Armored Access Blog

Surveillance Vs Security Systems: What is the difference?

Written By
Bill Marusza
June 28, 2016

Welcome back with Armored Access, your first choice for home and business security. In our last blog we discussed the benefits and features of wireless home security control. With so many options available today it is good to research what type of system is right for you. One of the most common questions when talking about systems is surveillance versus security. Is there a difference? If so, what are they? These are the questions we will be answering in today’s discussion.

What is surveillance?

Surveillance is generally used for the act of watching someone or something (i.e. homebusiness, surrounding property) in order to prevent or detect an intruder entering a secured area. Systems are set up by strategically placing a network of video cameras in a designated area to capture events as they occur. Surveillance footage is either broadcasted to a monitor and/or recorded for future use. Let me give an example of what a surveillance system will do. Let’s say you are leaving for the week and you’ve installed surveillance cameras around your property. If a burglar comes and breaks in, your cameras will capture everything and you will have footage of the entire intrusion. The negative aspect is that by the time you receive this information a significant amount of time will have already passed before the intrusion is actually reported. Presence of surveillance cameras are useful for deterring crime, constant observation, and the access of recorded footage. Unfortunately they are of little use until someone has actually seen the footage, which results in a very delayed response time. You may ask, “what if the cameras are being constantly monitored by a person?” That is something that is common, especially in and around bigger buildings and properties. However, issues with this option comes down to attentiveness. Can you imagine staring at a motionless screen for 12 hours? If not multiple screens? Guards have been an important piece of security for a long time in a variety of industries, but there is only a certain extent of ability one person can achieve.

What is security?

Security systems go a bit further by keeping you safe from harm or loss with a network of alarms and sensors. They will also protect you from non-crime related situations that are potentially harmful to you, your family, or assets. Security systems enable 24/7 monitoring; with sensors for floods, heat/smoke/fire, motion, glass break, doors, and windows; and real-time alerts sent directly to you and proper authorities. The only disadvantage would be a lack of recorded video. There are three different types of security systems:

  1. Monitored systems are the most common; where a monitoring agent, working at your company’s security center, is notified when an alarm is set off at your residence and contacts local authorities. In addition, you are also alerted via cellphone.
  2. Self-monitored systems act the same as a monitored system, but instead of an agent being notified, you receive 24/7 alerts over your cellphone and are responsible for contacting authorities. With this option you save on extra fees but also risk missing an alert if you are preoccupied.
  3. Local security systems are the most basic. These systems set off loud alarms or sirens that can be heard in the immediate area. These alarms rely on alerting you or your neighbors to call proper authorities.

One more option we’d like to cover is what is called video security. Video security uses smart video detection cameras and incorporates the strengths of both systems. Smart video detection uses thermal cameras and video analytics which are able to accurately identify targets on a real-time site map with the ability to automatically zoom in on the target. These cameras are good for large distance areas and perimeters, which can potentially cut down on the amount of cameras you may otherwise have to set up. They also work equally as good during the day as they do at night. Regular high-definition cameras can be used with video analytics but are hindered by their process of creating images using visible light. Daytime reflections from the sun or car lights can interfere with accuracy and cause false alarms. During the evening there wouldn’t be a sufficient amount of light for the cameras and you risk missing an intruder all together. High definition cameras are however, useful in keeping detailed video quality in the event that an intrusion does occur.

So what does this mean? Which option is better for you? Surveillance cameras are very useful for detecting, recording, and deterring any unwanted activity, but require a person constantly watching them for immediate actions to be taken. Security systems are more conducive to stopping a crime before it happens and alerts authorities in real time rather than after the fact. If you decide that surveillance cameras should be installed, we suggest doing it as an addition to an overall security system. Visit our website today for all your security needs. Be sure to keep coming back for more useful information regarding home and business safety. Thank you again for choosing Armored Access!

Check out these security blogs

FREE On-site Evaluation

Experience true peace of mind
By clicking "claim yours now," you consent for Armored Access to follow up with you via phone or email and send you valuable information to help keep you safe and sound.

No spam. No obligations.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form