Whether you manage a large or small organization, your facility’s physical security should always be a top priority — after all, your building houses a range of valuable assets in need of protection, including equipment, merchandise, business data, customer records and more.
In order to protect your organization’s assets, minimize liability, and create a safer environment for your staff members and guests, you need to keep track of the people who enter and events that take place in your building. Security personnel can’t monitor every corner of your business at once, but a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system can. Learn more about how CCTV can protect your business and how to implement it effectively below.
Make CCTV Work For You
CCTV is a form of video surveillance businesses and other organizations use to monitor activity inside and outside their locations. The components of a CCTV system include security cameras, display monitors, video recorders, remote access, and storage devices. When connected wirelessly or using cables, these components allow you to watch live or recorded security footage to identify individuals, track access to sensitive areas, and catch suspicious activity.
Advanced analytics can also trigger alerts for things like: loitering, people counting, objects removed or left behind, and can generate heat maps to show foot-traffic patterns.
In addition to deterring and documenting crime, a CCTV system can also help increase safety for workers and guests in the event of an emergency by providing an accurate count of the number of people on-site.
Planning a CCTV System for Your Location
A CCTV system may appear simple at first glance — cameras transmit video to display monitors, and video recorders store footage for later viewing. However, if you want to make a CCTV system effective, you need to consider more than where you want the cameras pointing. To get the most value for your investment, you need to create a plan tailored to your organization’s unique security concerns and your building’s layout.
You can plan a CCTV system on your own or work with a professional. Either way, you will need to take a variety of factors into account, including:
- Your goals for your CCTV system
- The areas and assets that need protection
- The equipment best suited to your needs
Establish the System’s Purpose
Organizations decide to install video surveillance systems for a myriad of reasons. Before you can create a plan to implement your new CCTV system, you need to define its overarching purpose. Try to be as specific as possible, thinking about the most pressing security threats your business faces and any flaws in your current CCTV system.
If you identify multiple goals for your system, that’s fine — CCTV can perform many functions. For example, you might decide that you want the system to support security staff by monitoring your location’s waiting room while also reducing the amount of storage space and bandwidth required for operation. Or you may want to see what areas of your facility become congested when people are arriving or departing for the day to help you redesign a physical layout. Foot-traffic monitors can also provide data that helps evaluate the effectiveness of a specific advertisement in relationship to the average foot-traffic within a given space.
Conduct a Thorough Site Survey
A site survey helps you identify threats to your facility and understand current infrastructure as it relates to CCTV. During a site survey, look for areas that need additional security and take note of the space’s physical conditions and limitations such as existing equipment, cabling, lighting, and camera mounting options.
If you’re not sure which parts of your facility require CCTV, consider the locations of your business’ assets and any possible threats they face. Potential sites of interest could include:
- Building perimeters
- Waiting areas and lines
- Parking lots
- Driving and walking gates
- Building entrances
- Emergency exits
- Hazardous areas
- IT rooms
- Financial Processing and Records
- Stairwells and elevators
Select the Right Cameras
Once you’ve decided where you need CCTV coverage, you can begin filling in the details by choosing the right type of camera for each site of interest. The three main types of cameras you can choose from are single-imager, multi-imager, and pan, tilt, zoom cameras. Single imager cameras give great coverage in a single direction, while multi-imager cameras provide several options for coverage including multiple directions and multiple focal lengths allowing for greater detail at longer distances. Pan, tilt, zoom, cameras are ideal for an active monitoring situation like a guard shack or on duty operator.
You will also need to choose an appropriate resolution for your CCTV cameras. Lower resolution cameras serve as cost-effective tools for general surveillance of an area. However, you may need a camera with a higher resolution if you want the ability to identify specific individuals and increased digital zoom capabilities.
Work With an Expert
Planning a CCTV system can feel daunting, especially if you have strict security requirements or a lot of ground to cover. When you work with an expert, you will get a system tailored to your needs.
At Morefield Communications, we have more than 70 years of experience helping organizations protect their assets with integrated physical security solutions. We can implement video surveillance systems skillfully and efficiently to provide the best results. If you’re ready to start planning your CCTV system, reach out to us today.