Video Surveillance Security: New Tech and Tips

Doug Fearing Security, Uncategorized

 

The security needs of every business are different and with so many commercial security systems and services available, it’s important to be sure what system will work for you. In this article you’ll find some of the technological advances in commercial security explained and tips on what to look for in a new security system for your business. When you engage Fearing’s for a security project, you’ll likely interact with David Poley, the Security Design Engineer at Fearing’s, who shares some of his expertise here.

The Right Security Solutions for Your Needs

Finding the right commercial security system for your business is no easy feat, which is why having a guide and expert like Fearing’s is so important. It goes without saying that the better the security system, the lower the risk of injury, theft, and burglary. The number one reason businesses install video surveillance security systems is peace of mind for the employer, knowing that the working environment is safer for all employees.

Some businesses are installing systems because they are required to. Many insurance companies are now asking businesses to implement security systems because they want to ensure that the payments for insurance claims are going to the appropriate individuals, or to confirm an injury was sustained at work, as opposed to those who claim they injured him/herself at work when in reality, he/she got hurt over the weekend while playing softball.  

In the day and age of so many DIY options, it is important for every business owner to know their security system is the right solution for their specific needs, is installed correctly, and will be easy to use and maintain, with personal support when they need it.

Expertise Starts With the Security Camera

When it comes to design and installation, David Poley, a Security Design Engineer at Fearing’s, says camera expertise key.

It seems fundamental, but getting the camera placement right is the first challenge. “We need to make sure that the placements are covering what is being taken or making sure the area is covered so employers can see who is coming in and who has access to this or that and if they are indeed taking something or not.”

Also, the type of camera is pivotal. Of course the overall view that one gets when looking at the camera matters, but so does the number of megapixels to determine the details and whether or not a zoom in or out feature is possible. As a Security Design Engineer, Poley can identify needs and specific camera solutions.  

One example of this is gas stations and license plate cameras to prevent drive offs. According to Poley, a license plate camera focuses specifically on license plates rather than focusing on the surroundings. It takes a specific camera to pick up on a specific license plate when there are other interferences such as the sun glare or varying angles and shapes. The right kind of license plate camera is an investment that pays for itself through increased safety and decreased monetary loss.

Tips & Trends, Analytics & Deterrence in Commercial Security Systems

According to Poley, video is replacing door and window sensors for your intrusion system. “Instead of an alarm system going off as soon as somebody opens the door when they’re not supposed to, or walks in front of a motion detector, now you have a camera system that can do that from sensing motion or from a pre-recorded message.”  

Video analytics software is an important strategy-enabler. Through the use of video analytics, a security guard or system manager will save themselves from a great deal of time reviewing hours of footage from one given surveillance video. In essence, analytics act as the “brains” of a security system and can provide many useful functions and increase security levels.  

There are several analytics that are newer to the commercial security surveillance scene. One such analytic is known as “line crossing” or “cross line detection.” Line crossing video detection is activated when a person or object crosses a line (that should not be crossed) and therefore, an alarm is triggered.  Of course there is great deal of motion going on in any commercial area so rather than going back to look at security footage of recorded motion and spending hours deciphering unusual movement, cross line detection allows for greater system efficiency by reducing bandwidth and storage needs and facilitating the search of recorded events.  Fearing’s uses AXIS Communications Cameras with Exacq Vision servers, a recording video management software. Poley also mentions Avigilon as “the leader when it comes to analytics” and another software used by Fearing’s.  For smaller projects, Fearing’s prefers a great system known as Wisenet.

Loitering is another example of an activity that can be caught through surveillance analytics. Fearing’s robust surveillance solutions include a camera system that can identify if someone is loitering in an area where no one should be after business hours.  Poley explains there are “IP speakers that you can hook up to an analytics event to play a pre-recorded message like, ‘We’re not open yet.’ When someone hears that, they’re going to turn around and see where that came from.” The camera gets direct footage of the suspicious person’s face and therefore, that loiterer knows he/she has been filmed and that someone is likely to leave with a potential crime event prevented.

Prevent and Capture Unwanted Events

In the past, an employer would come in on a Monday morning to find out that someone smashed the window or stole expensive jewelry over the weekend.  Today, surveillance software analytics are able to catch someone in the act and immediately notify the business owner or security staff, even sending the video and audio footage from the camera. The employer or business security staff can interact with their mobile app to view the notifications and see what is going on, and even have a two-way communication between the loiterer and employer/security representative thru the camera microphone system.

These surveillance analytics capabilities ultimately help prevent and capture unwanted events. This became very real for a Fearing’s security customer as quickly as the time of training right after Fearing’s installed the new system. It turned out that just before training, the customer had let an employee go. The employee that had just been fired was very upset and pushed open the door very hard on his way out and put a hole in the drywall. There was a newly installed camera on that event which allowed the Fearing’s technician to show the customer the footage during the training and confirm what had happened.

 

Advice from the Experts

Businesses large and small should consider the benefits of a commercial security surveillance system. For smaller businesses where price may be prohibitive, Poley recommends a business should “first of all, go with an IP system and second, consider the kind of server that is being used as opposed to the number of cameras.”  The strategy is to have a server that is double the amount of storage than what is needed at the initial purchase so that there is room for expansion if the company chooses to add more cameras over time.

Regardless of the situation, a security system of some sort is better than nothing at all and plays an important role in the future success of companies. Fearing’s understands that it can be difficult for some businesses to justify the purchase and installation of a security system; however, Poley guarantees that in the long run, the purchase of a surveillance system is worth it.  All it can take is for one incident to be avoided for the whole system to pay for itself.