CCTV & Intruder Alarms

CCTV Installation & Intruder Alarm Systems in Dewsbury, Wakefield, Leeds and Throughout Yorkshire

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s crucial to ensure that your premises are safe and secure at all times. Today’s security and alarm systems are more responsive, reliable and intelligent than ever before. If your current security systems are a little outdated, there’s never been a better time to upgrade! Having a new CCTV or burglar alarm system professionally installed will help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your staff and visitors, whilst giving you peace of mind.

We can offer security solutions to suit your needs, from the very basic single static camera all the way through to a full-blown IP system with hundreds of cameras. Here at Optical Fire and Security Limited, we can design, supply, install and commission CCTV & Intruder Alarm Systems throughout Yorkshire.

CCTV Installation Yorkshire
Safety & Security Solutions in Yorkshire

The experienced team at Optical Fire and Security Ltd can offer a complete safety and security solution for your business. Following your initial enquiry, we will visit your premises to discuss your requirements and conduct a full survey. We have the capability to design and install bespoke CCTV and alarm systems from start to finish. Pricing will be submitted after our consultation for your perusal; though we always aim to offer competitive rates, we will not be the cheapest but you can rest assured we will be the best.

After the installation has been completed, our dedicated team will be on hand to lend their full support providing repairs and maintenance as required, and ensuring your system remains fully operational. It's our aim to make the whole process as simple and stress-free as possible.

If you are based in Wakefield, Dewsbury, Leeds or the surrounding area of West Yorkshire, get in touch to discuss your requirements today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that we receive from our customers. If you need any further help or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Do I need an electrician to install CCTV?

CCTV systems are generally not wireless, so they require the electrical work to be performed by a qualified and registered electrician, especially if a new circuit needs fitting due to the nature of the job.

Effective CCTV installation is not just about where the camera is placed, but also how it is put there, how it is connected to the rest of your company’s security and data systems, how the videos are archived and who has access. Your system needs to be well-oiled for you to get optimum results.

Not only can these various elements make a real difference, but many of these elements also constitute legal requirements that are your responsibility to fulfil. Indeed, faulty CCTV deployment can result in huge costs.

Proper installation also ensures your CCTV system is tamper-proof.

For professional CCTV installation, you’ll find labour costs tend to be reasonable and you wouldn’t have to pay excessive fees.

The CCTV installation company will also download and set up the corresponding apps onto your smartphone or tablet before showing you how to get started.

How much does it cost to install CCTV?

Bear in mind that professional CCTV installation costs can be high for commercial properties, not least because there is a lot more paperwork to go through.

One example is GDPR compliance, and it’s not unusual to be expected to provide schematic drawings, risk and method statements which can add a fair amount of time to the installation work, not to mention cost.

The price of CCTV installation is primarily down to how many cameras you need to have installed but will also be affected by the type or brand of camera.

In addition, you will likely want to install a DVR (digital video recorder) or NVR to store the footage.

You may want to consider whether you want to install the facilities for remote CCTV monitoring or cameras with night vision capability.

Also, an installation that takes place out of normal working hours can be expected to cost more.

You shouldn’t necessarily go for the system that offers the lowest installation costs. Instead, consider the best CCTV system for your business needs.

Please contact us for a free no-obligation quote, complete with a comprehensive breakdown of materials and cost.

How long does it take to install CCTV?

The good news is that CCTV can be installed relatively quickly.

However, this does depend upon how many cameras you are having, the size of the building involved and whether there are any accessibility issues.

You will find that CCTV installations can be done more quickly on small retail properties than larger commercial and industrial ones.

It's generally considered to take between four hours to one-and-a-half days to install a CCTV system.

A typical four-camera system for a standard office should take between four and six hours.

Our suggestion is that prior to the installation of a CCTV system, you attempt to rectify any access issues.

Do you need a license for cCTV?

To use closed circuit television (CCTV) equipment to monitor the activities of a member of the public in a public or private place, or to identify a person, you need to get a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

This includes the use of CCTV to record images that are viewed on non-CCTV equipment but excludes the use of CCTV solely to identify a trespasser or protect property.

There are two types of SIA licence:

First, a frontline licence for operatives carrying out surveillance.

Second, a non-frontline licence for managers, supervisors and other staff.

Obtaining a license is easy.

You need TO be at least 18 years of age and must pass checks on your identity and criminal record.

Frontline operatives must also hold the relevant SIA-approved qualification. You can apply online or through the post.

The license costs £210 and is valid for three years.

You will have to ensure that you renew a license before the previous one expires.

The SIA website has a handy Licence Status Checker service which allows you to verify that the operatives you deploy hold valid, active licences.

Do you have to display signs if you have CCTV?

Legally, with regards to CCTV systems at commercial properties, you must make all employees and visitors aware they’re being monitored.

You can do this by displaying clear, visible signs within an appropriate distance of each surveillance camera, externally or internally, depending on where each camera is situated.

The signs must be readable and clearly state that people are being recorded, as well giving the reason why they.

