According to Visit Massachusetts, there are nearly 100 art galleries and museums in the Bay State, ranging from The American Heritage Museum and the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery to The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum. With plenty of options on hand to suit any taste or interest, it’s little wonder that Massachusetts saw nearly 19 million domestic tourists in 2019 and over 28 million international visitors in the same period, according to a report published by bostonusa.com.
2020 is going to be a different story entirely, though, with visitor numbers slated to fall dramatically over the year due to the global pandemic. Museums and art galleries are using this opportunity, however, to relook at core technology systems to be ready once the situation is under control. Keeping in mind the limited budgets most of the gallery and museum administrators will have to work with, one of the easiest ways to future-proof gallery and museum security is through an updated video surveillance system with monitoring as an option.
Gallery video security systems are available at varying price points and come integrated with a dizzying array of optional services and accessories. This complication notwithstanding, the cameras serve as an extra pair of watchful eyes, augmenting the physical security staff. With the system in place, the person in charge of security will be able to:
- Have a watchful eye over the entire interior space, even if it consists of multiple floors.
- Direct all the incoming video feeds into a single unified location for easy overwatch.
- Create a system that utilizes Pan, Tilt, and Zoom cameras (PTZ) to keep watch of the premises during the hours when the gallery or the museum is closed.
- Depending on the system in place, integrate the video cameras with motion sensors to keep a 24/7 eye on valuable exhibits.
- Remotely log in if required.
As one of the most well-known security companies in Massachusetts, our experience has shown that Hikvision wireless cameras are among the best in the business when looking at functionality vs. price.
The Hikvision DS-2DF6A236X-AEL PTZ IP Camera, for instance, is ideal for the video surveillance of extensive areas along with perimeter protection features such as intrusion detection and alarm triggers. The camera also comes equipped with a revolutionary ‘Darkfighter’ technology. This Wide Dynamic Range system balances extreme light conditions, resulting in superbly clear images, even under the worst low-light conditions.
If a fixed vantage point is sufficient, or if PTZ Cameras are out of budget, then a great option is the Hikvision DS-2CD5A46G0-IZS Bullet IP Camera. This camera comes equipped with behavioral analysis protocols and the ‘Darkfighter’ technology mentioned earlier, so for many of our clients with limited budgets, this camera is a powerful ally in a real budget-friendly package. The only downside is the need to consider the camera’s line-of-sight, as one camera is most likely going to be insufficient to cover a large interior or exterior space.
Most importantly, though, and in addition to all the features and capabilities mentioned above, Hikvision cameras are well-designed from a visual aesthetic standpoint. They allow gallery owners and museum administrators to limit the visual intimidation that is historically associated with security cameras, allowing patrons to enjoy the artworks and the exhibits without feeling like they are always under surveillance (although they are, which is the entire point.)
By having a security presence that is just out of sight but always present, an atmosphere of safety is created for both patrons and exhibit owners.
Most art galleries and museums are open to the public year-round, only closing for public holidays for specific projects like audits or cleaning. Not surprisingly, security teams accumulate a tremendous amount of digital data that needs to be stored and preserved in high-quality. In the past, this meant storing data on the camera’s in-built memory cards, a task that was both ineffective and tedious, given the storage capacity of memory cards back in the day.
Today though, the latest Hikvision cameras come with the option of virtual cloud access. If that isn’t an option given budgetary constraints, a connection to the Hikvision DS-7604NI-K1/4P Network Video Recorder is the next most viable option. The recorder allows for up to three weeks of continuous video to be stored and downloaded to a master server when convenient.
From a power consumption perspective, all Hikvision cameras are incredibly frugal, demanding nothing more than the bare minimum to function optimally. Combining the camera system with a PoE Injector will allow the same LAN cable to accommodate both power and data, thereby eliminating the need to situate cameras close to power outlets, and the amount of cabling (and cable maintenance) running through the structure.
Authors Note :- Paul Allen is the founder and CEO of Protective Security Services, a leading security and alarms company based in Massachusetts. With over two decades of experience servicing large and small clients, Paul and his team create custom security solutions for both the residential and commercial sectors.