There may be a variety of reasons why people want to install a video security system depending on their specific circumstances. The ultimate goal is almost always the same – protecting things and valuables and preventing other criminal activities. Here we look at some of the common reasons:
1. As a deterrent. The first and the most important reason to install security cameras is to protect your home or business from burglary, theft, break-ins and invasions. The mere presence of a surveillance camera can be effective deterrent, especially if it is positioned in the most obvious areas where people can easily see it, like in the front door, the back door, etc. If your intention is for your security camera system does not go beyond providing a deterrence effect, it might be ok to get relatively low-quality cameras as long as they provide good visibility. NB! They are likely to be quite useless if you subsequently need to use their footage for any purpose.
2. For evidence & identification. Another important role of a security camera is to capture and record footage for identification purposes and to be used as evidence. If there is a suspicious activity or if a burglar breaks into your house, a recording will be stored and you can play it back to see what was happening and who it was. This requires higher resolution cameras and video recorders as well as a strategic positioning of your system to provide optimal coverage.
3. For live streaming. With most cameras now being accessible via smartphone or PC, another feature of a video surveillance system is to provide instantaneous real-time access to livestream and footage. A security camera can therefore be used to check in on your house / office wherever you are. For this you may need both outdoor as well as indoor IP cameras.
4. For alerts. Some video surveillance systems have a VCA (video content analysis) functionality that can be used to detect motion, loitering, trespassing, removal of objects etc. The camera can be programmed to send push notifications and alerts on identifying a potentially suspicious activity, providing an early notification warning in a timely and effective way. Therefore, if you are interested in getting alerts, ensure that the camera you buy support VCA.
There are also certain industry-specific needs that a video security system can address, like prevention of use of prohibited substances and smoking of cannabis in public places, prevention of copper and other metal theft from construction sites or trespassing or loitering in abandoned or temporarily unoccupied buildings.
We will look at how surveillance cameras can be used in such cases in future posts.