The signs should ideally be at least A4 in size, and preferably identify a responsible person and contact number.

You may also want to consider the use of non-threatening signs, for example: 'Smile, you're on 24-hour CCTV'.

CCTV warning signs should be positioned at places where they can easily be seen by anyone who passes by. Ideally, this would be within normal eye-level range and in areas with adequate lighting.

The primary reason for having CCTV installed on a property is to act as a deterrent, but a person with criminal intent will be more likely to spot a camera if there’s a well-lit sign next to it stating one is in use.

Regardless of the legalities, you’d be foolish not to display a warning sign on your commercial property.

Can you record people on CCTV without permission in the UK?

Generally, while in a public space like a street, anyone can video (or voice record) another person without their permission.

However, they can’t stop you from going about your business, interfere, stalk or harass you.

It is not illegal to take photographs or video footage in public places unless it is for criminal or terrorist purposes.

However, the tables are turned when it comes to private locations.

In the UK there is no invasion-of-privacy law as such.

Instead, the European Convention of Human Rights, which has been implemented in the UK, contains an article affording UK citizens a 'right to respect for private and family life' – sometimes known as the 'Article 8 right'.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, or RIPA, is a piece of legislation introduced to make sure surveillance of private individuals is carried out in accordance with regulations designed to protect members of the public.

RIPA sets limits on how surveillance can be carried out, and who is authorised to do it.

Directed surveillance is generally conducted in a public arena, and is not considered to violate an individual’s privacy in the same way intrusive surveillance would.

How can I hide my CCTV security cameras outside?

External security cameras shouldn’t be hidden on commercial properties; you are required by law to display visible, clear and readable signs which state CCTV cameras are in operation.

It is possible to hide a security camera outside. However, you don’t want a camera to be tampered with and you don’t want an opportunistic burglar identifying any blind spots.

Perhaps the most obvious method is to opt for a small battery-powered wireless security camera because a long wire could be easily spotted in an area of greenery.

If you cannot get your hands on a wireless security camera, you could hide wires in a PVC pipe.

Many security cameras are small enough that you could easily hide your camera in a bush, tree, ornament or bird feeder.

For security cameras mounted on walls you could simply hide it in plain sight; mount it high and camouflaged by matching its colour to that of the walls.

You could even purchase a security camera that’s designed to look like a light feature or doorbell.

Some people install a fake security camera to take attention away from a real one.

Besides being a great trick, they are readily available, don’t require an electrician call out, and act as an effective deterrent to criminals.

Do you need permission to install CCTV?

Planning permission is not normally required for installing a CCTV camera.

However, if it’s intended for a listed building, you will have to check with your local planning authority.

You can legally use CCTV to protect a commercial property providing you abide by the Data Protection Act.

That means you must:

•Put up a sign to let people know CCTV is being used and why

•Be able to provide images within one calendar month to anyone you’ve recorded

•Share images with the authorities, including police, if they ask for them

•Keep images only as long as your business needs them

To operate CCTV equipment and monitor the activities of a member of the public in either a public or a private place, or to identify a person, you need to apply for a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Which is better - wired or wireless alarms?

Unsurprisingly, both wired and wireless alarms have pros and cons.

Despite recent improvements in technology attached to a wireless alarm system, the hardwired variety still surpasses a wireless alternative when it comes to reliability.

For many people, that is most important.

However, a wireless system is quick and easy to install, and often includes integration with smart devices in your home.

It is far from perfect and is impacted by interference or network outages.

A hardwired system, on the other hand, uses existing circuits in your building.

That means not only that it works consistently, but it means that you get fewer false alarms.

However, unlike an encrypted wireless system, which takes skill to hack, a hardwired one can be disabled simply by cutting the wire.

Also, if you wanted to move a sensor or a camera then you’d need to call out an electrician.

In contrast, wireless alarm systems rely on batteries for their power.

If you forget to replace them, you’ll be in trouble.

In conclusion, there’s no straightforward answer and you should decide according to your own priorities.

How long do batteries last in wireless intruder alarms?

Planning permission is not normally required for installing a CCTV camera.

However, if it’s intended for a listed building, you will have to check with your local planning authority.

You can legally use CCTV to protect a commercial property providing you abide by the Data Protection Act.

That means you must:

•Put up a sign to let people know CCTV is being used and why

•Be able to provide images within one calendar month to anyone you’ve recorded

•Share images with the authorities, including police, if they ask for them

•Keep images only as long as your business needs them

To operate CCTV equipment and monitor the activities of a member of the public in either a public or a private place, or to identify a person, you need to apply for a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Are wireless alarm systems reliable?

Previously, wireless intruder alarms had a poor reputation.

They appeared unstable because their receiving range was often too short to pick up signals from the area they were supposed to cover.

That perception has changed now.

The latest technology in wireless intruder alarms has an improved range and is more comprehensive.

Additionally, in the 1990s, these types of alarm used to be activated falsely.

Thanks to design improvements, that doesn’t happen anymore.

Furthermore, lots of people used to be worried about the potential to block radio frequency signals.

