Surveillance Footage Monitoring

laptop monitor-Intel Free PressWhen you picture a surveillance monitoring station what do you see?  Is it a half awake guard staring blankly at multiple monitors?  If that’s the case you can scratch that image from your mind.  The future of monitoring services is quickly shifting and adapting to our society’s need for streamlined and efficient processes.  As surveillance systems migrate from analog to IP with megapixel network cameras, and our world becomes more and more connected through the IoT (Internet of Things), the desire to access and monitor footage from anywhere increases.  This is where the idea of remote monitoring comes into play.

Being able to remotely monitor surveillance footage from virtually anywhere is a convenience that, up until recently, hasn’t been a pervasive security feature.  It differs from alarm monitoring in the sense that a service representative isn’t necessarily waiting around for an alarm to go off, instead they are actively watching live recordings to catch potential disasters before they happen.  In the past a company would typically hire people to monitor cameras on site, which isn’t always the most economical or effective method.  Today, companies are using off-site monitoring services that have the ability to keep watch over multiple facilities 24/7.  In conjunction with that, business owners have the ability to download apps that allow them to access their surveillance footage at their convenience via a mobile device.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our experts typically recommend a monitoring service as part of a comprehensive security system to help ensure its effectiveness.  Our team of licensed technicians have been providing security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 25 years.  The technological climate is ever changing and we always do our best to stay on top of relevant trends that will benefit our customers.

Remote monitoring allows an individual or group of users to access surveillance footage through a secured network from virtually anywhere via a smartphone, tablet, computer, or mobile device.  Why is this beneficial?  It can help cut down, or eliminate entirely, the need to have an on-site staff staring at monitors, how effective can that be anyway?  According to Doug Marman, CTO of VideoIQ Inc. and founder of Remote Guarding Alliance, “…humans monitoring video screens grow fatigued to the point of ineffectiveness after only 20 minutes…”  Marman argues that the traditional method of monitoring surveillance is at best a practice in “hindsight” strategy.  Meaning by the time a reaction is made the damage is done or the perpetrator has already escaped.

Marman’s system of remote monitoring using a combination of video analytics and audio over IP, or voice over IP (VOIP), decreases response time and increases the ability to monitor a large quantity of cameras at once.  And in contrast to human attention span, video analytics are “100 percent vigilant.”  Marman illustrates the ability to interact with intruders instantly via audio over IP, citing how quick they are to abandon their criminal attempt when someone is calling them out over a speaker on site.  While audio interaction is an intriguing feature that allows for a virtual presence at all times, it may not be necessary depending on your type of business and your security needs.  What matters most is the ability to react instantly, reduce any lag time in response, and prevent false alarms as they typically result in fines and wasted essential resources.

With response time being one of the top benefits of remote monitoring it can also reduce overall monitoring costs, increase scalability options, and send notifications via e-mail or other media.  While the benefits of a remote monitoring system may eliminate the need to hire on-site staff, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should rely solely on self-monitoring.  If you were to take on the task of monitoring everything yourself, your business could be at risk.  Imagine you’re monitoring from a smartphone, it runs out of battery and you don’t have your charger handy.  What if you misplace your smartphone and miss an important notification?  Think about logistics too, as a business owner even you need to get sleep, you can’t be vigilant 24/7.

Having the ability to self-monitor should be looked at as an added layer of security, not your only means of protection.  According to Jerry Cordasco, vice president of operations for G4S Video Monitoring Support and Data Center, “A better choice for remote video surveillance is the use of a professional monitoring facility.”  Having a remote monitoring service provides a virtual presence 24/7 that can access real time footage and initiate the appropriate response immediately.

Security systems can be an effective crime fighters, but what good are they if an alarms goes off and no one is notified or made aware?  What good is a surveillance system that no one is monitoring?  You might get lucky and capture a license plate number that could eventually lead you to the perpetrator after the fact, but by that point the damage has been done.  The goal of a remote monitoring service is to provide timely and accurate responses to disturbances on site.

As a security systems provider, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of immediate action.  Mere seconds can be the difference between prevention and disaster.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions, which include monitoring services, to facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Every business has different security risks that is why we tailor our solutions to fit your specific needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Intel Free Press-Flickr-Creative Commons

Can Central Monitoring be Replaced by Self-monitoring?

