Posts Tagged ‘ surveillance ’

Persistent Surveillance Systems – The Eye in the Sky

Written By:
Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Persistent Surveillance Systems

Are you against or for aerial surveillance systems?

Working in the surveillance industry, you come to realize really quick that CCTV systems can widely reduce crime when in plain sight. Most people who are considering breaking the law will think twice when they see or know that there are surveillance cameras watching their every move. As we forge on into the future, technology is improving at an insane rate. This of course comes along with many privacy concerns. There are technologies that can help solve crimes which are not being used for privacy reasons alone. One technology that rides on the border of these privacy concerns is called Persistent Surveillance Systems. These are wide area surveillance systems that are usually mounted to a plane, drone, or tower high in the sky and can capture video of whole cities or towns. These innovative systems are no longer just being used to only capture video of military battles, but also being used by the police force to watch over cities. Some of these systems are composed of 192 Megapixel, full color cameras mounted to a plane in multiple locations to keep an eye on crime from up above. These multiple cameras are mounted in a way that they point in different directions to capture separate sections of a location and the software stitches it all together as one.

Ross McNutt by one of his aerial surveillance Cessnas

Ross McNutt by one of his aerial surveillance Cessnas

Ross McNutt, the genial president of Persistent Surveillance Systems, mentioned that he has witnessed many occurrences where people were murdered. The murderers were captured because of this technology, and most people feel that there would be even less crime once there is more press out there about these cities having surveillance up in the sky. In one specific incident, even though the video had very poor clarity, the images revealed a gang getting together to block off road access points and sending a shooter to meet his target. The cameras captured this man taking off after the body hit the ground. When the police finally received a copy of the report, they noticed that there was a picture of a blue building that the murderer ran into. This footage contained the images of a man being murdered in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, using cameras specially fitted onto a Cessna plane. McNutt stated, “I’ve witnessed 34 of these. It’s like opening up a murder mystery in the middle, and you need to figure out what happened before and after.”

We have definitely become more accustomed to seeing CCTV surveillance cameras in public, and most people don’t even think twice about it. However, new technologies are here that most people aren’t even aware of yet and it’s capable of being deployed without anyone even really knowing about it. These technologies can track cars in small cities for many hours at a time. The clarity isn’t good enough to distinguish faces or license plates, but it certainly is capable of tracking an individual. If a police officer wanted to find out who they were tracking, all they have to do is go to the business or the homes of the places these individuals are visiting and ask them to help identify the person of interest.

These cameras are already being used for securing large events such as the Ohio political rally where John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate back in 2008 (Which was a stupid move in my opinion!). They have even used this technology for Police demonstrations and NASCAR races. They have even been commissioned to use it for a request that a Mexican politician put in for the city of Ciudad Juárez. These cameras have basically become a time machine for the police force, allowing them to look back at an incident that occurred during the recording.

Persistent Surveillance Systems

Aerial Surveillance Software leads to capturing criminals but at what cost?

Of course, this is becoming more and more of a civil liberty concern for city officials and civilians alike. The Supreme Court has given permission for this technology to be used as long as they are only video taping instances that can be seen with the naked eye in public. McNutt is a retired Air Force officer who has designed a similar system and has been fighting to win over the officials. He did make a good point that these flights are way cheaper and more efficient than police helicopter missions. He has also mentioned that a single camera on top of the Washington monument could possibly deter most of the crime in the area. Especially if the media speaks up about it and help make more people aware. Criminals will definitely be deterred when they hear about all the cameras that are on them when they are about to commit a particular crime. Those 192MP cameras can capture up to 50 crimes within a short 6 hour flight that would provide the city police with a stream that covers more than 1/3 of the city. McNutt feels that this technology will deter crime enough to raise property values, create better schools, increase development in the specific areas, and eventually even lower arrest rates.

