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5 Easy Tips for Setting Up a Business Monitoring System Installing a security system that helps safeguard everything from merchandise to sensitive customer information so your employees don't have to worry.
With all of the expenditures invested into owning and operating a business, workplace security might stumble toward the bottom of an entrepreneur's list of priorities. The costs of setting up a business monitoring system—not just the financial ones, but also the physical and mental costs—might not seem worth it at first. But installation needn't always be a hassle, security technology expert Ilan Gershon suggests.
Gershon is Director of Product Management and Development at Lorex Technology, an industry leader in home and business monitoring systems. He understands the value of safeguarding everything from merchandise to sensitive customer information, as well as ensuring employees follow business protocol.
"A lot of times, a video surveillance system in itself is a deterrent" for would-be criminals, he says. If it's not, it's there to "make sure you have evidence in case something happens." And that's something for which installation should never stand in the way.
Below, Gershon offers five tips and helpful reminders about avoiding mistakes and setting up a monitoring system with ease.
1. With existing wiring, the job's already halfway done.
The most reliable business monitoring systems are wired ones where every camera is directly connected to a central recorder, Gershon stresses. "A wired system is a little more expensive to install, but it is the preferred choice of most businesses and quite a few homes," both for its higher-quality videos and continuous recording capabilities, he says. And though potential customers typically experience the most installation intimidation when it comes to wiring, Gershon believes that fear is misplaced.
Due to the popularity of security systems, many storefronts and buildings already have existing wiring in place that can be retrofitted to service state-of-the-art cameras and recorders like Lorex's. "Being able to re-use existing wiring certainly takes a big bite out of the cost," Gershon says—and if a business owner decides to do business-monitoring set-up on their own, they'll save even more.
2. Installation doesn't necessarily require a professional.
Only in cases where a business is moving into a brand-new building sans wiring could an electrician be involved in setting up a Lorex system. "If you don't already have wiring in place, we typically recommend an IP-based system, which uses standard CAT5E/Ethernet cabling, which is relatively future proof," Gershon says, adding that since Lorex systems are low-voltage, they don't necessarily require a professional, but one can always be called.
But if the wiring is there, then so is the opportunity for a do-it-yourself project. "Lorex, for example, provides comprehensive manuals, quick-start guides, and remote-access guides with step-by-step instructions for set-up, as well as online literature to help customers understand how the product functions," he says. Even if you get stuck, tech support is available online or over the phone.
3. On the move? Go wireless or battery-operated.
Wired business monitoring systems aren't the answer in every case, but that doesn't mean entrepreneurs on a tight budget or those with traveling pop-ups that won't stay in one place very long need to forgo reliable security. "There are people that value the ease of installation with a battery-operated" or wireless system, Gershon says.
Renters who don't want to leave an expensive wiring job behind once a lease is up can also turn to these solutions to monitor business activity.
To ensure that battery-powered and wireless systems run as smoothly as possible, Gershon advises that a business monitoring system operator make sure batteries stay charged in the former, and that a Wi-Fi network is strong and interference-free for the latter.
4. Just a few strategic places cover a lot of ground.
A system needs just a few moving parts to be operational, let alone beneficial. Gershon recommends that a small agency or storefront start with cameras on all entrances plus, if applicable, one on each side of the building, "just to get that overall situational awareness, be it daytime or nighttime." If there's enough budget to go beyond the bare minimum—or the workplace layout demands it—cover the windows next, "because that is a fairly common entry point for burglars."
When relying on a wired business monitoring system, be sure not to show it: Exposed camera wiring is practically begging for would-be vandals or burglars to tamper with it. "Lorex offers ways to install the camera so that the cables are not exposed," Gershon says. He suggests that business owners take the extra step to stash away cabling during set-up to avoid potential problems in the future.
Additionally, "if a camera is pointing at a floodlight [whether your own or your neighbors], that may cause some reflection issues," he says. "Plan where you put the cameras and make sure they're not in the way of any light sources that provide reflection to the camera and impact image quality."
5. Once installation is complete, stay updated.
Lorex systems don't only provide monitoring with their 24/7 recording capabilities. A client can access any set-up remotely through a Lorex app. "In recent years, we've made the notifications smarter," Gershon remarks, which means a Lorex camera can distinguish human activity at a business's entryway (as opposed to other motion such as leaves or rain) and notify the owner to check the live feed in the app. From there, if their cameras have the capabilities, they can flash warning lights or sirens to ward off would-be intruders before any damage or theft even occurs.
An on-the-go client can only be up to date with workplace activity if their app is up to date as well. "Customers often fail to maintain the firmware or the app updates for the device," Gershon notes. Doing so means your functionality isn't up to speed, potentially leaving your office and valuables at risk. At the very least, check for app updates at least as often every mobile operating system update to ensure the best experience possible.
Click here to learn more about how a Lorex Technology business monitoring system can help protect your company.