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Beginner Mistakes When Installing CCTV

Beginner Mistakes When Installing CCTV

Here at SystemLinks in Colorado Springs, we often get calls from individuals who need help fixing mistakes when installing CCTV at their Southern Colorado home or business. And we are happy to help. When installing a surveillance system for the first time, the fact is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

Until now, that is. We have compiled a list of the most common beginner mistakes when installing CCTV.

Expecting a One-Size-Fits-All Security Camera Solution

One of the most common mistakes when installing CCTV occurs way before installation and even before you buy the equipment. The most common mistake is expecting all security cameras to perform all jobs. Security cameras are not all equal, and some are better suited for specific tasks than others.

For example, if you want a security camera to accurately capture images and video of vehicle license plates as they enter your parking lot, your needs will be different from someone who wants facial recognition. Every security camera you install will not perform every job. These cameras function best when you fully understand their features and then fine-tune the settings to capture the video you want.

Before you begin investing in cameras, ask yourself what your final goal will be. If your goal is to read license plates, investing in a security camera designed exclusively to detect and record them will serve you best. Taking the time to think about what you want from your security footage before you install your CCTV system will prevent many problems, headaches, and wasted money down the road.

While thinking about what security cameras can and cannot do, realize that even with digital zoom, you cannot increase the resolution beyond what already exists in the picture. No digital imaging software can produce new pixels, despite what Hollywood says.

Related: Using Security Video as Legal Evidence: What You Need to Know

Not Taking Advantage of Your Security Cameras Full Capabilities

Field of View

Another beginner’s mistake when installing CCTV is not maximizing the field of view of your security cameras. Positioning your security cameras right is the key to getting the most out of your system. A camera pointed mainly at the sky or ceiling will not record events on the ground.

Pro Tip: If you can view your security camera stream from a mobile application, you may want to take advantage of that feature while installing the camera. This will keep you from walking back and forth from your computer to your installation site.

Always remember that minor angle adjustments can make a big difference here.

Placement of Cameras with Infrared Lights

syslinks mistakes when installing cctv - infrared camera

While we are talking about camera position, we also want to include a tip about how infrared (IR) security cameras work. A beginner’s mistake when installing CCTV systems is thinking that your IR-enabled security camera can actually “see” in the dark and records footage accordingly. This is not true. All cameras require light to take pictures, and IR-enabled cameras are no exception. They do not see in the dark but rather have IR lights surrounding the camera that detect heat signatures and thus “light up” a dark room.

Therefore, the position of the security again makes a difference with what is captured on video. If you find that your IR-enabled camera is recording video of a wall while leaving the rest of the room in the dark, you will need to change the location of the security camera. Likewise, IR-enabled cameras outside may suffer from “bounce-back fog,” which occurs when the IR lights are pointed toward a street light or other light source in the dark.

Underestimating The Amount Of Recording Space You Need

Whether wireless or wired, CCTV systems rely on a digital video recorder (DVR) to store the video. One common mistake when installing CCTV is underestimating the storage space you will need on the DVR. Especially when recording data from high-resolution cameras, files can be quite large. We recommend installing a DVR with ample room to store your data to avoid missing vital recorded footage.

Weatherproofing Only the Equipment

A total beginner mistake when installing CCTV is only ensuring your camera is weatherproof, forgetting that the connections and cables also need protection from Colorado weather. If you want your cables and connections to last as long as the security cameras and DVR, you must ensure that you weatherproof these. Rain, snow, and even the debris from the windstorms of recent years can damage, corrode, and otherwise ruin your connections and cables, rendering your security camera system useless.

How Can You Avoid The Biggest Mistake When Installing CCTV?

All of the above beginner mistakes can be avoided in one, easy-to-perform step — call System Links for your free on-site consultation and quote. Our expert security camera installers know that every installation is different and requires a personal, hands-on approach to give you precisely the CCTV footage you need.

Simply said, we have the experience and know-how to get the job done right the first time and have a wide range of CCTV service agreements and maintenance plans available to keep your system running right for years to come.

What are you waiting for? Speak with one of our expert CCTV installers today.

