CCTV vs Burglar Alarms – Do I Need Both? – Scaitec Security

CCTV vs Burglar Alarms – Do I Need Both? – Scaitec Security

CCTV vs Burglar Alarms – Do I Need Both? 

Both CCTV and burglar alarms are popular tools in the fight against damage to commercial properties.

The UK crime rate continues to soar, meaning many more business owners are looking for new ways to ensure their premises remain safe and secure.

For some, this may mean choosing the latest CCTV, for others, opting for a burglar alarm.

But would businesses be better served by using both in conjunction?

The Growing Threat of Crime

According to figures from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), there are between four and six million CCTV cameras in operation around the UK.

They cover over 200 industries and properties such as schools, shops and council facilities, with a mix of camera types running from remote monitored CCTV to remote view CCTV

This volume reflects a growing awareness of both the effectiveness of CCTV as a security medium and the soaring crime rate throughout the country.

A break-in or a fire can prove catastrophic for a company.

In many cases resulting in devastating loss of assets and even the loss of trusted staff, who may feel their own safety is compromised if working for a company which doesn’t adequately prioritise the correct safety measures.

As well as affecting productivity, these losses can prove fatal for businesses of all sizes, particularly in the case of irreparably damaged commercial premises or stolen stock, which can prove difficult – and expensive – to replenish.

With Crime Statistics Rising, Are You Protected?

Recent statistics show a 10% rise in crime across the board, one of the biggest rises in crime rates for a decade.

For companies determined to help fight against property damage and theft, it is easy to see why both CCTV and burglar alarms would appeal in these dangerous times.

Pros & Cons of Un-Monitored CCTV

CCTV can be an effective tool as both a criminal deterrent and as a means of ensuring criminal activity is recorded for retrospective analysis.

This is helpful for discovering the root cause of incidents, but without remote monitoring, the CCTV feed acts only as a record of what has already happened.

Reports on the effectiveness of ‘traditional’ un-monitored CCTV used alone differ.

With some suggesting it causes a significant drop in overall crime rates, and others stating that those prone to burglary, theft and criminal damage are not particularly concerned by the presence of a camera.

There are also conflicting reports as to the ideal size and positioning of CCTV.

If too obvious, an unmonitored CCTV camera can simply become subject to vandalism itself, allowing the criminals to continue unabated and leaving no valuable record of incidents.

This is ultimately a topic to be discussed with your commercial camera security systems installer, ensuring your cameras remain in a space where they can act as both a recording device and a deterrent, without being at undue risk of removal or damage.

Pros & Cons of Monitored CCTV

Monitored CCTV can offer an edge on un-monitored CCTV, even when used alone and without additional protection from a burglar alarm system.

This is because, via monitoring, businesses benefit from an added layer of protection which is sorely lacking from an un-monitored CCTV setup.

This presents many benefits to businesses looking to take their security up a notch.

Monitoring is great for ensuring peace of mind, and can also help to intercept potentially catastrophic events before they happen, or crimes while they’re in progress.

By relying upon professionals to monitor the feed 24/7 from a centralised location, companies will be assured of a more in-depth solution to their security concerns, saving money and time in the long-run.


Shoplifting is reported to account for 67% of all crime within wholesale and retail businesses, making monitored CCTV a particularly valuable option for these industries.

Remote security monitoring services can also help to catch culprits of any damage as it happens and issue the appropriate level of emergency response without delay.

There is also less risk of serious vandalism to the CCTV cameras themselves, again saving your firm the money and hassle which could otherwise be spent on replacing an important bit of kit.

Pros of using CCTV & Burglar Alarms Together

If you’ve already opted for CCTV, you may be wondering why you would think of installing a burglar alarm as well or vice versa.

There are many reasons for having both and creating a chain of security.

In a rural area, for example, CCTV may be more effective than a burglar alarm. Where internet connectivity is unreliable, a burglar alarm can provide backup.

Combining both a state-of-the-art CCTV system with an equally effective burglar alarm allows business owners to ensure a dual approach and create further barriers to entry.

While CCTV is in many ways passive (particularly if un-monitored), burglar alarms serve to ward off intruders, and may prove particularly popular with companies which rely on open-plan spaces burdened by seeming like an ‘easy target’ to thieves or vandals.

Combining a CCTV system with a sophisticated burglar alarm gives your company a better chance of catching criminals.

Whether that’s through the images recorded on CCTV, the emergency response prompted by monitoring, or the emergency response and noise from the burglar alarm.

This is a sure way to combine optimum protection with maximum convenience for those who need to work in the building.

CCTV vs Burglar Alarms

Ways to Maximise Performance of CCTV & Burglar Alarms

Whether choosing a burglar alarm, CCTV or both, certain measures will still be needed to ensure your security system protects your building adequately.

Those measures can take a variety of forms, from appointing designated staff members to lead security procedures and oversee action by other staff to doing due diligence choosing your equipment and installer.

Carrying out a cost benefit analysis will help you get the best equipment for your budget, while regular maintenance, servicing and trusted monitoring service will offer day-to-day peace of mind.

Want to find out more?

Paul Scaife

20 + years experience in the installation , design and project management within the electronic security industry. Highly skilled in CCTV including remote monitoring and IP analytic systems, Intruder alarms and access control . Fire risk assessor, fire safety consultant with expert knowledge in all aspects of design and installation of Fire Alarm system and extinguisher selection and maintenance. Connect with Paul Scaife on LinkedIn >>