Even if the acronym "CCTV" means nothing to you, you've encountered this basic-but-powerful security tool many times.
CCTV stands for "closed-circuit television". Unlike the TV signal you get at home, closed-circuit TV's don't broadcast a public feed. Instead, video is routed to specific, private monitors.
When you're in a convenience store and notice a TV with a video image of what's happening in the store right then, that's CCTV.
CCTV has long been used to provide boosted security for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Should you make use of CCTV video cameras at your business? Quite possibly.
Why Use CCTV Cameras?
CCTV cameras up your business security in three ways. Each is advantageous in its own right, but together they can really make a difference in how well protected your workplace is.
First, CCTV allows you (or professional 24/7 monitoring personnel) to see, in real-time, what's happening at your place of business.
Whether you're in your office, at home, or on vacation in the Caribbean, a CCTV feed is like an all-seeing eye.
Provided the cameras are well positioned, you can keep tabs on every aspect of your business.
Second, most CCTV feeds don't just capture live images, but record activity, as well. This gives you a video record of what happened and when.
As you can imagine, in the unfortunate event of a robbery that could come in quite handy.
Finally, there's the psychological factor. Often, businesses using CCTV will advertise its use. Why? Because employees and customers alike are more likely to behave if they know there's a record of their actions.
Don't underestimate the impact of letting people know you've installed cameras. While you don't want to be obnoxious about it, don't hide it, either.
Where Should CCTV Cameras Be Installed?
To a degree, that depends on your specific set-up, as well as the type of business you do. Prime locations for CCTV cameras include:
- Retail spaces
- Registers/check-out counters
- Points of entry—especially back or side doors
- Parking lots
- Anywhere valuable inventory is stored
If you do elect to include CCTV cameras in your security system, you likely don't need them everywhere. A few key locations should provide you with the added protection you're after.
If you're on a particularly tight budget, just one or two can bolster your overall security without incurring a huge expense.
Do I Need CCTV Cameras?
Provided you have even a few employees, you'd likely benefit from CCTV cameras. They'll give you an extra measure of security, as well as peace of mind.
Most national security providers even offer smart phone apps that allow you to view your cameras' feeds anytime, from anywhere. What's more, they don't tend to be an expensive add-on.
Like many of the other components available, they come in two flavors—wired and wireless. The wireless often cost more, but require less by way of installation.
But, do you need them? Consider the following:
- How often are you away from your place of business during operating hours? If you're gone a lot, CCTV gives you a way to be there without being there.
- How large is your work space? The larger the location(s), the more benefit you'll get from CCTV cameras.
- Do you handle monetary transactions onsite? CCTV will encourage your employees and customers to be honest and careful as money changes hands.
- Will CCTV cameras make you, your employees or your customers feel more comfortable? If so, that alone could justify the investment.
It's worth noting that CCTV cameras are not as essential as a siren alarms and intrusion sensors on doors and windows. Don't skimp on these features to be able to afford cameras.
Bear in mind, too, that wireless cameras can easily be added at a later date. If you can't afford them now but see benefit in their inclusion, you can always add to your existing system when your budget allows.