How to Monitor a CCTV Control Room


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If you’re curious to know how to monitor a CCTV control room, chances are you shouldn’t be doing it. Setups that require a full space dedicated to viewing and monitoring typically cover large commercial or public spaces, and rightly require licenses and certifications to operate in most cases.

That said, top rated security systems for homes also routinely come with surveillance cameras, which is a different thing altogether. On this page, we’ll explore how to monitor a CCTV control room, why it can be so challenging, what the legal requirements for doing so are, and how top rated security systems for homes make it much easier with their tech. Make sure you have an advanced monitoring system just like what Life Shield offer as one of their services.

What is CCTV?

CCTV is short for closed-circuit television. It refers to a video monitoring setup designed to be viewed by a select few, versus shared with the public. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere without being captured on closed-circuit television. Cameras are in almost every store, in parking garages, and in public spaces. In these cases, they work as a crime deterrent and can help law enforcement officers identify suspects and solve crimes as well.

You’ll also find closed-circuit television setups in hospitals, schools, and daycare centers. Although they still help with crime detection, prevention, and solving in these cases, they’re primarily in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the people present. Individuals incorporate them as baby monitors and as a component of top rated security systems for homes too.

How to Monitor a CCTV Control Room: The Basics

Most control rooms (CRs) are custom-built based on the needs of the area being surveilled. For example, a basic retail store may not need a complete setup. In fact, many have only a handful of cameras and a single viewing station in a general-purpose office. However, large companies and public spaces often need a designated room to house all the equipment and the surveillance team.

Large companies, particularly industrial setups, also make use of “intelligent CCTV” or “smart” devices capable of recognizing when a temperature has exceeded safe ranges and identifying when an employee is behaving in an unsafe manner or is somewhere he or she shouldn’t be. These types of setups often sound alarms when something is wrong to draw the attention of the surveillance team to a particular screen.

Law enforcement is working on similar tech that can detect the sound of screams, running shoes, and gunshots in public spaces, in order to improve reaction times. Needless to say, each type of tech requires special training, so someone who is experienced and qualified to oversee operations at something like a retail space may not be prepared for the demands of an industrial setting.

Challenges with Monitoring Control Rooms

Generally speaking, people don’t do well monitoring screens for any period of time. An operator watching two screens will miss about 45% of the data after 10 minutes of viewing. Once the person hits the 22-minute mark, he or she will miss 95% of the information.

For this reason, only the most critical views should be within the operator’s line of sight at any given time. The rest should be hidden from view, but accessible as needed. Intelligent feeds are also paramount, as they help cut through the “fatigue” an operator deals with and draws attention to issues.

Legal Issues Surrounding Monitoring

Operators in some jurisdictions must have a license to work. In areas where a license is not mandated, most employers still expect certifications and security training. Laws across America vary by state regarding whom can do what and what may be filmed, so it’s important to research your jurisdiction before accepting an operator job.

Many laws also apply to individuals, especially as it relates to privacy. For example, it’s generally against the law to film someone when they have the expectation of total privacy. This includes places like the inside of hotel rooms, bathrooms, and changing rooms.

How Top Rated Security Systems for Homes are Different

When you look at top rated security systems for homes, the regulations and viewing are a different thing altogether. While those who live with you and visit may still have the “expectation of privacy” in certain spaces throughout the home, laws regarding operator licenses, security training, and certifications don’t generally exist.

For this reason, homeowners can typically install a closed-circuit television surveillance system and monitor it on their own without concern. Advances in tech have made checking cameras simple; it’s only a matter of opening up an app on your phone and glancing as desired. Footage is typically stored for a period of days or weeks, allowing for easy retrieval if an issue is discovered after an incident has occurred.