Tag Archive for: Video Surveillance

Video analytics has changed everything for retailers. There was a time when merchandising (making money) and loss prevention (saving money) were two separate retail tracks. There were mystery shoppers and people counters to help improve merchandising, and there were security cameras, store detectives and security guards to help deter and catch shoplifters and reduce loss. Not anymore.

Analytics in Video Surveillance Goes Mainstream

Once reserved primarily for stable, high-security specifications, the swift advancement of technology and vast improvements in reliability, effectiveness and accessibility has moved video analytics from the sidelines to the mainstream for a lot of smart reasons.

Top Reasons Video Surveillance Analytics is Revolutionizing Retail

When you understand the advantages, the increased usage of video analytics in retail is no mystery. Here are just a few.

  • There are analytic solutions for everyone. Video analytics, or CCTV software, has come a long way in a very short time with increased capabilities and accessibilities that can fit any size business with vast options in servers and infrastructures.
  • Options for implementing analytics software. There are two main options for implementing analytics software, inside an IP camera (referred to as edge-based) or on a centralized server. These options provide more effective ways to implement powerful and affordable analytics.
  • Greater business intelligence. The options for greater awareness are nearly endless. Using video analytics you can improve marketing, health, safety, productivity, and queue monitoring. It can also help reduce loss.
  • Video surveillance analytics improves decision making power. Whereas it may take months of observation and charting otherwise, video surveillance analytics makes a great amount of information clear very quickly. This means for swifter and more effective decision making.
  • Improved customer insights. The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them which results in greater sales. Intelligent video innovations help you understand type, time, and frequency of shopper and how they engage with displays versus those who do not. It also helps to more accurately count shoppers at entrances, and test and compare product placement and displays.

Today, merchandising and loss prevention are largely one tract accessible from one analytics-driven smart security and CCTV system. And this is true for every type and size of store, including large chains and local retailers, convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants and more.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is the largest, privately owned security company in Delaware. Whether you’re the owner of a small business or the security director  of a Fortune 500 company, Security Instrument has the right solution.


Buying a commercial video surveillance system for your business is a big deal. Since it involves a moderate investment and is likely to serve your business for some time, you’ll want to make sure you get it right. Video surveillance systems are not one-size-fits-all (or they shouldn’t be) and the number of options and capabilities within the industry is expansive. It is very easy to get swooped up in the exciting technological options and miss ensuring those options are right for you.

While the technology is complex, ensuring that you get what’s right for you isn’t. All you need to do is ask yourself some basic questions to help you define and then meet your goals. Here are 5 important considerations to keep you on track.

Pro Tip: There are a ton of advanced options out there but that doesn’t mean you need to invest in all of them. Determining your true needs will help you control the costs of video surveillance.

How Will the Video Surveillance System Be Used?

The first step in designing a fitting security camera system is defining your goals. Do you want to use them to improve your safety and security? Maybe it is to reduce false injury claims, or prevent loss. Security cameras also provide a way to improve processes and productivity. Perhaps it is a combination of all of those things. Whatever you hope to accomplish by installing a surveillance system define it and prioritize your list.

What Areas Will You Cover?

Determine what areas and what kinds of areas you want and need to be covered, such as a dark stockroom or a bright public area. Determining which and what kinds of areas you want covered will help in determining what kinds of equipment you will need.

Attach a Goal to Specific Areas

Since each area of a property is used for different purposes and faces different challenges, it helps to attach a specific goal you want to achieve to that area. For example, you might want an overview of operations to improve workflow patterns, or you might want to boost security at entrances and exits. Knowing your goals will help you choose the right equipment to the job. That may sound simple, but small choices have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the system. For example, even the best HD fixed camera may not give you the expansive overview you’d want, or a dome camera may not give you the view you hope for of point of sale areas.

What kinds of Surveillance Options do You Need?

