These days, children are, statistically, in no more danger than at any other time in history. Thanks to the media, however, when an outrage against a child occurs, it is broadcast to millions, and this makes us more aware of the threat even if it is no greater. This awareness is driving parents to install CCTV cameras in their homes, and nursery owners to have cameras in their businesses. First, I'm going to take a look at CCTV in the home.
It's very easy to install a camera in the home, as long as you get a fully-configured wireless CCTV camera pack from a specialist supplier. This is basically a box that contains everything you need and is ready to plug in. If you just buy equipment from an on-line retailer, you will need a fair amount of technical knowledge to get it working fully. Positioning the camera inside a room is vital if you are going to get good quality pictures. Try not to point the camera at a source of light, such as an external door, a window or light fittings. If a very light area is in the image, the rest of the scene will be very dark as the camera adjusts the exposure to compensate. Placing the camera high up near the ceiling is often best to avoid furniture obstructing the view. Wireless CCTV cameras have a low voltage cable with a transformer on the end that just plugs in. You don't need any electrical qualifications to fit them because it is no more complicated or dangerous than plugging in your phone charger. A domestic CCTV system can usually be installed without permission or legal implications under the Data Protection Act (in the UK). It is a different story for nursery schools, pre-schools and playgroups however, as the next section explains.
Whether pre-school, nursery school or playgroup, all are business premises where members of the public visit, and certainly a wireless CCTV system in this type of premises in the UK needs to comply with the Data Protection Act and must be registered with the Information Commissioner. You would also need to display warning signs that tell people you are using CCTV. This is because people have a right under the Act to request recordings that are made of them. There are also rules on who has access to recordings and how long they are kept. For these reasons it may be preferable not to record any images, especially as one of the main reasons for systems like this is so that parents can log in periodically to look at live pictures of their kids, perhaps from the workplace, just for reassurance. Although not a specific requirement of the Act, it is advisable for parents to give their consent in writing for CCTV to be used in this way, and if you are introducing a system you need to be prepared to turn away a customer if he or she is not prepared to give consent. If you run one of these businesses and you are thinking of installing wireless CCTV, I suggest you use a specialist CCTV consultant who is familiar with the latest rules.
Finally, if you have never installed wireless CCTV, have no technical knowledge and want a cost-effective solution that you can just plug in without any fuss, a fully-configured camera pack from a specialist supplier is definitely worth considering. You will be keeping an eye on your kids in no time.