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Contingency and Congruency: Planning for your Surveillance System

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When building a security camera system, it is important to plan out your security layout to include contingency and congruency options. What does this mean really? It means planning for the worst case scenario. Planning for all foreseeable contingencies and running congruent systems to compartmentalize as much potential damage the system could possibly receive in a worst case scenario. When our sales team helps you plot your layout or system, we take many factors into account and in doing so we account for contingency and congruency options in a variety of ways. Our discussion here will focus on awareness of these options and allow for you to consider multiple possible solutions.  This is to make you more conscious and understanding of infrastructure options when it comes to your cameras, digital video recorders, and cabling. Furthermore, these thoughts and strategies can be applied to all your systems, including access control, loss prevention, employee accountability and even some grow strategies.

The first step is planning for contingencies. This allows you to  present the best and strongest defense you can have.  Any good boy scout can tell you “Preparation is key”. Contingency planning is essentially just preparing for the worst case scenario and this can include even the improbable and unlikely. In considering these things, you will find your surveillance system encountering far fewer slow-downs during emergencies. This is extremely important for businesses who depend on their surveillance systems. For example, let us consider for a moment the unlikely scenario of a fire in a secured room containing a safe or a vault. Damaged surveillance cameras could cause a serious hole in your security.  Having this added issue could cut further into your profits than just the initial loss by slowing your routine.  This could be a devastating blow to a business. Meanwhile, having a spare camera, cable, and perhaps other equipment could bring that room back to recovery much faster than ordering replacements would allow.   This would also allow you to neatly avoid rush shipping which can be an expensive emergency cost if your budget isn’t prepared for it. While extremely unlikely or improbable, everything is subject to Murphy’s Law. Even though these events are indeed unlikely and more so improbable, they are still a very real possibility. Having extra cameras on hand or a spare digital video recorder and hard drive, if your budget allows, can benefit you in multiple ways. For example, if an opportunity to expand or grow avails itself, you may have less start-up costs because of your reserve equipment. Contingency planning and purchases can and should include other items such as generators, battery backups, and surge protectors to protect against harmful lightning strikes or power surges and failures. This will allow you to continue working and protect your product when others may lose their ability to produce. The ability to have your system constantly running can keep you above reproach and protect you during moments of vulnerability. It can also allow you more flexibility in your infrastructure as it pertains to organizing and congruency.

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Which naturally leads us to congruency planning for your layout or surveillance system. Congruency planning is preparing and planning your system so that it can be interchanged and switched as your operations grows and the shape of your layout changes. It is the art of interchangeable compartmentalization. Congruency planning is best explained as simplifying your systems and hardware to be interchangeable.  The phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is a simple and shrewd business strategy that can be applied to your surveillance system, access control systems, and other security measures. Just as you have multiple computers or point of sales that have the same software and hardware, so can you have multiple digital video recorder systems in case one is vandalized by a manager knowing he is about to be terminated or damaged by an act of God. For example, having multiple small digital video recorders with one or two ports unused allows that if you need to expand or move cameras from one digital video recorder to another you are free to do so without having any loss in coverage.  No fretting, No hassle, quick resolutions to emergency situations.  Whether it be cameras, digital video recorders, hard drives, cabling, it is important to use the same items throughout. This makes any individual part of your system interchangeable with the other. Say you want to enlarge one room and shorten another. Relocating a camera is far easier when it doesn’t matter which camera you move. From running multiple systems to using the same digital video recorders, congruency is an integral part of planning your surveillance system. Congruency is a simple solution for contingency planning and your most effective option.

So what can we do to help? First we take into account your needs when we give you your initial layout and quote. We leave room for you to expand your system as your business grows, from adding cameras to alarm inputs and outputs. Next we provide multiple solutions to your surveillance and security needs. We look at each case and assess whether it is more effective to utilize two 16 channel digital video recorder units, or one 32 channel digital video recorder unit.  We also include simplified solutions by trying to maintain redundancy as much as possible with your camera choices while still recommending the right camera for the right job.  In each case, we carefully plan out your system to offer you the optimal solution for your layout or system.  Beyond that, our tech support is for the lifetime of the product, available to help you adjust your settings and help you set up, as needed. We can also help you with your access control needs and simplify your layouts for these systems as well by maintaining equipment redundancy.  Access control is just another aspect of the field we specialize in, again providing you with unparalleled service and support. We are always here to offer you multiple solutions to your surveillance requests.  Give us a call wed be glad to assist you!

Dan Millard
Dan Millard
US Army, Team Sergeant Private Investigation Loss Prevention Security Casino Surveillance

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