Our Blog & Product Reviews
We get quite a lot of calls from Farmers looking to install CCTV. Farm CCTV systems are unique in terms of what they need to do and the equipment required. We understand what's involved better than most because we grew up in rural Lincolnshire, worked on farms all those years ago and are based on a farm in Buckinghamshire. We use it as our proving ground to test new products and develop ideas. In general, farms tend to be spread over large areas, it's not like a shop where people walk in through a small opening or a petrol station where you know exactly where someone is going to be when they fill up their car.
Most CCTV on the market tends to use wide-angle cameras, great for covering larger areas, but useless when it comes to capturing any detail once you move more than a few metres from the camera. You can see someone or something is there but you have no chance of identification. Because we stock a broad range of cameras we can suggest solutions which cover large areas and also capture sufficient detail to allow identification. Something like our IP POE range of cameras is a prime example. The 8MP (4K) cameras can realistically identify someone or a vehicle up to 35 metres from the camera making it perfect for farm use.
When someone calls us up we use internet mapping to look at their site. We don't need to have a street view, all we are interested in is seeing the aerial view so we know what distances are involved. We can take accurate measurements from aerial images. Talking through which specific areas concern you or what you are trying to achieve we can start to make suggestions regarding camera choice and location. We know how CCTV works best, long thin tunnels of vision are much better than wide arcs of coverage for instance if you want to capture detail over a larger area. We are very good at reading between the lines and understanding what a less-than-perfect image might be showing us in terms of the farm layout.
On a personal note, I find it quite easy working with farmers during the planning stage. They tend to be multi-skilled and understand the concept of problem-solving. I suppose it comes from having to wear so many hats during the working day, one minute trying to fix a piece of machinery or diagnose a fault, the next dealing with livestock or crops, the usual paperwork associated with being in business and the modern farm relying heavily on technology. You need to be a jack of all trades and a master of every one of them!
Good CCTV doesn't have to be complicated, I'm a big fan of the fag packet solution, the problem is you need a thorough understanding of the basic principles. We can use the strengths of CCTV whilst working within the limitations of building/site layout. There's no point in creating additional installation work if we can avoid it with clever camera location and longer-range cameras. Although a farm might cover a large area are usually pinch points we can exploit through which someone has to pass to gain entry. Often the driveway into a farm provides a perfect opportunity to identify vehicles or people for instance.
A worrying development in more recent times is the need for extra vigilance around some nitrogen-based fertilisers. The government issued guidelines concerning fertiliser and its potential use in bomb-making. Where previously theft was purely financial these days there is a potentially more sinister motive. We put together some advice specifically relating to farm CCTV systems on the installation section of our site. Please don't hesitate to give us a call at 01895 233311 if you want to chat through a project. We don't charge for advice and we won't keep bombarding you with annoying sales calls afterwards. We will just email over a plan showing where we think cameras might be fitted together with a list of what you will need.
8 February 2023
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