If your organisation operates CCTV cameras, getting a great return on the investment made in them takes a little more effort than simply installing them. You’ll need a strategy for their use, and this includes identifying why you need a Closed Circuit TV Camera.
- Are they employed to protect your employees, your customers, or your property?
- Do you intend them to act as a deterrent against theft or vandalism?
- Do you hope they will stop internal theft or fraud?
It may be that you use them as at least a partial solution to all three of these questions. The security strategy you build should address these questions. Even then, this doesn’t mean your Closed Circuit TV Camera will be effective. You’ll need to consider positioning, maintenance, and use.
Does Your Camera Act as a Deterrent?
If your camera isn’t visible, it’s not going to stop people trespassing, stealing, or vandalising. Visibility is easy to achieve. Simply approach the place you are trying to protect and see if the camera is visible. If it’s not, it will need to be moved. Of course, it’s unlikely that a camera will be visible from all angles, so some judgement will be needed to position your camera where it is most visible.
Consider also the effect of placing notices ‘advertising’ your CCTV, especially in positions where the camera itself cannot be seen.
Is Your Camera Pointing at What You Want It to?
Once you’ve found the right positions for your Closed Circuit TV Camera, you’ll need to ensure they film what you need them to. Spend some time experimenting with height, angle of elevation, and lighting. Cutting off an intruder’s head (on camera) will not make for positive identification.
Make Someone Responsible for Your Closed Circuit TV Camera
There have been many instances where police have asked to review CCTV footage and found there is none. Putting someone in charge of cameras should prevent this situation ever happening to you. This person should be responsible not only for turning the cameras on at the stipulated time but also for their upkeep.
Check All Cameras Regularly
It’s likely that some of your cameras will be outside. They will get dirty and high winds may move them a little over time. Check all cameras regularly to ensure they are still capturing the views required, that brackets are secure, and make certain the lenses are kept clean and dust free. Tighten all cables to ensure the connection is stable.
Test Your Video Recorder
Even if the picture is coming through to your screen and is perfectly visible, there is no guarantee it is recording correctly. Watch the screen and then replay the video that should be recording. Compare for picture quality. Once a week clean the head of the recorder with a head cleaning tape, and have the device serviced regularly.
Keep Your Records Safe
All of your videos or DVDs should be kept locked away in a fireproof safe if possible. Video tapes decay, with some studies showing that video tapes lose their validity after around ten years. Here are two things you should do to prolong the life of your security videos:
- Keep them cool in an ambient temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep them dry in a low humidity environment (around 30%) which prevents hydrolysis. This can cause rapid decay of video tape.
Benefit from the Advantages of Security Cameras
Prevention is always better than cure, and the installation of CCTV camera creates a strong deterrent to all sorts of crime. Hopefully you will never need to call on recordings as evidence to a crime. Should you need to, however, the recordings will only prove valuable if they are properly viewable.
By ensuring that you first know exactly what you want from security cameras, you will be able to ensure they are positioned correctly. As with all machinery and technology, to ensure your security cameras are functioning at peak performance they need to be cleaned and maintained properly.
Your Closed Circuit TV Camera will only do the job you allow them to do. As the saying goes, “Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” By installing CCTV cameras you are hoping for the best outcome: prevention of crime. By maintaining those cameras in good order, you will be prepared for the worst should it happen.