Business CCTV camera placement guidelines
Commercial CCTV systems are some of the most popular – and most effective – security solutions for businesses. CCTV act as burglar deterrents just at the sight of them, but for them to work most effectively, you need to know where to position CCTV cameras in and around your business. Luckily, the team here at Expert Security UK has compiled a CCTV placement guide, with all the considerations you need when positioning CCTV cameras.
Although we’ve talked about where to position CCTV at home, we discuss why CCTV is important for business too – including CCTV camera placement guidelines by UK law, where to position commercial CCTV cameras in your business, and where to place CCTV signs.
Why CCTV is important for businesses – the benefits
Before we run through the CCTV camera placement guidelines, let’s dive into why you need CCTV cameras in your business in the first place. To put it simply, CCTV cameras can help to:
1. Reduce crime and deter criminals
The presence of visible security cameras is a powerful deterrent for potential criminals. Knowing that their actions are being recorded can reduce the likelihood of theft, vandalism, or other criminal activities.
2. Provide evidence
In the unfortunate event a crime does occur, CCTV cameras provide valuable evidence to authorities that can aid in identifying the criminals involved so thar legal action can take place. Investing in CCTV equipment with high-resolution footage enhances the chances of successful investigation and prosecution too.
3. Enhances customer and employee safety
The very presence of CCTV can help customers and employees feel safe, especially when they know it’s being monitored. It can also help mitigate any gross misconduct or other antisocial behaviour by employees too. Plus, it can help with monitoring potential hazards in the workplace and address said hazards with improvements.
Depending on the type of industry or commercial space you’re in, you can even connect your wider security system to a silent alarm which can be triggered when unfortunate events take place.
4. Insurance benefits
Installing security cameras can potentially lower your commercial insurance premiums, as providers see this as a step towards safeguarding your commercial space and employees. CCTV can even help solidify any insurance claims you need to make.
CCTV camera placement guidelines: rules and laws for business
For commercial properties, there are certain guidelines you should follow after installing CCTV cameras. Because you will be collecting video footage of both staff and members of the public, businesses must follow data protection law.
According to GOV.UK, businesses with CCTV must:
- Display a sign alerting people to the use of CCTV and why
- Be able to provide images within one calendar month of anyone recorded
- Share images with the authorities upon request
- Only keep images for as long as your business requires
- Pay a data protection fee
- Some businesses may be exempt – check with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for more guidance
Where to position commercial CCTV cameras in your business
When it comes to CCTV system installation, you need to think about where’s best to place the cameras, always keeping in mind where you are more prone to criminal or suspicious activity. With years of experience under our belts, follow Expert Security’s CCTV camera placement guidelines for businesses and keep your staff, customers and property safe.
1. Entrances and exits
Starting with the obvious spots, CCTV cameras should be placed at entrances and exits to capture any potential burglars and wrongdoers. But CCTV can work for more than just capturing any attempted break-ins or thefts – having cameras at your entrances and exits could also help to resolve internal disputes about arrival and leaving times.
If you have a hospitality, bar or nightclub venue, you may want to check live who’s coming in and out, keeping an eye out for intoxicated people or potential threats. You may also need to look back on footage to find what time a suspicious person entered and exited. This can aid massively with any legal claims or when collaborating with the police over serious issues. Plus, the placement of your CCTV cameras could help to provide evidence for crimes occurring in view of your cameras, such as a road accident or a break-in across the street.
Finally, placing CCTV cameras at the entrances and exits can be one of the best ways to deter burglars from your workplace. This can prevent any crimes from occurring in the first place!
2. Reception areas
If your reception is located in a high-traffic area, placing CCTV cameras here can help you keep an eye out for suspicious activity, as well as monitor incidents that may occur between staff and visitors. Receptions are also often located near the front of buildings, making them likely to be the first place trespassers head to attempt forced entry.
Warehouses tend to be a prime target for robbers, especially if you house goods that are worth a lot of money. Having well-placed CCTV cameras in the warehouse is a smart business plan that will protect your stock and inventory, as well as help with insurance claims. It’s a good idea to keep CCTV cameras as discreet as possible so as to avoid thieves identifying and taking advantage of any potential blind spots in the warehouse’s video surveillance.
