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Use Video Surveillance Systems To Secure Your Business

Simply put, video surveillance systems are a vital component of any company’s security. Without any system in place, you are leaving your business wide open to a variety of problems. Video surveillance systems can catch thieves in the act of shoplifting, watch cash registers to ensure no employee or customer is stealing and keep watch over work areas that may be hazardous. They can also be used as evidence when countering false compensation claims made by consumers who manipulate a fall in order to sue the business for damages. You can even ensure that nothing untoward occurs outside your place of business. When would-be thieves see video surveillance systems in place, they think twice about committing their crime and usually back off.

Choose A Tailor-Made System

Video surveillance systems do not have to be complex matters but clearly, the larger and more valuable a business is, the higher its level of security should be. Small companies will be able to get by with a handful of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras but bigger organizations need a host of cameras, digital recorders and several operators. Basic video surveillance systems include a camera connected to a monitor with a recorder also vital in order to store the captured video. As already mentioned, this might be enough for small businesses but a more complicated setup is required for even medium-sized companies with multiple cameras necessary. In an ideal world, your system will also contain a moveable camera which has the ability to monitor large areas.

There are dozens of video surveillance systems worth buying but each individual company needs to consider their own needs when making a decision. Are you seeking a security system in order to monitor general crowd movements, to watch over stock or to ensure no vandalism is occurring outside? It is easier to choose the right system when you have sat down and thought deeply about your company’s needs.

The next step is to determine the quality of the video the system will record. This relates to the frame rate as well as how detailed the image on screen is. The frame rate is a measure of how many individual pictures the video is comprised of. In general, the frame rate you see on a television screen is approximately 30 frames per second. Although such a frame rate would result in very clear pictures, the majority of CCTV cameras involved in video surveillance systems record at a much slower rate because this allows for a longer recording time. A high frame rate would quickly eat up hard drive space.

Another issue for you to consider is the monitoring of the system. Most businesses elect to record 24/7 and only review the tapes if any incidents occur. Companies with massive revenues will probably hire a dedicated security guard to watch over proceedings at all times. Multiple cameras can be combined onto one screen which is an ideal method of monitoring all proceedings.

Prevention Or Detection?

A large proportion of businesses will also be more interested in deterring criminal activity than catching crooks in the act. Visible video surveillance systems should be used if preventing crime is your goal. Any prospective thief will see that they are being monitored and go elsewhere. In order to catch a criminal in the act, you will also need to install hidden cameras which are far more costly than its visible counterpart. Companies who suspect theft from their own employees may also need to install hidden recorders and monitors too or else place them in a locked room.


When it comes to securing your business, price should not be the first criteria for video surveillance systems. It is utterly pointless paying for cheap equipment that does not work. Their failure to operate properly could cost your business a lot more in the long run. Pricing includes the cost of CCTV cameras, monitors, recorders, cabling and installation. Online companies sometimes offer fantastic deals but others try to sell huge packages of 16 cameras which end up producing video of a dubious quality. The industry standard cost of video surveillance systems runs at $500 or more per camera plus the price of the recorder. This should include full installation.

It will cost at least $120 to purchase one CCTV camera though you will usually be looking at closer to $200 each in most cases. For this, you will get a reliable brand name camera. Hidden cameras which can be concealed in innocuous items around the building cost up to $400 apiece. Generally, these cameras do not have a lens so this must be purchased separately. Expect to pay around $200 or more for fixed focal lenses and more than $1,000 for an automatic zoom lens.

A top notch Digital Video Recorder (DVR) will set you back at least $500 for a device that only operates on one channel. Old-fashioned VCR’s are still on the market for $200 if your business only needs time lapse recording. A CRT monitor may cost $500 with flat screen models retailing at $2,000 and more, though tiny monitors are available for $300.

Other Considerations

Video surveillance systems should never be purchased without a warranty. If the system is going to fail, it almost always does so in the first 3 months. Avoid legal problems when purchasing a system by ensuring there are no dummy cameras and that audio is not recorded because this is usually considered to be an illegal practice. Only spend money on a system you actually need. Spending a fortune on a state of the art video surveillance system if you own a small company is a waste of money. Equally, purchasing an inefficient system for a large organization is risky and foolish. Decide what you need and get what you paid for.