CCTV protects your home, significantly reduces the chances of a burglary and provides peace of mind that your hard earned valuables are safe and secure from theft.
Why choose Advanced Overwatch to install CCTV at my home?
We offer advice to our customers and help to understand what you need to do if you are considering protecting your home with CCTV by installing a system, or have already installed, a home CCTV system (or similar technology, such as video-equipped doorbell devices) at your home. A CCTV system includes cameras, storage, recording and all associated equipment.
What does CCTV actually stand for?
Most people have heard of CCTV so first let’s cover what CCTV simply is. CCTV is a phrase which has been around for many years and is the abbreviation for closed-circuit television which is a television camera system that can be viewed and controlled by a person who is authorised to do so.
What the term represents to most people is a camera system for securing your home or business. Its also kryptonite to burglars!
Whilst talking about home CCTV systems there are two types of CCTV cameras which are commonly used during a home cctv system installation – we will be focusing on, Analog and IP (Internet Protocol).
So what is IP and Analog CCTV and what exactly is the difference?
Analog CCTV cameras have existed for a long time. They were designed by a German engineer in 1942 and initially they were used to monitor rocket launches and later evolved to a more sophisticated system that uses digital surveillance technology. Analog cameras simply will record video output over coax or UTP cabling into a digital video recorder (DVR).
IP CCTV cameras broadcast their footage over an IP network as a live flow of digital information. This is then stored on an NVR (network video recorder). The video is streamed over IP networks which facilitates higher quality images and offers much more flexibility as to where you place your cameras and how they record. IP based camera systems offer additional features such as high resolutions, video analytics and smart home integration.
So, with the jargon over – why install CCTV in your home?
Professional grand home CCTV is becoming much more affordable and this has caused a sigificant change in the number of Northern Ireland based domestically installed CCTV systems. There are substantial benefits from installing CCTV in your home from Advanced Overwatch. Have a look at the four headings below to see why.
1. Prevent home break-ins – Deter Burglars
The great thing about having a CCTV system installed in your home is that it’s usually enough to prevent your home from even being targeted by criminals. It’s rather obvious that when a CCTV camera is pointing straight at your front door, thieves will most likely not break into your property. For some reason it won’t cross many peoples’ minds to install CCTV in their home even though, as we have already said, it is so readily available. Surveillance systems capable of identifying intruders and suspicious characters gives you enough time to warn the authorities as our systems notify you instantly of any potential intruder.
2. Monitor children / pets
Although this is not a security risk, with safety in mind our customers use CCTV to remotely monitor loved ones and ensure they are safe and protected. With potential dangers unfortunately being so frequent, our customers can be anywhere in the world without leaving family completely unsupervised.
3. Peace of mind
This could questionably be the most important of all of these factors. CCTV allows you to feel completely safe to leave your valuables when you go to work or go to bed without having to worry about who may be around. CCTV with a combination of a burglar alarm will be able to detect movement, vibration, audio, window tampering and will give you complete peace of mind.
4. Lower insurance premiums
Home CCTV prevents crime and your insurance company knows this. Many insurance companies insist that your system is professionally installed and maintained.
When you are looking into installing CCTV in your household, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the volume of cameras, accessories, products and alarms. There are many cheap and quite frankly very poor DIY kits on the market. Unfortunately, this can be confusing and often money can be wasted by not purchasing the correct system for the type of property that you have. By using a professional installation company the correct equipment will be recommended and installed to the latest industry standards. This saves money, time and offers the assurance that your CCTV system is fit for purpose.
Making sure that all of your equipment works correctly and is covering every angle of your home can guarantee the safekeeping of your belongings. These extra safety measures will not only benefit your security but will assist you financially, as these will be reflected in your monthly home insurance premiums.
5. Will a home CCTV system stop domestic crime?
CCTV is one of the biggest deterrents in pre-planned crime, so a visible camera may prevent your house being specifically targeted. Research has also shown that it helps the police identify and arrest criminals, so it could help catch whoever is behind a series of crimes, such as vandalism, anti-social behaviour or theft.
CCTV footage is very helpful in legal cases. If someone is injured or something has been stolen and it has been recorded on a home CCTV camera system then that is seen as prime evidence.
What legalities are there when installing a home CCTV system?
We recently wrote about the importance of CCTV and GDPR. We have also had a case study done by an international GDPR software compliance company on how we excel at achieving CCTV compliance for our customers. Below you will find our guidance on the use of domestic CCTV at your home and things that our customers need to know.
1. What the Information Commissioner’s Office says about home CCTV systems
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regulates and enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). All installations of home CCTV systems that we carry out are fully compliant with the ICO’s guidance.
We assist our customers to complete a Data Impact Assessment before any work is carried out.
Why is this so important? If your CCTV system captures images of people outside the boundary of your home – for example, from neighbours’ homes or gardens, shared spaces, or from public areas – then the GDPR and the DPA will apply to you.
You will need to ensure your use of CCTV complies with these laws. If you do not comply with your data protection obligations you may be subject to appropriate regulatory action by the ICO, as well as potential legal action by affected individuals. At Advanced Overwatch all of our engineers, staff and management are fully trained in GDPR and Data Protection. We provide advice and installations which comply with both GDPR and DPA 2018.
