Posts Tagged ‘ Security Surveillance ’

Store Security Cameras

Monday, June 7th, 2010

As any corporation or small business owner will tell you, having the proper security will pay for itself. Store security cameras provide the type of security that can keep a store’s profit margin from shrinking. Imagine the difficulty in prosecuting a shoplifter or employee without video evidence. Not to mention the deterrent factor because, cameras prevent many crimes from ever happening.

Designing a store’s security system is not a haphazard affair. There is a science to the design and implementation of a security system. Cameras for the most part, do all the heavy lifting. The camera lens does not become sleepy, its eyes do not wander and it can follow the most precise directions without fail. However, human interaction is needed to analyze the collected data and provide direction to the system.

Essentially, security cameras are there to protect your assets. The assets are inventory and customer relationships for the most part. Video recordings are also a tool that can be used to repudiate claims from employees and customers in a liability lawsuit. Customers and employees alike steal from the company, it happens in every store. Practically speaking the percentage of thefts is reduced simply because of cameras. Some people tend to act more civilized when they know they are being recorded. Cameras can also be used to analyze customer and employee relationships.

The complex security profile of most stores requires a variety of cameras and options. Stores must have cameras outside their stores, as well. Parking lots pose a hazard to shoppers late at night and in some cases, in the middle of the day. High quality cameras can be programmed to pan and tilt through a designated coverage area. Ideally, others cameras would also be programmed to ensure there are not any dead spots. In most cases, the cameras would not be monitored 24 hours a day by security personnel. Once an incident has occurred store security or law enforcement will have access to the recordings.

The outdoor security cameras are not likely to be infrared but should have the ability to record viewable images in low light. Store security cameras should have a backup power source in the event of a power outage. This is another reason the cameras must have night vision capabilities. The parking lot will be considerably darker when the power goes out.

Most businesses have insurance against theft. However, the majority of insurance policies require adequate security measures. In other words, the store must have done everything possible to prevent the theft. Prevention includes store security cameras. Nevertheless, thefts do occur regardless of the preventive measures. Therefore, another stipulation is video evidence that can be used to prosecute those responsible. Cameras must be located to keep an eye on the money. Security cameras should monitor all cash register activities. This includes the change out of cash drawers, countdowns and all customer transactions. Certain cameras should have a tracking feature so the manager that counts down the drawer can be tracked to the cash room or store safe.

Very few people have access to the video monitoring room. The integrity of the data must be preserved. The collected data must be archived in such a manner that tampering is not an issue. Video evidence from store security cameras will be closely scrutinized by law enforcement and attorneys in the event the evidence is presented to the courts. Security personnel should give the impression that video feeds are being monitored 24 hours a day. If people were led to believe no one is watching them, they may also believe that by disguising themselves they can shoplift and get away with it. If no one is watching the cameras, no one is aware of a theft, is the belief of some people.

For the most part, cameras would not need two-way audio unless the store also has a fuel station. A camera at the pumps with audio allows operators to give directions to patrons without leaving their station. However, customer service counters may benefit from cameras with two-way audio to analyze employee and customer relationships. All in store cameras should record in color. Identifying someone by the color of their clothing may store security camera be important for investigative purposes.

Internet protocol or IP cameras are becoming more popular as technology advances and cost become more economical. When security experts analyze a stores security profile, they typically recommend off site monitoring. Off site, monitoring provides greater data security. Each camera will have an IP address that automatically streams all live feeds to the Internet. Normally there is a dedicated server where multiple individuals have access and the collected data is stored using a network video recorder. On site, personnel can view all images in real time. At anytime the system can be decentralized allowing each store to collect and archive data.

For enhanced security, in store security cameras should be infrared or IR cameras. Cameras that record in low light cannot record images in complete darkness. The typical night vision camera will require light from the moon, stars, streetlamps or emergency lighting systems. Most businesses will have emergency lights that provide minimal illumination in the event of a power outage. This light would be enough for the typical night vision capable camera. However, the generator system can fail during a blackout. The store would be in total darkness at this point.

