April 1st, 2019, Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Cameras have become a critical a component in security systems—from homes to small business to major corporations—and their use has grown substantially. It’s estimated that more than 30 million surveillance cameras have been sold in the United States in the past decade, their increased use largely triggered by 9/11 and other terroristic events.

There’s nothing creepy or devious about having cameras on your property. They operate in the best interests of your business, employees, customers and residents, and are a wise property and personal safety investment. Changing technology in camera surveillance has increased their effectiveness. Ongoing advances make the camera systems smaller and less expensive to install, maintain and monitor. They also help lower liability which benefits insurance costs.

As they are intended, security cameras make a huge difference as a crime deterrent. According to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, 83 percent of opportunistic burglars will determine whether a property has an adequate security setup before committing the crime. Out of those, 60 percent would look for another, easier alternative if they deemed the property too secure. In other words, those “Notice: This Area Under 24 Hour Video Surveillance” get the message across!

Security Cameras 101

You’re bound to have a lot of questions about the use of security cameras, so I’ve put together Security System Cameras 101 to help you research the system that best works for your business. Let’s take a look at what you need to know so your business is secure 24/7.

  • Licensing Options: Just like Direct TV, you have to buy the license which allows the cameras to work. Licensing is in one-, three- and five-year options. It’s smart to plan the camera license for the time you expect to be in that location. Do you plan to take the cameras with you if you move your business, or will you leave them with the property? Licenses are usually transferrable to the new owner of the space.
  • Data Storage: Do you want to own the camera system and store your own images on site, or do you want a cloud-based system with a third-party vendor owning your data? If the vendor owns your data, you need to know how long you will have access to it. For example, if you need access to an incident from a year ago, such as vandalism or theft, how far back can you go and how much of the data will be available?
  • Security cameras are for more than keeping out burglars. There might be times when a disagreement between employees results in “we said vs. they said.” The camera captures the encounter for the record to put the argument (hopefully) to rest. Cameras in offices provide evidence when an employee is threatened or harassed. Cameras in storage or supply rooms can catch whoever is pilfering equipment or supplies.
  • Obviously, businesses have very different security needs and situations. Senior nursing facilities need to monitor for potential patient abuse or neglect. Shoplifting is an expensive problem in retail businesses. Sabotage can occur in an industry. Children can be vulnerable to harm on a school playground.
  • The sight effectiveness of cameras depends on distance, light and clarity. Consider how much and how far you want to see, the angles on your property, and what to capture for the record. If you have a long hallway, such as in an apartment complex, cameras should be placed on the very far left and very far right. Consider the lighting of the area. The exterior of a school may be more light sensitive than inside. It’s crucial that cameras give you clear vision at night, such as in parking lots. You might need infrared capabilities for nighttime clarity.
  • Having a well-designed plan developed by security experts can ensure you’re getting what your business needs today. It should also be readily adaptable as your needs change and business grows, such as adding locations or expanding to different cities or even different states.

Camera Technology Questions that Need Answers

Next, let’s take a “look” at camera technology. I know there are a lot of questions on this list, but you need the answers from potential vendors to design and build an effective system.

  • How old is the technology and how often is it updated?
  • How reliable are all the cameras?
  • How long is your data stored and where is it stored?
  • Who has access to your data and who owns it?
  • Are the cameras digital IP (new) or analog (old)
  • D you need your cameras to integrate with card access systems?
  • Do you need triggers to record or sound alarms?

Brothers Fire & Security has answers to all these questions, and any others you might have. We have your back when it comes to designing, managing and servicing camera security systems. Give us a call and we will evaluate your needs for intrusion detection, property surveillance, and employee access and activity. The safety of your business and its people is Job One for Brothers Fire & Security

About Brothers Fire & Security

As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods.