If you’re a small business owner, a video surveillance system is one of the expenses you simply can’t cut. However pricy it may seem, investing in security always pays off. Not that it has to be expensive, though. By knowing your business’ needs and the options you have when it comes to video surveillance, you can save money and keep your customers, employees and property safe.
First of all, you need to determine how much cameras you need to have. There’s no need to put too much cameras – they need to cover the key spots like the entries to your shop or office and the till or place where valuable things are stored. Also, keep in mind that a camera with a short lens can cover more space than a camera with a long lens, which allows for a good coverage with fewer cameras at the expense of detail. Also, think about whether you really need a camera outside of your shop or office. If your business includes a parking lot or an ATM, you should cover them with cameras, but if it doesn’t have them, you could do without the additional expense.
Next, consider the type of camera you need to buy. If you want people to see the camera and think twice before doing something they wouldn’t want to be recorded, you should go for a box camera. They are large, clearly visible, and they are on the less expensive end of the camera price spectrum. If you want something more discrete, you should look for a mini dome camera, or even a bullet camera. Though visible, they’re not as striking as the box camera, and they can be more expensive if you choose, for example, an infrared bullet camera. The infrared option, although more expensive, is great if you need the camera to cover a dimly lit area. And then there are PTZ cameras, or cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom. They are the most expensive cameras but they are very versatile and can cover a lot of space.
Now that you decided on the number and type of cameras you need, you have to choose what do to with the footage. If you have a basic system containing one, maybe two cameras, you can buy cameras with a built-in memory card. For larger systems you will need to connect the system to a digital video recorder – DVR. And don’t forget that you’ll need to invest in a monitor if you need a real time view of your shop or office space.