Traditionally in any monitored security system, the individual security devices are installed by a systems integrator and when an alarm sounds or something looks suspicious a signal, and sometimes a video clip, is sent to a central monitoring station which then either contacts the end-user or the local authorities to initiate an emergency response.  This system still exists today and is considered an effective means for preventing disaster and catching criminals.  However, in light of recent technological advancement, the end user now has the capability to “monitor” their own property via their mobile device.  One has to wonder, how effective can self-monitoring be and could it actually replace a central monitoring service?

Our licensed team of integrators at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We have seen how technology can affect not only individual security devices but the system as a whole.  There are pluses and minuses to every situation, but its understanding which methods and devices provide the most benefits that make the difference, and monitoring services are no exception.

As a business owner it’s nice to feel in control of your facility and what goes on within it.  This is where the idea of self-monitoring comes into play.  If you have a security system installed at your facility, it can be set up to send notification directly to your mobile device.  This means that when there is a disturbance, maybe an intruder walks in front of a motion sensitive video camera, a video clip can be sent directly to your smartphone or mobile device so you can act.  The same is true of a tripped alarm.  This all sounds great, right?  However, it’s not without its limitations.

One of the major drawbacks of monitoring your own alarm system is failure to initiate an immediate and adequate response.  This could happen for a number of reasons.  One being your mobile device is turned off or not on your person.  Another could be a missed notification.  As a business owner you likely have enough on your plate to occupy the full 24 hours of the day, never mind trying to keep an eye on your facility at all times.  It’s a feat not likely met by any independent business owner, you have to sleep at some point.  Self-monitoring can also become a nuisance, receiving excessive notifications throughout the day.  The constant interruption would be enough to drive anyone mad.  It’s for these reasons central monitoring services continue to prevail.

The goal of monitoring an alarm system is to create a proactive response versus a reactive one.  In the recent past, surveillance footage was primarily being utilized in “after the fact” scenarios where local authorities would try to catch a perpetrator or solve a crime based on recorded footage.  Today, with real-time video verified notifications and improving communications, local authorities stand a better chance of catching someone red-handed.

There are essentially four different types of monitoring that can be implemented, including self-monitoring.  There’s onsite monitoring which typically consists of paying someone to sit and stare at TVs or computer monitors.  According to a study from Sandia National Laboratories the attention span of a person viewing surveillance footage for just 20 minutes will be “significantly diminished.”  It’s not a very reliable or economical method to ensure the security of your facility.

Then you have remote monitoring where surveillance footage is monitored off site by streaming footage over the internet to a remote location.  However, this doesn’t mean someone will be vigilant 24/7.  This could mean streaming it to your home computer and that would only be effective if someone were there to monitor it.  Lastly, there’s professional remote video monitoring.  This type of monitoring typically employs operators that are trained on how to interact with local authorities and respond to different security scenarios.  These types of monitoring stations are typically staffed 24/7.

Professional remote video monitoring is an advantageous service because the operator on duty can interpret live video footage and provide useful information to the local authorities.  Information that isn’t necessarily transmitted to a mobile device in a 5-10 sec video clip; things like a perpetrator/s physical description, maybe the license plate or make and model of their getaway vehicle, what the suspect is doing, how many people are present, and whether or not the suspect/s is armed.

This type of monitoring can also help filter our false alarms and fees incurred by false dispatches by validating on site activity with the end user via real-time footage.  As the end user you can also request that the operators perform occasional virtual tours throughout your facility or parts of it.  These routine surveys of your property would help detect any disturbances but also help in general maintenance of your facility.  An operator may notice  things like loose wires or a piece of equipment that looks out of place.  Depending on your facility’s capabilities, monitoring operators can sometimes interact with suspects or people on site through speakers on a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) system.

While new technology continues to usher in the desire for self-reliance it also fosters further development of security system components and the way monitoring services are able to interact with them.  Many industry professionals agree that having a professional monitoring service is still the preferable method of watching over your facility.  There’s simply too many holes in trying to self-monitor your own business.  According to Simon Morgan, director of Technology, SureView Systems, “The central station remains the first line of defense.”  Matthew Riccoboni, director of Marketing, OzVision, says, “There truly is a value in 24/7 monitoring by the central station. Customers like to know someone is keeping an eye on their assets whether they are awake or not.”  With a central monitoring station you can rest easy knowing someone is always there to initiate a response.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators have been providing comprehensive security systems to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand the value our customers place on their business that they’ve worked so hard for; we work to provide the best solutions to fit their specific needs.  If you live or run a business in central or northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Check out this video on actual events that highlight the differences between monitoring stations that have video verification and those that don’t.  The last scenario is what everyone wants to avoid. Link: What is Video Verification?

