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Five Critical Aspects of Surveillance Systems

Recently, several law enforcement agencies were asked what they thought were the most important aspects of a surveillance system. It’s no surprise when everything was tallied to what answers came up the most often. I will take a moment here to list some of there answers and expand a little on each one.

  1. Camera Positioning – Cameras have to be placed in strategic locations. If you have an area where cars have to enter your parking lot or driveway, get as good an image as you can there. Then think about where someone would try and enter your home or business. Cover all doors and windows on the inside and outside if possible. Remember, more that one door or window can be covered by one camera in some instances.
  2. Image resolution -It does no good to have a system in place if the equipment isn’t producing a good enough image for law enforcement to work with.
  3. Lighting – Landscape lighting on it’s own can be a deterrent to some criminals. If they think they will be seen while entering the property, they may look for another location. Also, if there is enough lighting, most cameras will continue to record in color which could be a huge help to law enforcement officers.
  4. Providing usable video – Providing usable video to officers in a timely manner is essential. You should have a system that allows you to export the video footage needed, along with the systems reader software, quickly so officers can review it as soon as possible.
  5. System maintenance -Maintain your system. If you don’t have a service contract in place, it is something you should look into. Cameras lenses need to be cleaned, cameras repositioned and sometimes pieces of equipment may need to be replaced. Maintenance is a must, and don’t forget to replace that HDD every once in a while. It will over time need to be replaced too.

While there are obviously countless variables one must consider when designing a surveillance solution, if one takes these five things into consideration, chances are the system will be successful.

Brian Merritt


  1. Anthony Fost on February 9, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Image resolution is very important when it comes to using surveillance video as direct evidence in a court of law. The video has to be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  2. Ip Camera Man on February 13, 2011 at 5:45 am

    I agree with Mr. Fost that resolution plays a very important role in when choosing cameras for the surveillance system. Other important features the cameras have to have, depending on the circumstances in which they will be used, are Day/Night,WDR and Multistreaming.

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