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The Tutis Group Reports on the Five Biggest CCTV Mistakes

Five things to consider before installing any CCTV or video surveillance system. The certified and insured CCTV experts at The Tutis Group offer these 5 commonly overlooked considerations when installing a CCTV system in a business, home, or public space.

The Tutis Group Reports on the Five Biggest CCTV Mistakes
Woodside, NY, December 17, 2013 --( The Tutis Group reports on the 5 biggest mistakes of CCTV installations.

Mistake # 1 – Neglected Equipment
It’s not uncommon for equipment to be forgotten after it’s installed. Yes, it worked fine right after installation but months down the road there may have been brief power interruptions or other failures that stopped the system from recording video. The user continues to give no thought to the system until it’s too late, until after an incident prompts their review of the video, only to find there’s no video! Many systems come with built-in maintenance functions but often these alerts are not set up by the installer or user. Before any installation is considered complete, make sure your installer sets up all the e-mail alerts, time/date stamps, camera out alerts, and recording interruption alerts.

Mistake # 2 - Storage Needs Underestimated
Costs associated with memory must be balanced with the utility added memory brings. For example, in a retail environment a customer may dispute a credit card charge after receiving their statement. By the time law enforcement or the credit card company requests the video, 45 days may have passed from the original transaction. The customer, along with the police know that you have a CCTV system, unfortunately you are now in the position of having to say you don’t have the video because it’s been over-written. While you are under no obligation to have video for such transactions, it’s a public relations embarrassment to come up short. Some customers might take a very negative view on the unavailability of the video if they suspect one of your employees was involved in the fraudulent charge. Storage capacity should be determined by the various cycles involved in your business, traffic, and incident reporting timeline considerations. Another example: a self-storage facility may have low foot traffic, primarily on weekends and some visitors may only visit every few months. Should an incident occur – it may be months before it gets reported. Due care should be taken in determining the amount of memory needed for any facility and its intended purpose. Purpose determines memory storage capacity. Sometimes it’s not just a matter of the storage itself as much as the configuration of the system. Is the recording motion capture or continuous? Are individual camera alarms set? If some low traffic cameras are set for motion only, enormous hard drive space can be saved.

Mistake # 3 – Expecting Playback Quality to Match a Live Feed
This is where selecting the correct level of resolution is critical. Less expensive cameras seem adequate when you are accustomed to only viewing the live feed. However, security-critical information can be lost on playback if the wrong equipment was selected. Most installers will be happy to sell you any brand or quality level you are willing to pay for but be certain that the installers have an understanding of your actual security needs. That comes from an understanding of the specific vulnerabilities your facility may face. Your CCTV vendor has to be more than an installer or technician. Instead they should be able to complete a threat assessment and understand the nature of the risks posed to your particular facility.

Mistake # 4 Inadequate Operational Security
The best systems can be compromised by a determined adversary and sometimes the threat comes from within. A dishonest employee may unplug the system a few days before their planned attack. An employee may be terminated or transferred but their credentials in the system remain unchanged – leaving the door open for future attack or cover for another employee’s attack. Most systems allow for security redundancy and checks and balances but often are not set up or monitored. User logs, user security levels with corresponding operational widows, and password management are tools that are rarely used even though most systems come complete with such important features. It’s very important that the installer spend time with the users during an orientation that covers not only the actual use of the system, but the benefits and convenience of using the CCTV system to its full capacity. Like programming a VCR of old, the initial set-up process can seem daunting, but a patient installer will give the user a good comfort level with the system before leaving.

Mistake # 5 – Improper Installation
Modern CCTV systems are so well designed and prolific that users can be lulled into believing these are simple do-it-yourself projects. Many electronic retailers sell inexpensive systems that are ready to go right out of the box. However, even these systems require due consideration where they are placed. Interference from HVAC and other systems can impede performance at best or be a fire/electrical hazard at worst. Only properly insured and licensed installers should be used. When expensive equipment is installed by unqualified installers, manufacturer warranties are voided. Worst still, if one of the goals of the system is to reduce liability, the opposite may occur if an improperly installed system becomes a hazard. Installation cost is not the place to save money.

Joseph Jay Finn, CEO of the Tutis Group
To contact Jay Finn or The Tutis Group please visit or call 718-899-3883.
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