Image Credit: Image by Bosch Service Solutions-Google-Creative Commons

What is Hybrid Surveillance?

Mike Mozart-surveillanceAs a business owner protecting your facility is always a top concern.  Are you getting the coverage you need?  If you have a comprehensive security system you’re already in a good position.  However, a security system is only as good as the sum of its parts.  One of the most crucial parts of a security system is the surveillance aspect.  Surveillance systems are the eyes that keep watch over your business even when you can’t.

Like any other technology surveillance equipment is constantly evolving through research and development that is meant to improve its efficiency.  In today’s IoT (Internet of Things) IP-based (Internet Protocol) systems are a driving force that is changing the role of surveillance in comprehensive security.  But not everyone is so keen on the uptake.  Prior to the inception of IP cameras and network devices the world was and has been dominated by analog cameras and DVR devices (Digital Video Recording).  If you have existing surveillance equipment, chances are it’s a legacy analog system.

While the IP surveillance trend is picking up, there are still more than 40 million analog cameras in operation around the world today.  Making the switch from analog to IP isn’t an easy transition for everyone and integrators have become increasingly aware.  Fortunately there are hybrid solutions that allow you to work with your existing analog infrastructure and start your migration to an IP-based system.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our team of licensed integrators work with you to provide comprehensive security solutions that meet your needs.  Our experts have been providing comprehensive security system solutions, including surveillance, to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for that past 23 years.  We recognize the value technology adds to the security systems we install and how they can benefit our customers.

Why replace an analog system?  To be fair, analog systems have filled a security need since the beginning of surveillance that would have otherwise gone unfulfilled.  But just like any technology, progress is always pushing the envelope of what is relevant and effective.  Look at smartphones, they are constantly evolving, every year a new model with new features that jettisons society forward.  While businesses aren’t necessarily turning over their surveillance systems at the same rate, the growing trend is leaning towards IP and network based solutions.

Hybrid solutions for companies that aren’t ready to make the full switch to IP just yet offer the benefits of a more effective system that will ease the transition when the time is right.  According to Mark Collett, general manager of Sony Security Systems Division, “With hybrid solutions, you can get the best of both worlds—the near-zero latency of analog plus IP’s HD imaging quality.”

Video encoders are the catalyst for the hybrid solution, replacing out of date and expensive DVRs.  DVRs were traditionally responsible for storing and recording footage captured by connected surveillance cameras.  According to James Marcella, a technologist in the security and IT industries, a video encoder is, “an open-platform technology that acts as a bridge between the analog and digital world by essentially turning an analog investment into IP cameras.”  Video encoders would allow you to make use of existing infrastructure by attaching to the coaxial cable from you analog system, transforming the analog signal into a digital stream.

Many industry experts consider DVRs to be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment the consumer will purchase, and they are typically outlived by the analog cameras.  Also, they are not dependable, if they go down so does the whole surveillance system, and this could happen at a critical moment.  Video encoders are capable of running on power over Ethernet that can be tied to a backup power supply, keeping you covered no matter what.  You can also employ redundancies like NAS devices (Network Attached Storage) and SD memory cards to help prevent recording loss.

DVRs lack the image resolution, edge intelligence, and network capabilities that a video encoder can offer.  The frames per second rate (fps) is what creates a smoother clearer image, the higher the better especially in high motion scenarios.  Video encoders are capable of capturing images at up to 60fps whereas DVRs only go up to 15fps.  DVR intelligence is typically limited to whatever the manufacturer specifications have been set to.  Video encoders open the door to third party intelligent applications which allow you to choose video management software from virtually any provider in the connected world.  This creates a platform for advanced video analytics.

There is a large storage and scalability disparity between DVRs and video encoders.  DVRs typically have a low tolerance for the quantity of cameras they can accommodate which can leave a business vulnerable by not being able to cover risky areas.  On the other hand video encoders offer virtually limitless retention by being highly scalable.  Video encoders have the ability to accommodate single cameras and there are some units that can accommodate up to 84 cameras making them a highly flexible and effective solution for a large or small facility.

