In today's economy, everyone wants to save money and it is possible to get a decent security camera system on a limited budget. However not all equipment is created equal and the most important factor in getting the results you want will be choosing the right professional installer.
One of the biggest problems today in the security camera industry is the proliferation of inferior CCTV equipment that is available online and even at big box stores. Saving money doesn’t sound like a problem, but unfortunately, business owners everywhere are being inundated with CHEAP camera deals. We often find the quotes we are up against are less money than our cost on the quality commercial grade equipment we are quoting. Don't get me wrong, there is a market for the cheap equipment sold at Costco and I have frequently referred homeowners there who just want to monitor their backyards. But if security is important to you and your business, and you require clear, identifiable images and evidence, then you need to consult a professional.
Buying a CCTV security system in a big city like Vancouver, which is a port city, is especially challenging because of the overabundance of inferior equipment being imported into the region and the growing number of companies who sell them. Granted, high quality components also arrive from Asia, but they are incredibly difficult to identify unless you have considerable knowledge. Many times a potential client will insist the equipment we are quoting is the "same" as the other guy. A significant difference in price would be your first clue that the equipment is not the same. Many times different manufacturers buy their cases from the same place so they may even visibly look identical but the differences become evident when you see the picture, the functionality, the reliability and the most important factor: the installation technique. Only an experienced professional can explain the differences in the equipment and how those differences will impact your security camera system.
It is important to ASK QUESTIONS; you need to know what you are getting and that the company providing it to you will be there to support you when you need it. By law, a company that installs security camera systems needs to have a Business Security license as well as their workers need to hold their own Security Workers Licenses. If you do not check for this important qualification, you could have someone with a criminal record working on your system. In addition to the security license, they need to be a bonded and certified Electrical Contractor with a Field Safety Representative (FSR) on staff. Quality FSRs are hard to find and expensive to employ so many companies try to run without one. It is also very important to ensure that the company is covered by Work Safe BC and carries additional liability insurance. The person providing you a quote should be able to easily provide you with proof of all of the above requirements as soon as you ask. Don't assume that just because they say they can install security cameras for you that they are legally allowed to do so.
You should also ask how long they have been in the business of installing security cameras. You will find many companies started out installing vacuums, setting up computer networks or installing alarms and they just start selling cameras as an "Add-on" service to their customers. It is simple to install a camera, but getting the best possible results from that camera depends on a number of different factors that only experience can teach.
There will always be a cheaper option but it is important to determine why that option is cheaper before you decide to give them your money. If you find the quote does not fit into your budget, don't be afraid to talk to the salesperson. They should be able to tell you the best system they can provide within your budget. It may involve using some quality used/reconditioned equipment or reducing and re-positioning the number of cameras being installed. A quality security camera system can still be achieved on a limited budget as long as the company installing it has the experience and qualification to do so.