5 Reasons You Need Access Control For Visitor Management In Multifamily Properties

5 Reasons You Need Access Control For Visitor Management In Multifamily Properties

Are you responsible for visitor management in multifamily properties? Between scheduling move-ins and move-outs, maintenance and repairs, and keeping your current tenants happy, chances are you already have a full plate. But what if we were to tell you that you can install an access control system that is easy to use (for both you and your residents), secure, and does away with the time and expense of fobs and keycards?

At SystemLinks Colorado, we install access control systems for visitor management in multifamily properties across Southern Colorado. Below are the top five reasons you need to install or upgrade your system today:

Unauthorized Rentals

The world of rental properties is evolving every day, and with that evolution, property managers’ concerns are also increasing. Apartment managers are already responsible for keeping additional roommates not listed on the lease agreement from moving in lock-stock-and-barrel. But as the cost of living rises, more and more people are choosing to supplement their income by subletting their living space as AirBnB or VRBO short-term rentals.

Including a clause in your lease agreement preventing sub-leasing is a good starting point, and both AirBnB and VRBO have owner requirements for rentals through their sites. But a determined resident may look for ways around this legality or ignore it entirely.

However, with an access control system that utilizes smartphone technology, this problem is effectively eliminated. The registered resident cannot physically pass keys, fobs or key cards to their “guest.”

Did You Know? The unethical sharing of keys, fobs and keycards has prompted security innovators at VizPin to create their Residential Fraud Alert System. This revolutionary system alerts property managers if residents are exchanging smart credentials back and forth, making visitor management in multifamily properties easier than ever. Contact System Links today to learn more about this and other access control system installations.

No More Fobs and Cards

Most apartment managers who contact us for access control solutions have one thing in common. They are so done dealing with fobs and keycards. Why? For two simple reasons. The first is discussed above, and the second has to do with the very nature of the property management industry.

Few managers of multifamily properties are blessed with long-term tenants who never lose their keys. Instead of spending time issuing new cards for new tenants, replacing lost cards, or chasing down keycards and fobs as tenants leave, savvy property managers are turning to smartphone-based access control to save time, energy, and money.

Amenity Access Control

visitor management for multifamily properties keeps tenants happyOne of the biggest challenges for visitor management in multifamily properties is controlling access to property amenities, such as the pool, exercise room, laundry room, and clubhouse. Tenants who pay for these amenities rightfully expect access to these areas to be limited to those who live in the community.

When credentials can be easily shared, like cards, fobs or keypad codes, the risk of unauthorized individuals using facilities they have no right to access increases. But, when traditional access control is upgraded to more innovative tech, sharing of information is less likely to occur – most people are unwilling to part with their cell phones at work so a friend can use their pool.

Your Maintenance Team Will Thank You

Remember the old saying, “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” Managers of multifamily properties know that keeping their maintenance crews happy will keep their tenants happy. A maintenance crew may not be the primary decision-makers, but they influence everything about your property’s online presence.

Keep these professionals happy by eliminating locks outs, changing locks after tenants leave, and managing vendors coming in for repairs or updates. Rather than being interrupted by the tenant in apartment 3B getting locked out of the laundry again, they can stay focused on other essential tasks.

Visitor Management in Multifamily Properties Can Be Easy

Are you frustrated by visitor management in multifamily properties but are hesitant to consider installing or upgrading your access control system because you believe it will be too much of a headache? Then you will love our final reason to take the plunge: System Links makes the process easy!

First, call us to schedule your free on-site consultation and security assessment. Multifamily properties are as unique as the families who live there, and our knowledgeable team will meet with you to discuss your specific property’s needs.

Second, we send you a reliable, free quote that includes all labor and equipment to secure your property.

Third, schedule your installation. Our experienced team of security camera installers and access control professionals will take care of the rest. If you need anything after the installation, we will be here.

That is it. The solution you need for visitor management in multifamily properties – in three easy steps from System Links.

Using Security Video as Legal Evidence: What You Need to Know

Using Security Video as Legal Evidence: What You Need to Know

One of the many benefits of security camera installation is the ability to use security video as legal evidence in El Paso County courts. How can this tool help your Southern Colorado business in the unfortunate event of a crime or accident occurring on your premises?

