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CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras are essential components of a security system to protect commercial properties. The video feeds they provide enable security professionals to monitor and record activity in vulnerable areas inside and outside the property so that they can respond to incidents or unusual activity and capture essential evidence. As an additional layer of security, CCTV cameras also act as a visible deterrent to potential criminal activity.
However, unless the commercial security cameras are correctly positioned to ensure adequate coverage with the performance to deliver clear images in all light conditions, they may not provide the optimum level of security for the property.
That’s why it’s essential to use the services of a professional business security camera installer. CCTV camera installers have detailed knowledge of the capabilities of different types of security cameras, whether it be panoramic cameras or explosion proof cameras, and they bring experience in planning and installing security camera systems to minimize risk in many different commercial environments.
This guide describes the services that commercial security camera system installers provide, explores the basis for costing different types of business security camera installation and explains how to select the right CCTV camera installer for a specific project.
The role of commercial security camera installers
Professional CCTV system installers can help businesses assess the requirements for security cameras, plan their optimum positions and select the most appropriate equipment and cameras, such as pan-tilt-zoom security cameras, for different areas of the property.
They can also provide expert advice on the networking and infrastructure requirements for a CCTV system as part of a detailed commercial security camera installation plan. CCTV camera installers carry out installation, configuration, testing and integration of the system before handing it over to the security team. To ensure the system continues to provide optimum performance, they can provide ongoing service and maintenance.
As well as planning and installing new CCTV systems, professional installers can expand existing business security camera system installations and upgrade or replace legacy cameras.
Commercial security system installers have experience and knowledge of the surveillance requirements for many different types of commercial property, including office blocks, industrial sites, logistics centers, multi-occupant apartment complexes, retail outlets, malls, hospitality venues and mixed-use destinations.
In addition to commercial security camera installation inside and outside properties, they also understand the CCTV requirements for perimeter security and vulnerable areas such as car parks, elevators or loading bays.
Commercial security camera installation services
Specialist CCTV camera installers provide expertise and professional services at each stage of a business security camera installation.
The security camera system installer will work with the security team to discuss physical security goals for the business and carry out a comprehensive survey of the interior, exterior and perimeter of the property to identify vulnerable areas that require CCTV surveillance.
These include areas with limited physical access or poor visibility, high-security spaces and building entrances where it’s important to monitor access. They will provide an initial report, listing the areas to be covered, the number of cameras required and provisional camera positions.
Business security camera installers have experience in selecting and assessing the performance of CCTV equipment for many different security environments. They can provide detailed recommendations for each area of the property, aiming to provide the widest possible coverage with the least number of cameras.
They take account of light conditions throughout the building when recommending different types of cameras, as well as factors such as access for maintenance. In certain public areas of the property, they may recommend cameras such as dome (vs. bullet) security cameras that are more discreet to blend with the architecture of the building.
Infrastructure and network assessment
A key element of a commercial security camera installation is the infrastructure and network required to support and manage the CCTV camera system. The commercial security camera installer will assess the practicalities and comparative costs of connecting and powering the cameras with dedicated security camera cabling or connecting them to a data or wireless network.
Connecting IP cameras to a data network can reduce overall infrastructure costs since the network can also provide power using Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology. Networked-connected camera systems are also more scalable, making it easy to add or move cameras without additional direct cabling costs. The CCTV system installer will check that the network has the capacity, bandwidth and performance to handle high-volume video traffic.
If your budget and building infrastructure are a better match for analog cameras, it is still possible to take advantage of a network connection for storage and analysis of video footage using a digital video recorder (DVR).
The security camera system installer will also assess the options for housing the security database and management software. These can be saved to on-premise servers or hosted in the cloud. Cloud-enabled systems offer greater operational flexibility as security teams can access camera feeds or manage the system from an Internet-connected mobile device, even if they are not on the premises.
While they are carrying out initial assessments, business security camera installers will look at opportunities to integrate CCTV with other security systems. For example, they might recommend integrating CCTV cameras with an access control system to strengthen visitor management or integrating motion sensors with CCTV cameras in vulnerable areas.
Integration can help building owners develop a holistic security system that can be managed from a single dashboard, simplifying management and strengthening security.
Detailed planning and estimating
Following the initial assessments, CCTV system installers provide detailed plans for the business security camera installation. The plans will include a blueprint showing camera positions and infrastructure, equipment specifications, estimated costs and a provisional installation schedule.
