CCTV system

How to use CCTV effectively

The installation of CCTV cameras can offer numerous benefits for both businesses and homes. By recording your surroundings, you’ll be able to further protect your property from vandalism, break-ins and thieves. In part, because any criminal can be identified using your high-quality system, and shared with any police investigation. This will usually means quicker restitution and justice – in some cases it can also mean the return of any stolen items. However, the mere presence of CCTV is a superb deterrent.

Permission

The first step to installing CCTV is to make sure you have the consent of any neighbours. Although these types of security system act to make everyone safer, many people do not like being filmed without their express permission. In some cases, this can be as simple as posting proper signage declaring that an area is being monitored by CCTV. However, situations can vary depending on location – make sure to ask your installer about the legal requirements.

For homes, you have to consider your camera’s field of view. Basically, if all you can see on the monitor is your own property, then your CCTV does not fall under the Data Protection Act. If the field of view extends beyond your property (eg. onto the pavement) you will need to follow strict guidelines. The Information Commissioner’s Office explains further:

“Images of people are covered by the Data Protection Act, and so is information about people which is derived from images – for example, vehicle registration numbers. Most uses of CCTV by organisations or businesses will be covered by the Act, regardless of the number of cameras or how sophisticated the equipment is.”

Placement

Your cameras should be fitted to monitor areas which might be vulnerable. It may be that a doorway or access area must remain open during business hours as a necessity – this will obviously require monitoring. Other instances might include interior rooms, such as entrances to areas where employees interact with the public. Identifying these areas prior to camera placement is imperative.

Too many cameras will be difficult to manage for smaller businesses – and too few may leave sensitive areas of your business unsecured. If you have the right kind of permission and follow proper data retention practices, you may also wish to install CCTV to watch exterior walls and prevent issues like vandalism or graffiti.

Integrated Security

For efficiency’s sake, it’s best to incorporate your CCTV as part of an integrated security system, especially if it’s part of your business security. As we mentioned in our previous post on the subject, a streamlined and integrated security system means lower running costs for your business. Often, one employee will be able to manage your system from a single, secure location. This is also important for data protection and retention, since records will need to be available upon request. Using one of our high-quality CCTV systems allows for wireless recording straight to hard drive. They can also be used to scan for trouble areas and send alert signals to a remote monitoring station if need be.

If you’re interested in securing your home or business with a comprehensive CCTV solution, get in touch with our team today, or take a look around our site.