Are security cameras an effective security plan?

Are security cameras an effective security plan?

Are security cameras an effective security plan?… is a question we often get asked. Before looking into the benefits of security cameras, let’s begin by putting crime and security into perspective.

South Africa’s crime rate is in an upward spiral and it’s no longer a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’ it impacts you.

While housebreaking or burglary has consistently been the most common crime experienced by households in South Africa, business property and related crime is not far behind. SA Police Services crime statistics show that for the period July-September 2021, burglaries at business premises increased by 18.2% compared to the same period three month period in 2020.

Simply put, criminals don’t care who they target as long as they can get away with it. They are growing increasingly more daring, skilful and sophisticated and the onus is on business owners and property managers to beef up security and constantly revise and update their security plans.

While you can’t safeguard your company completely from every potential theft and break-in by criminals operating both inside and outside your organisation, you can take steps to protect your assets and minimise the damage if an incident does occur.

There’s a lot of truth in the old adage “prevention is better than cure” and devising a security strategy is the first step in safeguarding your assets.

If you have not done so already, NOW is the time to get an integrated security game plan in place.

Prioritising security

Business crime is expensive eroding profits and productivity and security camera systems are a cost-effective way of reducing these costs. Business crimes, especially for smaller companies, can be extremely difficult to recover from which makes the prioritisation of security essential.

Remember, having a comprehensive security plan in place will reduce your insurance, liabilities and a multitude of other expenses.

  • Conducting a risk assessment and developing a realistic security plan is the starting point. (Reviewing regularly is essential).
  • A multi-faceted approach is recommended so that your property is covered from all angles (literally). This is a step-by-step process and won’t be achieved in one go.

Security mechanism options include:

  • Closed-circuit television (CCTV), security cameras
  • On-site monitoring or off-site monitoring from a 24/7 control room
  • Alarm systems linked to armed response
  • Access control solutions
  • Intercom systems
  • Electric fencing
  • Guarding and patrolling services
  • External security lighting

Efficacy of 24/7 security cameras as part of a security plan

Workplace security is most likely to kick off with a security camera system with cameras strategically placed to cover high-priority areas. Statistics show that with visible cameras in place, there is a significant reduction in the occurrence of crime.

Camera quality and selection are important (capabilities, positioning, angle, zoom lens, night vision and resolution are all factors to take into account) so ask your security service provider for advice.

Security cameras, also known as CCTV cameras, are excellent property protection tools, providing video surveillance and capturing images or recordings of what goes on whether you’re on-site or off.

CCTV systems are used together with intrusion-detection devices with the aim of asset protection. A reliable, cost-effective means for improving security and safety they are universally accepted for managing security.

Burglars are wary of visible security and CCTV cameras work both as a deterrent and a recovery tool. Should a crime occur, they are useful in helping to gather crucial evidence.

Security camera systems are most likely to stop a crime before it happens by alerting your security service provider or the authorities in real-time rather than after the fact.

Monitoring of these systems is integral to the level of protection they afford so don’t be tempted to cut costs and view this as an unnecessary added expense.

  • Alarm or trigger-based offsite monitoring allows for much faster reaction times.
  • When an event occurs, the system transmits live video to the offsite control room and the team monitoring responds immediately.

Benefits of security camera technology include:

  • Their presence is a proven deterrent to crime and criminals will tend to opt for easier pickings.
  • Employees are likely to work more effectively knowing they are protected by cameras.
  • Security cameras can be placed anywhere as long as there is an adjacent power source. We look at load shedding a little further on.
  • Security cameras can provide a lower-cost alternative to business security when compared with ‘boots on the ground’.
  • High-quality audio and video ability for recording and documenting events.

Should you opt to install CCTV cameras at your place of business, however, make sure you understand the legal and privacy ramification in respect of staff break rooms, bathrooms or other areas where there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy. Apprise employees of their presence and explain the reason for their installation.

Impact of load shedding on security

Rolling blackouts hit South Africa in 2008 with load shedding becoming an almost daily reality. Twelve years down the line, it continues to have a hugely negative impact on business (and residential) security.

Due to Eskom’s inability to keep the power flowing, a key element of every security plan today must be to ensure that adequate backup power systems are in place.

For the most part, security solutions are reliant on electricity, be it cameras, electric fences, automatic gates or access gates. While most systems have some form of backup battery that kicks in when the power grid goes down, incessant power failures can quickly diminish a battery’s lifespan.

Back-up solutions that can help limit the problem include:

  • Power packs with backup batteries
  • Uninterrupted power supply (UPS)
  • Generators
  • Inverters

When opting for a backup option, however, it is important to remember that the solution should be designed according to your specific security application.

A UPS, for example, is particularly well-suited for use with access control and CCTV equipment.

The trusty old generator has long been the go-to solution. Virtually hassle-free in terms of maintenance, it has a long lifespan and guarantees performance. That being said, generators are heavy on fuel and there are regulations around noise pollution in certain areas.

Power surges can also weaken typical electronic components over time and bring your entire system to its knees. After each load shedding episode, it is advisable to do a thorough system check and report any issues to your security service provider.

What is YOUR security plan?

It’s sensible to make your work environment as secure as possible. Having a security plan in place, like locking doors at the end of the day and keeping antivirus software up to date can make a big difference. It is sometimes necessary to install advanced security systems and hire guards to protect your property.

FSG offers a wide range of professional security services and high-tech equipment including alarm monitoring and armed response and CCTV, electric fencing, intercom systems, access control systems, gate and garage automation.

Learn more about our security services, or give us a call and we can discuss the process of developing, implementing or reviewing a security plan for your business: 011 763 2925.


Head Office Address
318 Sunriselaan, North Riding AH, Roodepoort, 2169

010 600 5050

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Fri: 07h00 – 15h30

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