The Dayton Ohio police force has even planned on inviting the public out to see how this system works. This will more than likely make some people feel better about it, and also deter others who may have been criminals before and are then too scared to commit a crime in fear of being caught. Many defense contractors are eager to use technology that has been used in the military in the past, but McNutt is taking the time to get information from the American Civil Liberties Union in order to write a proper privacy policy for this technology. This policy would set the rules on how long and how much data can be stored, as well as setting some guidelines for who has the ability to access the system and footage. According to the policy being put together, Police shouldn’t be able to watch back any of the footage unless there is a crime that occurred. This way the system cannot be misused to spy on people or gather information that is not directly related to protecting the city. He plans on extending the range that these cameras can see, but he does not have current plans to improve the clarity of the footage. So in reality, people shouldn’t be so worried about what they’re going to be seen doing since the cameras can’t pick up that kind of clarity. People are certainly worried that if they’re hanging out in their yards, that every move they make is going to be seen. These cameras will benefit in seeing a person leaving the scene of the crime and following them to their destination instead of seeing every last detail of the person and vehicle they may be driving. During one demonstration of the software, there was an attempted robbery in a book store and shots were fired. The footage ended up showing that there was just one car which drove between locations helping them identify what happened.

Unfortunately, this is how police departments are viewing this issue. They would rather people be afraid of when they’re being watched and I’m not sure that’s really the best solution to these problems. This type of attitude can lead to the “1984” scenario that everyone always talks about. Militarize police in America, it’s what everyone seems to be against other than the police. Even the politicians feel that this isn’t the best solution and they know that the public wont be too happy about it even with their privacy policy. Just because those are the rules doesn’t mean that police forces are going to fully obey them. McNutt has complained that they aren’t serious about crime, but I disagree. I feel like he’s just disregarding the fact that these politicians and the public may have a much better understanding of the constitutional problem with an aerial surveillance system.

How do you guys feel about this? Do you think it’s okay for them to monitor cities and towns from the sky in order to maintain public safety, or do you think it’s just going to cause more privacy issues while going against our civil liberties? Share your thoughts and concerns in the comment section below.

If you have any questions that we may be able to answer about CCTV products for your home or business feel free to contact us at anytime Mon-Fri from 9AM-8PM EST. We have now opened a secondary location in Wheat Ridge Colorado so we’re able to stay open two hours later in order to help you with your tech support or sales questions. Our phone numbers and contact info are listed below in the footer of this web site.


The Importance of a Security Camera System in the Workplace

Written By:
Thursday, September 4th, 2014

warehouse security camera

In the technological world that we are living in employers are finding it more beneficial to install a security camera system in the work place. Having a security camera system is the most foolproof way to ensure that your business will thrive in a world full of human error and dishonesty. A few advantages are efficient time management, loss prevention, improved employee performance, and a great way to discover and improve on employee mistakes. The following article will explain that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages to having a modern security camera monitoring system in any work environment that wishes to grow in an ever changing world.

To start is the overwhelming prevention of theft and product loss when a highly efficient security camera system is implemented in the work place. The most basic explanation to this phenomenon is that when a human being knows he or she is being watched they tend to do the right thing and act like a good employee should act. When the employee realizes that his or her actions are being watched by the “eye in the sky” then he or she will know that their actions will have immediate reactions if a crime was committed. If a product is stolen or missing then there will always be a way of back tracking and finding out if someone has ether made a mistake or stolen from the inventory and thus causing the company to lose valuable time and money. In this competitive working world we live in there is no room for employees who think its OK to skim a little off the top. Also, there are many customers that will try to take advantage of a business or company and decide to steal valuable things from them, but as long as big brother is watching these crimes can be prevented and stopped. Surveillance systems can also help during a robbery by providing evidence of who the shooter was and how the owner or law enforcement protected themselves. My belief is that stealing is wrong and if it can be prevented then we should take every action necessary to ensure that it doesn’t happen and time and time again it has been proven that you can’t fool the eye in the sky.

