Well Maintained Video Cameras Can Prevent Costly Obstructions

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

Living in Phoenix during the summer, one might think the only weather element you have to deal with are the hot temperatures. And although those of us that live in the desert still maintain it’s a dry heat, we also have to routinely deal with large-scale dust storms between May and September each year.

More commonly known as haboobs, these massive dust storms sweep through the entire city, causing low visibility for drivers on the roadways and a flurry of news coverage from local television stations. They also leave layers of dirt transfixed on homes, businesses and parked vehicles.

Haboobs also cause problems for us in the video verification services industry because layers of dirt can block a camera’s view while monitoring a company’s property and assets. Light rain mixed with dust turns into dirt spots on the camera lens, causing a nuisance while trying to accurately identify objects on video. Our company, Centralized Vision, provides pro-active protection of property and assets for businesses using remote-camera monitoring with real-time response options. Any obstruction for video cameras we are monitoring could be the difference in preventing a crime or being able to apprehend a perpetrator.

Because Centralized Vision technicians are constantly monitoring numerous video cameras 24 hours a day, we can always alert our clients if there are obstacles in preventing us from protecting their assets.

Below are a few suggestions on how to maintain video cameras in order to provide optimum viewing:

  • Installation: When installing video surveillance cameras, it is imperative to make sure they are directed properly so they cover a full range of the property. Blind spots in camera coverage could allow thieves to escape without having video footage or a photo image to forward to law enforcement authorities.
  • Landscaping: Each month, it is a good idea to make sure bushes and trees are not blocking each camera’s view. High winds and storms can cause branches to fall and constant rain may cause vegetation to grow rapidly, standing in the way of a camera’s view. Landscapers can also hinder proper viewing if they use blowers to clean pathways, causing dust or dirt to collect on the lenses of video cameras.
  • Wiring: Periodically, it is essential to make sure wiring for each camera is not exposed or in danger of being ruined by moisture, animals or insects. Not keeping an eye on this may cause a loss of power to the camera or interrupted viewing because of a short in the wire.
  • Focus: Having a blurred image or video footage makes it more difficult for law enforcement officials to track down criminals. Wind, moisture or various movements can cause a camera to be out of focus.
  • Lighting: Make sure video cameras are not pointing into direct sunlight at certain points of the day to cause a disturbance in coverage. It is also essential to make sure external lighting sources are working so that maximum video surveillance can be maintained at night or in dark settings.

Having a modern video surveillance system along with 24/7 monitoring from Centralized Vision is a great investment to protect a company’s assets and to minimize financial loss. But just like every other investment, periodic maintenance is key to achieving the maximum results.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is President & Founder at Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

Eye in the Sky Can Deter Metal, Air Conditioner Thefts

By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

While hot temperatures in the Phoenix area kept most of us indoors during the summer months, some local business owners were unable to keep cool after a number of crimes involving the stripping of air conditioners occurred throughout the Valley.

Recently in Peoria, a band of suspects went on top of a strip mall on Bell Road and removed the parts from 11 air conditioning units. The removal of copper pipes and wiring, backflow vales or anything else with scrap value cost the business owners thousands of dollars in repairs and lost business.

For all of the trouble they caused to others, the criminals received a couple hundred dollars for the metal on the black market.

In 2011 alone, the Phoenix Police Department reported more than 3,000 air conditioning units were dismantled, destroyed or stolen all for their metal – and especially their copper parts. Metal theft has become an epidemic since the economic downturn started in 2008. Law enforcement agencies blame the trend on a combination of the unemployed seeking items to sell for cash and drug addicts looking to finance their next score. Insurance claims arising from metal thefts rose nationwide by 81 percent during the last three years compared with the number of claims filed from 2007-08, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Local law enforcement agencies are doing their best to track down metal theft suspects and bring them to justice. Some agencies have metal theft task forces and have formed alliances with neighboring cities to stake out and deter criminals from disabling air conditioning units.

At Centralized Vision, we are a deterrent to the recent trend of air conditioning and metal thefts by offering real-time video verification services with monitoring by our team of technicians 24 hours a day. Centralized Vision technicians visually monitor our clients’ property in real time and can dispatch security or law enforcement officers to prevent a crime from occurring. Some of our clients even have one-way audio speakers near video cameras on their property so our technicians can speak to the perpetrators and let them know they are under surveillance. If a criminal does leave the property, we can immediately send video and photo images of the suspect to local law enforcement agencies for an immediate response.

Some of our clients include auto dealerships, retail centers, recycling facilities, office buildings and warehouse distribution centers, and they all have seen a decrease in suspicious activity on their properties.

I always hear from our clients about how happy they are in pro-actively investing into our services at Centralized Vision. It’s definitely a more affordable investment than losing thousands of dollars and an interruption of business if your company is a target of metal theft.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is the President & Founder of Centralized Vision. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094.

 

 

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