CCTV for Small Businesses: What Are The Considerations?

CCTV System

A common problem for small businesses is security. This can be to prevent burglary, theft and vandalism and can also be necessary to deal with internal problems. Unfortunately, the downside of running a small business is that sometimes you are more open to these risks due to location or the nature of your premises, and because the cost of a CCTV system can be a big investment for a small business, there are a number of important considerations to make.

There are many different varieties of CCTV system, and it is important, therefore, that you take good professional advice on finding a system that suits your business and gives you the most benefit. This is in terms of quality of footage and the practicality of using the system. Ultimately, a CCTV system is there to collect evidence of wrongdoing, so you need to ensure that what you are investing in provides you with the best possibility of doing that.

Location

It is most likely that you won’t need to invest in an extensive system of multiple cameras and the very best quality of equipment,  you can be strategic about identifying the best location for your cameras. Creating blind spots where a camera can’t detect someone, is inevitable in any premises, but if there are no risks to these blind spots then it doesn’t matter, and can mean your outlay is reduced.

But essentially you need to do a risk assessment of your premises and identify which locations you need a camera. These should be in areas of high risk, ie. exit and entrance doors (and not always the main or most ‘public’ ones)  above Points of Sale, within car parks, around goods inwards/outwards doors in a warehouse. You need to assess where lighting is good enough, so that any evidence captured will be usable, and you will also need to allow consideration regarding camera locations, whether cameras will need to be internal or external, where they are open to harsh environments and tampering. This will dictate what type of camera you invest in.

Finally you will also need to be aware of privacy issues and that any system installed does not infringe on an employee’s rights to privacy and that the privacy of your neighbours or the general public is not invaded. You can also check the data protection legislation at the Information Commissioner’s Office website. A professionally approved company will be able to advise you how to meet all of the recommended guidelines. View the UK Police Requirements for Digital CCTV Systems.

Quality

Your budget will dictate what you can afford here, but with professional advice you can assess what you actually need and what is the best value for money.

There are many different types of camera, for example, High Definition (HD) Network connected, Analogue, Thermal etc… with a variety of diverse features e.g. video analytics, heat-mapping, people counting, backlight compensation, on board recording, low light level, strobe & audio deterrent, the list goes on… and all with various image resolutions; the choice of camera will depend on your operational requirements e.g. what has to be seen and when.

It is also important to future proof your system if you are intending to grow the business, ie. can the system support more cameras being added, if you expand the premises and add new buildings or extensions?

Working with a professional and accredited CCTV Installer you can be assured that you will have a system that suits your requirements and can potentially access financing packages to help spread the cost of the investment, meaning you don’t have to compromise on your expectations.

System type

CCTV systems can be designed so that they are discreet, or at the opposite end of the scale, so that they act as a deterrent. This really depends on what you want as a business, and that can depend on the location of your business or your motivation for installing a CCTV system. You can install cameras that are barely noticeable or can be hidden, or you can have a system with cameras that are noticeable.

Cameras can also work on 180° or 360° basis, they can be static or can be tilted, and some can even be operated by remote control and be monitored from home overnight. There are even systems for retail outlets that link to your POS and overlay the sales transaction details onto the CCTV footage or cameras that provide you with heatmapping providing you with a detailed understanding of customer behaviour in your premises. This can help you optimise your product placement and store layout.

Or how about a video doorbell that links directly to your mobile phone for your delivery area?

It really does depend on your individual requirements as a business, there are solutions for every need or eventuality.

Neighbours

To reduce costs, it is common for a small business to approach neighbouring businesses to share the cost of a CCTV system for their mutual benefit. Often car parks, alleyways and exits and entrances are shared with other businesses and a strategically sited camera can cover both premises. So it is beneficial for businesses to share costs, not just to reduce the financial burden, but to also improve the quality of the system compared to what the business could afford individually.

Conclusion

A CCTV System is as unique as your business and can prove to be a valuable investment that will supporting you in mitigating losses and protecting your staff and visitors, all whilst improving your operational efficiency.

Security is an increasingly important investment for a small business, and it is important that you make the right decision on the best system appropriate to your business, rather than decide against the investment and run the risk of having no such security in place. Therefore, you are advised to take advice from the professionals, and First Response Group have the expertise across many different industries and business sectors to recommend a CCTV system that is ideal for your business. Take a look at our CCTV Design & Installation Services.

As an NSI NACOSS Gold Approved company you can be assured that First Response Group are experts in this field.

Many insurers recognise NSI approved companies and the systems they install. Check with your insurer whether having a system installed and maintained by an NSI approved company enables you to receive a discount on your insurance premium.

To learn more about NSI Gold Companies see their website, https://www.nsi.org.uk/about-nsi/about-nsi-approved-companies/

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