Surveillance Cameras – Should My Business Have One?

The simple answer to the above question is; it depends on the type of business, the amount of cash on hand to operate this business or the items being sold. You could write an article on just what types of businesses should have surveillance cameras; however, for this article I want to discuss the types of surveillance systems and cameras.

The price of these systems has come down dramatically over the years and the technology involved has increased. The cameras are capable of taking videos in color and in very low or no light conditions. These cameras can record continually or can be set so that when the burglar alarm is turned on the cameras will only record the movement. There are also outside cameras that are weather resistant and housed in weather resistant cases. The placement is also important, here you must decide what you want to view and record. These could be valuables, personnel or a combination of both.

The recording device is probably the most important part of this type of system. The standard system would consist of cameras that are connected to a recording device. This device will record the video and audio onto a hard drive. This would be a very basic recording device. The options and add-ons are endless, here are a few:

  • Multiple hard drives or recording devices
  • Ability to write the contents of the hard drives to a DVD or other removable device
  • Backup the hard drives
  • Length of time to keep a recording before overwriting it with new recordings
  • Ability to offload backups to cloud storage
  • Devices ability to handle multiple cameras at the same time
  • Ability of the recording device to locate a particular point in time and play that back
  • View a live feed of the recording on multiple monitors located throughout the building

Over the past few years the ability to control the system through the internet has become very popular. Besides controlling it you can view what your cameras are recording in real time anywhere in the world with an internet connection. So called internet cameras are becoming popular with small businesses, these cameras have a built in internet browser with their own IP address. This makes it easy to connect to that device with your smartphone or tablet.

So it comes back to the question, what are your trying to protect and how valuable are those items or personnel that need protection?