Archive for the ‘Video surveillance’ Category

Holiday Sales Times Means Increased Sales, As Well As Increased Losses from Employee Theft

Posted by

cctvBetween the months of October and January, retail stores see the largest volume of traffic for the entire year. The holiday gift-giving season has a lot to do with this. And while people are buying a lot of items, they’re also making many returns and exchanges.

While these months are heavy in sales, the holiday chaos also increases the number of losses. During this time, shoplifting also rises. Most retailers have a form of video security system to catch shoplifters, but the reality is that one of the biggest problems in business losses occur from behind the counter.

Employee theft costs employers between $20 billion and $40 billion every year and retail employees are the biggest culprits — especially those in the United States.

Dishonest employees are responsible for 28% of inventory losses worldwide, while shoplifters account for 39%. In the U.S., however, 43% of revenue is lost by employee theft.

Rather than pocketing items, employees are much more subtle when it comes to stealing from their employers. While some employees do take cash from the register or make off with an item from the shelves, they’re usually far more interested in handing out discounts.

At check out, an associate has the ability to modify prices, give discounts, or even void transactions into the register.

In many cases, they apply these discounts to items that they are buying for themselves, but they are also giving these discounts to friends, family, or other coworkers.

In this way, the losses are much harder to pinpoint. While the inventory may match up in the system, it is possible that so many discounts have been applied that the daily sales are much lower than what they would have been.

While many employers often wonder how this happens so frequently, the real question is why.

Many employers fail to conduct proper pre-employment screening, choose to give employees more freedom and less supervision in the storefront, as well as use point of sale systems that allow transactions to be easily manipulated.

Closed-circuit television systems, or CCTV, are security solutions that allow employers to view store activity in real-time, as well as access prior footage, and view the footage from anywhere. By supervising employees remotely, you are able to observe any dishonorable conduct.

Additionally, having CCTV in your store deters employees from theft. When they know that they’re being watched, they are less likely to steal or give unmarked discounts.

If you have a problem with shoplifting or employee theft, consider contacting ARG Communications for a quote on CCTV and other security solutions.

Most Common Mistakes Made With Video Security Systems

Posted by

When it comes to your business, protecting it and its assets is of the utmost importance. That’s why many businesses choose to protect their premises and employees with video surveillance systems. These systems prevent theft (both internal and external) and also provide valuable information in the event that a theft or other crime is attempted.

That being said, there are many mistakes that are easy to make when installing a video security system. Check some of them out below to make sure you don’t make them when setting up your own:

Not Enough Coverage
Video surveillance cameras are affordable enough these days that if you decide to invest in a system, you should splurge and make sure that you have enough to cover all at-risk areas. After all, what use is one camera if it isn’t able to record everything you need it to? Make sure that you have enough cameras to protect your business.

No Remote Access
Viewing your cameras remotely is very important, and not every system offers this feature. But being able to access your cameras remotely, even on your smart phone, could make a huge difference in how much you use them. If you have to take tapes down from the actual camera, you probably won’t actually use them very much at all. There are many low-cost and cloud-connected video cameras available with resolutions between 720 and 1080.

Bad Positioning
You may have video security coverage, but are you watching the right places? Are you making sure that every camera maximizes its capabilities? For instance, a camera should never be pointed at the ground, and obstructions should be taken into account. Something else that is often not taken into consideration is the effect of light — your cameras definitely shouldn’t be exposed to too much light, or too little, to provide good quality video.

Technology today allows you to seamlessly streamline your business, including your phone systems, closed-circuit television systems, and video security systems. You can easily avoid the problems posed by setting up a new video surveillance system and rest easy knowing how much safer your business is.

The Evolution of Closed-Circuit Television

Posted by

Virtually every industry uses video surveillance systems to monitor activity on their premises, whether to stop employee theft, manage liability, or to ward off criminals. Closed-circuit television systems are used to monitor employees in a variety of businesses, tenants in common areas of apartment buildings, customer activity in retail settings, as well as a variety of other areas.

Closed-circuit television, or CCTV, is often taken for granted as it’s become so widely used to maintain a secure space and improve productivity. Not only that, but CCTV cameras have been shown to reliably reduce business thefts by up to 80%.

The video security camera systems that we use today have obviously evolved from their first installations.

The first documented CCTVs were developed in Germany in the early 1940s to view the launch of V-2 rockets. These early surveillance systems could only be used to view live footage, however, and were not available to record.

Marie Van Brittan Brown developed the idea for the first home security system in 1966, which was subsequently patented in 1969. The system allowed a user to use their home television set to view people outside their home.

