“There is a significant increase in the focus on home and personal security,” says Roy Alves, Country Manager, Axis Communications, as evidenced by a steep surge in the deployment of home and residential security solutions. Alves goes on to add that whereas before the value of estates and houses was driven largely by location, today’s property prices are increasingly impacted by the level of its security, at times even more so than geography.
“Crime is not abating,” says Alves. “People want to feel safe, they want to know that their homes and families are protected.” But, he stresses the importance of engaging a professional provider. “Although the right hardware is key, there is still so much more to security and surveillance than simply installing a camera.” And, with not all ‘providers’ privy to certain intricacies, this can, unfortunately, leave home owners with a false sense of security.
Deploying a reputable solution, through a professional provider, will also allow for credible and usable footage. “Worst case scenario, should an incident occur, one wants to be certain that you have access to reliable evidence,” stresses Alves.
Whilst the main priority of any security and surveillance solution should always be that of detecting potential intruders before they gain access, other factors such as eradicating blind spots and the reduction of false alarms has proved as key, as evidenced by recent high-profile murder cases.
“One cannot simply install a camera, and hope a potential intruder will wander into its line of sight,” says Alves. A proper site survey needs to be conducted, identifying exactly where (and how) surveillance cameras need to be installed.
“It’s about literally walking the walk,” says Alves. In so many instances, providers or suppliers will look at pictures or drawings when deciding on the placement of security cameras. However, what is needed, is an onsite physical inspection of the premises. “Stand in the actual positions being considered, observe any potential obstructions, take photographs and examine the results. Constantly evaluate and assess, in a live environment, exactly what the most suitable and relevant areas of placement are, thereby eradicating potential blind spots,” stressed Alves.
Further, embedded analytics in your chosen solution can detect the difference between an animal or windy conditions, versus a potential intruder, thereby reducing false alarms. “A lack of this type of functionality can easily result in at least a dozen false alarms every shift,” says Alves. This desensitises security personnel, creating the very real possibility that they will either miss, or not respond to, the one alarm that is vital.
“So often cameras are installed, inside the property, looking at the area immediately inside the boundary wall,” continues Alves. Whilst this might seem logical, it only alerts security personnel once an intruder has entered the perimeter. “What is needed is an early warning and detection system, picking up suspicious behaviour on the outside of the boundary wall.” He goes on to cite the example of Axis Perimeter Defender, a scalable and flexible video analytics application for perimeter surveillance and protection.
But, Alves goes on to add that an effective and efficient security and surveillance solution is about more than hardware and technology. It encompasses all elements involved in keeping residential areas safe, from a proper management system through to the right security personnel and access control.
“For many, property will be the biggest investment we ever make,” says Alves. “We do so to build and create a home for our family. However, in a country plagued by violent crime, it has become essential to ensure that the property, and the lives of those within, are as secure and safe as possible.”