Security - Video Camera Surveillance
Unfortunately, we need to spend a bit of time talking about security.
The unfortunate truth is there are a lot of people who will want to steal. They will steal from you. They will steal from others. They will steal when you're open, they will break in to steal from you when you're closed. We will actually break this topic into several pages. Let's start by talking about security in the staging area.
I decided to address security in our facility before I ever opened the doors. I used to sell gear from my other shop before I had a field, and people would come in and tell me they needed a new this or that, because someone stole theirs at the field. Many players have a lot of equipment, and a lot of expensive equipment, and if they are on the field, no one is watching it in the staging area - so it gets stolen.
NOT AT MY FIELD!!
After hearing the stories of stolen equipment, I decided that before I opened, I would put surveillance cameras throughout the facility. And I kind of like Video Surveillance anyway! So I bought lots of video surveillance cameras, and dotted them about the entire staging area. I even point out in our video that everyone is under video surveillance, so smile for the cameras!
Now there are 2 ways of recording today that are popular. One is to buy a card that you pop into a computer you're not using, and it turns that computer into a DVR recorder. I have had a few different video surveillance systems that used this method. I found if you just need 4 cameras or so, they seem to work fine. But I tried using a system like that with multiple boards and 16 cameras, and it just didn't work too well.
I ended up buying DVR (Digital Video Recorders) that are specifically made for video surveillance. These are a bit expensive... like $1500 for a good one that runs 16 channels. But they have lot's of neat things built in. Like you are constantly recording, but they also have motion sensitivity options. So to save hard drive space, and computing power, if there is nothing moving on one of the cameras, it only records one frame every second, but if someone walks onto that camera, and is moving around, it steps it up to 30 frames per second.
You will find the more expensive cameras can record more frames per second over all, so if your system can record 450 frames per second, it has to split that between the cameras, so recording less frames on the cameras where nothing is happening, lets you record more on the ones where there is stuff happening. And of course, you can play these back, or monitor as many as you have hooked up.
Perhaps this is one of those "Ounce of Prevention" things, but we have not had a single customer lose a gun, hopper, etc, in 4 years. We had one tank stolen, and two guns stolen. Both by employees, we saw it on the video, fired and prosecuted them and got our equipment back. I feel the money you put into video surveillance will pay its self back many times over. Also, you are making your core customer base, the moms and dads who are bringing their kids in, you are making them feel that you have a very safe and secure establishment.
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Obviously, this will also help in case you get broken into or robbed. We have a few lights that are on all night, and even if the power goes out, we have a battery backup system hooked up to the recorder and the cameras, and they have infrared led's, so we'll get a black and white video even in total blackness. And these cameras are only about 120 bucks a piece. If you check some of the links from the ads you see on this page, you can find some pretty good deals on these types of systems.
We actually have multiple systems, with some of the systems use remote hard drives that you can hide, or put into a safe (but took a bit to drill through the side to install a fire wire!) That way a thief can't come in at night and steal his video!
We have more security to talk about, but we are going to do that on the next page, about stopping your rental gear from walking off. Anti Shop Lifting Devices.
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582 E Hwy 121
Lewisville, TX 75057
(972) 956-5500 Fax: (972) 956-5514
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