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CCTV Systems, How One Little Device Can Secure So Much Property


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The original intent of CCTV systems was to provide store owners a measure of protection against shoplifters. This original intent has expanded and CCTV systems now provide multiple other services for business owners. The property that CCTV systems help to protect now includes physical property also.

There are few people who do not know that most businesses have CCTV systems inside of the store, office, warehouse or factory. What many people do not know is that the CCTV systems have moved outdoors and can be found in most store parking lots, watching gas pumps or providing perimeter security at factories, warehouses or truck parking areas. These outdoor cameras protect against vandalism, theft or other means of trespass.

Exterior cameras can often be recognized by a smoked glass or chrome dome hanging from the side of a building. These domes contain cameras that have pan/tilt head inside of them and the camera inside is normally equipped with a motorized zoom lens. The pan/tilt head inside of the dome can automatically pan the camera providing a view of the entire area that the camera is able to view. The operator can, at any time, stop the auto pan function and zoom in on a subject. The ability of the operator to move the camera to any area of the property within sight and to zoom in on the subject provides additional security for the property.

CCTV camera housings are often subjects of vandalism or outright destruction. Vandals attempt to damage the camera and housing. Trespassers who are intent on robbery try to disable them to deny the security personnel the opportunity to intervene in the robbery. To combat this several manufacturers provide ballistic rated housings. These housings are built to absorb and withstand a bullet fired from a gun and continue working, providing the images of the area that they are trained on. While these housings are more expensive initially cameras that are located in vandal prevalent areas that have ballistic rated housings do not have to be replaced as often as those in non ballistic rated housings.

Personnel costs are a major budget factor for any business or company. The utilization of CCTV systems permits the owners to decrease the onsite security staff and use the CCTV system to provide the security for the area. This reduction in staff saves on payroll and the use of a CCTV system insures constant reliable surveillance of the area around and inside the plant or buildings. Additionally many insurance companies recognize the value of CCTV systems on the premises and provide lower rates for those facilities that do have CCTV system coverage.

In the past, CCTV systems needed a human operator on site to monitor the CCTV system. The availability of the Internet has changed that. Fixed cameras equipped with motion detection can transmit video signals to a remote central station through the Internet. This ability allows the operator at the central station to view the intruder and notify the local law enforcement authorities. CCTV systems still protect the store owner against shoplifting. The advent of small efficient cameras and the ability to transmit video to central stations permits the exterior of a facility protection without the cost of security staff. These attributes of a CCTV system provide an effective cost saving to the property owner.
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