CCTV cameras are high-tech, high-quality pieces of equipment with a wide range of security options and customizations that can fit into all sorts of settings. AT&I Systems can work to create a CCTV solution for your businesses security and financial requirements, unlocking the value of the system.
But before you consider a CCTV system for your property, it helps to understand some of the basics about how this type of security measure functions.
How CCTV Systems Work
At first glance, CCTV systems seem similar to standard televisions. In fact, their basic functionality is quite simple. Any CCTV system involves a camera with a lens that feeds a visual signal to a monitor (i.e., a screen) and a recorder. That may sound uncomplicated, but CCTV systems can vary widely based on the sites where they’re installed, the specific technology used, the number of surveilled areas, and other factors.
For example, CCTV cameras come in either wired or wireless variants depending on a client’s coverage needs. (Wireless cameras come in handy when stringing a cable throughout a site isn’t feasible.) Traditionally, CCTV systems have used physical storage media such as VCR tape recorders to capture footage, but that’s far from the only option. Digital recording provides additional operational flexibility for decision makers. (More on that in the next section.) Lenses can also come with prime (i.e., fixed) or zoomable options, black-and-white or color saturation, and fixed or pannable angles.
However, there’s one way in which every CCTV system differs from ordinary television. While normal TV is publicly broadcast, CCTV signals are always privately piped in to the client.
Advantages of CCTV Cameras
Because CCTV cameras come in so many configurations, they offer numerous advantages to clients looking to secure any number of areas. Warehousing space may need multiple cameras that can function in low light and pan around to keep various nooks and crannies in view. Multi-family housing units may find one or two fixed cameras at entrances or exits serve their purposes best. Retailers will likely look for high-definition cameras that provide full coverage of floor space to help deter theft.
That’s one of the advantages of CCTV. As a scalable and customizable security solution, it adapts well to virtually any space and any client’s needs.
What are the Advantages of CCTV for Small Businesses?
While it’s true that not every business needs a CCTV system, you should seriously consider one even if your business is seriously small. Why? The benefits of CCTV cameras in business are well documented, even for small businesses. In addition to deterring theft and preventing crime, they can also serve as vital management tools. Just consider that the benefits of CCTV systems include:
- Keeping employees and customers safe. Your premises and inventory aren’t the only things that need protection. The people around your property also need safeguarding, and security CCTV systems can provide that as some of the following points will demonstrate.
- Providing concrete evidence that helps resolve disputes. From managerial conflicts to customer-service incidents to legal investigations, hard proof helps resolve difficult disagreements. Various types of CCTV systems situated inside or outside your property can provide that.
- Offering managerial insights. One of the applications of CCTV is that you can better know what’s going on in and around your business. While experts normally focus on its theft-deterring power, CCTV can also help you and your employees do their jobs better.
- Protecting against fixed-asset theft. Your inventory isn’t the only thing that thieves could target. External HVAC equipment, copper piping, construction equipment, and similar assets all get targeted by thieves. When trying to discourage the theft of such items, the importance of CCTV cameras can’t be overstated.
As Gabe Turner of Security.org has said, “I think every business with a physical location should have security cameras because robberies are always possible, even if the business owner is very careful about locking up. If a robbery does happen, any business owner would want to know as soon as possible so they can contact the police.”
Is CCTV useful as a crime prevention tool?
Absolutely! Understand that statistics show businesses of every shape and size share the same risk of experiencing a robbery. That means mom-and-pop establishments will be targeted by thieves just as often as larger stores. There’s one key difference, though: Small businesses have a much more difficult time recovering from a loss than larger corporations.
However, CCTV systems can help even in a worst-case scenario. How? They aid by:
- Capturing Key Details During a Crime: Let’s say that someone breaks into your business. A properly installed camera system can capture all sorts of pertinent details that may lead to an arrest. License plates. Facial details. Weight estimates. Distinguishing features. All of these give the police a leg up in apprehending the bad guys. Think of a CCTV array like an insurance policy. After an actual robbery, it substantially increases the likelihood that you’ll see your goods again.
- Providing Evidence for Legal Proceedings: What’s more, CCTV gives you an added edge during any legal proceedings. Forget eyewitnesses or written accounts. Attorneys can attack those with ease, but they have a much more difficult time with visual proof.
- Increasing Protection Against Fraud: That proof may also safeguard you if you have to defend against frivolous claims from unreasonable customers or unscrupulous employees. The unbiased eye of the camera provides testimony that’s difficult to challenge.
- Boosting Community Peace of Mind: There’s a community aspect, too. CCTVs can’t guard every possible home or business. But in heavily populated areas, they may capture crimes in progress. Every day, privately owned CCTV systems aid the residences and businesses around them by recording break-ins, hit-and-run crashes, vandalism, and public disturbances.
Do CCTV Systems Benefit HOAs?
Homeowner associations and multi-family residential properties face unique challenges. Because of privacy concerns, their security CCTV systems can generally only cover common-use areas. Failure to properly record, review, and store the footage may open the HOA up to legal liability. However, HOAs can benefit substantially from installing CCTV systems. One feature of CCTV is that it tends to make residents feel more secure, and properly placed cameras do a world of good in preventing problematic behaviors such as loitering, vandalism, and similar behavior. Additionally, your residents can continue to freely enjoy workout centers and pools with the knowledge that they will remain in good working order. That being said, make sure to consult with a qualified attorney and to review your state’s laws prior to installing a CCTV system.
Does CCTV Add Value to Your Property?
While experts debate whether or not a CCTV system adds monetary value to a particular property, it certainly provides other real-estate benefits. For instance, most insurers provide you with a discount if you add security measures, including CCTV. There’s a more fundamental benefit, though, one we’ve already mentioned: mental security.
A CCTV system isn’t a panacea against every problem a business or community might face. But in addition to all the benefits we’ve already mentioned, they can also lead to a greater sense of security for tenants, residents, shoppers, managers, and employees — basically everyone except the bad guys!
In short, CCTVs provide numerous benefits for almost every kind of enterprise. AT&I Systems is your trusted partner in commercial security and surveillance solutions. Call us today at (866) 691-4499 to learn how a CCTV system can help you.