As we mentioned, there are a ton of advanced options out there but that doesn’t mean you need to invest in all of them. Once you know where you want to cover and the goal you can opt into or out of options like infrared technologies, waterproof, dustproof, vandal resistant, the field of view, low light, high light, high and low resolution, tilt, zoom, remote viewing and more. Determining your true needs will help you keep the costs of video surveillance minimal.

How Many Cameras Do You Need

Of course, a skilled security technician will be the best person to help you determine this but it does help to think about before you opt in. For most people, the assumption is the more cameras the better security you have. But that is not necessarily true. Having the right surveillance cameras placed in the right positions can reduce the number of cameras you need– and reduce your costs. A great example is using a pan-tilt-zoom camera to cover a wide space which reduces the need for more fixed cameras. Knowing your need and being able to communicate that to your video surveillance provider and technician makes a huge difference.

About Security Instrument

From Fortune 500 to local SMB’s throughout the Tri-State area, Security Instrument integrates custom security systems to meet the needs of commercial clients.

Remote video monitoring is a service that many organizations contemplate, but few truly understand until it is demonstrated to them. Here are some of the most critical things remote video monitoring can do for security.

Prevent Loitering, Vandalism and Theft

Schools, hospitals and office buildings are valuable institutions in our communities – but unfortunately, they are often prime targets for criminal activity. With remote video monitoring, administrators have crime prevention technology on their side. The service acts like a remote guard, touring the property on a scheduled basis just like a live security guard would. With a voice-down capability, the remote guard can communicate through a speaker to let trespassers know they’re being watched and law enforcement is on its way. This is designed to send them running and not return. Ideally, it won’t take long for word to spread that your property is no place for criminal mischief.

Supplement Live Security

Most institutional properties have a live security force; however, even the best guards cannot be in two places at once. With remote video monitoring, security staff can stay at their posts with confidence that remote areas of the property are still being watched closely. Clients can choose what types of security events warrant voice-down warnings, alarm activations, and notifications to onsite security.


The intelligent software communicates with the monitoring center when an event takes place, and an alert is triggered immediately. Guards can deploy to the site of the activity, but they are not required to have eyes in every direction; the service does that for them.

Make Security Budgets Manageable

Security staff is necessary, but hiring a full force of skilled guards can be expensive. Often, remote video monitoring costs a fraction of the amount a trained security guard earns. For organizations that need to manage the bottom line – and these days, that’s every organization – remote video monitoring can make good economic sense. Some clients opt to use the service afterhours only to ensure the property stays safe until morning. Depending on the type of organization you manage, there are different timeslots in which to consider utilizing the service.

Remote video monitoring may not be the only security service you need, but it can certainly fill security needs where gaps exist. To learn more, contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential and commercial security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Facilities such as restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have some important commonalities when it comes to security issues. They are all busy, serve alcohol, have high customer turnover, high employee turnover and are heavy on cash transactions. These factors all necessitate special security camera considerations, unlike those of other commercial facilities. Having a security system is really not enough. You must have one with the right technologies and components, and then optimize it for the greatest advantage in your specific facility, meeting your unique needs.

If you have a high-traffic venue with heavy cash transactions, consider these valuable tips to boost your security.

Convert to IP or Megapixel  Security Cameras

Businesses such as restaurants and bars deal in large sums of cash and most of them have security cameras monitoring cash handling areas. To have a clear enough picture to consistently ensure that cash is handled properly, use IP or megapixel security cameras which provide the highest resolution possible. HD security cameras are also valuable in aiding law enforcement in facial recognition in the event of a crime.

Pro Tip: Never compromise your security. Always use professionally designed and installed security camera systems, specifically designed your needs.


Get the Whole Picture

In busy establishments, it is important to capture the whole picture. Rather than a multitude of fixed security cameras, consider installing a Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera, which can be controlled to cover areas of interest or a 360° camera which can capture all the action without lapses or limitations in the field of vision.

Protect Your Liquor License and in Litigation

Whenever alcohol is served there is the potential for individuals to become less in control, and combative. The industry is rife with claims of slip and fall, assault, or having been over-served and the resulting litigation is costly to the point of jeopardizing even larger businesses.

