You wouldn’t install a swimming pool in an area where the weather’s never warm enough to swim, and you wouldn’t buy a wedding suit if you weren’t already engaged. However, many people unfortunately do the equivalent … by installing a CCTV camera system that is improperly maintained, preventing the use of its footage when a crime occurs. Today we check out essential setup, maintenance and after-crime activities that allow you to actually use your CCTV camera system as you intended … to put away a crook!

  1. Choose covert CCTV camera systems
    In a business situation, it may be desirable to have some visible cameras in order to deter opportunistic shoplifters and the like. However, visible cameras can also be more easily disabled by spray painting the lens or cutting a cable – covert-type cameras (or at least, well-positioned equipment) helps avoid this.
  2. Turn your overwrite feature on
    Although many well-intentioned CCTV camera system owners begin by regularly exporting footage, this task inevitably becomes boring … and it often isn’t done as often as it should be. There’s little use in having the camera system there if it doesn’t have a media to write the footage to! Turning on the overwrite feature means you aren’t depending on your own motivation to make space for new recordings.
  3. Do regular camera checks
    Your regular checks should start by looking at a minute of footage from each hour of the past 24 hours – do this at least once every 3 months. This helps remove the possibility that the equipment has failed due to a lightning strike or unknown voltage spike, the lens becoming too dusty to get usable footage, the CCTV camera system becoming unfocused, or the camera being knocked in the wrong direction.
  4. Have a backup person
    There should be one other trusted person who knows how to operate the system, in case you aren’t available and to ensure maintenance is done when you are away.
  5. Know your equipment
    If a crime does occur, you don’t want to have to get out the user manual for your CCTV camera system to export the video for the police. Practice in advance!
  6. Get a still shot
    The more you can help the police, the better they’ll be able to help you … go through your CCTV camera footage in your own time and look for the clearest possible view of the suspect. Use this footage to grab a still shot to give to the police – still shots can be more easily disseminated among people.
  7. Export surrounding times – look for video links
    Suspects often come to check out the plan they are planning to rob in advance. Go back through your older CCTV camera system footage and