Security cameras can be useful for many environments, whether covering a small area, such as an individual driveway, or monitoring a busy and expansive stretch of high street. For businesses, a CCTV system can offer a way of protecting the bottom line, and can afford a sense of safety and peace-of-mind to business owners or managers, staff, customers and visitors alike.
Since CCTV can represent an investment and can take time to install, decision makers naturally want to ensure that investing in a CCTV system is right for their business. (Although many CCTV systems are now available at a very accessible price point, and there are models which operate on a plug’n’play basis if quick set-up is needed, but more on those points later).
As an expert in designing, installing and maintaining CCTV systems for over 20 years – including commercial smart CCTV systems – Amthal Fire & Security is well-placed to highlight the benefits of CCTV for businesses, allowing you to put together a business case for investing in a CCTV system for your organisation.
If you’re still wondering whether a CCTV system will be of benefit to your business, we’ll also address some of the most common questions around investing in Closed Circuit TV for the workplace.
So, what are the biggest reasons why businesses might invest in a CCTV system? We’ll look at prevention, in the event of an incident, and ongoing benefits.
CCTV AS A PREVENTATIVE SECURITY MEASURE IN BUSINESSES
Before any sort of incident has had the opportunity to take place, CCTV systems can offer a preventative security solution to businesses, saving time and money.
Reducing the risk of theft or break-ins
A conspicuous CCTV camera monitoring the space outside a warehouse can act as a visual deterrent to would-be thieves, protecting valuable stock. In the same way, a camera operating on the shop floor can cause shoplifters to think again. Reducing the risk of incidents such as these can negate costs in the long-term, whether that’s thinking about the time it takes to deal with a theft, or the cost of having to replenish lost inventory or damaged property.
Vandalism also poses a problem to businesses, whether it impinges on a business’s ability to carry out operations (e.g. if vital equipment is vandalised), or if it impacts on a business’ image or reputation (for example, if a shop front is covered with graffiti). A conspicuous CCTV camera mounted in the right place can mean that a would-be vandal will move on to another target, leaving your business unit or vehicle unblemished.
Less operational time lost
Any incident – whether a one-off occurrence of staff pilfering the petty cash or a large-scale robbery – will inevitably require a manager’s time to deal with the aftermath. If you manage to prevent the incident from occurring in the first place, you can continue to dedicate your valuable time to your day-to-day business operation.
CCTV IN THE EVENT OF AN INCIDENT
In the unfortunately event of a break-in or robbery, a CCTV system in place at your business can help deal with such eventualities quickly and cost-effectively.
Reducing false alarms
While an incident is occurring, a business CCTV system can give you the tools you need to mount an effective response. In some cases, that means referencing your live CCTV footage to see that a triggered alarm system has been caused by something harmless, such as an employee re-entering the building for their forgotten keys, or an alley-cat activating outdoor movement sensors. In this way, you can deal with false alarms without using excessive time or resource.
In the unfortunate event that an incident is genuine, you can mount an effective response by using clear CCTV footage to determine the most appropriate action, including calling the police. This can benefit a business in two principal ways: firstly, the response will be appropriate to the situation, so it does not require excessive time or cost. Secondly, it will help to keep personnel safe, as it is possible to judge whether a situation requires further reinforcement (for example, a police presence if an intruder is carrying a weapon).
A CCTV system can provide the necessary evidence to bring a perpetrator to justice, to recover lost stock or to claim on your business insurance policy. CCTV evidence can sometimes be admissible in court, so it can also provide a way to protect your business or personnel from litigation.
ONGOING BENEFITS OF CCTV FOR BUSINESS
CCTV isn’t just for prevention, monitoring or response; having security footage available can help with a great many things besides. They might feel like softer benefits, but they can contribute to increased business efficacy just as much.
Staff monitoring and performance
Staff performance can be sensitively monitored and improved with a business security system (it’s important to note that in most cases, personnel will need to have been notified that they are being monitored in writing, with the reasoning clearly outlined).
For example, a camera covering a till point can discourage theft, while the footage can be used as evidence in disciplinary action or dismissal. CCTV in staff common areas, such as break rooms, can help to keep your personnel safe. This is especially useful if you have a high turnover of staff who might be unfamiliar to your management, for example, bank or agency workers. CCTV in an office can be used to facilitate discussions around staff productivity.
