CCTV is essential for many businesses, but the costs of installing a commercial surveillance system can vary significantly. Here we’ll explore the primary considerations that will dictate whether you need a simple installation or a more substantial investment for a full-scope CCTV system with the latest technological security applications.
For this guide’s purposes, we’re going to consider commercial CCTV, as opposed to more basic domestic installations.
However, the Cerberus team does offer a wide range of CCTV and security alarm options, so if you’re interested in learning more about alternatives, do get in touch!
The Intrinsic Value of CCTV for UK Businesses
Before we look into the cost considerations, it’s also worth calculating the value of not having suitable security.
CCTV is now commonplace, and acts as a third team member, who never takes a day off.
Surveillance can itself be a vital deterrent to protect your premises, workforce and assets from criminal activity, and defends against other nuisances such as vandalism, fly-tipping and squatters.
It’s also essential to spend a little time risk-assessing your commercial sites, and identifying where your more serious risks lie.
For example, if you are concerned about perimeter security, a CCTV tower is an ideal solution – but, perhaps, not when working in built-up areas with restricted lines of sight.
The figures speak for themselves. Government stats have calculated the annual cost to British businesses as:
- £7.8 billion lost in commercial robberies, burglaries and thefts.
- £400 million in thefts or robberies from commercial vehicles.
- £500 million costs resulting from criminal damage, arson and other intrusions.
Therefore, investing in a good quality CCTV system might save you a significant amount of expense in replacing assets, making insurance claims, and recovering from downtime that are the unfortunate impact of a criminal intrusion.
CCTV Cost Factors Explained
Cerberus often works with business owners and managers who would like to install a fit-for-purpose CCTV system, but have been quoted very different prices.
Here are the core elements of a CCTV system that will have the most significant impact on the costs:
- The type of security you need.
There are hundreds of camera options, and if you can, consult an independent professional team who can make recommendations.
The more expensive CCTV cameras can cost more to install. Still, they can be more cost-effective since one system can cover a broader area. Therefore, you can invest in one, high-performance camera, whereas a less efficient option might have required two or three to provide the same level of surveillance.
Fish-eye lenses and PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) functionality is ideal for larger areas, and more effective at monitoring land then a fixed camera.
Wireless cameras are another option. While usually a little pricier than a hard-wired system, they offer the benefit of an autonomous battery-powered installation that isn’t vulnerable in areas without reliable mains power or where lines could potentially be tampered with.
- How much equipment you require.
CCTV can work in multiple ways. For example, recording devices might capture footage for a set number of hours a day, or when activated at the end of a work period.
Triggered installations work with sensors and only begin recording when activity is detected in the designated area. This might cost more than a fixed recording period but is far more effective at raising the alarm if an intrusion is discovered.
Monitors can also have an impact on price. You might opt for remote access to your smartphone or desktop, require access on-site for your security team, or wish to have the monitoring managed by a professional security firm.
- The complexity of the installation process.
An experienced CCTV installation team can erect a mast-mounted camera in as little as half an hour!
That said, not all installations are the same, and the costs will depend on how many cameras are being installed, what level of hard wiring is required, how many monitors you need to be set up, and whether there are sensors that need to be fitted at the same time.
Some sites have complex layouts and need CCTV to be installed in hard to reach areas, which might add to the overall budget.
- Nature of the CCTV – whether fixed or temporary.
Cerberus offers several options for temporary CCTV hire. This can be the most affordable option if you have a period of increased risk, require surveillance on-site for a construction project, or need to enhance your security during events.
- Addition of a CCTV monitoring service.
Dedicated Alarm Response Centres are the ideal option, whereby a team of trained professionals monitors your CCTV system, responds to alarm activations, and initiates your security protocols if a breach is detected.
This monitoring option is usually charged on a monthly or annual basis, which will depend on how many alarm systems you have, whether you need 24/7 monitoring, and whether you have chosen to ask your security provider to deploy trained response teams when required.
- Ongoing running costs.
Great quality CCTV has minimal running costs, but it is important to budget for expenses such as routine maintenance and servicing and cleaning lenses if they become dirty once a system is installed.
There are cost-efficiencies in choosing higher performance solutions since there is a lower chance of a breakdown or malfunction. Independent batteries will typically last much longer, and footage captures will be of better quality.
Why UK Businesses Need CCTV Security
You might consider CCTV as a precaution, to address risks identified in your risk assessment, or as part of a comprehensive strategy to improve safety standards across your business.
There are also some circumstances when CCTV is critical for security:
- Vacant properties – empty properties and vacant construction sites are at a much higher risk of a break-in.
- Legal requirements – you might be required to install CCTV as a legal, contractual or corporate obligation, particularly when providing services or working on sensitive premises with a high security level.
- Asset protection – valuable machinery, equipment, assets, and materials demand a more robust security strategy to avoid theft exposure.
- Periods of high risk – moving high-value items, delivering or receiving restricted-use materials, running events, and opening or closing new premises can all create a higher risk profile, which a CCTV system can mitigate.
Breaking Down the Costs of Business CCTV
Cerberus will always adapt the best performing CCTV systems to your premises, requirements, vulnerabilities and risk mitigation strategy.
Costs can vary significantly depending on what sort of surveillance you require, for how long, and to cover what types of property, land or work sites.
By doing a little research, establishing your key priorities, and knowing the deliverables you need from your security systems, you can get a better idea about what sort of cost you should anticipate paying for your new CCTV installation.
For more information about budgeting for a commercial CCTV solution, or what types and positions of cameras would be best suited to your business, contact the Cerberus team for a professional consultation.