20th October

How to pick good CCTV Installers

There’s no shortage of CCTV installers in Yorkshire, where we’re based, or anywhere in the UK for that matter. And like any trade it can be a complicated process in picking the right people especially if you don’t know a great deal about CCTV installation, or security system installation in general. Whether your looking to protect your home or business, if you look out for the details we lay out, you can rest assured that you’ll have a CCTV system that you can rely on.

 

CCTV Installation Accreditation & Certification


There are a variety of CCTV certifications that installers can gain, these vary from standard generic certifications to highly specialised certifications based on the equipment of a specific manufacturer. We actually offer UNV training and certification so we’re very familiar with what’s required.
Aside from the manufacturer qualifications, there are several “generic” qualifications that installers can opt into, although there is no legal requirement for them to do so. The most popular among those are NSI (formerly NACOSS) and SSAIB. NSI does have some separate qualifications and this can mean qualifications can be held for monitoring centres, but not CCTV installations, so this is important to keep in mind.
Insurers will sometimes require that the system is installed by an accredited CCTV installer. In this case you will want not only an accredited company, but to make sure that they install equipment which meets BSEN50131 standards.
 

Reviews


Reviews are of course the best way to judge a potential CCTV installer, there are a variety of places where you can look up potential installers, Check A Trade, Google reviews, Facebook etc all make good places to start. That is not to say that fake reviews don’t exist, because they do, but they’re normally relatively easy to spot, and places like Check A Trade have verification system to help avoid this. Of course, reviews with photos attached are always a good way to get an idea as to whether you’ll be happy with the job, at least in terms of how it looks. Which to many domestic customers is as important as the CCTV coverage itself. Nobody wants loose cable all over the outside of their home.
 

CCTV Costs


Price is always going to vary based on the equipment that you’re having installed, the definition of the cameras, any AI features, night vision etc, the number of cameras and the amount of cable that needs to be run and so on.
 

Site Survey & Estimates


For large CCTV installations you should expect your installer to make a site visit to asses your needs. Commercial spaces like warehouses, schools, farms etc would typically require a site visit and planning to make sure all ingresses are covered effectively. For smaller jobs such as houses, then site visits may not be necessary as most details can be provided by the occupants and online resources such as Google Street View.
You should then be given an estimate, with price and product specification. This should include the camera and recorder specifications. You should expect that for most new installs that you’ll be getting IP Cameras in most cases. We recommend Uniview Cameras, due to their severely reduced maintenance issues by comparison to other leading manufacturers.
 

Design Specification and Proposals


A good installer will create a design before carrying out your CCTV install. This will usually include information on what types of cameras will go where, this will include the functionality of the camera, the specification, i.e. it’s lens type, night vision capabilities, megapixels, DVR capacity (how many days recording it can hold and at what quality) etc. Your personal requirements will of course inform these decisions.
 

Warranty


Most installers will offer a warranty on the products they install, as the vast majority will be covered if they buy from a reputable distributor such as ourselves.
 

After Sales & Technical Support


You will want to make sure that your local CCTV installer offers good after sales and technical support, firmware could need updating, products may have issues etc and sometimes this is outside the control of the installer.
 

CCTV Maintenance Plans


Most installers will offer maintenance plans, and you’ll want to make sure you have your system checked up on relatively regularly. Many installers will recommend a yearly check, although you may find it doesn’t need to be quite so often. If you require CCTV for insurance purposes, then it is likely that you will require a yearly inspection.
 

Insurance


It’s not essential, but many suppliers will hold public liability insurance. This is of course another benefit when it comes to having complete peace of mind.