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Video Surveillance Systems

A camera system that displays activity on a premise via video monitors. Used primarily in businesses but becoming more popular in homes as well to view visitors at the door or monitor activity in a baby’s room.

A video Surveillance system is sometimes known as  a Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV). A CCTV system is an on premises system consisting of a television camera, video monitor, and a transmission medium (Cable, fiber or wireless) connecting the two. It is used to monitor the premises.

What are Common Applications for CCTV?

Probably the most widely known use of CCTV is in security systems and such applications as retail shops, banks, government establishments, etc. The true scope for applications is almost unlimited. Some examples are listed below.

Security Applications

  • Observe and record theft or violence by overtly monitoring retail floor space, office buildings, building perimeters, warehouses, loading docks and parking garages.
  • Monitor sensitive areas where infrequent activities occur (i.e. confidential records, safes, etc…)
  • Monitor point-of-sale exceptions (cash register voids, over-rings, etc…) reducing cashier theft.
  • Observe and record shoplifting activities. “Walk a beat” by programming a moving camera to pan, tilt, and zoom within a defined pattern. Perform covert surveillance (where legally applicable)
  • Integrate with access control systems to provide video of persons entering and leaving the premises
  • Complement asset tracking systems to provide video when a tagged asset leaves the premises. Loss prevention is the #1 concern for retailers. Inventory “shrinkage” – through a combination of employee theft, shoplifting, vendor fraud and administrative error – is one of the fastest growing expenses in retailing today. According to a National Retail Security Survey, inventory shrinkage cost U.S. retailers more than $32 billion in 2000.
  • Monitor Financial Institutions- According to FBI data reported by the American Bankers Association – Bank robberies in the United Sates totaled 8,259 in 2001. Washington State alone averaged a robbery a day, and claimed losses of $1.1 million in 2001. Account, check, identity and internal fraud is also a growing problem for all financial institutions.

Safety Applications

  • Allow operators to see into areas where the environment is hazardous to life or health
  • Monitor potential accident areas.
  • Monitor residence halls, common areas, or high-risk areas to ensure safety of an educational institution’s students and faculty.
  • Help reduce the severity of some incidents by the timely dispatch of police, fire, and emergency personnel.
  • Monitoring traffic on a highway or bridge.
  • Management Tools
  • Train employees, check stock on store shelves and monitor retail sales floor coverage, production lines, etc.
  • Demonstrate management’s due diligence towards protecting employees, clients, and visitors, and perhaps avert or minimize litigation and negative publicity
  • Document video images on magnetic tape or optical hard drives to record events. This information may be reviewed and later presented as evidence for prosecution of criminals, or as a training tool.