The first public service CCTV systems in the United States were installed in 1968, in Olean, NY, to monitor crime activity on the local Main Street. This set the precedent for many future installations on other city streets throughout the country.

Reel-to-reel filming allowed CCTV footage to be recorded, but the tapes were hard to change and resulted in a very flawed system. VCR technology was released in the 1970s, improving recorded security footage.

Video surveillance like that in Orlean became more common in the 1980s and was used by police departments to deter criminal activity. By the mid-1990s, police departments had extended their surveillance to housing projects, schools, and public parks.

Multiplexing was developed in the 1990s, allowing people to record multiple places at once and reference the footage in one place. CCTV footage could be compiled from multiple cameras and displayed on one monitor.

Today, in the latest evolution in the history of CCTV cameras, security footage has now gone digital. Multiplexes are often installed on DVR devices, which are more user-friendly than VCRs. But development hasn’t stopped there.

Network video recorders are now the primary method of video surveillance, allowing the viewer to access security footage remotely or stream it to a cloud-hosted storage system.

What does the future hold for closed-circuit television? That’s tough to say. With the increase in smartphone technology, live streaming and recording is available on many platforms. Whatever may happen to CCTV, it’s safe to say that improvements will continue to be made.

Installing Video Surveillance Helps Businesses Prevent Employee Theft

Posted by

The Philly Voice reports that a SEPTA employee stole $638,000 worth of train parts. SEPTA, short for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, serves Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. The employee allegedly stole parts from six different SEPTA properties to resell for amounts much lower than their value. Montgomery County authorities can date his activity back to as early as January 2015.

Approximately 500 batteries, 260 catalytic converters, 100 spools of wire, and a variety of parts specific to SEPTA’s El trains were found to be stolen by the employee, but only after a manager spotted him on May 11 of this year. The employee was not scheduled to be on the property and hid his face from the manager while driving through the parking lot of one of SEPTA’s facilities in Plymouth Township.

While this case involved unusually expensive parts, employee theft isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. The U.S. Chamber of commerce estimates that employers lose between $20 and $40 billion each year due to employee theft. When employees aren’t monitored, they have a greater accessibility to merchandise. However, if they were aware that video surveillance systems were put in place, they would probably think twice about these crimes of opportunity. By installing video security systems, employers can cut their theft losses by 80% and increase employee productivity as well.

There are different types of video security solutions available for businesses, including closed-circuit television surveillance (CCTV), which allows a surveillance company to notify authorities of suspicious activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rather than triggering an alarm on-site. Employers have enough on their plates as is. Adding time to monitor security systems will spread them even thinner, not to mention they may not catch every theft that happens.

Affordable, high-resolution cloud-connected cameras are available, and allow the footage to be accessed on multiple monitors in multiple locations. This makes it possible for the surveillance company as well as the employer to look at any footage or possible evidence pointing toward theft.

If you are a company struggling with employee theft in the Delaware or Philadelphia areas, contact ARG Communications. We can provide you with top-notch security systems that will help your business stay in check.

6 Commonly Overlooked Factors That Affect Video Surveillance

Posted by

Whether your run a business or simply want to protect your home, there are plenty of reasons to implement video surveillance systems. In fact, the video surveillance Philadelphia businesses use include remotes. These camera systems reduce theft and losses by 80%. To make sure your system is setup correctly, keep the following tips in mind.

Cameras cannot multitask
Focus on one thing at a time. Before installing video surveillance equipment, ask yourself what you want to record. Are you looking to capture someone’s face, a license plate, or just a general area? It is important to figure this out ahead of time so that you get the images you are looking for and from multiple sources.

Camera height
While the idea of mounting a camera at the highest point on your home or building may seem like the most logical place, it is not always best. You may not get the most detailed images if the camera is too high. You must be able to balance the effective range and number of cameras in a system to get the images you intend.

Wide dynamic range
It is important to find video security cameras that are capable of wide dynamic range. This is particularly important for doorways and windows. As a result, you will get an image that captures desired information if the angle of approach is correct.

Fixed VS. PTZ
The PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) features often influence purchasing decision. Customers are attracted to the ability to move the camera around and zoom in and out. It’s important to remember to move the camera back to its “home” location or the camera will continue to focus where it was last moved. PTZs are best when there is someone there to operate them and make sure the camera is focusing where it needs to be.

Lighting is crucial to capturing images that are visible. Especially with nighttime video capture, lighting is important to getting the images you are looking for. Often times, customers make the mistake of mounting cameras too close to bright lights, resulting in obscured images.