Security cameras are an indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes, helping them monitor their properties and keep tabs on employees and guests. Security cameras have become commonplace in almost every industry. From pharmacies to hotels and schools, businesses big and small have found ways to integrate security cameras into their everyday operations.

In addition to keeping establishments safer by letting owners keep an eye on their properties from afar, security cameras function as legal evidence when they capture legally significant events, known as “recordings” or “videotapes,” depending on the type of camera used. The recordings can be used in court to prove something happened or didn’t happen at a specific time and place.

What is Security Video Evidence?

The recorded images and sound recordings from security cameras and other surveillance equipment constitute security video as legal evidence.

Security cameras are a vital part of every business’s security plan, along with access control systems. Security video is vital to preventing employee theft, protecting against false accusations, and showing what happened during an incident. Video footage is more reliable than witnesses and can capture information individuals may overlook.

Security video is also a great way to identify criminals and gather evidence against them. The cameras can record 24/7, making it easier to identify people and what they are doing.

syslinks-using security video as legal evidence to prosecute criminals

Why is Security Video Important as Legal Evidence?

The importance of security video as legal evidence cannot be understated. Security video can be used to prove that an event happened or didn’t happen and can often be used instead of, in addition to, or to contradict eyewitness testimony. For instance, security camera footage can be used to prove that a person was at a specific location at a specific date and time or that someone was driving a car.

Many modern security cameras boast incredible video quality, and law enforcement and prosecutors can zoom in and focus on specific objects, even acting as a scale to measure distances. In some cases, security video can even retroactively track suspects’ movements. When an accident or crime occurs, investigators may be able to see the responsible party on security video and track the person to their home or other important location.

Why Security Cameras Used for Monitoring Only Are Not Admissible

Security cameras that do not record security video are observation tools only. These cameras help spot suspicious behavior and alert law enforcement when the behavior occurs and are especially useful for monitoring entrances, exits, parking lots, or other areas where security is critical. However, because these cameras do not record events, your business cannot use the security video as legal evidence.

Related Reading: Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Business Security Camera System 

Security Cameras with Recording Capability

As opposed to observation-only cameras, security cameras with recording capabilities are both observation tools to spot suspicious behavior before an event escalates and serve as legal evidence after an event occurs.

Professional Installation Ensures Authenticity of Security Video as Legal Evidence

In the state of Colorado, security video can serve as legal evidence as long as the footage complies with evidentiary requirements set by Colorado law. Put simply, there must be sufficient proof that the visual evidence on the video is actually from the date, time and location in question.

The best way to ensure that your security cameras are pointing in the right direction, with the correct date and time, is to hire a professional security camera installer. These professionals will ensure that the security cameras are properly installed and that the digital video recorder is working correctly and has the storage capacity necessary for your security needs. In addition, the best installers also make themselves available for maintenance, repairs and questions after installation.

System Links of Colorado is just such a security camera installation company. If you are concerned with using security video as legal evidence, trust the locally and family-owned company with 20 years of experience in CCTV and access control solutions.

Speak with System Links today to schedule your free, on-site consultation.

Should You Use Electronic Door Locks For Access Control?

Should You Use Electronic Door Locks For Access Control?

Today, more Southern Colorado businesses than ever are using electronic door locks for access control. If you are researching how to best control access to your location, you have likely already come across various options available, including smart-technology-based access control utilizing electronic door locks.

But what is an electronic door lock, and how do they work alongside Bluetooth access control to give your employees and assets more protection? Please keep reading to find out the answer to these two questions and our list of why electronic door locks for access control might be the right choice for your business.

What Is An Electronic Door Lock?

Simply put, an electronic door lock operates by employing an electrical current. There are two types of electronic door locks for access control available, and the chances are that you have come across one or both recently without knowing it.

Magnetic Door Locks

Magnetic door locks, or mag locks, are popular solutions for office buildings with glass doors. An electromagnet is installed on the top of the doorframe, with a metal plate attached to the door. When the mag lock is active, the connection between the magnet and the metal plate is strong enough to withstand significant pressure without opening.

