Showing posts with label camera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camera. Show all posts

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Value of Video Surveillance in Public and Private Spaces

Good morning!

No one wants to create a police state (well, most of us don’t), but I can tell you from experience that there is a valid need for video surveillance in public and private spaces and in today’s blog post I’m going to tell you why.

Over the days, weeks, and months that we’ve been sending interesting news items across our social media channels, it’s hard not to notice the volume of times when a camera placed in the right spot, being there at the right time, has caught criminals in the act of a crime against innocent people, like yourself. And now that video cameras are being installed in and outside of residential structures, we’re seeing an even greater influx of situations where the perpetrators of crime are coming to justice—or at least we know what they look like.

Take for example the news item we featured on February 22nd entitled “Shotgun, jewelry, electronics stolen from west Columbus home.”

According to WCMH, Channel 4 in Columbus, Ohio, “Investigators are looking for a burglar who took a firearm and other items from a west Columbus residence last month. Central Ohio Crime Stoppers said the man broke into the Tampico Drive home on Jan. 13, 2016. He stole a shotgun, jewelry and other several electronic items before leaving” (

Another example of where a video camera placed in the right spot at the right time caught someone in the act of robbing a Speedway gas station on the Eastside of Columbus.

According to Fox 28, “The man picked up what appeared to be a small bag of chips and stood in line at the cash register. When the customers left the store, he asked the cashier, "Give me the money, and don't do anything stupid or I'll shoot you" (

The fact is, these are becoming desperate times and when this kind of thing occurs in society, it often creates desperate people. You would think that these and other such criminals would instinctively understand the risk they run by committing such a crime in the open, but some folks are willing to risk discovery, and they often do.

One of the common places that police go for video in public spaces when a nearby crime occurs is local ATMs. Of course, crimes occur at ATMs each and every day, as did on November 23rd of 2015 in Huntsville, Alabama.

“The crime took place at a Redstone Federal Credit Union ATM in Huntsville Nov. 23. “He'd just stolen a debit card from a residence on Martin Road and couldn't wait to try and use it to steal some money. “ATM footage shows the suspect was sitting in the back seat of the car. That means at least one other person, the driver, was an accomplice to this card being swiped” (

Street cameras have also been equally valuable as a means of establishing the identity of criminals who commit crimes against innocent citizens. On July 22nd of last year, we featured an article on the ESC website entitled “How to Avoid the Theft of Expensive Jewelry.” In it we featured a video of a woman being accosted on the street for her gold jewelry.

“A warning from police departments across the country, crooks are coming after it. The volatile stock market has driven investors to buy gold that’s driven the price of gold to record highs making gold even more appealing for crooks and in some cities the crooks are getting pretty brazen,” says a television news anchor with Fox, channel 10. (
Because of the increase in such incidents that police have reported across the nation, earlier in the year ESC published another article entitled “Crime Prevention: How to Deal With Purse Snatching.”
“Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Florida offers some great words of wisdom regarding purse snatching. The fact is, in 2013 there were 684 cases of purse snatching. And, according to Ivey, during the first six months of 2014, there were 686 cases--more than the entire year before. There's no doubt that this specific crime is increasing in popularity among criminal types. These statistics reflect the situation in Florida alone!” (
ESC routinely protects public and private spaces using quality video surveillance systems. We often integrate them with our clients access control, intrusion, and fire alarm systems to make a powerful combination for crime fighting and alarm verification purposes.

For example, with a video surveillance in your business or institution, ESC central station monitoring operators are able to ascertain whether a burglar alarm is valid or a mistake. This can save you considerable money in false alarm fines. And, some communities, such as Akron, Ohio, verification is the law. In addition, we’ll equip you with a smartphone app that will enable you to look in on your facility at any time of the day or night, in addition to receiving vital images during burglar and fire alarm situations.

If you’ve been thinking about installing a video surveillance system in your facility, give ESC a call. One of our security professionals will be happy to visit with you for the purpose of discussing your needs. We’ll provide you with a professional evaluation and a quotation so you know how much it will cost.