The hybrid solution allows you to keep existing analog cameras and infrastructure and as the cameras die or warrant replacement, they can easily be swapped out for IP creating a smoother transition.  Remote monitoring is another benefit to opting for a hybrid solution.  This adds a level of security you can’t obtain from an analog system, being able to login to your surveillance system to see what is going on at your facility when you can’t be there.

Hybrid solutions are an economic and less disruptive option if you’re not fully committed to taking the IP plunge, even though progress will continue to push us in that direction.  If you opt for a hybrid solution or aren’t sure what to do always consult a licensed professional to ensure proper application and installation.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators have been providing comprehensive security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We can guide you through the process of creating a system that meets your specific needs, from an initial assessment to final installation.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Mike Mozart-Flickr-Creative Commons

False Alarms

False alarm may cost a life-Shannon ClarkIf you have a security system you might already understand the consequences of a false alarm.  It is not something to be taken lightly and can have serious implications.  False alarms can happen for any number of reasons and it’s important to understand why and how best to avoid them.  No security system is perfect, and false alarms are bound to happen, but as end users and integrators it is our duty to try to minimize them.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed integrators have been providing comprehensive security system solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  They are knowledgeable about the products they install and can provide useful information on system function and upkeep to help avoid any mishaps.

As technology progresses and advancements in security manufacturing lead to better products it’s likely the instance of a false alarm or dispatch will be lessened.  According to Ron Walters, director with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), prior to the 90’s false alarms were typically attributed to faulty security products.  Since then manufacturers have been and continue to produce quality products, however that doesn’t guarantee proper application and use.  Accurate installation and usage lies the hands of the security integrator and the end user.  That is why it is critical to hire a licensed security expert for system installation and user specifications.  It is also important that the end user has an understanding of what is expected of them in order to avoid false dispatches.  Unfortunately, approximately 15% of false alarms are considered to be caused by user error.

In a world where there are an estimated 35-36 million alarms in use, according to Stan Martin who is the executive director of the SIAC, false alarms are an unavoidable evil. False alarms and dispatches are an annoyance for end users, but their ramifications don’t end there.  They take valuable time and resources away from emergency responders that might otherwise be needed at an actual crisis.  If you have too many false alarms it can create a “boy cried wolf” situation where authorities might be more hesitant to respond.  On top of all that you could end up paying substantial fines for repeat offenses.  Recurring false alarms that go unchecked can create tension between local authorities, end users, and security integrators.  But negative impacts aside, the SIAC reports that 90% of law enforcement still consider alarm industry professionals valuable allies.

Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause of a false alarm as it could have been a situation where an intruder was attempting a break-in and escaped before authorities arrived making it appear like a false alarm.  This is where video surveillance, alarm monitoring, and remote system access come in handy.  Being able to tap into your facility’s surveillance system and visually verify whether or not an intruder is or was present, is a critical time and resources saver.  With remote access via an app on your smartphone or mobile device you can do just that.  The beauty of remote access is you don’t have to physically be on site to see what is going on at your facility.  Having a monitoring service will also help determine whether or not there is an actual emergency and whether or not authorities should be dispatched.  An added benefit to having video surveillance is even if the perpetrator escapes before authorities arrive, the recorded footage can be used to aid an investigation and hopefully identify the intruder.

Aside from having proper security equipment installed there are some helpful tips for end users to keep in mind that will help avoid pesky false alarms.  One, always know your alarm code and be sure all windows and doors are secured before arming your system.  Two, be sure you get your system tested regularly, it’s typical to have an annual inspection but some situations might require quarterly or more frequent tests.  Be sure critical sensors and smoke detectors are adequately covered during any construction or building modification to avoid disruptions caused by debris.  Lastly, always consult a licensed security system provider with any maintenance or care questions.

