26 February 2018

Is CCTV an option for your small business?

Submitted by Jacqui

Security is expensive. Investing in security needs to be calculated and the security solution well thought through for any small business. So, would CCTV be an option for your small business?

Stuart Clarkson, Managing Executive for Fidelity ADT, says over the last five years there have been significant changes in CCTV technology which have had an effect on pricing. “Although the pricing has not necessarily come down significantly, you can now get much more advanced systems for the price of an entry-level system.”

He explains that during this time the industry has seen the end of an era in CCTV technology. “Composite analogue video (CVBS) has been replaced by HD analogue (HD-TVI, HD-CVI and AHD) which means that you can now get high definition CCTV at the price of analogue which no longer exists.” All this, he believes, is good news for small businesses operating on tight margins.

“Traditionally CCTV was seen as a big business security measure. Something only the large corporates could afford or would consider installing. This has changed dramatically over the last few years and we are seeing more small business and residential clients using CCTV cameras, remote surveillance, and other perimeter security systems such as infrared sensors. More neighbourhood watches are installing camera networks as part of the security systems they put in place, which have proven to be hugely successful,” he says.

While there have been some concerns raised lately regarding the effectiveness of CCTV, Clarkson says CCTV is still a visible crime deterrent. “It’s also a great visual verification tool, for example to verify an alarm or fire, or as a post-event evidence tool. Ultimately the advantage of a camera system is its ability to provide a view of areas that can’t be constantly physically monitored. CCTV systems and networks also help security providers to respond faster when an incident happens and to deploy their limited manpower and other physical resources in a more efficient and effective manner.” For small businesses, shrinkage is a problem when finances may be tight, HD greatly improves the level of detail and effectiveness for combating against stock losses when a business can’t yet afford more expensive article surveillance technologies.

He offers the following advice for small business owners or residents considering a CCTV option:

  • “Don’t rush into a decision – do your homework and make sure the system you choose will offer the kind of protection you need.
  • Make sure your provider customises your security solution for your property. There is no one-fits-all model.
  • The chosen system should be able to integrate with any upgrades or expansions you may choose at a later date.
  • Remember that there are exciting new innovations in remote home automation and remote security monitoring so ask your provider about these options. You may very well be able to link your system to your mobile device so you can see the CCTV footage from wherever you are.
  • Make sure that whatever system you install is regularly serviced and always in a proper working condition.
  • Teach your staff or family members how to use the system, so that they are able to call for help in case of an emergency,” he concludes.