Let ESC help you better secure your investment by calling us today at 614-754-1393, by email at, or use the convenient contact form below.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Video: Stationary Cameras Versus Pan/Tilt/Zoom Models

Good morning! From time to time I receive questions from our readers where they reference security technology. Today, I'd like to bring to your attention a question regarding fixed and movable cameras.

Without further ado:

Question: So far on your website we’ve read about cameras that are stationary, that do not move. What about cameras that move up and down, back and forth? I’m told they can also focus in on a scene allowing us to see what’s going on up close. Can you tell me when to use a movable camera and when it’s better to use a stationary one?

Answer: Cameras that are stationary are commonly called “fixed” and those that can be moved up and down and all around, as well as having the ability to focus in on a scene, are commonly called “pan/tilt/zoom” models.

There are those who believe that pan/tilt/zoom cameras are a cure-all for every camera application involving a wide area of viewing. A good example of that took place at an elementary school in New Philadelphia/Dover, Ohio where an EE (Electrical Engineer) specified a $6,000 pan/tilt/zoom camera with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to overlook a playground area in the area of 12,000 sq. ft.

After a number of months, the superintendent, who was mad as a hornet, said, “The problem I’m having is every time one of these kids do something at one end of the playground, the camera is looking in the oppose direction.”

The fact of the matter is, the EE could have specified six low-priced, stationary cameras with overlapping areas of view for less money than the pan/tilt/zoom camera. Not only would this have cost the school less money, but it also would have done a better job of monitoring the playground because now everything that goes on would be committed to the DVR recording.

Pan/tilt/zoom cameras lend themselves well to a manned monitoring station where there’s someone there to control it, especially where it involves zooming in to view a remote scene. Another application for a pan/tilt/zoom camera is when there’s an alarm system that can act as a trigger for the video camera. In this case a VMS (Video Management System), which would integrate with the alarm system, could be used to trigger the camera to pan and tilt, then zoom in on the area of interest. This is done by programming the VMS to make the necessary movements when a door is opened, a motion detector is tripped, an access control reader activated, and more.

The following video, produced by GuardHome in the UK, “demonstrates a good quality PTZ CCTV video camera in action outside premises. It shows how you can get close-up shots in order to obtain clear details of numbers, signs etc.”

If you have a question, please feel free to send it along through our Quick Response Form on the top right of your screen. It will only take a few moments to send it along and all questions will be answered, either privately or on the ESC website.

Thank you,
John Larkin, Senior Partner


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What Does Video Surveillance and Crime Prevention Have in Common?

The presence of cameras in a commercial facility is often enough to stop a would-be criminal from acting. And yet, there will always be those cases where a determined criminal will still commit a criminal act.

The fact is, most crimes that take place are based on 1) opportunity, and 2) the likelihood that the criminal won’t get caught. Cameras increase the chance of the latter.

Put yourself in the shoes of a criminal approaching a convenient store. Your intent is to shoplift liquor from one of the coolers. When you arrive and enter the store, the first thing you notice is the video monitor hanging behind the counter with your picture on it. In most cases, this is where the plan ends. What do you do then? You leave the store after buying a stick of gum in search for another store where there is no visible sign of a video surveillance system.

Okay, you find another one down the street where there is no monitor behind the counter. Approaching the liquor shelves you look around for any visible sign of cameras, but suddenly you spot this little round funny looking thing with a very dark glass dome on it (see photo #1, right, click on the image to enlarge).

Could it be a fire heat detector or is it a camera? If you’re determined to steal a bottle of your favorite Vodka, you’ll

probably throw caution to the wind and place it in the inner pocket of the coat you’re wearing. However, if you’re really smart, you’ll have taken time on the Internet to explore what the various cameras in use look like. In this case you would have known that the domed device you saw was a camera, in which case you would NOT have taken the bottle in the first place.

