You provide the security, there has been a loss . Who is to blame?
So the scenario is as follows. You are a CCTV installer and you provide images and alarms to a central station. The security system and CCTV camera have worked very well as part of an integrated system over the last few years but then there is a massive loss on site and all of a sudden the customer is screaming at you and wanting you, the CCTV supplier to pay up for his losses. A situation that could cause a lot of friction and bad feeling, but worse of all, the loss of a major contract and a very important customer.
A familiar story
It happens frequently and the blame more than often lies somewhere in the middle between the suppliers of the CCTV monitoring, the customer and the installer.
As installers the main protection when we have integrated systems against the accusations thrown at us are; the specification, the evidence held at the monitoring station and the CCTV camera footage.
Was the CCTV system set?
This may sound obvious but it is always the first question that must be asked. So many times during a post robbery investigation it turns out that the system is left unset, if this is established then the security providers need worry no further.
Was the coverage compromised by the customer?
This may again sound obvious but so often the customer may block coverage of the sensors or CCTV cameras and so the system cannot possibly work properly. Generally reviewing the CCTV camera footage on the DVR will soon clear the installer if the customer is at fault.
Third party issues
What happens then if everything is on site but the receiving centre has not got the pictures?. Well is it the remote connection I.E telephone or broadband that has let the system down? The logs in the DVR should be able to prove if this is the case and will tell the installer again if any blame can be placed on him.
The central station
Finally of course we have central station operator error, This to needs to be eliminated because generally remote monitoring is sub-contracted to the central station by the installers. Ultimately the installer is still responsible for the central station’s actions. Once again proof will come from the recorded images held by the Central station, any voice recording they may keep and the central station log that will record all activity received.
But really the whole thing is an insurance issue. CCTV companies cannot possibly factor in losses to the price they are able to charge for an installation. Surely this is why insurance companies are in business. Of course if the CCTV company is proven to have been negligent then this is something for the insurance companies to sort out through the loss adjusters at a later date.
So for customers and installers alike hopefully this bit of advice will raise enough questions at the point of sale and through out the company /customer relationship to realize that all parties have a part to play in ensuring that a CCTV system works effectively, every time.