While false alarms aren’t completely avoidable, you can lessen the chances of them happening to you.  Hiring a licensed security system integrator who is knowledgeable and has extensive installation experience is key.  Installing a comprehensive security system that includes video surveillance, fire and burglar alarms, access control, and a monitoring service will provide complete coverage and reduce the risk of false dispatches and alarms.  At Perfect Connections, Inc. our licensed professionals have been providing comprehensive security systems to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our technicians have the experience and expertise to install security devices and can help educate you on proper usage.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Shannon Clark-Flickr-Creative Commons

What Is Remote Monitoring?

laptop monitor-Intel Free PressWhen you picture a surveillance monitoring station what do you see?  Is it a half awake guard staring blankly at multiple monitors?  If that’s the case you can scratch that image from your mind.  The future of monitoring services is quickly shifting and adapting to our society’s need for streamlined and efficient processes.  As surveillance systems migrate from analog to IP with megapixel network cameras, and our world becomes more and more connected through the IoT (Internet of Things), the desire to access and monitor footage from anywhere increases.  This is where the idea of remote monitoring comes into play.

Being able to remotely monitor surveillance footage from virtually anywhere is a convenience that, up until recently, hasn’t been a pervasive security feature.  It differs from alarm monitoring in the sense that a service representative isn’t necessarily waiting around for an alarm to go off, instead they are actively watching live recordings to catch potential disasters before they happen.  In the past a company would typically hire people to monitor cameras on site, which isn’t always the most economical or effective method.  Today, companies are using off-site monitoring services that have the ability to keep watch over multiple facilities 24/7.  In conjunction with that, business owners have the ability to download apps that allow them to access their surveillance footage at their convenience via a mobile device.

At Perfect Connections, Inc. our experts typically recommend a monitoring service as part of a comprehensive security system to help ensure its effectiveness.  Our team of licensed technicians have been providing security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for that past 23 years.  The technological climate is ever changing and we always do our best to stay on top of relevant trends that will benefit our customers.

Remote monitoring allows an individual or group of users to access surveillance footage through a secured network from virtually anywhere via a smartphone, tablet, computer, or mobile device.  Why is this beneficial?  It can help cut down, or eliminate entirely, the need to have an on-site staff staring at monitors, how effective can that be anyway?  According to Doug Marman, CTO of VideoIQ Inc. and founder of Remote Guarding Alliance, “…humans monitoring video screens grow fatigued to the point of ineffectiveness after only 20 minutes…”  Marman argues that the traditional method of monitoring surveillance is at best a practice in “hindsight” strategy.  Meaning by the time a reaction is made the damage is done or the perpetrator has already escaped.

Marman’s system of remote monitoring using a combination of video analytics and audio over IP, or voice over IP (VOIP), decreases response time and increases the ability to monitor a large quantity of cameras at once.  And in contrast to human attention span, video analytics are “100 percent vigilant.”  Marman illustrates the ability to interact with intruders instantly via audio over IP, citing how quick they are to abandon their criminal attempt when someone is calling them out over a speaker on site.  While audio interaction is an intriguing feature that allows for a virtual presence at all times, it may not be necessary depending on your type of business and your security needs.  What matters most is the ability to react instantly, reduce any lag time in response, and prevent false alarms as they typically result in fines and wasted essential resources.

With response time being one of the top benefits of remote monitoring it can also reduce overall monitoring costs, increase scalability options, and send notifications via e-mail or other media.  While the benefits of a remote monitoring system may eliminate the need to hire on-site staff, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should rely solely on self-monitoring.  If you were to take on the task of monitoring everything yourself, your business could be at risk.  Imagine you’re monitoring from a smartphone, it runs out of battery and you don’t have your charger handy.  What if you misplace your smartphone and miss an important notification?  Think about logistics too, as a business owner even you need to get sleep, you can’t be vigilant 24/7.

Having the ability to self-monitor should be looked at as an added layer of security, not your only means of protection.  According to Jerry Cordasco, vice president of operations for G4S Video Monitoring Support and Data Center, “A better choice for remote video surveillance is the use of a professional monitoring facility.”  Having a remote monitoring service provides a virtual presence 24/7 that can access real time footage and initiate the appropriate response immediately.

Security systems can be an effective crime fighters, but what good are they if an alarms goes off and no one is notified or made aware?  What good is a surveillance system that no one is monitoring?  You might get lucky and capture a license plate number that could eventually lead you to the perpetrator after the fact, but by that point the damage has been done.  The goal of a remote monitoring service is to provide timely and accurate responses to disturbances on site.