Equip your facility with enough cameras that you can cover such things as entrances and exits, the condition of floors, and provide a full view of visitors. This will provide verifiable proof of when patrons enter and in what condition. It will also verify the condition of the facility or participants in altercations.

Equip the Security Camera System for Low Light Conditions

The lighting conditions in bars and nightclubs can be challenging and can impact the quality of your security camera footage. To avoid this problem, use cameras that are designed for day and night usage and ones equipped with infrared technologies. Cameras that are ill-fit for the lighting conditions cannot provide the results you might need for confirming activities.

Opt into Remote Monitoring Smart Security Camera Systems

The nature of the job keeps owners and managers busy, and sometimes off premises. Smart security systems provide remote viewing capabilities so you can (nearly) be two places at once. This can allow you to address issues in real-time, even when you are attending to other business matters outside of the facility. This also allows you to view and manage more than one facility at once.

About Security Instrument 

Never compromise your security. Always use professionally designed and installed security camera systems, specifically designed your needs. Security Instrument Corp serves thousands of customers throughout DE, MD, NJ, and PA with advanced security solutions.


False alarms aren’t just a nuisance; they can become very costly, both for police departments and security companies. In fact, the state of Delaware general assembly passed a bill 16 years ago to enforce penalties on security companies that send false alarms to police. Fortunately, technology has advanced significantly since then; today, we have a false alarm-fighting tool called video verification.

How Video Verification Helps Reduce False Alarms

Door and window sensors power the majority of alarm systems – and yet, relying on these alone can cause a business to run the risk of sending a false alarm to the monitoring center. This can lead to fines for the business and wasted law enforcement resources. While call verification is valuable service, some clients authorize people who are not located at the business site to verify the alarm. These people may not always be able to verify whether the alarm was legitimate.

For those reasons, we recommend that businesses consider taking advantage of video surveillance with video verification, a service which is designed to cast a set of digital eyes on the premises and allow the company to verify whether what was captured was suspicious or not before police are called. It can greatly reduce the risk of false alarms at your Delaware business, sparing you from lost revenue in city fines.

How Video Verification Works

Video verification replaces the system’s traditional alarm function with intelligent alerts that include 1) a signal from intrusion detection devices, and 2) live video and/or recently recorded clips. The alerts are then sent to:

· The monitoring center, first to determine the cause of the intrusion signal

· An authorized user at the business to confirm or deny the intrusion with the monitoring center

If verification of suspicious activity has been achieved, the police will be notified so they can dispatch someone to your site. The goal is not only to minimize false alarms; more pointedly, it’s designed to minimize false dispatches, which are a harmful drain on local police departments. When these are minimized, police departments can do their jobs more effectively for the communities they serve. For more information on minimizing false alarms at your Delaware business with video verification, contact Security Instrument for a free security analysis.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA

When is the right time for color security cameras vs. black and white? Even though a high-quality black and white security camera system is the best option for a wide variety of businesses, there are some business scenarios in which security cameras with color video may be more appropriate. Take these very real examples.  


If you operate a large scale enterprise, then you may wish to implement color cameras into your security regimen. Perhaps you don’t need color in every zone; employee-only areas like warehouses and work rooms may easily be viewed in black and white (after all, you know what your employees look like). But what about the waiting room, the retail floor, or the outdoor yard? Because those places are open to the public, it may make sense to install one or more color security cameras in those zones of your large-scale enterprise.


This is a consideration for businesses that operate out of shared footprint spaces: a shopping mall, strip mall or even a common office building. When someone suspicious is roaming about the building or one of the businesses have already reported a crime, having a color video feed may be helpful for all the “neighbors” to compare what their cameras caught.

If the video is in color, it can be easier and faster to identify suspects who were seen throughout the building.  


