The use of CCTV cameras at home and for business is becoming increasingly popular. Not only do such systems help to protect the given property from criminal activity, but they also offer a certain peace of mind to the owners of the property.
While there can be some investment needed in order to install CCTV cameras, their benefits are clear. With home CCTV systems becoming more sophisticated all the time, you might even be tempted to ask yourself whether you can use a home CCTV system at your commercial premises.
Why install CCTV at all?
There can be many benefits to installing CCTV systems, both at home and at your business premises.
You will need to decide what areas of your home and business need to be protected, and there are rules associated with the use of CCTV that will be mentioned later in this article.
- The installation of CCTV can have a positive influence on your insurance premiums. There are some insurance companies that give discounts for both home and business policies if CCTV is installed.
- The biggest reason for having CCTV in place is the ability to capture any criminal activity that may occur at the premises. This footage can be crucial evidence when dealing with damage or theft at a home or business property.
- It can provide a valuable visual deterrent for any criminals thinking of entering the premises. It is therefore important to think about where you will want the CCTV cameras to be on your own property, so that they can have the greatest possible impact.
- Many modern systems now offer the ability to monitor the cameras from a phone or tablet. This will help you to keep on monitoring your property when you are away, plus it ensures you are aware of anyone who might be looking at the property.
- If you have an existing security system, it may be possible for CCTV to be integrated into this without the need for two separate systems.
You should always use the most reputable commercial CCTV installation services in Essex or wherever your business is located, to help ensure your new system is installed correctly.
Commercial CCTV vs home CCTV
Both of these types of CCTV system have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. There was a time when commercial CCTV essentially provided a series of grainy pictures that often didn’t have the detail to provide useful evidence.
However, with improvements in cameras and recording technology, there are now cameras that offer clear and sharp pictures. It is important to look at the two systems to see which one would be best for your situation and setting.
Home security CCTV has come a long way over the years. Early versions were much like commercial systems, with large cameras and bulky recording and control equipment. However, modern CCTV for the home is now much smaller and the picture quality has improved.
Many such systems are now equipped with night vision and also audio recording, which makes them ideal for outside surveillance as well as inside the home.
Commercial CCTV has also steadily improved, with the old VHS tape recording versions being replaced with hard-drive or solid-state drive versions. This has optimised the quality of the recording and dispenses with the grainy and worn-out tapes of old.
One thing that commercial systems can offer for larger businesses is a better picture and zoom capabilities than some home systems. The control equipment can also offer greater capability, with the ability to control many cameras at once.
Commercial CCTV guidelines
There are strict guidelines in place to help protect the public and ensure CCTV equipment is used correctly. Some of the guidelines include:
- You need to mount signs explaining that you are using CCTV and the reasons why
- You need to be able to provide images of the recordings within 40 days of the request
- You should be able to share images with the appropriate authorities if requested
- Don’t keep any CCTV images for longer than you need them
- Don’t record conversations between members of the public
- Don’t install CCTV in private places such as restrooms
- Register as a CCTV operator with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
Home CCTV guidelines
Installing CCTV at home also comes with guidelines that you need to follow. These include:
- Notify the neighbours of the cameras
- Display a sign that clearly notifies people of the CCTV
- Don’t record the conversations of members of the public
- Don’t keep recordings longer than needed. Usually, 31 days is the standard
- Only use the footage for security purposes
The use of CCTV is becoming more accepted both in business and at home. However, you do need to be aware of the rules that apply to both types of installation, and ensure they are followed for the relevant setting in which you have a CCTV system in place.
Contact the Firstford Ltd team today, and we will be pleased to give you further advice and guidance in relation to the CCTV systems or other security arrangements you may be considering for your business.