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Risk Assessment for CCTV Installation

In this modern world, Closed-Circuit Television has become ubiquitous to our daily lives. They are an essential aspect for any security system, playing a role in almost every industry as a crime prevention tool or simply as a useful piece of surveillance equipment in order to ensure the smooth running of your business. If you are considering installing a CCTV system, it is important to conduct an adequate risk assessment before doing so, in order to ensure it is effectively and safely implemented. Here is a brief run-down of things you may want to consider before installing your own CCTV system:

• It is vital to properly assess the locations of where the cameras are intended to be installed. You must consider where they may be most effectively positioned, for example at every entrance point. You would also have to ensure these positions are well lit so that the cameras will continue to work after dark. Alternatively, choose a camera that is capable of working in low-light conditions.

• If installing cameras outside, make sure the camera housing and their accompanying cable connections are adequately protected from the elements. Water damage is a common issue that causes faults amongst surveillance systems, so choosing weatherproof enclosures is a necessity that should not be overlooked.

• Consult data protection regulations before installing your surveillance system. If the area is frequented by members of the public, you must then comply with the data protection act, which requires CCTV signs to be visible explaining that you are recording surveillance images and that this data may be stored indefinitely. If it is installed on private property, this would not be a concern, however signs can still be useful deterrents for thieves.

• The location of your cameras is important, but so is the location of your video recording devices. Your camera might have captured the thief on film, but if the thief was then to run away with your video recorder, all evidence would be lost! Consider making it secure by locking it away in a cabinet. You may also choose to have your storage options located offsite, such as an external hard-drive that can continually download footage via an internet connection.

• CCTV systems require regular checks and assessments to ensure they are still operating successfully. It would therefore be useful to consider hiring a maintenance company as part of your risk assessment. This will help guarantee the longevity of your surveillance solutions, ensuring optimal performance through regular checks by professionals. If you intend to complete this yourself, then it would be sensible to create a planned system to manage these inspections. Alongside the cameras themselves, don’t forget to ensure recording and monitoring devices are also working effectively.

• Does your property need 24-hour surveillance? If so, there are companies available that offer dedicated 24/7 monitoring services across the UK. This means that if an emergency was to arise, they would be able to act upon it by communicating with the authorities or proceeding as per your own unique emergency procedures.

• Following on from this last point, your risk assessment should not just stop at the installation of the camera system itself. You must also bear in mind the emergency procedures/policies for action if such an occasion should arise (for example, who would be the first point of call?). It would be useful to have this all arranged and documented to ensure your surveillance systems run smoothly.

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