To disengage the lock, power to the electromagnet must be interrupted, which is the job of an electronic access control solution. Because electromagnets are so powerful, mag locks doors typically lock on both sides.

Electric Door Strikes

Chances are you have come across a door with electronic door strikes without knowing. These doors have a handle with a lockset and, from outward appearance, do not look different from traditional lock and key handles. However, locks with electric door strikes require an electrical impulse in addition to a lockset to release the door and provide access.

How does this work? Electronic door strikes have actuators that connect a bolt or cylinder to a small motor inside the door’s frame. The motor must receive an electrical impulse from the electronic access control system to start the actuator and release the magnet’s pull.

The tell-tale sign of access control that utilizes electric door strikes is the “click” you hear as the bolt or cylinder slides back, releasing the door and allowing access.

Whereas a door with a mag lock is locked from both sides when engaged, doors with electric door strikes are generally locked only from the outside.

Sys Links - electronic door locks for access control using bluetooth

Electronic Door Locks and Bluetooth Access Control

Bluetooth technology has been around since the late 1990s and gained popularity in the 2000s. Today, many types of modern technology utilize Bluetooth in one way or another. Incorporating Bluetooth technology into access control is a logical step for those in the security industry. Many of the benefits of modern access control systems stem from the use of Bluetooth. Eliminating the need for physical keys, keypads and key cards, not to mention the additional security features from using user biometrics, are all made possible using Bluetooth technology.

But the reasons that most Colorado companies like to supplement their electronic door locks with Bluetooth access control solutions have nothing to do with the exciting tech and everything to do with the practical benefits it brings to their business.

Why Add Bluetooth to Your Electronic Door Locks For Access Control?

Here are the top three reasons we recommend local businesses consider electronic door locks for access control with VizPin:

No Network Requirements Means A More Cost-Effective Solution

VizPin’s access control is cloud-based. No physical network connection is required, so installation costs are much lower than traditional electronic access control systems.

Easy Installation

Installation of access control systems in the past has been a multi-day headache for both the installation technician and the business needing security protection. However, Bluetooth has cut this time considerably, not only because no network is required but also because installation is straightforward. All installation requires are electronic door locks, a power supply, your smartphone, and an experienced installer.

If you do not have electronic door locks already installed, VizPin has you covered with their VizPin Smart Lock. Contact us today for more information on this all-in-one, battery-operated access control solution!

Ease of Use

Imagine an access control system that doesn’t require you to fumble in your pockets or purse for keys before you can enter your building. Imagine not having to remember to collect keys and keycards from a departing employee. Imagine the administrative time you can save by granting (or revoking) access from anywhere at any time using your smartphone. These benefits, and more, are all possible when you include Bluetooth to your electronic door locks for access control.

Which Access Control Solution Is Right For Your Colorado Business?

As mentioned above, a myriad of options are available to Colorado business owners who want to protect their physical assets and employees with an access control system. How do you know if electric door locks for access control using Bluetooth are right for your business or if a more traditional solution is appropriate? Let System Links be your guide. We have the experience and know-how to provide you with the best access control and security camera installations at the best price.

The first step in getting your business protected is contacting us for your free on-site consultation and quote.

Top 5 Advantages of Video Surveillance for Caregivers

Top 5 Advantages of Video Surveillance for Caregivers

This article explores the advantages of video surveillance for caregivers and how home security cameras can help both your loved one and you as their care provider.

If you are caring for a loved one in Southern Colorado, you are balancing many responsibilities and are likely open to suggestions that will make your life easier. Video surveillance for caregivers can do just that.

All caregivers have many amazing attributes in common: compassion, empathy, and great love for the family or friends in their care. But that does not mean that caregiving does not come with challenges. One of the challenges that many face is trying to ensure the health and safety of their loved ones when they are not able to care for them personally.

‍Decrease Anxiety with Video Surveillance for Caregivers

First and foremost, using home security cameras can decrease anxiety for caregivers. The feeling of anxiousness is often what drives families to install surveillance systems in the first place.