IR cameras can record thermal images by using energy or thermal radiation given off by all objects. Video recordings will protect the store against injury claims, and any number of lawsuits that may arise from the incident. There will be thefts by employees and customers during the blackout, as well. Stores must focus on and be prepared to protect their assets regardless of the situation.

The sales floor is not the only place for cameras. While shoplifting by customers can shrink the bottom line, employee thefts take an even bigger piece of the profit. Store security cameras should be at loading docks, storerooms, time clocks and storage areas. Stealing from a company involves more than stealing merchandise. Many companies have their employees sign in by computer, or an electronic time clock. Employees simply slide their name badge through the time clock slot. This times them in and they are considered on the clock. Managers get busy and many times do not notice or simply do not care whether someone has shown up for work or not. However, checking the time clock may indicate someone is timed in yet is not on the premises.

Cameras that monitor the time clock will save the company money. There have been documented cases where one employee gives their name badge to another to time them in and out. The employee that shows up for work slides their badge, as well as, the badge of the one not showing up. Having video evidence will stop the theft. This is protecting the company’s assets.

Loading docks are an ideal place for employees to remove items from the store. The more brazen ones back up to the dock and start loading goods. This does not happen if there are video cameras prominently placed to cover all loading bays, trailer yards and even employee parking areas. Storerooms are an ideal place for employees to gather to grab a meal off the shelf. Cameras should monitor all activity within the storeroom. The cameras are there to protect the company and employees. The cameras will document employee fights, assaults on one another and vandalism. Cameras should be in all cold storage areas, as well. Areas without cameras, is where the activity that employees do not anyone to see, will occur.

Many businesses are aware of how people view video surveillance. Some people simply believe surveillance of any kind is intrusive and should not happen. However, a large percentage of the population has come to accept cameras as a part of life and of doing business in today’s world. Notwithstanding their right to have security cameras some businesses try, to incorporate them in such a manner they do not appear intrusive.

store security cameraBox style cameras that are motion activated make it quiet obvious they are following your every move. At times you can even hear them pan and tilt. This may be unsettling to some people. Dome style cameras have a dome cap or lens shield and in most cases, it is tinted dark to obscure the lens. The camera is flush mounted on ceilings and can pan, tilt and zoom. Someone who glances quickly at it does not readily identify it as a camera. You will see these dark globes in many retail stores.

One or more cameras are continually monitoring the cash registers. Cameras are mounted to capture the face of anyone entering or leaving the store. Cameras should also monitor all emergency exits. Security personnel want to know where all employees and customers are at all times. Part of this stems from the number of child abductions that happen in retail stores. Once a parent announces they cannot find their child, the cameras are immediately monitored by security personnel. Exits are of particular importance, and cameras located to screen faces should be of the highest resolution.

Most experts will tell you it is extremely difficult for anyone to pick a face out of a crowd based on a photograph. The camera can however. Facial recognition software is being used more often. Scan the picture of an abducted child into the system and the camera can scan crowds and with amazing accuracy pick out that face out of hundreds. This system is expensive and only a small number of non-law enforcement agencies or companies use the technology. As the costs go down and privacy concerns are more fully addressed, private business may begin using the technology more often.

Cameras are extra eyes that rarely fail to do the job. They extend resources and eliminate the need for humans to make judgment calls. Human guards cannot be everywhere at once but cameras can be. By using cameras, security personnel can better plan their activities. This is not to say, that cameras will completely do away with the need for human guards. The relationship is always evolving between humans and technology. High quality cameras can be programmed to respond with an alarm when it hears certain noises such as gunshots. Cameras can also be programmed to sound an alarm if it suspects someone is trying to shield or has masked its lens. This alerts security personnel that someone may be attempting something. Contact Security Camera King today to find the right surveillance system for your store.


Web Security Cameras

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Web security cameras are digital video cameras that utilize Internet Protocol or IP networking. They have built in technology that allows you to connect them to an existing Ethernet infrastructure. This makes them ideal for home or office use that already has an existing Ethernet infrastructure.

One of the biggest advantages of web security cameras is that they use Internet Protocol or IP networking. Since these cameras are Internet Protocol or IP networking compatible, they can be used on the internet and can be networked using the internet as the vehicle for video data transmission. In addition, this means that cameras can be plugged into the network using standard CAT 5 cable (the same cable type used to connect computers on a network) and can be added to the network one at a time, as needed.

