OK, you’ve made the decision to invest in a security system for your business — as well you should. Surveillance systems are a proven way to discourage theft and vandalism, increase security and uncover operational inefficiencies. They can also provide peace of mind to an owner or organization leader by giving them the ability to check on the operation at a moment’s notice.
You’ve done a bit of homework and know the basics of a typical surveillance system: cameras, monitoring, cables and/or routers, video recorders, and data storage. Now you’re ready to start shopping for a service provider. In order to ensure you get the right fit, here are some questions to ask your security camera system installer:
What Cameras Do I Need?
Internet Protocol (IP) cameras offer the widest variety of features (thermal imaging, fisheye lenses, etc.) and capture the highest-quality images. Note that IP cameras come with two-digit ratings (such as IP54 and IP65). The higher the first digit, the better the level of dust protection; the second quantifies fluid protection. Interior cameras might not require as high a rating as exterior cameras.
HD-TVI cameras aren’t typically as expensive as IP cameras or as sharp. However, with resolution generally at 1080p Full HD, the image quality is probably comparable to your home flat-screen (if you don’t have a hard-core gamer in the house).
If a company is trying to suggest analog cameras, look elsewhere.
How Do I View Footage?
An installer should be able to walk you through the steps required to view your security footage from a cell phone or PC, regardless of your web browser. Beyond that, if a provider offers current technology, you should be able to share photos, request live pictures, browse images and videos, and create time-lapse videos while off-site.
What About Storage?
If, for example, a break-in activates a camera, what is the maximum length of time that camera will record the incident? How long is that incident available in your storage system? These are important questions — and the answers should be straightforward and fit your needs.
Are the Cameras Under Warranty?
Warranties are important. Security cameras are often targets for vandalism and tampering, and the units located outdoors are always subject to the elements. Ask your installer:
- How long is the warranty?
- Does it cover replacement or only repair?
- Is replacement new or refurbished gear?
- What is the owner’s responsibility in the warranty process?
Do You Have References and Work Samples?
A security company should be able to offer you a list of previous clients. They should also be able to show you a live feed of actual cameras at work (not simply a demonstration of how they may look). Don’t accept brochure and website photos as accurate depictions of the picture quality you will see on your system.
There’s Always More
Installers should be prepared for questions beyond what we’ve asked above. For example:
- Do your installers have general liability and workers comp insurance?
- How are your connections to cameras and other gear weatherproofed?
- What are the monthly charges associated with your services?
Never be afraid to ask again if an answer is incomplete or skirts the issue.
Get Connected With Eye Trax
If you decide on an Eye Trax system, you’ll have a totally wireless, solar-powered setup that will work — regardless of your location. We offer secure, cellular connectivity to 3G, 4G and 5G networks and cloud-based monitoring so you can view your site wherever you happen to be.
Our tech includes motion-activated and infrared imaging cameras, and our services include live view and 24/7 monitoring by trained security professionals. Contact us today to learn more about Eye Trax.