Best security cameras for commercial spaces
By: Kim Brown
Date Published: October 21, 2021
If you own a commercial facility, or are responsible for protecting a public/private space, security is definitely a top concern.
Many schools, office buildings, casinos and similar facilities decide to use security cameras as they allow security teams to monitor multiple areas at one time. Security cameras offer several benefits, but some argue that they don’t do enough to prevent crimes from occurring. As such, an integrated security strategy, meaning a strategy that involves people and technology, is always encouraged.
There are dozens of security cameras to choose from – and what works for one building won’t necessarily work for another. So, when planning to install or replace a cameras system, ensure that you get the opinion of an industry professional first. An on-site walk-through with an expert is generally the best place to start. A great camera system quickly becomes useless if the equipment is not positioned properly, or if the lighting and equipment are not compatible.
Why companies prefer security cameras
A good security camera system offers numerous benefits to security teams, and the people they are designed to protect.
- Having cameras in public places make people feel safer. They may also deter people from behaving inappropriately
- Cameras have become so sophisticated that some have the ability to zoom in to reveal a person’s identity
- Cameras are durable, versatile, and can be installed anywhere
- The growth of facial recognition and analytical software enables much greater predictive insights into criminal behavior. This helps managers and supervisors plan for the future
Commercial surveillance cameras vs. personal cameras
Anyone could order personal or consumer surveillance cameras from Amazon, but a commercial space will benefit most from a commercial surveillance system. Yes, they will be more expensive, but they will also be more effective.
Security cameras designed for home surveillance have smaller sensor sizes, and fixed focal board mount lenses that range from 2 – 4 millimeters. This provides a wide-angle view, but images appear very grainy if you need to digitally zoom in to view something up close. Most consumer camera footage looks great in ads because the hardware is mounted close to the ground. But cameras usually need to be higher up for commercial applications.
A professional or commercial-grade video surveillance camera should have a varifocal lens or autofocus lens that allows the user to optically zoom in to view details or zoom out for a broader view. Professional cameras can perform under a variety of situations, and can deliver forensic detail or situational awareness.
Professional fisheye cameras use a fisheye lens that offers 180-degree monitoring and HD video quality. A single fisheye security camera can cover up to 4,000 square feet and replace multiple home surveillance cameras without losing coverage!
Another thing that differentiates professional cameras from personal ones is the storage. Professional systems require storage that is secure and redundant. A commercial storage server should not be an embedded operating system. There should be a solid-state drive on the operating system as well. Most managers will want to be able to keep at least 30 days of recordings at any given time.
As mentioned earlier, the cameras that will work best in your building or facility depend on multiple environmental factors and individual needs. However, these cameras are some of the best performers.
1. Axis cameras combine hardware, access control, and audio equipment with intelligent analytics. This gives managers the ability to see the entire picture.
Axis is a world leader in producing HD IP network security cameras. They have been at the forefront of the transition from CCTV analog security camera systems to IP network systems. Axis has products for indoor and outdoor surveillance, and some models can even see in complete darkness.
2. Honeywell video surveillance solutions range from IP security cameras to intelligent video analytics and superior video management systems. Their security solutions are user-friendly and scalable. They also consider safe data transmission.
When it comes to video monitoring at industrial sites, Honeywell’s HD security cameras have all of the angles covered. Some of their models have capabilities that allow you to see an entire warehouse from almost any angle. Footage is stored digitally on an NVR or a DVR and can be viewed at any time from any device that can connect to the internet.
Honeywell’s HDZ PTZ cameras provide extremely clear video with up to 4 million effective pixels and 30x optical zoom.
3. The Avigilon security camera line may not be as comprehensive as the offerings from Axis; however, they have everything that a business would need. This company also makes its own software, which has been described as simple and powerful.
4. Hikvision is one of the leaders of video surveillance. Hikvision has a product line that is ideal for productivity and parking security. Their solutions provide exceptional night-time surveillance with industry-leading low-light technology. They also have automated vehicle access control, and automatic event alerts product options.
Hikvision’s thermal cameras enhance the capabilities of indoor fire detection, and can detect temperature anomalies. The system will alert the user right away.
5. Hanwha Techwin’s world-class imaging technology is extensive. The company is competitive when compared to well-known brands like Avigilon and Bosch. Hanwha makes its own line of video recorders and video recording software too.
Once you have selected the right equipment, you’ll want to ensure it is being used correctly in order to make the most out of your system.
Using a professional installer is important. Leave this job to the pros.
This relates back to the first point. Professionals will be able to place equipment so that blind spots are minimized and cameras remain visible without being accessible to the general public.
You will need to determine how long you will keep recordings for. You may decide to use a loop system to record over prior events, or keep separate tapes and reuse them after a certain amount of time has passed.
Staff should know how to use the cameras, change channels, zoom in, etc. They should also be mindful about where they are standing when in front of cameras. They wouldn’t want to unintentionally block an incident or shield a suspect from the camera.
Schedule routine maintenance for camera equipment so that it doesn’t fail you when you need it the most. You can also conduct regular inspections to make sure everything looks okay.
Surveillance cameras play an important role when it comes to keeping people and places safe. Cameras are on duty 24/7, and they are much more technologically advanced than they once were. Cameras can now detect heat, see in the dark, and alert security guards when something is wrong.
While security cameras are most effective when combined with other security strategies, such as guards and access control systems, many businesses, institutions, and security companies prioritize this equipment. As such, it’s important to make sure that you purchase the correct products for the area you want protected. A warehouse will have remarkably different requirements than a condo building. If you aren’t sure about the type of equipment you’ll need (and even if you are sure), have a professional conduct an inspection. They will be able to determine which camera system will work best for you.