Studies have shown that surveillance in any work environment can significantly improve your employees’ work ethic and time management. You would be hard pressed to find any thriving business that lets their employees play on their phone and mess around on Facebook all day and ever get any work done. So of course there are rules that are implemented in the work environment. But how does an employer make sure that these rules are kept so that the work place can be productive and move towards a common goal. Well the answer is installing a security camera system. The boss can’t always be watching his employees to make sure that they are working and not goofing off. But with the security camera system the employee will always have a sense that the boss could be watching, so it is natural to want to work hard and make the boss proud. The benefits are over-whelming when it comes to work place productivity and efficiency.

Unfortunately human beings were created fallible and are very prone to making mistakes. Human error is the leading cause to any mistakes that are made in any work environment. For example, when a product gets labeled wrong in a warehouse and the customer gets the wrong thing, then you can simply go through the recorded film and find the mistake. If the problem happens more than once with the same employee then maybe it might be time to find more reliable help and let the mistake-maker go. If the company didn’t have any security camera systems installed then there would be no way of knowing who is making the mistakes and therefore no way of fixing such an easily fixable problem. There is always the feeling of being watched that will always make an employee want to do his or her job correctly. A security camera system will ensure that your employees are working hard and doing the job right. The cameras will also be a foolproof way of knowing if the customer is lying about the product they are getting. For example, say a customer receives an expensive piece of merchandise and then calls the company complaining that they didn’t get any product. Well if you have cameras facing your cargo area then the proof will be right there in black and white. Case closed.

It is very important to make your employees and customers feel safe at all times. Violence in the workplace has become an increasing problem. A security camera system can help employees feel safer and always prevent violence in the working environment. Your employees and customers will shop and work with ease especially if there is a security guard watching and monitoring the cameras at all times. God forbid an incident doesn’t happen, but if it does you will be able to pull the tape and ensure that whomever is responsible be held accountable. There is also the possibility that you need the incident recorded for legal reasons or for court. Bottom line is that it wouldn’t be a he said or she said incident. You will have hard evidence and concrete proof of what happened really happened.

Lastly there is the argument that it is too expensive to install a security camera system in the workplace. I know that if I was running a highly profitable business then I would want to protect my assets and protect myself legally before I worried about spending a few extra bucks. I believe it is better to be safe than sorry. In conclusion, I think it is more than just a good idea to consider installing a security camera system in any workplace that wishes to continue to profit and grow.


Marijuana Cultivation and Camera Systems – I-502 Compliancy

Written By:
Friday, January 24th, 2014

marijuana cultivationYou are probably asking yourself, how do these go together?  The reason being is that most people hear of someone growing marijuana and they think illegal drug dealer, not profitable business.  For the last several decades you were right, but times have changed and so has the industry.  In recent years there has been some dramatic changes in the perception and regulation of marijuana, whether it be for medical marijuana or recreational use marijuana.  In recent years more and more citizens have voted to allow for the use of marijuana in different ways.  As the laws have changed so has the regulations for this industry.


One state in recent months that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana has been the state of Washington.  With the legalization of use, also came the legalization of cultivation.  With the cultivation lawmakers have put in place a series of requirements that growers and sellers have to follow in order to be in compliance with state laws.  The following information comes from Washington State Liquor Control Board’s i-502 compliancy.


(2) Alarm systems. At a minimum, each licensed premises must have a security alarm system on all perimeter entry points and perimeter windows. Motion detectors, pressure switches, duress, panic, and hold-up alarms may also be utilized.

(3) Surveillance system. At a minimum, a complete video surveillance with minimum camera resolution of 640×470 pixel and must be internet protocol (IP) compatible and recording system for controlled areas within the licensed premises and entire perimeter fencing and gates enclosing an outdoor grow operation, to ensure control of the area. The requirements include image acquisition, video recording, management and monitoring hardware and support systems. All recorded images must clearly and accurately display the time and date. Time is to be measured in accordance with the U.S. National Institute Standards and Technology standards.

(a) All controlled access areas, security rooms/areas and all points of ingress/egress to limited access areas, all points of ingress/egress to the exterior of the licensed premises, and all point-of-sale (POS) areas must have fixed camera coverage capable of identifying activity occurring within a minimum of twenty feet of all entry and exit points.

