Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, looks at the issues that concern the CCTV industry. Today Mike argues the need for standards.
I still believe that there are huge amounts of good business to be had, but it is all too often like an old western out there on the streets. Sales companies are fighting to the death and, ultimately, it will lead to the death of their companies.
The surge of cheap CCTV products being offered, are being lapped up by the cheap CCTV installers and it is killing the industry.
The margin is reduced in sales, so the service cannot be offered; engineers are not trained and maintained, vetted or provided with the right tools. And the real loser in all of this is the end user … they get a cheap CCTV system by a cheap CCTV installer who cannot provide the service and back up to support the system.
There should be a specification of minimum standards of equipment adopted by the industry and its regulators. This will assist the un-knowing end user in getting a level playing field based on service and competitive pricing. You can buy CCTV cameras from some distributors for as low as £25. You cannot tell me there is any quality standards of manufacturing that have gone into that product.
Installation companies that wish to be accredited by SSAIB / NSI should sign up to this and fit only equipment that meets these minimum standards. Installers should be made to erect the correct DPA (Data Protection Act) signage and provide a DPA policy with every system. Compliance packs are readily available so it should be part of the system.
Too many end users still don’t know that CCTV is covered by the DPA. Maintenance policies must be taken out with every installation. It can’t be left as an option to be taken out later; it is stated within the DPA rules on CCTV. To be sold, all products must have a detailed specification sheet, not on a pretty picture and a made up specification.
Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.