Video Surveillance Systems: Your Store's Eyes
In this day and age, many businesses are equipped with not only an alarm system but video surveillance systems.
If your business has a surveillance system, are sure are you that it’s performing as effectively as possible?
Having the surveillance system is a key component of your overall security plan. As with all security equipment, the proper operation and maintenance of a video surveillance system are crucial.
Keep these key tips in mind to ensure the best configuration, operation, and upkeep of your video surveillance system:
- Develop a written procedure for the operation of your surveillance system, and make sure all staff members are informed of the procedures.
- The system should be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- The interior of the premises is a logical choice for cameras, but don’t forget about the exterior. Cameras should be placed at all entrances and in the parking areas.
- Consider 360 degree “casino view” cameras in the safe/vault area(s), private showing rooms/offices, and shipping/receiving areas.
- Your surveillance system should include a mix of clearly visible cameras as well as concealed cameras.
- Make sure cameras are positioned to capture images of faces, not the tops of heads. Having clear footage of a suspected criminal’s face is needed to assist with apprehension and conviction.
- Place signage on your door indicating that the premises are under surveillance 24 hours per day. Simply having such signage can be a crime deterrent!
- Secure your recording device in a concealed area, and consider having a backup of the footage off site. If the recorder is stolen, you will still have access to your footage. Another option is having two recorders – one in an obvious place, and one in a concealed area. Criminals will take the one in plain sight, not knowing there is a concealed backup.
- All surveillance footage and still images should be retained for at least four weeks.
- Assign one or more trusted employees with the daily task of checking the surveillance system to ensure it is operating properly.
- Consider obtaining a very high quality photograph of the faces of those who enter your store or view items in a private showing room. This can be done covertly or in an obvious fashion. Having high quality images will assist the police in the identification and apprehension of any individuals who perpetrate a crime against your store.