Unfortunately, there has been an uptick in crimes in hotels and resorts in the recent past. Cameras may not stop these tragedies from occurring, but they can certainly be instrumental to law enforcement after the fact – and when the security video is in color, that can make investigators’ jobs even easier. If a perpetrator is wearing red, blue, green, orange gray or brown, knowing that could somehow help law enforcement connect the dots.

Color vs. black and white security cameras: Which one is right for you? Before purchasing or upgrading a video surveillance system, take some time to consider whether your application could benefit from color cameras as part of the package.


Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Can you prevent a burglary from happening at your business by hanging a fake camera that’s designed to look like a professionally installed one? In many cases, the unfortunate answer is no. If you are considering mounting a fake camera outside or inside your business, here are some important things to remember.  


That fake security camera over the front door or in the corner of the main room may look like the real thing, but many of today’s criminals are smart enough to know the difference.

There are entire websites devoted to showing people how to get away with various property crimes,  including how to spot fake security cameras. Rather than betting on the intelligence and resourcefulness of the criminals in your area, having a monitored security camera that works is a much better choice. The only match for a smart thief is a smart business owner who knows how to protect his or her property.


Sure, someone may be deterred from breaking into your business while you’re away if they see your fake security camera mounted nearby. But can your phony camera capture what they look like while they’re standing there? (That’s a no.)

Can your fake camera be activated by the presence of the intruder’s motion, alert you via text message, provide you a live video feed you view from your phone, or send you a recorded clip of the trespasser so you can be aware of what happened? (That’s a big no.) So even though the fake security camera may look like too big a risk to some would-be burglars, it still can’t notify you of their presence or show you what they look like – and that’s a risk you don’t want to take as a responsible business owner.


To keep trespassers from becoming burglars of your business (or worse, violent criminals), the best measure of defense is a monitored security system that includes cameras and smartphone integration. Real cameras equal real results, while fake cameras equal a risk most business owners aren’t prepared to take. To learn about more ways a monitored security camera can protect your business, contact Security Instrument today.


Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Video surveillance  is everywhere today, from small residential installations to massive enterprise applications. It has been in use for decades and, over time the technology has changed and advanced significantly. Today, many people are at the point of evaluating their needs and deciding whether to upgrade to an IP video surveillance system. If you are on the fence whether digital video surveillance is the right application for your business, here is a list that may help you decide.

Pro Tip: Digital video solutions offer a wide range of options that can reduce costs, consolidate and expand functions so that you need fewer components.

Analog End of Life

Technology has a lifespan, and eventually becomes obsolete. The widespread use, competitive cost, and increased features and applications offered by IP video camera systems is pushing the analog camera systems to the back as it is used less and less.

Digital Solutions are Cost Effective

Many people are surprised to learn that digital video surveillance solutions are not only competitively priced, they are overall much more cost effective. Digital solutions offer a wide range of options that can reduce costs, consolidate and expand functions so that you need fewer components. The cost of cabling and other essential components is also reduced.

IP Surveillance Systems Meet Retention Requirements

Many institutions must meet regulatory compliance for video retention. This is costly and unreliable with analog technology, whereas it is quite simple with digital technology.

Much Improved Performance

With all of the advances in camera and video technology, IP camera systems offer features such as advanced signal processing, optical zoom lenses, wide dynamic range, image stabilizers and on-board analytics.

Unlimited Scalability

One of the most beneficial advantages of IP video surveillance systems is that they are infinitely scalable.  The system can be configured and reconfigured as your needs change.

Advanced Analytic Programs

Advanced analytics are featured both at the server and integrated on IP surveillance edge devices (devices on the outer edge of the network). Analytic intelligence can be used to monitor, record, interpret, archive, and retrieve data, among many other applications.

System Integration

Another huge advantage is the ability to tie your IP camera system to other related applications such as access control systems, alarm/intrusion, and visitor management.

Video Surveillance technology is rapidly advancing and offers so many more capabilities than in the past. Whether you are the owner of a small business or the Security Director of a Fortune 500 company, Security Instrument can help customize the right system for you.

