Your Complete Guide To Selecting The Right CCTV Cameras for Your Homes and OfficesSecureTech
As insecurity increases in Nigeria, we are seeing a rise in installation of CCTV cameras in residential and commercial buildings across Nigeria.
Over the past year, our team has successfully installed at least 10 cameras weekly in our clients’ homes and offices.
This is because CCTV cameras are used for two primary purposes; monitoring and capturing of evidential images.
Often the two are combined.
Selecting the right CCTV camera for you homes and offices can be a bit daunting because there are over tens of thousands of camera models from hundreds of approved manufacturers.
How can you select the right one your building?
In this blog post, our aim is to explain to you the different parameters needed to look into when selecting a CCTV camera.
You will also get the required knowledge to determine if what you are being offered really matches what you expect or not.
A lot of people also think cameras are very expensive and for the elite. This isn’t always so, you can get a fitting video surveillance system for as low as N30k.
How Do I Choose The Right CCTV Camera for My Home or Office?
Whilst the majority of the technical detail can be left to a professional installer to work out, it is still important that you have a clear idea about what areas you want to capture and in what detail.
If all is needed for your CCTV system is to monitor who comes in and goes out of your building or you might want to know what visitors and employees are up to.
Then, you can potentially save money because you may require fewer cameras that only need to capture a certain amount of detail.
Such systems are also likely to be easier and affordable to install.
On the other hand, you might want to protect your building from theft and vandalism and want a camera to pick out vandals.
To capture evidential images of an offender you are going to have to think carefully about the position of cameras and the image quality that they capture.
The evidential requirements of CCTV systems may also require you to place cameras at head height and out of harm’s way.
This is likely to mean that you will need to install vandal resistant items and internal or armoured cabling.
You must also remember that criminals are more aware of CCTV than ever and many will hide their faces.
However, good evidential quality CCTV would still be able to record details of their clothing and other personal characteristics that may prove useful to the police at a later date.
Key Parameters for Selecting The Right Type of CCTV Camera
Once you have decided what you want from your CCTV system, it’s time to start considering the key parameters to select the right type of CCTV camera for your home.
Here are a few of them.
1. Monitoring Only Systems
If you have decided on a system for monitoring, the cameras will only need to capture images in the “observe” category as a minimum.
Cameras used for monitoring only can be placed out of reach and will be able to cover larger areas with less detail.
2. Evidential CCTV Systems
If you have decided on an evidential system then at least one camera must be able to capture an image in the “identify” category whilst the others should be capable of clearly showing an offence taking place.
Usually this will mean that they will need to capture images in the “recognise” category.
Images in the “identify” category are usually best captured in restricted areas where someone must pass but this is not always possible or easy on a residential property.
Some areas to consider for placing identification capable cameras are passageways around your home or within your home in places such as the hallway.
Cameras being used for identifiable images will also be more likely to capture useful information if they are positioned closer to the ground.
This requirement brings about its own problems and the potential for additional costs.
Any CCTV camera within reach is prone to vandalism or being moved so that it cannot capture images of the offender.
To guard against this, vandal resistant dome cameras may need to be used and wiring will need to be run internally, shielded within conduit or be armoured.
Regardless of how robust a camera is, if it is not cited correctly it could be attacked from a blind spot and defeated. If it is not possible to find a good position.
Where a camera cannot be attacked from outside of its field of view, then consideration may need to be given to having another camera overlooking it from the opposite direction.
5. Backlighting Problems
If a camera is unable to cope with the large difference in lighting, it is prone to sending false alarm signals caused by movement beyond its intended view.
The problems caused here could be resolved through the use of additional lighting or choosing a more suitable camera position.
6. Using Alarm and Privacy Settings
Whatever you decide that you want your system to do it is likely that you will need it to have the ability to limit areas within the camera’s view so that it does not send alarms or intrude into other’s privacy unnecessarily.
Many CCTV recorders include features to help you to do this.
Whilst privacy masking features are useful in limiting views onto public spaces we would advise you to try and avoid having your cameras overlooking the area in the first place as this is much less likely to concern your neighbours.
The alarm function on many CCTV recorders will include features where you can set your system to ignore certain areas of the images.
This is useful for limiting the potential false activations from things like tree branches or bushes and some recorders will allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the monitoring software to reduce false alarms caused by animals.
Unfortunately, no software is foolproof.
Unlike traditional intruder alarms which look for moving heat sources, CCTV recorders only monitor changes in the image.
This can be especially problematic in locations prone to sudden changes in light levels (for instance where sunlight is reflected off passing vehicles or where a nearby light is flickering or turning on and off) and this should be taken into consideration when thinking about the position of cameras.
If cameras are to be mounted high up and near to the roofline, nesting birds or insects may also interfere with the images.
Please note while we have tried to focus only on the key factors, it is also important to emphasize that designing a professional CCTV solution still requires a high level of expertise and experience and it is always worth it to have a professional company involved in designing the proper CCTV solution tailored for your needs.
SecureTech installs high quality and technologically advanced CCTV cameras for our customers across Nigeria and West Africa.
We tailor our service to match each individual client’s budget, property and concerns to ensure the highest levels of security for both domestic and commercial settings.