Security camera installation
Professional CCTV camera installers carry out the installation in line with industry best practices and any relevant building regulations. They install security cameras in the optimum positions for clear surveillance and connect them to cabling or networks. When the cameras are connected and powered up, they check coverage and image quality and make any necessary adjustments to improve surveillance.
They work closely with IT and network teams to manage system connectivity and collaborate with security teams to ensure they are satisfied with the images the cameras provide. If the system is hosted in the cloud, they check network connectivity. Before the handover, they test the entire system and provide any necessary training to the security team.
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If the CCTV cameras are to be integrated with other security systems, security camera system installers will carry out the integration, ensuring that the components are compatible. They will also integrate the CCTV system with the overall security management system.
Depending on the location of the property and the industry sector, the CCTV system may have to comply with local, state or federal regulations and privacy laws. A professional CCTV camera installer will ensure that the system is fully compliant.
Service and maintenance
To help ensure no interruption in video coverage, a commercial security camera installation must be regularly maintained. Maintenance should ideally be carried out by the company that planned and installed the system, as they are familiar with the equipment and are aware of any environmental issues that might impact surveillance camera performance.
CCTV system installers are fully trained on the equipment they install and maintain the surveillance cameras in line with manufacturers’ schedules. Installers can also carry out any software updates to ensure system security is up to date. If any problems occur, they can troubleshoot the system and carry out any necessary repairs.
System upgrades and changes
If security requirements change over time, business security camera installers can add or move cameras. They can also carry out upgrades to ensure the CCTV system is taking advantage of the latest features and functionality.
Business CCTV camera installation costs
The cost of a CCTV system depends on a number of different factors:
Number of cameras – Equipment purchase represents the main upfront cost. The number of cameras needed will be determined by the size of the site and the areas to be covered. CCTV system installers aim to minimize the total number of cameras needed to cover an area by selecting models that combine the widest possible coverage with image quality.
Infrastructure – Installing dedicated cabling for connectivity and power supply will cost more than connecting the cameras to an existing power or data network. If the system is to be hosted and managed on site, the budget should include the cost of purchasing, installing, updating and maintaining servers and associated software. Cloud-hosted systems will incur regular subscription charges, with updates and maintenance costs included in the subscription.
Installation charges – The cost of installation will depend on the size and complexity of the CCTV system, the level of integration required and any environmental or structural features that complicate installation.
Operating costs – Ongoing costs will include energy charges together with charges for scheduled maintenance and updates.
How to choose the best business security camera installer for your project
Professional CCTV system installers may work as independent specialists or as part of a security services firm. In some cases, they may work for security equipment manufacturers as authorized installers. To select a suitable installer, it’s essential to take a number of factors into consideration, including:
Certifications and licenses – Does the CCTV camera installer hold current industry and manufacturer certifications for the type of system to be installed? Is the installer licensed to work in the area?
Capacity – Does the installer have the resources and capacity to handle the installation, particularly a large complex system with multiple integrations? An independent installer or smaller firm may take longer to handle a large installation of commercial security measures like 360-degree IP security cameras.
Availability – Can the commercial security camera installer start and complete the project to meet the property owner’s deadlines?
Service level – Can the installer provide all the services required for the project, or will they have to bring in third-party suppliers? Managing a single-source supplier is simpler.
Local knowledge – Local installers are familiar with crime and other threats such as break-ins in the area. They can ensure that the CCTV system minimizes the risk of those threats.
Experience – How many years of experience does the business security camera installer have? Is their experience primarily in commercial security and larger-scale CCTV technology such as pan-tilt-zoom security camera systems rather than domestic security?
Reputation – Does the installer have an established reputation? Can they provide testimonials and access to reference sites?
Costs – Can the installer provide a comprehensive estimate? Are there likely to be any hidden charges? How do their costs compare with other suppliers?
Maintenance – Does the security camera system installer provide technical support and maintenance services?
Final thoughts on commercial security camera installation
A CCTV system designed, installed and maintained by a professional commercial security camera installer can help you optimize security for your property and your people. Whether you need a new security camera system or want to upgrade an existing installation, a professional installer can provide the advice, skills and support to ensure you get a solution customized to the unique needs of your business.
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