When it comes to consumer grade security camera systems, there are many options on the market. They seem to be increasingly complex, and often with an incredibly inviting price point (as in, how in the world can they do that?) which makes some business owners wonder if they could be used in a commercial application successfully and affordably. The answer quite simply, is no. Consumer grade cameras are for consumer purposes, and are not designed for commercial applications.

Built with Different Purposes in Mind

Commercial grade security camera systems and those made for the consumer market and often found in big box stores are built with two different purposes in mind, and because of this use two different grade materials.

Comes First– Price or Design?

One of the things that drives the differences between the two types of systems is what comes first, price or design. Designers build commercial security camera system using electronics chosen for the very best performance for the intended usage and then the price is set according to the cost of the components. In commercial grade systems, the price point is first set and then back into the design using components that will keep the system within that price point.

Why Businesses Should Always Choose Commercial Security Camera Systems

While some camera systems made for the consumer market look as if they could work, especially for a smaller business, there are some important reasons why this is not true.

  1. Since consumer camera systems are made with the price in mind first, the types of materials must be kept down, which causes them to cut costs wherever possible. Products must cost, and weigh the least amount possible to keep the cost of shipping down to a minimum. This impacts the quality of materials and components.
  2. Consumer grade products and components are made to power consumer grade products. For example, 60 feet of commercial cable is constructed using 3 times the amount of copper than the standard cable made for the consumer market. This means that there is no opportunity to add basic things such as commercial grade night vision cameras to a consumer system as the thinner cables are not able to power them adequately.
  3. Consumer grade products, of necessity, have been striped down and will not have the functionality of a commercial grade commercial security camera system and are inadequate to serve in the commercial CCTV and surveillance capacity.
  4. Commercial grade security camera systems has more flexible and upgradable firmware.
  5. The materials with which commercial grade security cameras and equipment are much more durable than consumer and made to withstand long-term and continuous usage.

Security Instrument is a full service electronic security company specializing in video surveillance systems with remote viewing and management capabilities.

Eyewitness testimony has always played an important role in solving crimes and heavily relied upon by law enforcement and the court system. Law enforcement processes the information in hopes of attaining enough information to find and convict the criminal. In court, juries tend to see eyewitness testimony as a reliable and place a lot of weight on that person’s ability to relay information about the event, as well as the perpetrators. However, just how reliable and accurate is eyewitness testimony? New studies shed light on the psychological factors related to eyewitness testimony and give good reasons why surveillance camera footage is critical.


People tend to think of memory as their own video surveillance camera with a rewind button that allows them to perfectly recall the details of any event. That’s not anywhere close to how memory works, however. Research has actually found that recall is affected by many factors, including stress, fear, and selective attention. Since crimes are highly stress and fear and inducing, it impacts the details witnesses can recall later.

For example, if a weapon is used during a crime event, witnesses are much more likely to be able to describe the weapon in detail than able to describe details of the perpetrator’s face. This is because the mind places more importance on the weapon and the attention is automatically drawn there. This is not very helpful in reconstructing events, or finding and convicting criminals but without access to video surveillance footage, it’s all we might have.


There is no doubt that video surveillance systems play an important role in campus security. Individual recollections are easily influenced by personal beliefs and expectations, cultural influences and stereotyping as well as other psychological processes. Video surveillance systems serve as the backbone of criminal cases and is the one unbiased witness to events.


In the world of video surveillance systems, choice, application, and placement matters. Camera and surveillance technology is complex and there are many features and options that play an important role in just how effective your system is for you.

One simple example is how your choice in types of cameras and placement impact things the surveillance camera’s image quality, ability to handle low light or darkness and variances in light within a given area. The wrong types of cameras and placement might mean restrictions in the field of view, lighting additions, or inability to use tilt and zoom to capture suspicious activity.

About Security Instrument

Founded in 1960, Security Instrument Corporation, a privately held U.S. Corporation, provides electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring and support services.