(b) Camera placement shall allow for the clear and certain identification of any individual on the licensed premises.

(c) All entrances and exits to the facility shall be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points, and capable of clearly identifying any activities occurring within the facility or within the grow rooms in low light conditions. The surveillance system storage device must be secured on-site in a lock box, cabinet, closet, or secured in another manner to protect from employee tampering or criminal theft.

(d) All perimeter fencing and gates enclosing an outdoor grow operation must have full video surveillance capable of clearly identifying any activities occurring within twenty feet of the exterior of the perimeter. Any gate or other entry point that is part of the enclosure for an outdoor growing operation must have fixed camera coverage capable of identifying activity occurring within a minimum of twenty feet of the exterior, twenty-four hours a day. A motion detection lighting system may be employed to illuminate the gate area in low light conditions.

(e) Areas where marijuana is grown, cured or manufactured including destroying waste, shall have a camera placement in the room facing the primary entry door, and in adequate fixed positions, at a height which will provide a clear, unobstructed view of the regular activity without a sight blockage from lighting hoods, fixtures, or other equipment, allowing for the clear and certain identification of persons and activities at all times.

(f) All marijuana or marijuana-infused products that are intended to be removed or transported from marijuana producer to marijuana processor and/or marijuana processor to marijuana retailer shall be staged in an area known as the “quarantine” location for a minimum of twenty-four hours. Transport manifest with product information and weights must be affixed to the product. At no time during the quarantine period can the product be handled or moved under any circumstances and is subject to auditing by the liquor control board or designees.

(g) All camera recordings must be continuously recorded twenty-four hours a day. All surveillance recordings must be kept for a minimum of forty-five days on the licensee’s recording device. All videos are subject to inspection by any liquor control board employee or law enforcement officer, and must be copied and provided to the board or law enforcement officer upon request.


Alright, now that you see the law lets talk about the systems that will meet these requirements to keep your location in compliance.  Based on the bare minimum requirements, any of Techpro Security DVRs or NVRs will work.  To meet the absolute requirement of 640×470 pixels will put you into any DVR that can record in D1 resolution (704×480).  Since there are no required minimum frames per second stated, you can get away with a Techpro Security Mini Economy DVR .  This unit will record D1 resolution and 7fps (frames per second) on all channels.  It is also accessible for remote viewing, which makes it meet the requirement of IP internet protocol of the recorder.  Based on the 45 days that is being required to be stored and recording 16 cameras at D1 resolution and 7fps, you will need a minimum of a 3TB hard drive.  You can calculate a rough idea of the amount of hard drive space you will need with Security Camera King’s Hard Drive Calculator.  If it was my operation, I would want to have more than the “bare requirements”.   I would do a Techpro Security Ultimate Series DVR ,  the problem with only using the mini is that to record 16 cameras at D1 resolution and 30fps you will need 10TB of hard drive space, and the mini unit will only hold up to 6TBs of hard drive.  I would step up to the Ultimate Full Size, with this unit you can put in up to 8 hard drives or a total of 24TBs of space.  You will also want to upgrade the cameras from a basic OD-CM600IR50-B camera to a minimum of the OD-LX700IR50-W.  Although the basic camera meets the requirements of the law, I am not a “bare requirements” type of person.   Based on the fact that marijuana plants are very sensitive to light, I would shy away from using any camera with greater than a 50 IR distance in any area where growing occurs.  Otherwise you could turn your plants unusable from too much stress.