If there’s one room burglars are keen to snoop in, it’s your business’ storeroom. Storerooms often hold sensitive information, important documents, and computer equipment that thieves may want to get their hands on. It is essential that your CCTV cameras cover your storeroom to capture all activity in and around the storeroom. Not only will this aid in providing evidence in the aftermath of a break-in, but will also deter any unauthorised visitors or staff. Place CCTV cameras by the door of the storeroom so trespassers are immediately aware of the surveillance and you have clear footage showing who has attempted to gain access.
5. Shop floors
If your business has many shop floors, you need to make sure that your CCTV cameras are on show to deter any thievesfrom point-of-sale areas. If you have any areas, corners or blind spots that are particularly hard for staff to monitor, then these are the perfect spots for security cameras. You should also place CCTV at the tills, facing out towards where customers stand when paying. This will provide you with clear images of any suspects, and will also capture any potential conflicts or incidents.
When it comes to changing rooms, it is not illegal to place CCTV here. However, under data protection law, CCTV cameras should only be used in ‘exceptional circumstances’ in places where privacy would be expected, such as changing rooms and toilets. Some CCTV systems and software can block out areas like cubicles to protect privacy. Always make sure you have clear signs to inform the public that you have CCTV cameras in place.
6. Car parks (indoor and outdoor)
Parking lots and outdoor spaces can be vulnerable areas where criminal activities, such as vehicle theft or vandalism, can take place. Install CCTV weatherproof cameras with wide-angle lenses to cover these areas effectively.
7. Hallways and common areas
In businesses with shared spaces, such as office buildings or shopping centres, it is important to monitor hallways and common areas. These areas can be prone to unauthorised access or suspicious activities. Install cameras strategically to cover these spaces and ensure comprehensive surveillance – especially in blindspots.
Lighting and positioning for your business’ CCTV cameras
When placing your camera at the entrances and exits, you need to think about lighting. Consider how the available light changes throughout the day and watch out for bright lights flooding the camera sensors, as this can cause blackened or dull images, resulting in a person’s face being partially hidden or unrecognisable. It’s recommended to place a CCTV camera above the door, pointing it away from light sources or windows, so you can get the best quality footage and images.
You should also factor in the height position of your cameras. Keep CCTV cameras out of reach so they aren’t able to be tampered with, but make sure you also consider the view. Placing cameras too high can mean you’ll only see the tops of heads, completely missing their face and other identifying features. Test some positions with people standing in different places around the premises; you want to capture faces, not just torsos.
CCTV should be angled appropriately to capture the area it’s placed in. For example – at entry and exit points, position the cameras to face downwards, ensuring that they cover both the immediate vicinity and the surrounding areas. This angle helps capture clear images of individuals’ faces as they enter or exit your premises.
Where should CCTV signs be placed?
Now that you know where to place CCTV cameras, what about signage? As mentioned above, CCTV laws for UK businesses require that you show signs whenever CCTV is in use. All CCTV signs should be GDPR compliant, meaning they are appropriately sized as well as clearly visible and readable. Signs placed outside should be around A3-sized, whereas signs inside are usually around A4-sized.
CCTV signs should also show details of the CCTV operator, the purpose of its use, and who to contact with any queries or requests for footage. It is convenient to provide a form of contact such as an email address or phone number.
Your CCTV signage should be placed within the camera’s scope. For example, you should place a sign next to a CCTV camera or in a room where CCTV is in operation. It’s also important to consider places outside of your property where people may be recorded on your CCTV. In this circumstance, the people on camera should be able to see clear signage and be aware that they are being filmed.
Should CCTV be professionally installed?
It’s always best to have the professionals involved to ensure your CCTV cameras are appropriately and expertly positioned. Having an intelligent security system in place that’s been installed by professionals can also help to lower insurance premiums. Having your commercial CCTV cameras installed professionally will also save you time and frustration, and with systems connected to the internet and with ANPR, you’ll need experts to guarantee a productive setup.
We’ve installed CCTV camera systems for a multitude of businesses, with years of experience under our belts. If you wish your business to have the optimal CCTV camera placement, why not get the experts on board? Contact us today to find out more.