With a video surveillance system in place, you can watch over your loved ones more closely and make sure that they are safe and sound. Having this extra level of reassurance will ease your anxiety and make you feel more confident in your role as a caregiver.

Video monitoring can be especially beneficial for caregivers of people with special needs, who have Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, or seniors who may be prone to wandering or getting lost.

Security camera installation can provide extra peace of mind by letting the caregiver keep an eye on their loved one, whether they are inside the home or in the yard.

Video Surveillance Can Help Build a Caregiving History

Video surveillance systems can also help build a caregiving history for your loved one. Having a video history of your loved one’s daily activities can help you show a physician just how much assistance your loved one needs daily. This can help you get a more accurate diagnosis and assist you in qualifying for any available caregiving services.

A video history can also help if your loved one needs to move into a nursing home or hospice care facility. Having a history of your loved one’s everyday activities can help give their new care providers a better idea of what they can do daily.

Caregiving records and history in the form of video can allow your loved one to spend less time in the transition period of adjusting to a new level of care and more time actually receiving care.

Determine Changing Needs in Care

System Links - video surveillance for caregivers can help determine changing needs in care

As your loved ones age, their care needs will change. You can use video to help determine the best ways to address these changes.

Even if you’ve been caring for your loved one for years, a video surveillance system can provide a video history of your loved one’s daily routines. That history can help fill in gaps where your memory might be fuzzy on specific details.

For example, if your loved one struggles with eating every day and requires help from a caregiver, you can use a video recording to determine what’s causing the problem. You can then use that information to help you change your loved one’s eating process. Perhaps they have trouble holding a spoon steady or can’t see their food well enough to know if there is any left on their plate.

A video surveillance system pinpoints these and similar issues so you can make the necessary changes to give your loved one better care.

Detect Abuse and Help Caregivers Know When To Step In

Another great benefit of video surveillance for caregivers is detecting signs of abuse. While the great majority of in-home health care providers choose their profession because of their love and compassion for their fellow man, unfortunately, there are times when this is not the case. With a video surveillance system, you can keep tabs on your in-home healthcare provider and make sure they treat your loved ones with the respect they deserve.

If you notice that an in-home health care provider is treating your loved one harshly or making them do things out of their skill set, you may need to take action. Video footage can show other family members or friends what’s happening and let them know when they need to step in and help you with your loved one’s care, and even provide the video history to report your caregiver to the proper authorities.

Video surveillance can also help keep your elderly loved ones safe from theft and vandalism. This can help you avoid false alarms and make your home safer for everyone. In addition, this will give vulnerable individuals confidence that they are safe if they need to stay home alone.

Caregivers Can Monitor From Anywhere

Finally, one of the best benefits of video surveillance for caregivers is the ability to monitor your loved one from anywhere. Many video surveillance systems have features enabling you to monitor your home anywhere you have an internet connection. This means that you can keep an eye on your loved one while at the office, running errands, or away on vacation. Imagine no more worries about leaving your loved one alone for long periods if you can log in and check in on them remotely.

Many video surveillance systems can provide you with a live feed to watch whatever is happening in your loved one’s home in real-time. This can help you catch minor problems before they become huge issues that require you to leave work or cancel your plans to deal with them right away.

Are You Ready to Simplify Your Role as a Caregiver?

If you are a Colorado Springs caregiver looking for ways to balance your many responsibilities, video surveillance can be a great asset for both you and your loved ones. Professionally installed and maintained home security cameras can ease your anxiety for your loved one’s safety when you cannot look after them personally, help establish a history of care, and determine changing needs in care as they arise.

The first step to gain all the benefits of video surveillance for caregivers is to contact us to schedule a free, on-site video security consultation. We are a local, family-owned business that takes your family’s needs as seriously as our own. We look forward to helping you fulfill your important role as a caregiver!

3 Summer Home Security Tips You May Be Overlooking

3 Summer Home Security Tips You May Be Overlooking

Summer is almost here in Southern Colorado, and with that comes open windows and garage doors, vacations, and for us at System Links, a chance to share some home security tips to keep your property protected during this busy – and higher security risk – season.