Another benefit of web security cameras is that they do not require a separate power supply line or cable. Most web security cameras utilize “Power over Ethernet” or PoE technology. PoE technology makes it possible for the camera to use the Ethernet connection for both transmitting its digital video data and receiving power to operate the camera.

Most web security cameras also come with packaged software that allows you to record, monitor, and later review your video images. This makes security and surveillance monitoring even more convenient using web security cameras because you can use a personal computer to replace many of the components needed in a security camera system.

A basic stand alone security camera component system consists of one to several cameras, a processor or capture board, a CODEC application, a monitor, and a digital video recorder or DVR. The digital video camera sends its video data to the processor or capture board where the data is interpreted and used to create a digital video file. The digital video file can be viewed on a monitor or stored on the dvr which is much the same as a hard disk drive on a personal computer. Storing the recorded digital video allows the user to view the video image data at a later time or save it for archival purposes.

After the processor or capture board receives the video image information, it applies COmpression/DECompression or CODEC technology to reduce the size of the file while maintaining a high quality video image. A digital video is basically the same as a digital photograph however the photographs are taken at a very fast rate, up to 30 photos or frames per second. This can lead to incredibly large digital video file sizes so a CODEC helps to drastically reduce the size of the file yielding higher storage rates.

A web security camera uses the same basic process to provide its digital video as a non web security camera. However, a web security camera normally uses the internet to transmit its information. In addition, a personal computer is used instead of a processor, monitor and DVR. A CODEC is still used to reduce the file size of the digital video, but it is usually implemented in the form of software or a capture board that is installed on the computer.

Not all web security cameras must be connected at their point of installation by an Ethernet cable. There are wireless web security cameras that utilize the 2.8 MHz or 5.8 MHz band radio technology to transmit their video information via an on-board antenna to a receiver unit. The receiver unit then transfers the information to the internet.

There are several other features, sizes, and types of web security camera. This is just a partial list of some of these items:

• Cameras that record audio as well as video
• Cameras with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities
• Dome or bullet shaped cameras
• Hidden or disguised cameras
• Cameras may be indoor or outdoor type cameras

Web security cameras offer the same versatility as non-web security cameras in regard to use because of the special features technology. A web security camera also offers the convenience of easy installation and ubiquitous monitoring. Anywhere there is internet access, the web security camera can be monitored.


Wireless Night Vision Outdoor Security Cameras

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Wireless night vision outdoor security cameras are an excellent choice in providing security and surveillance monitoring for both businesses and residential areas alike. Recent advanced technologies in security camera manufacturing have yielded a high quality product with many interesting features at an affordable cost. Let’s take a look at some of the features available for wireless night vision outdoor security cameras and how they function.

Before we talk about wireless night vision outdoor security cameras we need to clarify or make the distinction between what is meant by a “night vision” camera and a day/night camera. Inside the camera is an electronic sensor called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD. Occasionally another electronic device called a Complimentary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor or CMOS is used instead of a CCD. Both the CCD’s and the CMOS’s purpose is to convert light into electrons that can be monitored or manipulated to create digital images. Each device has its own set of benefits and detriments, but most security cameras employ the use of a CCD, especially when images are required when there is little or no available visible light.

This is true because CCDs can be manufactured that are very sensitive to light; so sensitive in fact that they can produce images from as little light intensity as that available on a moonless night in clear air, which is approximately 0.002 LUX. LUX is a unit that is used to indicate light intensity. A full moon on a clear night in geographical areas outside of the tropics produces light intensity of approximately 0.27 LUX. By contrast, full daylight that is not direct sun light produces 10,000 to 25,000 LUX. Cameras made with these sensitive CCDs are normally called day/night cameras, not night vision cameras. These cameras are designed to produce images in conditions with very little light (very low LUX), but cannot produce images in total darkness. Security cameras that can produce images in total darkness are called night vision or infrared security cameras.

