National Home Security month 2015 - Wherever you call home… protect it this national home security month.
We all have the right to feel secure when we are in our homes, vehicles or at work. And most of the time we are. But sometimes we need that extra protection and peace of mind that comes with adding a few extra security measures. With the advances in visual and digital technology, CCTV, alarms and other surveillance equipment, are more effective and affordable than ever before.
Home alarms have improved greatly in recent years and advances in technology mean DIY systems are now ready to go straight from the box and can be installed with the minimum of time and fuss. A brightly coloured siren box on the outside of a house can be an effective visual deterrent to potential intruders. As well as protecting property, personal alarms can provide reassurance and security and more of us are now carrying one of these handy devices.
The peace of mind CCTV brings us means many home and business owners are choosing to protect their premises with cameras. Cameras, either wired or IP versions, are quite straightforward to install and can be easily added to a new or existing surveillance network. Multi-channel recorders too can be installed to ensure footage is permanently captured and many offer live remote viewing for added security.
More and more motorists are installing journey recorders into their vehicles. Also known as dash-cams these devices record footage from every journey and can be invaluable in the unfortunate event of an accident or insurance claim. Nearer to home, security lighting and an IP camera covering the cars parking area can help to prevent vandalism and deter thieves.
Traditional analogue CCTV systems are still hugely popular but IP surveillance is becoming more commonplace. With an IP system CCTV footage is distributed over a network and can be accessed and shared easily. Simultaneous recording and playing, compressed content and better quality images are all advantages of switching to IP surveillance.
Add to your peace of mind with security lighting and extra locks for outbuildings and gates. Motion detection lighting is a great deterrent and locks will deter opportunistic intruders.
Home owners, tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts will find a huge number of uses for an inspection camera. With long flexible necks they are able to access even the smallest nook or cranny to check for breakages, leaks or potential issues with machinery.
Keep your surveillance network up and running with essential accessories including CCTV camera extension cables, microphone mounts and sensor units along with many other fittings including dummy cameras.
CCTV and the Law
Buying and installing a top-end security system is one thing. Setting up a CCTV network that fully complies with the law is another.
The 1998 Data Protection Act concerning the installation and use of CCTV refers largely to businesses. If you're a private homeowner looking to increase security around your property, you should be fine providing you adhere to one basic rule: the recording of another person's home or garden is not permitted. This pretty much goes without saying; however, where such breaches have occurred, accusations range from harassment to voyeurism to violation of human rights.
On the other hand, if you own a business and want to install CCTV, there are a couple of points to be aware of:
Where the CCTV captures members of the general public, you must inform them that recording is taking place. The simplest way of letting people know is to display a sign that is clear, readable and highly visible.
You should contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to notify them that you're installing CCTV. Your message should clearly outline why you're using security cameras.
If you're an employer, it is your responsibility to control who has access to the recordings and ensure that the system is only used for its intended purpose. If that purpose is specifically to detect crime, you should not use it to monitor staff conduct.
Requests to view recorded footage can be made by anyone and must be granted within 40 days. A charge of up to £10 can be issued for granting such a request.