Making for a nicer working environment
These ideas not only benefit your business, but can be of benefit to your staff team too. Who wants to work in an environment where you don’t feel as though your personal safety and security is assured? Workers in hospitality environments, for example, can feel safer with monitoring systems in place, especially where certain clientele can pose a potential threat or risk.
Reduced insurance premiums
Some insurance companies recognise that having a CCTV system in place at your business premises means that it is statistically at a lower risk of incident, so may offer reduced insurance premiums. Such reduced costs can be used to justify expenditure when installing a system. Talk to your insurance providers about the impact a CCTV system might have on your business insurance.
A CCTV system at a place of business can give managers or owners that invaluable peace-of-mind. If you are often working away from site or away from the office, some CCTV systems can offer live-streamed footage directly to your mobile phone, allowing you to check in, even when you’re out. This can also come in useful out of hours, or during periods of shutdown, such as Christmas holidays, reducing the need for someone to physically attend a business site to check all is well.
Knowing that your staff, stock and property are protected by CCTV monitoring can further assure responsible people in a business.
In summary, the benefits that CCTV can bring to your business are:
|A CCTV system can make your business safer
|A CCTV system can make your business more efficient
|A CCTV system can protect or improve your bottom line
|A CCTV system can improve your ‘employer brand’
COMMON QUESTIONS AROUND INSTALLING CCTV IN A BUSINESS
All these benefits sound great, but do you still have doubts? Are you convinced that a CCTV system is right for your organisation, but you’re having trouble convincing the budget holder? Here’s the answers to some common questions when it comes to investing in a CCTV system for a business.
Won’t a CCTV system take too long to install?
No. If operational downtime would pose a problem for you (for example, if your business operations run 24/7), then an expert in CCTV system design will take this into account. Many systems require very minimal installation, with wireless technology even negating the need for time-intensive wiring.
If a more time-intensive installation is required (for example, in a high value area, a wired HD CCTV system may be more appropriate), then we can work with you to minimise disruption to your operations.
Won’t a CCTV system be a huge investment?
The cost of designing and installing CCTV systems has reduced significantly over recent years, as the technology has matured. That said, there are systems that can represent significant capital investment.
Amthal works with each customer to ensure the best value CCTV system for the specific application. Even an expensive system can be a significantly more cost-effective security measure than some alternatives, for example, a constant physical security presence.
It’s also good to consider the costs of things you are at higher risk of without CCTV, for example, the clean up after having property vandalised or tagged by graffiti, or the lost inventory or operational time in the event of a break-in.
I’m worried that I don’t understand the laws around using CCTV at a place of business
By working with an expert specifier, you can be sure that you’re implementing a CCTV monitoring system at your place of work safely and in-line with legal obligations as a business owner or manager.
If I already have an alarm system, why would I need CCTV?
An alarm system is great for providing that initial alert that something is afoot, but what about the critical benefits of CCTV that have been outlined above? By integrating more than one security measure, you can create a more robust security protection for your business. Amthal can work with a business’ existing security equipment to introduce CCTV functionality, creating a seamless security system for your business.
Will CCTV cameras ruin the aesthetic of my business?
This is a legitimate concern given the aesthetics of a traditional CCTV system with large, bulky cameras. However, this is something on which we have worked together with many businesses where aesthetics is a high priority for them, alongside security concerns, for example, in the interior of a hotel or spa complex. We are able to design and specify systems which are at once sympathetic to their surroundings, and effective in their security functionality.
There are so many types of CCTV camera, I don’t know which to choose
The choice of CCTV can feel overwhelming, especially if your business has many or conflicting priorities when it comes to specifying a CCTV system. Check out our essential guide to the types of CCTV cameras to get started, or speak to one of our experts for advice tailored to your business.
We hope this rundown to the benefits that CCTV systems can bring to businesses is useful, and can help you in your decision as to whether investing in CCTV is right for your organisation.
Need help deciding whether CCTV can be put to good use at your workplace? Talk to our expert team of qualified technicians who can help design, install and maintain a CCTV system designed specifically for your business’ security needs. Simply call us on 0800 093 7818 or use the form at the bottom of this page and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.