External security has been growing in the UK now for the last 25 years and has evolved now to cater for all types of businesses. When most people think of external security they instantly think of cameras, and quite correctly. External security cameras form the first line of defence for anyone’s property. They are visible and pretty much everyone would recognise one. Cameras themselves though are never going to stop crime on their own. Viewing an incident the following day and watching people disappear with your externally stored goods is not much fun , especially if the perpetrators have taken steps to ensure they wont be recognised.
This is where a proactive approach to security becomes important. The cameras for the external security systems should be connected to a system of sensors that can alarm the images through to the central station. The central station is where CCTV can be remotely monitored and live images watched and reacted to . The operator will generally have at his disposal the ability to tannoy and warn the perpetrator that they are being watched he can also phone keyholders to get to site and catch the thieves.
The problem with remotely monitored CCTV systems is that the system relies on four parties to get it to work properly. Any failure in this chain of responsibility means that things could go wrong. The four parties involved are the installer, the central station, the line provider and the end user (customer).
The customer is important because site management of the external security system is crucial. Overgrowth or flapping plastic are going to cause false alarms and cameras can get switched off as a result.
The question though is regarding central stations. Can they staff for the number of false alarms they get and still provide an efficient service? Should they be allowed to turn cameras off as a result of false alarms? External security is difficult because of all the elements that can affect a PIR sensor when it is installed outside.
Central monitoring stations often find themselves in a difficult situation. We sympathize when they have to make judgement calls. Make a bad one and its going to cost everyone money.
For this reason we recommend that you use a central station that has a good name out their. Farsight are one such company together with Couger and RVRC . These 3 companies seem to have a grip of external security and how it should be monitored. No one is perfect of course and they need to ensure they only work together with good installers. Remember monitoring CCTV alarms involves teamwork between all 4 parties involved.
The cost of CCTV monitoring can vary but a general rule of thumb would be around £300 per camera per annum.Very much cheaper than a guard and sometimes a lot more efficient but plenty of work behind the scenes is required to ensure you get a good system and it is administered and monitored correctly.