Proper retention calculation
You don’t want to purchase off the shelf closed-circuit television systems that do not allow customization of video retention time. Otherwise, you are locked into a storage timeline that is based on the number of devices and recording activity rather than your needs. Commercial grade systems, on the other hand, are custom built based on specific customer needs for each location.

The video surveillance Philadelphia business owners use helps to reduce the more than $20 million employers lose annually due to employee theft. The video surveillance Philadelphia small businesses typically use have resolutions between 720 or 1080 pixels. Protect your biggest investments using CCTV and make sure they are setup properly using the above tips.

A Dirty Security Camera Is Not A Pretty Picture

Posted by

Installing a security camera to protect your business, school, or organization is a wise decision. But for optimal performance, the camera must be properly cleaned and maintained. Fuzzy pictures taken through a smudgy lens don’t provide full protection! To increase your security camera’s lifespan and efficiency, follow these tips.

Check your lighting. Make sure your lighting is sufficient and works properly. A quality camera with poor lighting yields subpar images.

Monitor the camera’s setting. Routinely examine the area around the camera. For outdoor cameras, look for overgrown plants or other obstructions blocking the view. If you have an enclosed box camera, inspect the enclosure for insect eggs, spider webs, or nests. Also check the enclosed fan, heater, and wiring to ensure they are intact and functioning.

Clean your camera properly. Dust and dirt on a camera diminish image quality, so regularly clean your camera inside and out. Soft dry brushes, microfiber cloths, and compressed air cans are generally best for removing dirt and dust. Try a damp cloth to clean the outside of an enclosure and a lens-cleaning cloth to clean the camera’s lens without scratching it.

Turn off your equipment when you clean it. This allows you to clean not only the camera’s lens but also the rest of the equipment—and it preserves the electrical system.

What’s the most important tip for cleaning your camera equipment? Follow the manufacturer’s product-specific instructions! What’s the best way to get the job done quickly and easily? Call ARG!

For help with cleaning your security camera, please contact us. ARG Communications provides expert, hassle-free camera equipment cleaning. Call (302) 225-2000 or email for more information.    

Security Solutions, Explained

Posted by

Safety is one of the biggest concerns for any business or homeowner. Having reliable security to protect personal and business assets are important to maintaining a safe environment. Studies have shown that having closed circuit video surveillance systems can reduce theft and loss of personal and business-related artifacts by up to 80%. Not only can you protect your assets, but several companies make it possible to do so at a low cost. Many cloud-connected video surveillance cameras come with resolutions up to 1080 pixels and low price tags. This makes the technology for security solutions like CCTV more accessible to people like homeowners and small business owners, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford such high-quality equipment.

For those who may be considering security for their business or home, knowing the benefits of having security intelligence could be the difference between success for a business or region, and safety for a household. Below are a few basic benefits of having security solutions in place to protect what’s most important to you:

Improved Compliance Ability
Much of Information Technology (IT) is making sure to stay within regulation guidelines. While complying with these regulations does not confirm a completely secure environment, the penalties that are possible for failing to comply are given just as much importance as IT itself. Security solutions allow for regulatory and internal policy compliance to be monitored, measured, and made accountable.

Better Detection of Threats
In today’s society, security systems are under attack at all times of the day, hundreds of times a day. Security intelligence systems help to easily detect these threats and address them as soon as possible. This includes threats both internal and external and from just about any medium.

Reduced Data Leakage
Although external threats and attacks are the most common things people think of when thinking of what to protect their assets from, internal threats are just — if not more — dangerous. Internal threats, such as employees, have the ability to compromise not only intellectual property but, in some cases, national security as well. By implementing proper security solutions, organizations and individuals can detect things like VoIP toll fraud, which is a bigger threat than most understand.

The VoIP industry has grown by more than 50% since 2011 and is expected to have around 1 billion mobile VoIP users by 2018. Because it is Internet based, voip services are vulnerable to attacks. IT specialists are aware of this problem and use various solutions to combat this.

Whether protecting your business or your family, security is always important. Explore your security options and maintain a safe, healthy environment.

FAQs on CCTV, Answered

Posted by

Protecting your assets is a concern many people have, especially today. Theft and losses can be reduced by as much as 80% with properly installed closed circuit video (CCTV) surveillance systems, which can also improve productivity. Not only can they protect you from outside threats but internal threats as well. Things such as employee theft can run employers between $20 billion to $40 billion a year. Luckily, closed circuit video surveillance systems can help reduce the occurrence of this.

While exploring your options for security solutions, see what security camera systems Philadelphia has to offer. Before purchasing video security like CCTV, it is important to know at least the basics of video surveillance and its benefits. Here are a few commonly asked questions followed by answers to help give you better understanding of closed circuit video surveillance systems:

What is CCTV?
CCTV is a system in which video transmission is closed to devices not directly connected to it. This means that only cameras, display monitors, and recording devices physically connected to the video transmission feed are able to display its information.

