When people think of surveillance, they usually only think of video recording. As technology is continuing to change and adapt to society, this thought process needs to change too. Having audio as well as video surveillance gives more detail on whatever situation is being recorded which can be critical in cases like a break-in or an assault. The demand for audio surveillance is increasing as security personnel are realizing it is just as important for safety and security as video technology is. It can be the difference between knowing a fight broke out versus knowing who started the fight—and why.
In addition to being able to hear what you are seeing through cameras, audio surveillance also gives the option of sending pre-recorded messages or even live announcements. These capabilities can be very useful in a number of ways. It can prevent crime as it is about to happen, such as stopping a robbery in its tracks. Or it can prevent chaos from occurring in an emergency situation, such as instructing the public where to go in order to evacuate.
With all of the added benefits of audio surveillance, it only makes sense to make it a part of your security system. Audio surveillance can come in two different forms: built into a camera or as a separate solution (in many cases this can be the superior quality option). Either way, the investment is generally outweighed by the positive results.
Of course, there are laws regarding audio surveillance. These laws and regulations differ from state to state, so be sure to investigate your state’s particular requirements (summarized by pinow.com) before making any decisions. There are currently thirty-eight (38) states that have the “one-party consent” statute, which applies more to recording someone for a specific reason. Some laws state that the listener of the recording must be present and participating in the conversation while others state that it is only illegal if a device is being used, such as a cellphone. With all of this taken into consideration, the one thing that makes both audio and video surveillance legal is if there is a sign posted informing anyone nearby that they are being recorded. This is because if someone then chooses to stay in the area, they are technically consenting to being recorded.
You could say that what was once a bonus to surveillance—is now more of a necessity for effective and efficient security. Relying on video recording alone is not enough to be fully aware of what’s happening, and audio is the missing link. Audio surveillance is an obvious next step in security to aid in the prevention of crime.