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CCTV camera installations

A customer guide

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CCTV security cameras can be a powerful deterrent against burglars and intruders. If burglars try to break into your home or business premises, a well-positioned CCTV camera will detect their presence and issue an immediate alert. Criminals will usually think again if they see a chance of being identified or having activities recorded. Captured images of their faces could be used as evidence in a court of law.

Home security cameras are helpful when a property is empty, but they also have security advantages even when the building is occupied. A strategically sited camera can let you check who is ringing the doorbell, especially at night or when you are upstairs.

CCTV can also be used as a baby or child monitor, allowing you to watch over your family anytime, day or night. A camera can also monitor areas of the house ordinarily off-limits to young children, such as a private study, workshop or garage.

CCTV can be installed to observe the elderly or sick at all hours without them being repeatedly checked on or disturbed, even when you are away from home. CCTV can also detect when children get home from school; they can keep an eye on the babysitter or monitor pets before you return.

CCTV cameras in the workplace

For businesses, too, CCTV cameras offer any number of valuable functions in the day-to-day running of a company, especially those where there is a lot of activity.
Sensitive areas, from private offices indoors to car parks outside, can be monitored for visitor activity.
Cameras can also offer an extra layer of security in areas where staff belongings or valuables are stored.
Delivery drivers and their vehicles can be security-checked before they enter or leave the premises.
Vulnerable doors and windows can get extra security protection at all hours with discrete video surveillance.

Types of security camera

There is a wide variety of CCTV security cameras on the market today, from fixed-view systems to pan-and-tilt cameras equipped with night vision or motion detection. With so many camera types to choose from, it can be challenging to pick the right one for the job. That is why it can pay to get professional advice before installing a CCTV security system in your home, office or business premises.
Many cameras also come with multiple features and different functionality. Innovative designs come onto the market regularly, so keeping up with the latest developments can be challenging. Here is a quick run-down of some of the leading surveillance systems available today.

Basic fixed security camera
These are often the cheapest general-purpose cameras and come with a single-direction, fixed viewpoint. They cannot pan or tilt and may not have a zoom lens. The focal length of lenses must be set correctly to ensure images are bright and sharp. Sight lines must be tested thoroughly before installation.

Moveable CCTV camera
These CCTV cameras are fixed with a motorised rotating mount bracket so they can pan to the left and right and tilt up and down. Some can even lock on to a subject and follow it around. Many are now operated remotely from a smartphone or other web-enabled device. It is essential to ensure that monitored areas are well-lit.

Dome cameras
These dome-shaped cameras offer the most comprehensive coverage, often with 360-degree visibility of the surrounding area. They are usually mounted on poles or the corners of buildings, thus offering the best coverage. Most have tinted shields, so it's impossible to tell from the outside which way the lens is pointing. Others also come equipped with infrared motion detectors.

Wireless camera systems
Most modern security camera installations are now wireless, connecting to a security system through the internet. Wireless networks are easier to install and maintain than wired systems and are controlled from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Night vision lenses
A night vision camera uses infrared detection technology to 'see' movement in poorly lit areas. The price of this technology has dropped in recent years, and it is now quite affordable. The primary value is in being able to capture clear images at night or in poorly lit environments. Again, the positioning and lines of sight are crucial for adequate security with these cameras.

Outdoor CCTV cameras
These are built to be weatherproof and tamperproof. Exterior cameras are also best installed by professionals as they must be out of reach and able to record clear images even in poor light. Sightlines and lighting of the environment can be vital in their effectiveness.

Fake cameras
Fake cameras are cheap and easy to install. While they may deter potential burglars, they have no other practical use and won't give the same peace of mind as a functioning camera.

CCTV and data protection

Be aware that you cannot stick a CCTV camera up wherever you like. Privacy laws prevent you from making movies of your neighbour's gardens or peering into their homes. Being well aware of data protection and CCTV is necessary. There are rules about where and who you can film, how long the images can be stored, and who can see the footage.

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