Now if this was my business and my livelihood, I would go all out to protect my investment.   I would use a Techpro Security NVR and Techpro Security IP Cameras.  The reason I would go this route is that the resolution on these cameras are at a minimum of 720p and go up to 1080p.  I don’t know about you, but I want to know exactly what is going on with my investment and know if anything ever happened I would be able to catch the perpetrators.   If I was looking for a system already put together for me I would go with Security Camera Kings pre-built Complete 16 Camera Elite Series NVR Security Camera Surveillance System.  With this configuration you will need to have at least 15TB of hard drive space to stay in compliance.  I would personally put in 18TB to slightly exceed the minimum, because the last thing that I would want to have happen is be even a couple hours short of the 45 day requirement.   Now if I was trying to be a little more conservative on my spending, the next system I would go with would be an analog system with more cameras to give me over coverage, an example would be the COMPLETE 32 CHANNEL DVR ULTIMATE SECURITY CAMERA PACKAGE.  I would at a minimum upgrade the cameras to the OD-LX700IR50-W and add at least 19TB of HDD space.  Now if a pre-built package won’t work for you, there is a really cool option of creating a Custom Built Package, which offers the same discounted products but you can customize the equipment to meet your exact needs.


No matter what way you go, you can’t go wrong with a system from Security Camera King, even the base records will meet the requirements of the State of Washington Liquor Control Boards requirements.  The only thing you will want to make sure of is that whatever recorder you go with can hold enough hard drive space, so make sure to use the CCTV Hard Drive Calculator.  The last thing you want to do is fall short on this one requirement and either get fined or worse lose your license.  It has been way too long of a wait to be able to grow and cultivate marijuana.


How to Capture License Plates with Security Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Capturing License Plates With CCTV Surveillance Cameras

Using a surveillance camera to capture video footage of the license plates of vehicles that are entering and leaving an area has proven to be an effective way to have a record of the traffic at the location. Law enforcement agencies across this country are making use of this technique more and more commonly. It has already helped them to gather information that has helped them follow vehicles thought to be driven by individuals that were suspected of crimes, even when the officer is nowhere near the vehicle. The data that these cameras provide can be invaluable if a crime takes place, allowing someone to review footage and know who was in the area with certainty. The data collected about these license plates can be more helpful to law enforcement officials when trying to identify a suspect then the highest quality images of a suspect’s face. The installation of security cameras for this function may seem deceptively simple but if it isn’t done correctly you will not get the video that you need. This article will provide with the information that will you to accurately record video footage of license plates every time.

The first consideration that you should look at for licenses plate capture is the location. Finding the right place to record useful video of these small fast moving targets is a key element in the process. The place where you set up for this should be a place where traffic is already controlled in such a way to be beneficial for this process. Someplace where traffic is already forced to stop, such as a stop sign or the gate of a community, is an ideal spot. The entry way of a gated community is probably the best location because it will also be a place where there are fewer lanes of traffic and you will need a dedicated license plate capture camera for every lane of traffic that you’re monitoring, so fewer lanes will require fewer cameras to get the video footage that you want.

The next thing that you should consider for this process is making sure that you have the proper equipment to record the best possible video of the license plates. There are many different security cameras on the market today that offer high quality video, but few are actually designed to record high quality video of a license plate. The cameras that perform this function correctly have to be able to deal with the glare of light bouncing off the reflective surface of the plate, angles that are often challenging, widely varying illumination levels, being able to record video of a moving target that isn’t blurry and they usually have to cope with moderate to long distances. All of these factors, in addition to other location specific issues that haven’t been mentioned, that the camera must deal with are the reasons that you really need to have a surveillance camera that is specifically designed to capture video of license plate despite the difficulties.

Another part of this process that you must account for, in order to do it correctly, is properly monitoring the area where you will be identifying the license plates as well as providing an exterior view of the vehicle. A camera that can capture video of the car or truck and its activity will provide you with some very useful information particularly when you can identify the vehicle’s license plate at the same time. Making sure that you at least have a reasonable high resolution camera for this overview purpose is a very good idea, but it doesn’t need to provide the same type of high quality of video that the license plate camera should. A moderately high quality camera for the overview role will allow you to have a high level of detail in the video shot to help you get an accurate understanding of what type of vehicle the license plate is attached to and how many passengers are in it. This over view camera can also provide other details about the vehicle such as the relative speed that it’s traveling and whether it’s being driven recklessly or not. It’s also a good idea to get a camera for this purpose that has a varifocal lens so that you can adjust it to the camera view that’s needed from the position that’s available for mounting the camera. This type of lens will let you compensate for a reasonable amount of distance from the targeted area and make sure that it’s focused on the exact point that you want.