As a security systems provider, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of immediate action.  Mere seconds can be the difference between prevention and disaster.  We have been providing comprehensive security system solutions, which include monitoring services, to facilities throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Every business has different security risks that is why we tailor our solutions to fit your specific needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Intel Free Press-Flickr-Creative Commons

How to Secure a Parking Garage

Parking Garage-David HilowitzThere are many architectural components to a business facility sometimes that includes a parking lot or garage.  Whether it is attached or detached, near or far from the main building it can be a convenient asset to any business.  It’s likely the place where you and your employees park in the morning and leave in the evening.  At some point in your life, whether you were at work or another establishment, you’ve probably had an uneasy feeling walking to your car.  But why?  Perhaps it had something to do with a perceived lack of security.

A parking lot or garage can often go overlooked when it comes to the security of an organization as it is not necessarily looked at as an actual part of the main building.  Often times organizations focus on protecting the areas people spend most of their time in, their office or interior work destination.  Sometimes a parking lot or garage isn’t even owned by the business it serves but rather an outside property manager.  However, parking destinations can often be high risk areas especially at night.  As a licensed security systems company our experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. assess the security risks of an organization as a whole.  We have been offering comprehensive security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  We understand not every business or location is the same, and with different locations comes different security risks.  Our team helps minimize risk by offering tailored security system solutions.

The risks associated with an unprotected parking lot or garage can be mitigated once brought to light.  Speaking of light, it is one of the most important safety factors in parking lots and garages.  As you’ve probably experienced at one point or another not all parking areas have adequate lighting, thus creating dark corners and easy hiding spots for potential criminals.  According to James Marcella, Director of Technical Services for Axis Communications, “The most effective deterrent to criminal activity is a well-lit area, because not only does it increase the ability for natural surveillance, it also improves the quality of recorded images from security cameras.”

Not only is it imperative for patrons to be able to see, but if something were to happen it’s crucial that security cameras record useable footage.  Lighting and surveillance tend to go hand-in-hand.  This means installing light fixtures that will provide ample illumination and an adequate CRI (Color Rendition Index) rating.  CRI ratings quantify the precision a light source has when it comes to reproducing color.  One of the best and overall cost effective options is LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting.

While lighting is paramount, surveillance is key when it comes to catching criminal behavior, especially in parking lots and garages.  In our current technological environment surveillance cameras and equipment are becoming more efficient and advanced.  For instance, garage and parking lot environments are not exactly the cleanest or protected areas, therefore surveillance equipment has to be able to withstand harsher elements.

Fortunately there are cameras built specifically for such vulnerable settings.  Vandal-resistant cameras happen to be a surveillance solution in volatile areas, providing protection from both human and environmental elements.  They typically come sealed from dust and moisture right out of the box making them durable and increasing their longevity.  This helps cut down on long term costs of repairs or replacements.

Aside from being durable, ease of integration is becoming a pervasive quality in cameras and security equipment.  Today, end-users are starting to migrate from analog camera systems to IP (Internet Protocol) for their image quality, coverage, and scalability.  This opens the door to whole system integration where a garage surveillance system can be on the same network as the business it services, or at least that’s the idea.  With IP and cloud-based surveillance systems becoming more ubiquitous, clearer images and video analytics are sure to play an important role in the security of any infrastructure, including parking lots and garages.  It would help cut down on the need for physical monitoring services as well provide a platform for remote access via a mobile device or computer.

When enhancing the safety of your parking lot or garage it’s important to consider landscaping, signage, cashier booths and pay stations, and alert systems for the patrons.  Landscaping around a garage or lot should be well kept and vegetation should be trimmed low to maintain a clear line of sight.  There should be clear signage that improves way-finding and some that indicates the area is under surveillance.  Sometimes seeing signage is enough to deter criminal activity.  Cashier booths and pay stations are crime targets for obvious reasons, therefore they should be well-lit and have adequate surveillance coverage.  Alert systems can be a helpful added security feature that would notify patrons by text message of any issues or disturbances while they are away.

Whether you are the owner of a parking lot/garage or a patron it is critical to ensure its security.  It’s not just about being vigilant of your property, it’s about protecting you, your employees, and your patrons.  As every location has different risks you should always call on a licensed security systems professional to perform an in-person security assessment.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to businesses throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  Our team is skilled at providing custom solutions tailored specifically to your needs.  We appreciate the complexities involved in protecting an organization as a whole.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by David Hilowitz-Flickr-Creative Commons

Do Surveillance Systems Really Work?