Interestingly, the CCD sensor chip that is used to capture images from visible light is also inherently able to capture images made from infrared (IR) light. Infrared (IR) light is often thought of as the images produced by thermal radiation of objects, however, security cameras utilize what is called the near infrared spectrum. This light is in the 0.7 to 1.0 micrometer wavelength range and is invisible to the human eye. However, wireless night vision outdoor security cameras can “see” this light just like visible daylight and are therefore able to produce high quality images from it. The only difference is that the images produced are monochromatic or “black and white.”

How do wireless night vision outdoor security cameras illuminate their target area? Night vision security cameras normally have a series of infrared light emitting diodes or IR LEDs that are placed around the outside of the camera lens. These LEDs produce light, but only IR light in the near infrared spectrum; the exact light that the CCDs are inherently sensitive to. Therefore, to wireless night vision outdoor security cameras these LEDs in essence produce a spotlight that shines on the target area and illuminates it for the camera while at the same time the human eye is unable to detect the presence of any illumination. Generally, the more LEDs that surround the camera lens, the further the range of the IR camera, to a point. Premium night vision cameras can have effective ranges of up to 300 feet. It’s important to know what distances you will want to cover with your wireless night vision outdoor security cameras so that you can purchase a camera with an effective range.

Wireless night vision outdoor security cameras still require some wiring. When referring to a “wireless” camera, it usually means the camera transmit its images to a receiver using radio waves. This eliminates the need for coaxial cable to be run from each camera to the processor. However, the cameras still require wiring that provides them with the necessary power to operate.

Wireless night vision outdoor security cameras come with a variety of features and accessories. Cameras can pan, tilt, and zoom; they can record not only video but also audio; and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and types as well. In addition the system can be networked and viewed anywhere there is internet access.

Few security systems can offer the peace of mind as the constant monitoring provided by wireless night vision outdoor security cameras.


Wireless Home Security Outdoor Camera Kits

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Wireless home security outdoor camera kits can provide you with the peace and comfort of security while providing the ease of do-it-your-self installation. Not only are wireless home security outdoor camera kits easy to install, but they are affordably priced and easy to use as well.

Typical wireless home security outdoor camera kits contain all the components you need to set up your own residential security/surveillance system. They include the wireless security camera(s) and power supply, receiver, processor, and digital video receiver or DVR and/or software and hardware that can enable you to use your personal computer instead of the DVR.

Security cameras require a power source and a method of transmitting their images. This is normally done by wiring the camera with a power source which is provided in the kit, or by a rechargeable battery. The method of transmitting the images is by cabling coaxial cable from each camera to the processor or DVR. Wireless home security outdoor camera kits contain wireless cameras; that is, the cameras do not require the coaxial transmission cable. Instead, wireless cameras transmit their signals through an antenna to a receiver. This eliminates the need to run a coaxial cable from each camera to the processor, personal computer or DVR unit.

Most wireless home security outdoor camera kits utilize the 2.8 or 5.8 GHz radio band to transmit their images to a receiver. Wireless security cameras can transmit on several different channels and one receiver can receive up to 4 different channels. Their maximum range is approximately 700 feet line-of-sight. Line of sight means the ideal transmission route where nothing blocks the sight between the transmitting camera and the receiver. When objects are between the two, wireless security cameras still have a range of approximately 300 feet, depending on the environment.

In addition, these wireless cameras are rated for outdoor use. They may have an IP rating, which stands for ingress Protection. This is an International Electrical standard code that describes the amount of protection the camera unit has to external elements. Most wireless outdoor cameras will have an IP rating of IP66 or IP67 which means they are completely sealed and protected from the harmful effects of dry matter as small as dust and water sprayed as strong jets or when being submerged up to one meter in depth.

Wireless camera systems must have a corresponding wireless receiver to which the wireless cameras’ data is sent. The receiver is much like the base unit of a residential wireless telephone. However after it received the signal from the wireless cameras, it passes the digital information along to a processor, capture board, or your personal computer.

Here the signals are usually reduced in size using CODEC (COmpression DECompression) software or hardware. This process reduces the size of the digital file so that it can be easily handled by the processor and stored on some type of digital media. Digital video files can be extremely large such that without this process even the largest capacity storage drives can be filled to maximum very quickly.

