CCTV that suits your needs

Investing in security is expensive for any small business, and needs to be calculated with the security solution well thought through. Over the last five years, there have been significant changes in CCTV technology which have affected 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," said Stuart Clarkson, Fidelity ADT managing executive.

Clarkson explained 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"Composite analogue video (CVBS) has been replaced by HD analogue (HD-TVI, HD-CVI and AHD) which means that you can now get high definition CCTV at the price of analogue, which no longer exists," said Clarkson, who considers this good news for small businesses operating on tight margins.

Clarkson said that CCTV was synonymous with big businesses - something only large corporates could afford or even consider installing, however, he said that this has changed over the last few years. "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 said.

While there have been some concerns raised lately regarding the effectiveness of CCTV, Clarkson said it is still a viable 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 respond faster when an incident happens and to deploy their limited manpower and other physical resources in a more efficient and effective manner," said Clarkson. Clarkson offers the following advice for small business owners or residents considering a CCTV option:

  • Do your research 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 good 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.

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