CCTV, short for “closed-circuit television”, is the term commonly associated with security systems that many businesses and even individuals have installed in their homes.
Apart from being a great way of monitoring and protecting your assets, CCTV is often used as a visual deterrent to make any opportunistic thieves or vandals think twice about entering your property illegally.
Image credit: Elliott Brown (via Flickr).
If you are considering getting a CCTV system installed for your home or business, here is a handy guide that will help you choose the right setup for your needs.
Do you really need CCTV?
Before you do anything, you should ask yourself whether you really need to get a CCTV system or not. A lot of the time, improving the general security of your home or business is normally enough to deter any would-be thieves from entering your properties, but in some cases CCTV systems are a necessity.
The laws surrounding the use of CCTV
It is perfectly legal to set up CCTV camera systems to film and protect your property, but you are not allowed to film your neighbours under the Human Rights Act as they have the right to have their privacy respected.
If you want to film public places (i.e. to record any anti-social behaviour), you might need to seek guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office as doing so might be considered harassment and make you liable to prosecution.
Considerations for external CCTV systems
Many individuals and businesses will opt to have cameras permanently fixed to the exterior walls of homes, as well as commercial and industrial premises.
With such camera systems, you need to ensure that they are positioned in such a way as to record either a large surface area on your property or a specific area (such as by doors and windows).
It is also recommended by DTS that any CCTV cameras have robust, vandal-proof housings to lower the risk of your cameras being vandalised by any unsavoury characters.
One option commonly adopted by many individuals and businesses seeking to protect their premises and the contents within them is to have some IP cameras installed. In a nutshell, IP cameras are connected to a LAN (local area network), and can be accessed by any computer or device connected to that network.
The great thing about IP cameras is that they can also be accessed over the Internet, so if you have IP cameras set up at your business premises, for example, you can monitor them from home or from virtually any Internet-connected location around the world!
Digital video recorders
As with traditional CCTV camera systems, IP cameras can be connected up to a device called a digital video recorder, or “DVR” for short. Gone are the days of grainy CCTV footage on video tapes, because all footage can easily be recorded digitally onto a hard drive located inside of the DVR.
Some systems even allow a copy of any footage to be stored online simultaneously onto the “cloud”. It is worth speaking with an expert to determine your exact requirements, due to the huge choice of CCTV camera systems on the market.