Protecting your property and your loved ones is a top priority for all of us, no matter the time of year. However, did you know that as the seasons shift, so do the tactics that thieves and vandals use to break in or damage property?

In winter, our focus may be on preventing theft during the holidays, whether by protecting deliveries left on our doorsteps or keeping our inflatable Santa from being stolen from our yards.

But in summer, we may be guilty of letting our guard down a bit while we enjoy more time out of doors. Here are three home security tips you might be overlooking this summer.

Shut and Lock Windows and Doors

Yes, keeping your doors and windows shut and locked is one of the most obvious home security tips out there. However, opening your windows and doors to the fresh Colorado air can be very appealing. Even in the heat of summer, afternoons often bring a breeze that freshens the air and cools down your home.

A word of caution is needed, though. Leaving your home with windows open, especially street-level ones, can be an open invitation to thieves. When going out for errands or work, shut and lock your windows and doors.

If your home has storm doors or sliding glass doors, lock the screen or the door itself, even when you are at home. Unfortunately, home invasions are not unheard of, even in the safest of Southern Colorado neighborhoods. Take steps to protect your home and family by keeping doors and windows locked.

You Might Like: Four Powerful Ways To Improve Home Security While On Vacation

Yard Clean-Up and Maintenance

Keeping your grass trimmed and your yard clean does more than add to your home’s curb appeal. Homes with disheveled lawns and bushes may indicate to thieves and vandals that you are not home. If you will be away from home for an extended period, clean your yard up and do some maintenance before you leave.

Keep your fence in good condition to limit access to your home. Whether a chain link fence or wooden plank fence, Colorado weather can deliver a beating to even the highest quality fences. Perform regular fence inspection and maintenance to ensure there are no weak spots and take corrective actions if there are areas that need attention.

In addition, putting yard and garden tools away after use does more than prevent rust and is one of our home security tips that we bet you haven’t considered. Tools left outside can be stolen or, worse yet, used to shatter windows and provide access to thieves and vandals. Ensuring your tool shed or garage is shut and locked keeps your precious tools from being used against you.

Clean, Adjust and Maintain Outdoor Lighting and Security Cameras

sys links - home security tips - maintain security camerasWhile you are outside cleaning up your yard, be sure to pay some attention to the lighting and security cameras around your home’s exterior. The brightest lights cannot shine without light bulbs, and the highest resolution cameras cannot give video footage if their lenses are covered in dirt and cobwebs or are not pointing in the right direction.

Step 1: Clean

Cleaning your outdoor lights and security cameras is not hard and takes nothing more than a soft cotton cloth and some water. Remove away any cobwebs or critter nests that may be interfering with the line of vision of both lighting and cameras. Gently wipe camera lenses and foggy glass panels on lighting using a moist cotton cloth. Do not use harsh chemicals or paper products, especially on security cameras, as fogging and scratches on the camera lens may result.

Step 2: Adjust

Next, look at the video footage coming from your security camera at different times during the day. Is the lighting sufficient overnight to deter a thief? Is the security camera still pointing in the right direction, or have Colorado’s high winds shifted the view ever so slightly? By making minor tweaks to the angle of your security cameras or lighting, you will enhance the benefits of each.

Step 3: Maintain

Like any other modern electronic, security camera systems require occasional tune-ups to continue operating at their very best. To keep your security cameras doing their job, do visual inspections of any exposed wires, mounts, and the outside of the camera itself. Make a note of any areas of concern and contact a trusted Colorado Springs CCTV service and maintenance company to make repairs and replace outdated components. h/protect-your-home-security-camera-from-hackers

Another maintenance task to protect your home security camera from hackers is to ensure you have the latest firmware downloaded and installed and regularly change your passwords.

Home Security Tips to Keep You Safe This Summer

Hopefully, along with planning your summer cookouts, the above home security tips have given you food for thought too. Thoughts of security, that is. Have a wonderful and safe Colorado Springs summer!

Speak with a CCTV installation and service technician today to schedule a no-obligation, on-site security evaluation and free quote.