Showing posts with label video surveillance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video surveillance. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

3 Tips on How to Buy a Successful Video Surveillance System

The value of video surveillance in commercial settings is widely known and accepted. Over the years, the general public has come to understand that a picture is truly more effective than a thousand words.

For example, when a robbery occurs, the video is immediately pulled and given to law enforcement for their use. There’s a chain of evidence that begins at your video recorder that is documented from that point throughout the process. Using that video, it’s hoped that detectives, along with the surrounding community, will be able to identify the assailant. Quite often images from this video are shared with community members through local television as well as over the Internet. Using this method, by establishing a tip line and an award offering it’s often possible to apprehend and arrest the individual(s) involved.

There’s a whole list of do’s and don’ts to be aware of when buying and installing a video surveillance system for your commercial retail business. In this article we’ll include the most important ones you need to know about.

#1. Camera Placement

Where you put cameras is extremely important and where you fail to install them is likewise important to the overall security of your investment as well as your personnel. The objective is to make it obvious to the perpetrator that he’s on video and that anything he does from this point forward will not go unnoticed or unpunished.

With this in mind, the very first camera to install is one overlooking the entrance. Because this camera is hanging on the wall or ceiling looking right at him or her, they automatically know that there’s a record of their being there at that time.

Cameras also are positioned overlooking the cashier, the counter, as well as throughout a variety of aisles. Special attention should also be paid to special areas of the store, such as the liquor and cigarette sections. Not only are these cameras good to go during business hours, they also will help to identify criminals who break in after hours.

#2. Recording Video

It’s likewise important that you record your video surveillance images on a digital device with enough storage space to hold at least a week’s worth of video per camera. Good choices are DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) as well as NVRs (Network Video Recorders). DVRs are good when using older analog cameras that use standard coaxial cable where NVRs are used when working with modern IP (Internet Protocol) cameras.

If you have analog cameras and you one day plan to update or add onto your system using modern IP cameras, then I recommend that you purchase a HDVR (Hybrid Digital Video Recorder) because they will work with both. IP cameras are better than analog models, and because the average price of an IP camera has come down over the past few years, they’re now affordable to smaller businesses.

Remote archiving of your video is also a great idea for several reasons. First, there are times when smart criminals will not only break in and take things, but they also will steal the DVR/NVR and when that happens, there will likely be no record of the perpetrator at all. Having video sent to a Cloud-based video archiving system assures that if this happens, the perpetrator(s) can be identified and brought to justice.

#3. Don’t Buy on Price Alone

You’ve heard the old adage time and again, “don’t buy the cheapest thing out there.” Here’s why: “Because it won’t give you the results you’re looking for and so you won’t be happy.”

A good example of this is an installation we did a number of years ago where we were competing against a company who had proposed the cheapest thing that they could give. The cost of the cameras to the client was in the $50 range and the company itself was actually a one-man show—what we commonly call a “trunk slammer.”

Based on what the client told us during our initial meeting, it was clear to me that they required quality cameras with a price tag in the $250 per camera area. Needless to say, the prospect ended up buying the cheapest thing he could get.

Within a year, they were back on the phone with us asking for help. Evidently there was a shoplifting incident and the camera overlooking the door was unable to give the police a good enough image for identification purposes. We replaced key cameras with the more expensive models and so the next time an incident took place, identification was now possible.

Electronic Systems Consultants LLC (ESC) offers a full line of quality analog and IP cameras along with the DVR, NVR, and HDVR you need for a quality installation. Our installers are the best at what they do, and when we’re finished, you have our satisfaction guarantee. ESC offers the best video surveillance available for the least investment. Give us a call today at 614-754-1393, or visit our website at

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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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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Terrorism: Doing Our Part to Protect the Homeland

If you listen to the news every day, you get the idea that there’s a terrorist around every corner here in the United States, but is there? While it’s true that there are terrorist cells here in the U.S., it’s also true that terrorist events are the exception on a daily basis and certainly not the rule.

It’s not my intent to demonize the popular press by telling you that they are to be ignored, but a recent headline on Wired, which caught my attention, says it all, no matter which side of the US/terrorism fence you happen to be: How to Beat Terrorism: Refuse to Be Terrorized.

According to Spencer Ackerman, author of the Wired story cited above, published on 9/11/11, “In case you haven’t noticed, hysteria is what the terrorists want. In fact, it’s the only win a decapitated, weakened al-Qaida can get these days. The only hope that these eschatological conspiracy theorists possess for success lies in compelling the U.S. to spend its way into oblivion and pursue ill-conceived wars.”
No matter if you agree with Ackerman’s assessment or not, it’s important for you and I to remain vigilant in our daily work and personal lives. It’s equally important for us to avoid a knee-jerk reaction by balancing hysteria and a level-headed approach to the matter at hand. We should do whatever we can to thwart terrorism in the homeland while having enough faith to allow the authorities to take care of the rest.

So, what can you do to assist the authorities in their quest to keep the homeland safe—be it a large city, small town, or a quaint country berg?

As a business owner or the head of a government office building, one of the ways that you can assist is to install a quality video surveillance system inside and outside your facility and to make the recordings thereon available to local law enforcement whenever they require help. If possible, add Internet connectivity to your video surveillance system and provide outside access to local law enforcement.

A quality outside video surveillance system has also assisted law enforcement authorities many times in solving local criminal activities, such as murder, vehicular hit-and-run accidents, and much more. It’s not uncommon for police to knock on the door of a business, government facility, or even a residence to ask for help in this manner.

Do your part by giving them access to your recorded video.

John Larkin

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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