What is CCTV used for?
For years, CCTV has been commonly used for security cameras systems by homeowners and business owners alike. They are becoming increasingly popular due to reduced costs by the manufacturers of these types of cameras and video recording equipment. Because of this, more homeowners and small business now have affordable security options. It is now possible to purchase a cloud-connected security system with resolutions up to 1080 pixels at a low cost.

Not only are businesses and homeowners taking advantage of this security technology, but city officials and governments are as well. CCTV systems can be seen on streets and highways for traffic law enforcement to monitor traffic patterns, allowing emergency services to quickly reach their destinations. Public venues like stadiums and convention centers may also have CCTV to show footage throughout the building. This allows attendees to never miss a minute as they move around the facility.

As you can see, CCTV is used in many different ways. From protecting a home or business from burglary or damage to broadcasting special events and sporting events throughout a facility, CCTV is just about everywhere. Consult with your local telecommunications leader in the Philadelphia or Delaware area and find out if closed circuit video surveillance systems are right for you.

Security Cameras and You — How Much Can They Save You and How Easy is it to Get Started?

Posted by

Video surveillance is an important asset for any individual, organization, or business looking to secure their property. The number of crimes, and indeed the severity of crimes committed in public, have sharply declined since we began to employ cameras for a myriad of functions in our daily lives.

One of the only trade-offs is that the camera shy among us may find it a bit uncomfortable living in a society where they are on camera virtually every day.

Some businesses and organizations even report that their security systems that included video surveillance helped them cut losses from theft up to 80%, and saw significant increases in productivity as a result.

Determining how much of an effect this has on businesses nationwide isn’t too difficult. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that employee theft costs employers between $20-$40 billion a year. Imagine cutting 80% of your losses on those figures, just by purchasing and maintaining a video surveillance system! It’s a seriously large amount of money.

If you’re a business owner, security installation expert, or the proprietor of a property that stands to gain from installing a security system (this could even be just a home), you can rest easy. There are a ton of companies out there who take video security seriously who can sell, install, and configure security equipment with ease. Given how much they help, it’s practically recommended to any property manager who oversees a physical plot of land that they install some form of video surveillance.

Some of the most popular types of cameras used for security are cloud-connected cameras with resolutions of up to 1080 pixels. These cameras are actually somewhat cheap, too, considering how much that you stand to save from implementing them at your business.

Closed circuit video surveillance systems have swept America though they’re even more common across the Ocean in England. It’s said that virtually all of London is under constant video scrutiny through their closed-circuit television systems, which they say have deterred a large number of crimes since their installation.

6 Ways Closed-Circuit Television Systems Can Save Your Company Money

Posted by

Besides making sales, one of the top priorities of any company should be reliable security. Inventory shrink from shoplifting and theft can add up overtime, resulting in huge losses for a business.

So how can you better protect your company? In recent years, closed-circuit television systems have become an effective tool in improving security for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:

  1. Deter theft: Just the presence of video surveillance cameras is often enough to deter someone from shoplifting, but it’s not just shoppers that businesses need to worry about.

    Many companies may be shocked at how much money they’re losing due to dishonest workers. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, employee theft costs employers anywhere from $20 million to $40 million every year. Employees will be far less inclined to steal if they know their job is on the line.
  2. Apprehend thieves: If someone either overlooks the closed-circuit television systems or simply has the guts to go for it anyway, video security can help catch thieves. Not only would you be able to identify thieves after they’ve committed the crime, but with constant monitoring, you may even be able to catch them in the act.
  3. 24 hour protection: One of the largest advantages of closed circuit video surveillance systems is that they offer around the clock surveillance. Not only will you be able to keep any eye out for shoplifters, but for any attempted break-ins after hours as well.
  4. Remote monitoring: As an added bonus, you can see a live feed from the cameras anywhere you have Internet or data access. Remote monitoring also reduces the need for personnel to watch the cameras at all hours of the day.
  5. Cost-effective: Thanks to remote monitoring, companies can save plenty of money without the need to hire security personnel. Especially considering the fact that they would have to hire someone to monitor the systems 24 hours a day.
  6. Improved productivity: One hidden advantage of video surveillance, is improved employee productivity. When they know they’re being monitored, workers are far less likely to slack off or take extended breaks

Overall, closed-circuit television systems with remote access can eliminate theft losses by as much as 80%. Because there are several companies selling low cost, cloud-connected security cameras with good resolution between 720 to 1080 pixels, you could save even more money.