However, since wireless alarm systems now conform to the latest British standards, they have to have in-built anti-jamming detection.

All wireless alarm components use radio frequencies to communicate, and it is not necessary to have an internet connection in order to maintain your system.

Even if the office WiFi is unreliable, it won’t change the alarm’s effectiveness.

Do wireless alarms need internet?

Not all wireless alarms need access to the internet.

However, if your security system communicates with a monitoring centre via the web, then it will be affected if a connection fails.

There are four main types of connectivity for wireless intruder alarms:

•Internet based
•Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
•Traditional telephone lines
•Cellular radio

The first two rely on internet connectivity, while others are independent of WiFi capability.

That is one of the reasons why wireless alarms designed to work via cellular radio are considered the most reliable; they are not vulnerable to internet outages and they continue to work even if a burglar cuts the landline.

If you’re considering whether to buy a wireless alarm system then depends on an internet connection, then you could choose to invest in a WiFi booster.

They are generally cheap and can potentially extend the area covered by your based alarm system by up to 150 feet (46 metres).

It will also help to cover the geographical area where your sensors are.

Many wireless alarm systems use lower frequencies than the standard 2.4 GHz needed for WiFi; they can operate at either 433 MHz or 868 MHz.

Can wireless alarm systems be hacked?

A WiFi-based wireless alarm system can be hacked.

Even maximum-security systems have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

However, there are preventative measures you can take.

First, for an alarm system run using WiFi, you should always ensure you have a safe, secure password.

Your router will come with its own one, but in most cases, it can be changed.

Hide the WiFi password from view, and don’t let it be seen.

You can take it a step further, making sure all your office security system codes differ from one another and are impossible to guess.

Another significant step to take is to have encryption enabled on your network.

Encryption is a cybersecurity measure that uses coding signals only authorised devices can read.

In layman's terms, encryption is a process that scrambles readable text so it can only be read by the person, or device, that has the code or s decryption key. You should enable encryption not just on your WiFi router, but also on all devices using your wireless alarm system network.

Which is the best burglar alarm system?

There is plenty to take into consideration.

For most people, reliability is top of a list of priorities.

Value for money is important too, and you must consider both the cost of materials and labour.

You have to decide as well between a hard-wired and wireless option.

Deterring potential intruders is important too.

When people are affected by ‘alarm fatigue’, the main purpose of one is less about how loud it is, or how quickly you receive a notification, but rather about putting off a criminal, to begin with.

The best solution is one that is simple to install and has smartphone integration along with CCTV cameras to act as a deterrent.

How does a burglar alarm work?

All burglar alarms, whether they are hardwired or a battery-powered wireless system, are composed of electric circuits.

Using an array of sensors and contacts, those circuits detect movement or heat, the opening of doors or a window.

A signal is then sent to the control unit by radio frequency, which in turn triggers a signal – usually a loud alarm – be emitted that alerts those nearby of unauthorised entry.

The signal could also be sent by telephone or over the internet to give you an instant notification something is happening.

A difference in how a burglar alarm works isn’t just how it is wired, but also the sensors it uses.

Most make use of passive Infrared sensors, known as PIR devices.

They can detect a sudden increase in temperature when natural heat and energy emitted by humans (or an animal) is present.

Light detectors notice when an object blocks a path between the transmitter and a receiver.

Motion detectors meanwhile emit microwave radio energy that is captured by a sensor when it bounces of something.

A change in energy flow indicates a movement nearby.

Are burglar alarms effective?

A survey conducted a few years ago concluded that 87 per cent of respondents would choose to ignore a neighbour’s intruder alarm if they heard it.

This phenomenon was dubbed “alarm fatigue”, but it can be addressed.

On reading the statistic above, your first impression may be that intruder alarms are not necessarily a good investment.

However, they come into their own when used as a deterrent.

We’d go so far as saying that using an intruder alarm in this way makes it worth the investment.

Research has shown most thieves are primarily opportunists who would avoid a difficult break-in that is likely to attract attention.

By merely seeing an intruder alarm, a potential intruder is likely to be put off.

So, a visible intruder alarm, particularly a CCTV camera, does make for an effective deterrent.

An accompanying monitoring system helps too.

When a monitored alarm is triggered, it sends a signal to a remote response centre where the threat is assessed and an alert passed to the appropriate authorities.

How much does it cost to install an intruder alarm system?

When it comes to fitting an alarm system, there is a set of costs for materials and another for labour.

A price for the latter depends on whether you employ a local electrician or opt instead for a dedicated CCTV installer. In some cases, intruder alarm installation will be included in the deal when you buy the alarm systems.

A larger property is likely to need more sensors, which impacts on the final bill. The price for installing a fully monitored or police-calling alarm system, connected to your local police control room, is also higher.

The majority of intruder alarm installations take one or two days of work, and you can generally expect to pay double for two days.

Please get in touch with us for a free, no-obligation quote. You can expect a detailed breakdown of the costs for each component of the intruder alarm system, as well as for installing it.

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Contact us today to find out how Optical Fire Security can help your business