How to Choose the Right Video Surveillance System for Your School

During last month’s blog we talked all about the physical security options we provide. Physical security is a hot topic in education right now. There are so many elements go into physical security, but security cameras play a major role. We want to walk you through how to build the best security camera system to fit the unique needs of your school.

Benefits of a Security Camera System

Physical security doesn’t just boil down to one or two things, it involves complex solutions to protect your facility, staff, and students. One way to monitor and protect your school’s teachers, employees, volunteers, and students from situations like sexual crimes, bullying, and other situations is by using a video surveillance system. Video surveillance not only protects people, school security cameras can also protect your property by deterring theft and vandalism, 

Picking the Right Cameras for the Right Areas

There are a few different types of cameras to choose from, and each will be a better choice for different areas of a school campus.

  • PTZ cameras (pan-tilt-zoom) – These can easily be utilized for areas such as courtyards or parking lots.
  • 360-degree cameras – These are a great choice for classrooms and larger areas such as lunchrooms, gymnasiums, etc.
  • Mini-dome cameras – These are able to fit well to monitor hallways or office areas with tight corners.

Fixed-focal vs. Zoom Lenses

There are two types of lenses that are popular for use in school surveillance, fixed and zoom. Each have different benefits for the area being monitored. Fixed lenses cost less, but they also have to be physically moved to provide changes in the view. Zoom lenses provide the largest field of view as well as variations, but at a higher cost. The truth is, schools probably need a mix of the two, and a professional can help you figure out what lenses your school or school system needs and where.

Recording Systems

The same way there are different cameras and lenses, there are also different types of recording systems, each with different costs and benefits.

  • DVR systems – A main downside of DVR is that the hard drives are usually small, and old footage is overwritten by new footage often, so you’re only able to review footage for a limited time.
  • Server-based systems – One downside here is that you’re relying on hardware, just lie with DVR, which could fail. So with a server-based system, you need to make sure to keep backups (Same with DVR.)
  • Cloud-based systems – While storage is definitely a plus with cloud, a concern to consider here is security. It’s important to make sure the system is well-protected from hackers or other threats.


As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to security cameras. It’s important to hire a trusted security company with the expertise needed to guide you in making the correct choices, ensuring you receive a system that not only meets, but exceeds your expectations! ANC can help.