So now we have established that an overview camera needs to be mounted in such a way that it can view the traffic choke point where you are going to be capturing video of license plates. The next step is to make sure that you have the surveillance camera that will actually be doing the license plate capturing in the right place. The traffic point that you choose for this installation should allow you to know where the target vehicle will stop. The license plate capture will need to be positioned in such a way that it’s field of vision will be focused and the lens will need to be zoomed in to the point that the license plate will take up about sixty percent of the camera’s view. Make sure that you take into account the varying heights of the different types of vehicles that will be traveling through the area. You will need to have one dedicated license plate capturing camera set up this way for each lane of traffic that you wish to monitor.

Once you have these cameras set up in the manner that’s described in this article, you should be ready for monitoring the traffic in the area in great detail. It’s a good idea to test how the camera views will catch the license plates where the vehicles will be stopped and the make the fine tuning adjustments in order to guarantee that you will be getting the video that you desire.


Business Security System

Written By:
Monday, April 30th, 2012

A Guide to Business Security Systems

Business Security SystemAny business must guard against loss due to theft. A century ago, business security primarily consisted of large locks and safes; however, systems are much more complex today. With the advent of ecommerce, business security now includes data encryption and backup. Security systems have progressed into the digital realm, but physical businesses still need to guard against physical threats. For companies with a physical location, there are three basic components to a business security system: access control, alarms and surveillance.

Access Control

Access control is the first line of defense in a business security system. It determines who is allowed access and who is not. The most basic form of access control, which everyone uses both at home and work, is the lock and key. Intruders are barred from entering by locks, while keys allow permitted personnel to pass through easily.

Access control has come a long way since the first key was created. Many businesses rely on digital keys today. The retina scanners FBI agents use in movies is typically beyond a standard business’ security needs. Yet, less sophisticated forms of digital keys are often used. Keys might contain computer chips. Many larger companies swipe card-shaped keys at doorways or enter codes on a keypad.

The mode and expense of access control used in any given business security system will depend upon that specific business’ needs. A small retail store might only need a lock. In contrast, a large corporation might use cards, which can be programmed for different levels of access. A larger company also might use keypads or cards to control parking, whereas a small store does not have that need.


No matter how secure a security system’s access control is, there are weak points. Alarms are for when those points are penetrated. They sound when someone gains entry to a place they should not be, thus alerting officials to the intruder, and inducing panic in the intruder. Alarms can be set up to detect burglars and vandals, or an employee who simply used the wrong exit after his shift.

The alarm component of a business security system is often its most extensive part. There are many different pieces and options available for alarms. Understanding the different configurations can help business owners compare different offers and select the best system for their companies. Here are the main elements of an alarm system:

• Control Panel

Every alarm system has a control panel. This is typically located on the roof or in a centrally-located closet. The control panel connects the alarm system on site with its monitoring service.

• Key Pad

Another essential component of an alarm system, key pads allow people onsite to control the alarm system. After being given the proper codes, employees can arm and disarm the system. Most configurations allow employees to secretly activate the alarm, in the event of an emergency.

• Door and Window Contacts

Door and window contacts are the devices used by an alarm system to detect whether an entry point is open or closed. These help employees make sure all the doors and windows are closed at the end of the day, and they will activate the alarm if anyone breaks in by opening a door or window.

• Glass Break Sensors

Door and window contacts are the most common method of detecting intruders, but they are useless against a burglar who enters by breaking a window. A window could be broken, and its contact could never be affected. However, a glass break sensor will detect the sound of breaking glass and activate the alarm. Since these sensors work by detecting sound waves, one can monitor many windows.

• Motion Detectors

Motion detectors are a final line of defense. If properly placed, they will detect anyone moving about inside a building. Almost all intruders will be detected by contacts or sensors. Motion detectors are primarily for anyone who might want to remain inside a building or room after close, then coming out when no one else is present.

