What questions you should ask when getting a CCTV system

What questions you should ask when getting a CCTV system

16/04/2021 by

First Contact

When thinking of CCTV, most people expect a standard camera that records at all times of the day, however this is not the case. CCTV has progressed so much over the years, to the point where we now have many variants of cameras to meet any particular surveillance needs.

There are many questions we would recommend you think about asking yourself and us, when thinking of getting a CCTV installation. These questions will allow you to identify exactly what it is you are looking for and how we can provide a service tailored perfectly to meet your requirements.

Why do I want CCTV?

Arguably the most important question and will be essential in identifying the type of cameras you need installing and where they would need to be located. Whether it is for business or personal use, you must identify why it is you want surveillance in your establishment. The most common answer to this question is for security purposes, but there are many variants of camera, used for different purposes.  Therefore, you can have a variety of camera types for different locations.

How will it benefit me/my business?

The likelihood that you will benefit from CCTV is very high, regardless of where it will be installed, but you have got to ensure that you are getting the most out of the system. Therefore, you should decide on the most suitable type of camera. This will be completely dependent on the establishment it is being installed to. For example, a large company who have a security officer would benefit from a PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) camera as it will allow them to manoeuvre the device to monitor a large area.

If you would want to monitor an area in dark or poorly lit areas, then an infrared camera would be best suited for you. Infrared cameras allow 24-hour surveillance as they use their built in LED lights to flood an area and make it visible on the camera. These lights are positioned around the camera lens and will only be used when the area is poorly lit or not lit at all.  Alternatively, manufacturers like Hikvision, now offer cameras with advanced lenses that are capable of remaining in full colour in very low light environments.

You may wish to monitor a car park area, for this sort of application you would choose an ANPR camera (Automatic Number Plate Recognition).

Therefore, it is vital to select a suitable camera that will be the most beneficial and necessary to your home/business.

Where and what do I want to monitor?

This is important as it will help you position all cameras in places which cover the whole building or area. Whether it is inside or outside, you must identify what you want the cameras to see, that way your whole building will be protected and leave no blind spots.  We would definitely recommend having the whole premises covered, however it is completely up to the client, but it is a great value for money investment, considering the long-term benefits.

All cameras come with motion detection sensors built in, however as is rapidly becoming more common, newer cameras are coming equipped with more advanced sensors capable of differentiating between people and vehicles as opposed to small animals or foliage moving in the wind. Some of these cameras even feature facial recognition so that they ignore motion generated by authorised faces.

How long do you need to keep your recordings for?

We normally ask clients (before lockdown) what is the longest period you are ever away/on holiday for. The reason we ask this is to determine what size of hard drive needs to be included in your CCTV system to ensure that the recordings are not overwritten by fresh footage before you return. This avoids an incident occurring, for example on day two of your holiday. You then return to find evidence of the incident but cannot retrieve the footage as it has been overwritten because you have been away for two weeks, but the recording capacity of your system is only seven days.

Any professional CCTV installer should ask this question and will then use specialist software to calculate what size of storage is required based on the number of cameras, the resolution of each camera, the average amount of motion detected per day and how long the recordings are needed to be saved for.

These were just a few of the main questions you might have when thinking of getting a CCTV installation. If you have any more questions, feel free to call us on 0161 740 7400 or email us at [email protected].