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Planning Your CCTV Strategyfrom: Maxx Home Guides
If you've decided to invest in CCTV (closed circuit television) technology for your home or business, you'll need to do a lot more than head to the store and simply buy some equipment. In fact, this is a mistake many novices to CCTV technology make -- they fail to plan their CCTV strategy. You may wonder what's involved in planning a CCTV strategy -- it's simply mappin out your floor plan, use and budget before heading to the store!
Here are some tips on how to plan your CCTV strategy correctly.
Understand Your Purpose: Are you trying to deter crime, or do you want to record it in action? Maybe you want to do both? If so, you'll need to consider wired as well as wireless cameras. The former are obvious and serve as a great deterrent, while the latter are much more covert and therefore work best for those situations when you want surveillance to be discrete.
Once you've decided on the purposes for your CCTV system, consult an attorney or private investigator on any legal issues involving digital video recording devices and their storage. If you live or do business in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, or Utah, you're expressly forbidden from installing hidden cameras in any area a reasonable person would consider a private area, such as restrooms, toilets, changing rooms, locker rooms, showers, or bedrooms.
In addition, employees -- especially union workers -- have the right to privacy in areas they frequent on their off hours, such as lunch rooms, break rooms, smoking lounges, and anywhere else where you permit your employees to remain when waiting for their shift to begin.
Once you've determined usage, and the legalities understood, it's time to find a floor plan for your home of business. If you don't have the original one, you can create a new one. The goal of mapping out your floor plan is to find areas that may require special treatment -- perhaps they represent special security risks -- such as blind corners, dark alleyways, or any other outside feature that may attract vandals or thieves.
Similarly, you'll also want to map out the inside of your home or business to determine where your areas of security concern should be. For example, when you operate a store, you'll almost always have an area where theft is more likely to occur -- perhaps it's because of the way the shelves are organized, or simply because the corner appears "safe" for potential shoplifters.
If you map out the area you'll be able to install cameras in these strategic locations to help discourage shrinkage. Of course, there's another reason for mapping out your place -- you'll want to be able take a look at the lighting conditions before you purchase any hardware. After all, some cameras have different lighting needs, and if one corner is especially dark, you'll want to make sure you have a camera that can handle it!
Consider your budget: Once you know why you want a CCTV system and which components you'd ideally like to include, you'll need to come to terms with your budget. If the sky is the limit, it will serve you well to purchase the latest technology. If you have a more limited budget, it's important to buy the best technology you need, not necessarily everything you want. Thus it's beneficial to separate your needs from your wants early on in the planning process!
When you decide on a brand name, try to stay local. In other words, if you need customer service or technical support, it's important to have a local company so a representative can come out and help you on short notice. Even if another competitor's product is less expensive -- if you can't get local technical support, the money you saved when purchasing the equipment won't amount to much when compared to the money you'll have to spend on long distance calls and on independent technicians you may have to hire to get your system up and running.
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