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Saturday, 22 September

Practical Tips For CCTV Deployment

Bullet camera
Dome camera

CCTV systems are an efficient and flexible way to deter criminals and protect your business, making them a common feature in the physical security suite of many UK companies, writes Wayne Connors, MD of ACCL as he offers some practical tips on the subject.

Deploying CCTV effectively is a difficult but well-understood process that is covered by a body of industrial know-how, regulatory material, and legal requirement, which can be difficult to navigate without starting points.


1. Start with the Why

Having a clear purpose for installing CCTV surveillance equipment is one of the top recommendations that the Home Office makes. Once you have defined your overall goal you will need specific requirements, such as the areas that need to be monitored and when, whether images will need to detect features such as faces or license plates, whether images need to be monitored in real-time and how long they need to be stored. The more sophisticated the features that you require, the higher the likely cost, and certain options also carry legal requirements, such as installing signs.


2. Consider all environmental factors

The quality of the images will depend on the ambient lighting conditions and on the objects that are (or can be) in the frame. For outdoor cameras, other factors come into play too, such as fog and rain, and temperature and humidity may translate into special requirements for fixtures and cabling. The best approach is to conduct a thorough on-site survey along with your security solutions provider.


3. Plan to integrate CCTV into your IT infrastructure

The convergence of networking and security technology, and the advent of structured cabling, have made CCTV (and security systems in general) an integral part of a company's IT network.

This results in lower costs, as you can use the same infrastructure for every piece of equipment, and an unprecedented level of flexibility in terms of what you can do with security equipment and footage.


4. Consider upgrading your existing infrastructure

High quality security equipment tends to be sturdy and long-lived which creates an incentive for existing cabling infrastructure to be upgraded rather than overhauled. If your surveillance needs expanding, it may be possible to achieve this through a process of incremental upgrades, rather than a complete overhaul, keeping prices down and avoiding potential business disruption.


5. Don't compromise on deployment techniques and equipment

CCTV deployment will require particular cable types and may require special shielding for power and data cables, so that they cannot be simply cut by an attacker. These requirements are not just security theatre and failing to tamper-proof an exposed camera can compromise it entirely and irreversibly undo any security benefits it might provide.


6. Plan and budget for archiving and retrieval

In many cases, CCTV camera images are not useful immediately they are being taken, so they need to be stored. You are legally responsible not only for the proper securing (and eventual erasure) of the data, but also for retrieving it upon request. Complying with these regulations requires that you make provisions for controlling access to stored data, and for installing and maintaining an appropriate archival system.


7. Implement a detailed commissioning process

Testing security systems is vital to ensure that everything is working as planned. At a minimum, this should include checking each camera’s field of view, checking the quality and detail of live and recorded images, verifying the capacity of the storage system and verifying any integrated systems such as alarms or motion detectors.


8. Implement an audit and maintenance plan

It is recommended that the performance of a CCTV system be monitored and benchmarked regularly as part of a regular, documented system audit, which will make you aware of any degradation in the system’s performance before it impacts security. Any issues should be resolved immediately, as most successful thefts or break-ins look like nothing more than a simple malfunction.


CCTV systems are a valuable asset to building security, and planning, careful deployment and regular maintenance should ensure their efficient operation for many years. To find our more, please visit


Article written by Wayne Connors


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