The monitoring of CCTV video systems is slowly becoming a more prevalent request from customers, particularly in areas where police departments are requiring verification procedures prior to dispatch on alarm calls from their commercial intrusion alarm system. Police departments, particularly those in the United States have found that video monitoring provides them with enhanced police response, which in turn increases apprehension rates during alarm calls. This video from SDM Magazine from Law Enforcement Officers drives home this point:
Used in concert with a commercial intrusion alarm system, video monitoring can be an effective tool to improve the security in your facility and the safety of your employees. What most people don’t know is how video monitoring actually works, and how a monitoring station like FMC uses these systems. Monitoring companies like FMC use software platforms to effectively view and monitor video and record the actions that an operator takes while doing this. Often, your existing CCTV system can be used with these software platforms (particularly if you are using an IP-based CCTV video system), and no further expense (beyond the monthly fees for monitoring) are required. After this, there are 3 main classifications of video monitoring:
Live Video Monitoring
This type of monitoring involves having a remote agent viewing your cameras on a full time basis. While an operator may not be viewing your cameras at all times, they are monitoring for generally 15 minutes or more at a time. This is a very intensive process, and fees from your monitoring company usually reflect this. This is not always the most cost-effective way to monitor a site, however for some locations it can be a requirement. This would also be data-intensive, as video streams would need to be constantly sent to a remote monitoring company.
Scheduled Video Monitoring
This type of video monitoring consists of checking in on cameras at specific times of day for a client, often to ensure that specific events are happening, or specific protocol. This can include, deliveries, guard tours, arrivals or any other type of specific event the client needs checked on. This type of video monitoring is not as intensive as live video monitoring, nor does it use as much data as the scheduled video check-ins are shorter in duration.
Triggered Video Monitoring or Event-Driven Video Monitoring
This type of video monitoring involves viewing CCTV video cameras as a result of a specific event taking place at the client’s location. This can include signals from a commercial intrusion alarm system, alarms from the video system itself (i.e.: a video analytics platform), supervisory types of signals from a building, or any other event which a client may want to have a video check-in of. This type of video monitoring can also be known as “video verification” and is the most effective way to monitor video. When paired with a commercial intrusion alarm system for example, on receipt of an alarm from a specific zone, a pre-determined camera in that area can be selected for viewing. An operator can view a live shot of the alarm, as well as a recorded section of the alarm to determine the cause. This can help determine the validity of the alarm, which in turn reduces false dispatches of police.
Once viewed, established protocols are followed depending on what the operator is viewing through the video monitoring system. All steps taken during the process are recorded in the monitoring company’s automation software. This procedure can be duplicated for any type of event which would cause an operator to view the cameras.
These are three types of video monitoring solutions and all can be used to improve the overall safety and security of your business, and simply knowing how video monitoring works can help you determine what solution is best for your business. FMC currently provides these solutions to our clients, and if you’d like to discuss this further, please contact us.