Surveillance-Jonathan McIntoshAs a business owner you want to do everything in your power to protect what you’ve worked so hard for, right?  So how do you do that?  Some might hire security personnel to stand guard and keep an eye on their facility, which can get expensive.  Others may opt for reinforced locks on their entrances.  But the best solution to truly protecting your business is a comprehensive security system that includes a surveillance system.  Surveillance is a key component in defending your facility.  If you have a security system that has a burglar alarm but no camera system, what happens when someone breaks-in, gets away, and there’s no footage of the incident to help catch the perpetrator?  A surveillance system can help prevent not only burglary, but employee theft, workplace violence, and vandalism.

You might think that camera footage is useless, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Camera footage isn’t as grainy and unreadable as it may have been in the past.  According to Hank Monaco who is the vice president of marketing for a video surveillance system provider, “today’s cameras are infinitely better than what was being offered 10 to 20 years ago.”  Thanks to advancing technological improvements there are a wide variety of cameras including high-definition which offers clear readable images.

As experts in the security system industry, our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of protecting a business from criminal activity, and how surveillance equipment can play an integral part in that protection.  Our team has been providing comprehensive security systems to business facilities throughout central and northern New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our belief is that a comprehensive security system should be customized to each individual business and should include surveillance, access control, fire and burglar alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm monitoring.

So how effective can a surveillance system really be?  If over half of United States employers utilize some form of surveillance in the workplace, it must be working.  Having a surveillance system isn’t always about crime prevention either, it can provide business insight that you can’t get anywhere else.  From keeping an eye on inventory to observing your employees behavior, you can get a grasp on the inner workings of your business without feeling like you have to hover.  Employees that are aware they are being recorded can actually make them more productive and enhance their performance.  Video surveillance can help prevent employee theft and outside burglary; the chances of being caught increase and generally people don’t want to take that risk if they don’t have to.  Aside from keeping an eye on your employees, video surveillance can actually help protect them and your customers by tracking suspicious visitors and behaviors.  Depending on your system, you could also have remote monitoring capabilities added.  This would allow you to access your cameras through an app on your mobile device from virtually anywhere.  Knowing you can check in on your business when you can’t be there adds a peace of mind you can’t attain from anything else.

How do you know what types of cameras and how many your business needs?  This is a question for your security system specialist.  Never fall for a provider that offers you pricing and equipment without ever having stepped foot on your facility.  To be adequately covered an initial security assessment should be performed in person by a professional.  Some basics to be conscious of are the different types of cameras and how footage is stored.  Two widely used camera types are Analog and IP (Internet Protocol).  Analog cameras require a monitor or TV to view footage which is stored in a DVR (Digital Video Recorder).  IP cameras work much like our computers do sending data over a LAN (Local Area Network).  There is a wider range of resolution options for IP cameras than there are for Analog.  Footage from IP cameras is often recorded and stored in a cloud system.  An added benefit of an IP camera is the ability to remotely access each individual camera which you can’t do with an Analog system.  With Analog you would have to log into the DVR system to access recorded footage.

While there is no fool proof system, having video surveillance as part of your comprehensive security system can help prevent catastrophic loss and assist in the aftermath of an unfortunate event.  For example, look at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  The suspects were caught on surveillance cameras and the surviving suspect is now facing trial.  Without video footage police would have had to rely on eye witness accounts which aren’t always as clear.  Criminal behavior is an unfortunate reality but we can be better prepared by implementing security technologies in our daily lives.  As camera technology advances the demand for more surveillance will rise.  Especially with progressive technology like “smart” surveillance that would provide more analytical insight into human behaviors, crowd counting, and even body heat recognition.  According to a ReportsNReports analysis the size of the global market for “smart” surveillance was around $13.5 billion in 2012 and is estimated to reach $39 billion in 2020.

Most business facilities will likely not require “smart” surveillance equipment yet, but who knows what the future will bring.  With the vast array of cameras available in today’s market your security systems expert will be able to find the type that suits your business best.  At Perfect Connections Inc. our experts have been providing comprehensive business security solutions throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We are committed to customizing a system specific to your company’s needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Jonathan McIntosh-Flickr-Creative Commons