• Sirens and Lights

If an alarm system is activated, it will alert the monitoring service. The monitoring service will then alert local authorities, who will Business Security Systemrespond to the call. In the meantime, which might be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, sirens and strobe lights can be used to alert anyone nearby. Sirens and strobe lights are meant to induce panic into any intruder and alert anyone in the vicinity to the potential danger.

The above list contains the components that are standard in most alarm systems. The selections listed below are optional. They will increase the cost of an alarm system, but they also provide additional security. Depending upon a given business’ security needs, these might be wise selections or superfluous expenses.

• Backup System

Alarm systems communicate with their respective monitoring services via a phone line, and intruders often attempt to sever communication by cutting the phone line. If the phone line is cut, a basic alarm system is rendered useless, aside from any sirens or lights. To guard against this, many businesses opt to have a backup system of communication. This can be via a cable line, but using cell phone towers is more common. A cellular connection cannot be cut, so these are the most secure backup systems.

• Two-Way Keypads

Once activated, a basic keypad simply alerts the monitoring service, which then sends the responding local authorities. Two-way keypads, however, allow the monitoring service to communicate directly with people on site. This allows the monitoring service to determine if there is an emergency, or if the alarm was triggered accidently. They also can clarify the nature of the emergency and send the appropriate responders.

• Log

A log of when the alarm was armed and disarmed can help business owners and managers monitor illicit employee actions. Logs often include who performed the action, as well as the date and time the action was performed. Business owners can also select an option that will notify a supervisor if the alarm is not armed.


Surveillance is the final component of any business security system. A surveillance system is a configuration of video cameras and recorders, which together monitor the activities that take place. Surveillance systems can be as simple as a single camera, or they can contain many cameras that are actively monitored by staff. There are several aspects of a surveillance system business owners must consider, before selecting cameras and recorders.

• Large Cameras

Large cameras are primarily used to deter theft and vandalism. They are often prominently placed, so people see them. When burglars and vandals see these cameras, they will reconsider their actions. When innocent people notice these large cameras, they will feel more secure.

• Dummy Cameras

Dummy cameras serve the same purpose as large cameras: they deter theft and vandalism, while increasing the sense of security. However, these cameras do not actually record. They are merely props. Some businesses add these to their security system, because they provide an inexpensive method of increasing security slightly.

• Small Cameras

Small cameras are usually placed in inconspicuous places. They are less noticeable, and often have a dome that prevents people from knowing which way the camera is pointing. These are primarily used for evidence after a vandalism or theft. If they are intended for this purpose, business owners must make sure they can provide a high quality picture.

• Image Quality

Several factors influence the quality of a camera’s image. Is a color image needed, or is a grayscale picture acceptable? Will the camera be recording only in a lit area, or does it need to function at night? Is a high resolution needed for zooming, or are broad, low-resolution images adequate? The purpose of the camera will determine the quality of the image that is required.

• Recorder Location

Most businesses have their surveillance system’s recordings kept on site. They are typically stored in a safe-like device, which prevents people from stealing the recordings. Yet, large corporations might want to keep their recordings in a central office. This can help centralize a security system.

• Fixed or Flexible

Depending upon a camera’s location and purpose, a business security system might need a fixed camera or a flexible one. Fixed cameras can only view a specific area. These are typically larger cameras. Smaller cameras, which are used for evidence gathering, however, are often flexible. That is, these cameras can zoom, pan and tilt. In a monitored system, these offer more control and surveillance.

• Monitored

Some businesses choose a monitored system, while others view this as an unnecessary expense. Monitored systems cost more, because a watchman must be paid to monitor the cameras. However, this provides a higher level of security. Monitored systems are primarily used with non-fixed cameras, so the guard can pan and zoom.

After considering all of the components and aspects of a business surveillance system, business owners and managers will be ready to select the configuration that best meets their needs and budget. A security system can be used to provide safety, deter theft and meet insurance requirements. The best business security system will provide access control, have an alarm system and monitor people via a surveillance system.