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Choosing a Security Camera System for Your Business
Whether you own a small business or manage a large corporation, chances are you’re exceptionally proud and protective of your business. As you should be considering the time, money, and care you’ve invested in growing your business and making it successful. And while you may spend many of your waking hours on the premises of your commercial property, you do have to go home sometimes. Since you can’t be in two places at once, it’s important to keep an eye on your business when you’re away. That’s exactly what commercial security camera systems are designed to provide.
But how do you decide which commercial security camera system to choose? You’ll need to carefully consider the needs of your business, the property and employees, your budget, and the kinds of security cameras that will work best for your specific situation.
Before diving into those details, it helps to have a basic understanding of how security cameras and in particular how security cameras work.
How do Commercial Security Camera Systems Work?
Traditional commercial security camera systems utilize standard analog cameras connected to a digital video recorder. They consist of a camera or cameras, a monitor, and a video recorder. Cameras are typically set to record when motion is detected and transmit video to a recorder and saved.
Today, many camera systems are professionally monitored, where live video from strategically placed cameras are transmitted to a UL monitoring station. It works like this. A camera detects motion when an intruder is moving within your business. Once this occurs, the camera sends that live video to our central station operators. Trained operators can review the live or recorded footage, zoom in to assess the situation and make decisions. If an operator confirms an intruder is onsite, authorities can be dispatched with higher urgency.
Types of Commercial Security Cameras
There are many different types of cameras you might integrate into your commercial security system. The kind of camera you choose will be based on what you’re trying to see, your budget, and the specific configurations of the space you’re watching.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
The distinction between indoor and outdoor cameras is an important one as most outdoor cameras have additional protection from the elements. So while you can use an outdoor camera inside, you should never use an indoor camera outside unless it’s specifically rated for outdoor use.
Wired vs. Wireless
Be aware that many wireless cameras aren’t exactly wireless. They still require cables to connect to a power source but transmit images wirelessly to the recorder. Wired cameras can provide better image quality, while wireless cameras have more options for placement.
Shaped like a box, these where some of the most commonly used cameras in commercial properites. They’re relatively inexpensive and a visible deterrent to crime. Many box cams have different lenses that allow to adjust the angle to provide better visual coverage.
These smaller cameras are popular because they’re less obvious than box cameras and easy to mount in tight spaces. Some dome cameras also have a variety of adjustable lenses to get the perfect view.
Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) Cameras
PTZ cameras are as dynamic as they sound, allowing for a more comprehensive, 360-degree viewing angle. Many of these modern cameras are also remote controlled, making for a more sophisticated camera surveillance tool.
Other Camera Features
Things like night vision or HD aren’t types of cameras but they are important features to look for. If you anticipate needing to record at night or to review specific details or small items in surveillance footage, you’ll want a camera equipped for the job.
Things to Consider When Buying a Security Camera for Your Business
Before you start decking out your commercial security system with cameras, it makes sense to ask yourself a few important questions.
- How big is the space you’ll be watching?
- Do you need to monitor both outside and inside the business?
- Are you watching employees or customers?
- Do you need to keep an eye on your property perimeter?
- Are you worried about inventory or other assets?
- Do you need to restrict access to certain spaces?
Features and Options to Consider
To install a commercial security camera system that works for your business, you’ll want to have a firm idea of what your priorities are. Here are just a few considerations.
Size of Space
You’ll need to decide how many rooms, buildings, or sites you’ll be watching in your video surveillance. The size of the business or scope of the properties will dictate many of the other considerations in setting up your commercial security cameras.
Number of Cameras
How many cameras you’ll need will depend not only on the size of the space but also on the types of cameras you choose and the camera’s capabilities in terms of coverage and viewing angle.
Type of Cameras
Some cameras work best for specific applications. The type of camera you choose will be a factor of the kind of surveillance you are conducting and the space you are watching. If you need cameras that pan and zoom to catch blind corners, you’ll want to invest in a PTZ versus a box camera. And obviously, outdoor cameras are preferred to withstand weather elements on your business property while indoor cameras may be more cost effective for inside spaces.
Night Vision and HD
Most cameras have at least some night vision capabilities and can detect images in low light. If you want something a touch more powerful for very dark spaces or for maximum security outdoors, choose a night vision camera with LEDs that allow for more visibility. Similarly, most modern security cameras offer HD, but you may choose a more sophisticated model to ensure you get the best resolution.
Most of the time we think visual when discussing security cameras, but some cameras can also record audio which can be an important feature when monitoring employees or customers.
You’ll want at least one monitor on-site to capture video, but you may also want to be able to view live or recorded footage on your smartphone. Many businesses opt to connect their commercial camera security systems to a remote professional monitoring center for the peace of mind 24/7 security can provide.
How will the video footage be stored? Traditional camera systems used old VHS tape recorders, but most modern camera systems store video on its own internal hard drive or employ cloud-based technologies that stream video to the cloud . This enables video to be accessed online, with an app, and reviewed at your convenience.
The kind of commercial security camera system you have will depend on your bottom line. Your budget will determine not only what sorts of cameras and technology you can afford up front, but it will keep you focused on priorities for video surveillance. And finally, you’ll need to do a bit of research into how your state mandates video surveillance be conducted. Some states have strict rules about alerting visitors to your business that they are being recorded. You’ll need to make sure you’re aware of what those laws are before building out and installing a commercial security camera system.
We Offer High-Quality Security Solutions
As you can see, commercial security camera systems can be quite complex. That’s why American Alarm evaluates properties and provides unique solutions. We can handle both small or large business needs and our technicians specialize in designing enterprise video solutions for multi-site commercial properties.
Our cameras and recorders employ the newest technologies in HD quality digital video, coupled with video storage and off-site remote professional monitoring. Even if you’ve got a dated, traditional camera system, we can help you upgrade with a video solution that transforms your old analog cameras into HD video.
With a variety of indoor, outdoor, and night vision HD quality cameras, we can design a solution to meet the needs of any commercial space. We also offer bullet cameras, dome cameras, IP cameras, and megapixel cameras to fit various needs and budgets.
At American Alarm Systems, we know your business keeps you busy. Our camera systems let you use your smartphone or a computer to view live HD quality footage of your property. We even offer video verification services that allows live video to be reviewed by our UL monitoring station to verify a video alarm and dispatch help immediately. No matter what your security needs are, we can help keep an eye on your business.
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History and Reputation
Owned and operated by the Beale family continuously since 1958, we have grown into a large, full-service security solutions provider with an excellent reputation. We service all of Southern California and beyond.
Commitment to Clients
We owe our longevity to our loyal clients. Our mantra is “treat every client as if they are our only client”. Because of this goal, we strive to exceed client expectations in every facet of our work.
We are your neighbor, which drives us to provide you with prompt service and security. We are familiar with the neighborhoods you live and work in because we are part of your community.
Our UL central monitoring station is equipped with top-tier hardware, software, redundant dual coast communications, and is recognized as a leader in the security industry.