With the improvements in broadband, technology and analytics the use of CCTV or IP Surveillance has become more and more prevalent among SMB’s. The application has expanded from simple security surveillance to critical analysis of equipment, stock and staff.
We’ve seen broad adoption of businesses using CCTV from day-cares allowing parents to login and view their children to modern factories and warehouses to keeping an eye on employees adhering to OH&S procedures. We’ve seen councils using CCTV to deter dumping, graffiti and vandalism. Monitoring time clocks for fraud is another common use case. Some of the more sophisticated SMBs even use CCTV to monitor and optimise their sales floor and cash registers. There are multiple reasons for deploying an IP surveillance (CCTV) system which improves the return on investment. This mass adoption among Aussie SMBs can also be attributed to the decline in the cost of high-end surveillance equipment and software.
Can you “plug-and-play”?
Yes and No, Yes there are cheap and easy systems available from most hardware stores that are ready to go and can be wirelessly connected to a basic NVR and will work to some extent. But No, because it very rarely is that simple! Often there are issues with connectivity, reliability, and storage, not to mention the VMS (video management system) supplied with the cheaper “plug-and-play” systems are average at best, and often don’t have even the most basic of viewing tools. We recommend before you invest in a system that you do your due diligence and consider the following:
- Indoor vs. Outdoor
- Weather Proof vs Vandal Proof
- Remote surveillance monitoring software
- Independent security monitoring
- Frames per second.
- Field of View (FOV)
- Night Vision capability
- Motion Sensing and in particular the ability to adjust the sensitivity
- Storage & Auto Over-write
- Cabled Security System vs Wireless Security System
Often you’ll find it more cost effective to consult a security professional who will get it right on the first go, one exception might be a tradesman or handyman with strong technical, cabling & networking skills.
Modern Factories and Warehouses
CCTV for factories and warehouses is almost a given these days.
It’s become a necessity from a theft point of view and an increasing requirement for OH&S monitoring. Are your staff and equipment working as they should? How long does detecting an issue take?
Perimeter and intruder detection is often needed in certain areas, particularly during seasonal quiet periods. Often even the most basic CCTV investment can act as a huge deterrent to potential thieves.
Health and safety
Are your company guidelines being adhered to? As an employer you have a responsibility to your employees, to provide a safe secure work environment. In most cases, it’s the actions of one employee that put all the others at risk. Often in workers compensation claims, the insurance provider will try to claim employer negligence is how the injury was caused, in these cases, it becomes vital for the employer to have video footage to refer to.
Rights and responsibility around surveillance is a little murky in most Australia states (outside New South Wales who have a Workplace Video Surveillance Act)
It’s certainly worthwhile consulting your legal counsel to ensure you are doing the right thing in regard to customer, employee and visitor data privacy.
Some basic guidance in New South Wales includes:
- CCTV cameras will be clearly visible
- Signs will be at each entrance to notify people that they may be under surveillance
- Do not use CCTV to conduct surveillance of employees who are not at work
CCTV usage is certainly worth discussing with employees and including in employment contracts