How to Install a Video Surveillance System
by Shawn Scarlata
Whether you’ve just signed a first-time lease on a new building for your business or are profitable enough to be opening up a second location, keeping your business protected should be at the top of your move-in list. Installing a video surveillance system can not only help you solve a crime once it’s been committed, but can also act as a deterrent for would-be criminals.
However, just like with computers, phones, tablets and all of your favorite electronic gadgets, video surveillance systems come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of business you own, or the kind of insurance you have, certain features of video surveillance systems will be more beneficial to you than others.
Before installing any video surveillance system, it’s important to understand what kinds of additional functionality you might need at your business. For example, ADT business solutions include email notifications, motion detection and cloud storage solutions. Another company, Dropcam, a cloud-based monitoring service, allows users to turn their cameras on and off at specific times of the day or week via a scheduling option.
After you’ve determined the functionality you need and have purchased the equipment, it’s time to install your video surveillance system. No matter what video surveillance system you choose, there’s a few commonalities all video surveillance systems share. Here are some tips to installing your new safety monitoring system.
Although it may be tempting to break open your new equipment right away, you’ll want to make sure you have the items necessary to complete the installation of your video surveillance system. According to VideoUniversity.com, you’ll need:
- Surveillance camera kit
- Drill with bits
- Fish tape coil for mounting wires (unless you’ve chosen a wireless system)
- Video monitor for viewing
While every video surveillance system will likely come with its own user manual, it’s important to have the materials noted above so you can install your system right away. The user manuals will come in handy when it’s time to learn how to operate the camera and how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise during installation.
Before you drill any holes in the wall, it’s a good idea to survey the area(s) where you’ll be placing your cameras and map it out. For example, depending on how many cameras you purchased for your monitoring system, you may have to prioritize certain areas of your business above others. Business Insider suggests that beyond understanding crime in your area, knowing how employees use your exits, entrances and parking lots can help you make good decisions on where your cameras should be placed.
If you’ve got a good idea on where you’d like to place your cameras, VideoUniversity.com advises you connect your first camera to a power source as well as your video monitor. Then, you can hold the camera where you think you’d like to mount it. After you check via the video monitor that the camera placement gives you the range that you want, make a mark on the wall to determine the location of the camera mount, which will come with each camera you purchase. You’ll want to mark where you’ll be using the drill and screws to secure the camera mount.
If you’re not an electrician, it might be worth checking with one to ensure you aren’t drilling in or around any electrical wires, which could have serious repercussions. Once you’ve confirmed it’s a safe zone to drill, VideoUniversity.com recommends drilling pilot holes (holes smaller than screws) before placing the mount and screwing it onto the wall with real screws. This way, you can be sure the first time you screw the mount onto the wall, the mount is in it’s rightful place and won’t need to be moved again, which can be a hassle depending on the amount of cameras you have.
Here’s where the camera user manual might come in handy! Depending on the video surveillance system you purchased, you likely have a host of features that you can choose to take advantage of, like recording schedules, mobile phone alerts and more. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with your options on how to monitor and stay connected to the video surveillance you’ve purchased for your business, now is the time.
After you’ve mounted the cameras, you’ll want to pull out the control box, which is the virtual home base for your cameras. VideoUniversity.com instructs folks to connect the cable that comes with the camera to both the camera and the control box. If you’re keeping the control box in a back room or out-of-sight, this may require another hole in your wall, so checking again for electrical wires is a must. Once the camera is connected to the control box, you can test the video recording and monitoring as well as any other feature you’ll be utilizing in your video surveillance system.
Installing a video surveillance system can be easy, but only if you come prepared with the materials and knowledge of your new system and how you’ll be using it to protect your business. Understanding the features as well as having a general plan for the layout of your cameras will make installing your video surveillance system a breeze.
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