'CCTV in operation' sign in a street in Oxford...
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CCTV, What can it do for your Security?

According to the 2002 National Retail Security Survey report,  retail businesses in the US suffered $31 billion in losses from “Inventory Shrinkage. Inventory Shrinkage includes employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error, and vendor fraud. 80.2 percent of the total loss was attributed to employee theft and shoplifting.

There are many CCTV system applications for residential property as well. These could include a “video door bell” system, viewing outbuildings, swimming pools, hot tubs, trampolines, driveways, the nursery, or children’s play areas etc. Keeping track of household employees or services.

One of the most effective deterrents to both of these risks, is adequate surveillance of warehouses, retail spaces, point of sale and receiving locations. This surveillance could be conducted by live guards, however this solution would be very costly and not nearly as effective as a good quality and properly installed CCTV system.

CCTV components and controls have evolved in the last few years, making quantum leaps in quality, features and capabilities, while at the same time dropping dramatically in price. As an example, the most basic DVR (a recording device) would have cost in the 5 digit range just a few years ago, today modern DVR’s cost fractions of those prices and offer many more functions and features, so much so that VCR recording devices are quickly becoming obsolete. Viewing your systems from any computer, via the Internet, or even from your cell phone are both now available options.

When designing and specifying your system we need to know a few things about what you want to accomplish;

  • Is your goal to be able it identify people, or just watch assets?
    • If you are watching assets a black and white system will probably be fine and with provide higher resolution and clarity.
    • If you are watching people, and may have the need to identify them, a color system will be the best choice, especially if your surveillance could end up in court. Color identification is almost always required to make a positive Id, a red shirt for example would show as gray in black and white.
  • When choosing cameras, we need to know exactly what area you want to see, and what detail within that area you want to see.
  • Lighting conditions and how they change throughout the day will determine what kind of camera/lens combination is needed. If you are watching a dark area, infrared cameras may be required.
  • How far cameras are located from recording devices and monitors will dictate what kind a cabling may be needed.
  • How much information you want to archive will help determine what recording device you will need.

These are just a few of the items that need to be considered for configuring your CCTV system. Doing it right at the start will save money and insure that you get the right components.

What about the low cost packaged systems advertised at “big box retailers”? Here are a few questions to ask.

  • Why is this not the same system the store uses to watch their own property.
  • Who will service components if needed?
  • What if I need installation help?

Kimmel’s Loss Prevention has the expertise to help you make to correct choices for  your CCTV system.

CCTV Resources

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