You have property or a business that needs video surveillance systems for added security. Maybe you’re a small store owner, an office manager, or a large corporation in the Baltimore area. Or perhaps you have a property in a rural area where you have valuable equipment. Whatever the reason, you need extra security that a video surveillance service can offer.
But just as many businesses need video surveillance systems, there are different types of services available. It’s essential to understand your needs upfront and whether the companies you interview for your security system will be right for you and your business.
What Do You Need to Monitor?
Before hiring a surveillance system for your business, it’s essential to understand the scope of the project. Do you have a small area that needs video surveillance, or do you have a larger area that requires constant monitoring? Is the area inside, outside, or do you need monitoring both indoors and out? Do you have enough power to supply cameras, or is the area outside and away from a power source?
All these are valid questions when it comes to deciding on a video surveillance company. Some services only operate indoors; others only function with access to power. Other services offer mobile video surveillance trailers and cameras powered via a battery recharged by solar panels.
Knowing where and what is being monitored will help you determine if your business’s video surveillance service is the right one. If the company cannot cover the areas you need to monitor, it is better to look for another service to address your needs.
Can I Use My Cameras?
Upgrading is always lovely, but sometimes you need a company that uses video surveillance systems currently installed in your business, even if it is analog. Using your cameras allows the surveillance company to meet the budget you allocated for security. In this case, the video surveillance company should adapt your existing hardware and provide their service through your current equipment.
What Kind of Cameras Does the Company Use?
Video surveillance companies that install camera surveillance systems for businesses should tell you if they are high definition, equipped with night vision, low light capabilities, smart motion-sensitive, and IP or analog cameras. The correct answer depends on your needs and your situation. If you’re concerned with capturing movement at night, for example, you’re going to want cameras that have night vision capabilities as well as those that record during daylight hours.
Is the Service Live Monitored or Just Recorded?
Any video surveillance system for business will provide a deterrent to would-be thieves, trespassers, or vandals. However, companies like ours that provide 24/7 monitoring are far more likely to stop the crime as it occurs — not after, when you have to file a police report over the damaged and missing property. Preventing crime is the reason why most businesses have video surveillance in the first place.
Many businesses settle for video recordings, which will hopefully show the criminal’s faces enough for the police to ID them. With artificial intelligence, some services use state-of-the-art detection software to identify suspicious activity and alert live security personnel to possible issues. This keeps the cost low, and at the same time, provides superior service.
How Long Do the Video Surveillance Service Keep their Recordings?
Video recordings are now digitized, which means they now take up disk space on a server. Video surveillance services keep the recordings for a certain amount of time and then delete them. You can specify how long you want them to keep the recordings, but that may cost extra. In general terms, 31 days is the average time surveillance footage is kept before being deleted.You may also want to access the recordings onsite at your business or via your smartphone. You should also ask if you can get copies of your recordings and whether there is an extra charge associated with that.
Lastly, find out where your surveillance system provider will keep the recordings. Are they to be onsite, offsite, or “in the Cloud”? There are positives and negatives to each choice, so be sure to know which one you prefer.
What is the cost of the Video Surveillance Service?
Most business owners consider the cost of their surveillance system to be paramount. While it’s true that price is always important, what is also just as important is what you get for the amount of money you’re spending. Are you going with a cut-rate surveillance service when one which costs a little more gives you more benefits and better protection? Would the loss of the property and downtime cost your company business or even force you to close your doors?
What Type of Experience Does the Company Have?
Experience is important. The company you’re considering should have experience with the equipment and be able to monitor live feed. Some video surveillance companies offer monitoring and recording but don’t install cameras and other pieces of equipment, preferring to hire out that work to a third-party contractor. This is fine until there’s a problem with the equipment. Then, it’s up to you to contact that third party and have it repaired or replaced. Choosing a company that provides monitoring, recording, and equipment can alleviate any headaches should there be problems with the hardware or the software interface.
Choosing one company to handle both the installation and the monitoring gives you one price; whereas, using more than one contractor could surprise you with hidden costs. Your “great deal” suddenly has become expensive.
Do You Have a Contract, and How Long?
Many video surveillance companies have contracts, which is why you need to ask for their contract and see what it entails. Some will require a deposit and maybe a specific term length, which may prove detrimental. For example, if XYZ’s video surveillance service requires a three-year contract, you may not want to consider it if you may move in the next three years.
Other companies may go month to month or may have a contract for shorter amounts of time.
Getting a video surveillance service is vital for the security and peace of mind of the business owner. But, it is just as important to ask the right questions when considering your video surveillance company.