Next the processed digital file is stored on a digital video recorder or DVR. A DVR is a magnetic storage disk just like the hard disk drive in a personal computer. In fact, with the proper software installed, a personal computer can be used to process and store the digital file instead. At some point, the DVR or computer hard drive will reach its maximum storage capacity. When this happens, the DVR or computer hard drive is instructed to begin re-recording over the data it originally saved first. If segments of this data require archiving or copying to provide to police departments for example, recorded material can usually be copied on a USB flash drive or an internal or external DVD writer.

Wireless home security outdoor camera kits have many applications about the home. They can be used to provide general security about the perimeter of the property, both day and night. They are useful for providing security and monitoring of driveways, garage or barn areas, and large, open yards. Tests have shown that just the known presence of a security camera can deter or diminish vandalism and theft.

So don’t hesitate to discuss with our digital security experts about the different types of wireless home security outdoor camera kits and determine which would best suit your needs.


Home Camera System DVR

Friday, May 7th, 2010

A home camera system DVR or home camera digital video recorder could be exactly what you need to acquire the peace and comfort of twenty-four hour seven days a week security and surveillance. Technological improvements have reduced the price of Closed Circuit Television or CCTV monitoring so that not only can businesses enjoy their benefits but the average homeowner can as well. Not only is a home camera system DVR affordable, but it can also be accessed whether you are at home or on the road.

What exactly is a home camera system DVR? It is a group of individual component devices that work in tandem to provide constant monitoring of your home both inside and outside if desired, and at the same time record this monitoring for future use. A typical home camera system DVR consists of 1 to several cameras, a processor or CODEC/capture board, and a digital video recorder. There are many variations and additions available for this basic description. Let’s take a look at each device within the system and see how it can work for your home.

The first device to consider for a home camera system DVR is a security camera. There are various types of cameras with many additional functions than simply recording video. However, the basic camera is a digital, color camera that can capture still digital pictures or motion video. Security cameras have different resolutions, focal lengths, fields of view and other characteristics. To determine what functions need to be included on your cameras, talk with one of our digital security experts.

Most of today’s digital security/surveillance cameras are so sensitive that they can capture images not only in broad daylight, but in situations where there is very little available light. These cameras are called day/night cameras and they contain a very sensitive electronic chip that allows them to function in conditions with low light. On the other hand, if you need a security/surveillance camera that can “see” in total darkness, those are available too.

Infrared or IR cameras can produce black and white images in total darkness. They do this by projecting an infrared light from around the camera lens at the target area. This light is invisible to the human eye but is the equivalent of a spotlight to the IR sensor in the camera. These cameras are excellent for use in monitoring nursery rooms and other indoor rooms at night, dark driveways, garages, and other areas that have no existing light.

There are also security/surveillance cameras that have a pan, tilt, and/or zoom function. These cameras have the ability to move sideways, up and down, and telescopically zoom in on activity, all automatically if needed. These are excellent for monitoring large areas such as large yards, farm land, and other large places.

Digital video is basically many digital photographs taken within just one second. This creates the illusion of motion and this is how motion pictures are created. If you consider the size of a file for just one digital color photograph, it can be fairly large, so taking several digital photographs a second can add up to a really large file size in no time. This is where the processor, capture board, or CODECs (CODEC is an acronym for COmpression DECompression) are needed. They process the digital data sent from the camera, then compress the digital file’s size so the digital file is much smaller without sacrificing the quality of the video. CODEC is an acronym for COmpression DECompression.

Finally, the processor sends the final digital file to the DVR. A home camera system DVR or digital video recorder is actually the same thing as the hard drive on a personal computer. It stores the digital file continuously until the hard drive is full and then re-records new video from the beginning. If necessary, data can usually be copied to another device if needed for distribution.

A home camera system DVR also has the versatility of being viewed from almost anywhere in the world. Today’s systems can be networked over the internet making accessibility possible anywhere that internet accessibility is possible. This is particularly useful if you travel a lot or are away from home for an extended period of time. This can also provide you with 24/7 monitoring by a security/surveillance and alarm monitoring service.

As you can see, there is a home camera system DVR for just about any application. Talk with one of our digital security experts today to get your custom designed system.