There are many kinds of cameras on the market to choose from. ESC handles a wide variety of surveillance cameras for all kinds of applications. No matter what the facility may be, there’s a camera that will accommodate it. The cameras pictured on the left are commonly found in commercial and residential settings (click on the image to enlarge it).

The following video also offers ideas and thoughts on crime prevention in residential applications. It offers some great ideas on how to prevent crime.

Part I:

Part II:

In closing, if you have a need for one or more cameras, ESC can design the video surveillance system you want. We offer the finest cameras for the money as well as a quality installation to go with it. In addition, our after-sale service is next to none, so give us a chance to prove it! Call us today! Dial 614-754-1393 or use our Quick Response form on the right top side of your monitor (scroll up).

Remember, we offer tomorrow's technology today!

John Larkin, ESC Senior Partner


Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Deter Robberies in a Convenient Store Setting

What is the best way to protect my convenient store during hours from robbery?

There are all kinds of ways to discourage robberies in your convenient store. Probably one of the most significant ways to accomplish this is to install cameras in your store. They should be quite visible to the assailant with a means of recording that is hidden and locked up. There also are services where video is sent to a video storage service over the Internet. This assures that if the robbers take your digital video recorder (DVR), they can still be caught on film, so to speak.

One camera should be facing the door through which the perpetrator(s) enter the store. Another camera should be set watching the count as well as the person on the other side. If money allows, a third camera should be positioned looking at the behind-counter view just in case the assailant enters that area from the side.

Camera placement of a fourth camera might include the isle in which you stock high-risk items. This camera is optional of course. Also where beer and liquor is made available to customers, just in case someone might try to hide one under his/her coat.

Another means of visible deterrence is to place a small monitor where the assailants can see themselves on it. This is a very powerful deterrence because they know their actions are being recorded.

In closing, although we’d like to say that total deterrence is possible, it goes without saying that there are some criminals who will commit a robbery no matter what you or your alarm company will do. By having a quality, well-maintained video surveillance system, the robbery will be documented as well as the assailant(s) involved.

Electronic Systems Consultants LLC of Columbus, Louisville, and Cleveland is ready and able to assist you in deterring would-be criminals from committing a robbery in your store. Give us a call and allow us the opportunity to provide you with valuable advice as well as a competitive quote for security and the cameras you need. There is no cost for consultation as this is what we do each and every day.

Call me, John Larkin, at 614-754-1393, or send an email to

John Larkin, Senior Partner


Monday, February 9, 2015

Remote Viewing of Video Surveillance

Electronic Systems Consultants LLC, a MBE certified company, offers more than just security and fire products, we offer service, and that includes answering your questions. The following query comes from one of our clients. If you have a question, please send it along and we'll have our experts provide the answers you need (Click Here).

We have a video surveillance system in our place of business that records to a time-lapse tape recorder that we purchased many years ago. The recorder works great and I’d like to keep it if possible, but I'd also like to view the cameras from my home as if I were there in the office. What do we have to do to make this happen?

There are several ways in which Electronic Systems Consultants LLC (ESC) can help make that happen. Probably the most simplest and sensible of all of them is to replace your old time-lapse tape recorder with a new DVR (Digital Video Recorder). Although your time-lapse tape recorder still works, the quality of the video usually is so poor that law enforcement is often unable to use it to identify a perpetrator(s), let alone get a conviction.

DVR’s offer the most for your money and they make it relatively easy to view your video cameras from afar. Using a DVR, we can plug it into your Internet router using Category 5e cable. If you are using a static IP address in your business, it’s then a simple matter of bookmarking the IP with submask address to your browser at home.

If you happen to be using a dynamic IP at your business, you can still make this work. There are services that allow you to glean any change in IP address that may take place at your facility. Some of them do not cost money while others do. As they say, you get what you pay for. Dynamic IPs do not change that often and so you also can send yourself an email everyday and check the header for the IP address where it came from. Using this address, you can gain access to your DVR.

John Larkin, Senior Partner