, with data cables linking each camera with servers and access devices. When it came time to upgrade the system, the whole infrastructure would need to be ripped out and replaced.
This isn’t the case with modern CCTV systems. For a start, wireless cameras and alternative power sources reduce the amount of physical power lines you need. Wireless data transmissions also make cameras more independent and self-contained. This in itself makes a new system a lot cheaper. Also, once established, individual cameras can be upgraded piecemeal, avoiding the need to start from scratch every time you want to replace your cameras. New technologies and cameras can be grafted onto your cable network at will.
In most cases too, you will be able to piggyback new technology on top of your existing cable network, so you won’t need an expensive upgrade to fibre-optic cabling etc.
With data recording capacity comes the obligation to comply with UK and European data protection legislation. This governs the way data is stored, used and accessed. We recommend a working familiarity with the Data Protection Act (1998) and the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, set to be implemented next year.
CCTV use is also governed under the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012), based on which a 12 point Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (SCCP) was adopted throughout the industry. This ensures that data is recorded for legitimate purposes, that data is held for a defined time period, that recordings are of a sufficient quality and that transparency and accountability is demonstrated for all surveillance systems. A summary of SCCP requirements can be found in our Commercial CCTV Surveillance Guide,
In our free Commercial CCTV Surveillance Guide we present a business case for why upgrading your capacity sooner rather than later is a sound decision that can save you a lot of money in the long run. You can download a copy of the e-book by clicking here.
To chat with one of our team about your current system and the outcomes you want to achieve, please send us a message or get in touch by calling 0333 8000 300.