Along with the guidance we provide to our customers we also offer a domestic CCTV checklist, which will help you to better understand and meet your obligations under data protection law. It is important that you read this guidance as well as the checklist, as this is a fuller explanation of your obligations to data protection law.
If you have any questions about the use of domestic CCTV compliance, you can click here to contact us or call 02870878077 and a member of staff will provide assistance.
2. Operating your home CCTV system responsibly
You may be considering using a home CCTV system as a necessary means to protect your property from acts of crime and anti-social behaviour. A domestic / residential CCTV system needs to be operated in a responsible way that respects the privacy of others.
The ICO receives many complaints from neighbours and other members of the public who are concerned that CCTV systems are being used to spy on them. Often, CCTV systems that we have installed for our customers are because of neighbours who are causing issues with our customers.
Below is a list of general considerations to help you reduce the risk of your CCTV system intruding on the privacy of others.
Reasons for considering a home CCTV system
- Why do I need CCTV? This will help with placement and selection of cameras.
- What other means are available to protect my home, such as a burglar alarm.
- What do I want my CCTV system to view and record (this could be the front door, a parking space, the back yard, a shed, and so on).
- Does my home CCTV system need to record all the time?
- Do I need a home CCTV system to record audio?
- How will a home CCTV system affects others
- It is important to consider the privacy of others near your home.
When installing a customers’ home CCTV system we consider where we position the CCTV cameras to minimise intrusion of neighbours’ and other people’s privacy.
We also give consideration on the range of the cameras so that they do not include neighbours’ property, gardens, pavements or other areas which do not need to be recorded. We offer CCTV systems that can reduce intrusion, such as privacy filters which enable our customers to black out areas of property which are of no concern.
3. Letting people know about your CCTV system
We also encourage our customers to inform their neighbours and those around them when we are installing a home CCTV system. Customers often do this by putting up a compliant notice informing people that recording is taking place such as sign. This also helps deter burglars.
4. Taking responsibility for your home CCTV system
If you are thinking of having a home CCTV system installed on your property, and it records images beyond your private domestic property, you must be aware of your responsibilities. Customers who purchase self install, DIY kits are often not aware of these responsibilities:
- It is your responsibility to make sure that the CCTV system is installed correctly so choosing Advanced Overwatch to install your system you will ensure that it is compliant.
- You are also responsible for all the information that is recorded by your system.
- You must make sure that the information is not used for any other purpose than protecting your property.
- You must make sure you are fully aware of how your system works. Our engineers provide training on how to operate your home CCTV system and how to export footage if required.
- You will need to be aware of individuals’ data protection rights and make sure you take steps to allow the people you record to exercise these rights effectively (for example, you will need to respond appropriately to any subject access requests you receive from the people you record).
5. Storing the recorded information
When we are installing home CCTV we help customers to bear in mind the following when storing the information that is recorded on your home CCTV system:
- Customers should make sure that the date and time on your system are accurate. We set up NTP (network time protocol) to ensure that your system is always correct.
- It is important to check that you have enough recording space. All systems which we install offer a minimum of 30 days recording.
- You should not store any information or images for longer than is necessary to protect your property which means you should delete the information once it is no longer required. Our systems overwrite old footage.
- You should make sure that the information recorded is used only for the purpose for which your system was installed (for example it will not be appropriate to share any recordings on social media sites). We design each system specifically to meet customer requirements.
- You must keep the recordings secure and keep access to them to a minimum (remember that you are responsible for what happens with the information). All of our systems use fully encrypted storage.
- In certain circumstances, the information you record may be used as evidence by the police in an investigation (therefore, if you are not sure, it is important to check with us or local police that the information you record can be used for this purpose when required) and that it is of sufficient quality to be admissible in any investigation.
Often, DIY based systems are of such poor quality that the footage captured during a crime becomes useless when it is needed most. Questions are also raised if the system has been installed my a non-qualified person or if the system is a DIY kit.
We are frequently engaged by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to assist with footage downloads for both residential and commercial CCTV systems so that the footage can be used in legal proceedings. We ensure that extracted footage is provided correctly to protect the chain of evidence.
Once we have installed your home CCTV system, as part of our customer maintenance packages we regularly check that:
- The system is complying with the GDPR and the DPA if the home CCTV system captures images outside the boundaries of your home.
- The system regularly deletes the recordings and that they are not retained on the hard disk longer than is necessary for the protection of your property.
- The system is checked regularly to make sure that it is working properly (this may include cleaning any debris affecting the CCTV device and wiping it down after bad weather) along with software and firmware upgrades.
- Engineers also check the position of your home CCTV devices from time to time to make sure it still captures the right images and privacy intrusion is minimised.
Where can I find out more about the legalities of a home CCTV system?
Our customers can find out more about the legal requirements of having a home CCTV system installed by visiting:
- Information Commissioner’s Office website
- ICO guidance for people using domestic CCTV
- ICO guidance for people being filmed by domestic CCTV
- ICO Guide to Data Protection (GDPR and DPA)
- Surveillance Camera Commissioner website
- Surveillance camera code of practice
Get a free Home CCTV System installation quote
An Advanced Overwatch Home CCTV Consultant will be happy to come to your home anywhere in Northern Ireland and recommend the perfect security solution based on your property and circumstances.