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Don't Make These Common Video Surveillance Mistakes By Thomas M. Bird

Author: Amitava Sarkar
by Amitava Sarkar
Posted: Jul 29, 2015

What's the point of having a surveillance system if it doesn't work properly? Unfortunately, all too many surveillance systems are rendered useless due to simple errors that can easily be avoided. No matter if you're a small business owner trying to protect your property or if you're an independent contractor installing surveillance systems, you'll want to make sure you are setting up and running your system correctly from the beginning. There's a saying in the computing industry, "garbage in, garbage out." This basically means a computer is only as useful or effective as the person using it. The same goes for surveillance systems. You can have the most expensive, state-of-the-art surveillance system but if it isn't installed and maintained correctly, it doesn't do you a bit of good. You don't have to let a great security system go to waste. The good news is that with a common sense approach and regular checks, it doesn't take much to set up your system and keep it working effectively. Read on to learn about common surveillance system mistakes and how to avoid them.

  • You don't have the right cameras. It's important to use the right camera for the job. For instance, if you need high resolution for spotting license plates in a parking lot, make sure your camera has a resolution of at least five megapixels. If you're going to be recording at night, you'll need an infrared camera. Companies such as
Surveillent offer a wide variety of security cameras (as well as all the components you need for your surveillance system) to meet your particular needs.

  • Poor camera placement. Not only do your cameras need to be in the areas you want surveilled but the frame of view needs to be correct as well. If you're recording in a crowd, only getting the tops of people's heads won't do you any good. It's important to check your camera's position regularly to make sure it hasn't shifted or if it has, you can correct it right away.
  • The camera isn't even on. This no-brainer has happened more times than anybody wants to admit. Cameras are subject to malfunction, vandalism (especially if they are placed in an unsecured area) and power surges. As you're already checking placement on a regular basis, check to make sure the camera is on and in focus as well.
  • The camera isn't plugged into the DVR. Again, this is another all-too-common no-brainer that should never happen at all. It actually doesn't take much to affect the connection between the camera and DVR. Small vibrations and cable movement at both ends of the connection can cause the cable to look plugged in while the connection has actually come apart. Check the connection on a regular basis and make sure video is being sent to the DVR.
  • The DVR isn't recording. Even if you've managed to get this far without making any missteps, this is a major kicker. Operating system reboots and power outages can easily throw off a DVR so it's critical to check that the DVR is actually working properly. Even if the DVR is recording, be sure to check recorded footage to make sure everything from camera placement to the DVR recording quality itself is functioning as it should be.
  • Resolution and frame rate aren't set properly. This controls how clear and smooth your footage is. If the resolution isn't high enough, the image will be fuzzy. If the frame rate is too low, the image will be choppy. Be sure these two items are set correctly for your needs.

About the Author: Thomas M. Bird is a surveillance expert and contributing writer who enjoys helping small businesses set up their security systems effectively.

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Author: Amitava Sarkar

Amitava Sarkar

Member since: Nov 28, 2014
Published articles: 359

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