How Long is CCTV Footage Kept?
In general, properties keep CCTV footage as long as they have the storage capacity to do so. In most cases, this means supermarkets and other properties keep footage for around 30 to 90 days. However, this varies a great deal. Some only keep footage for a few hours while others may retain it indefinitely.
If you’re asking, “How long do supermarkets keep CCTV footage?”, it’s important to understand how these cameras work and how they store video.
How Security Cameras Store Video
When modern security cameras record video, they aren’t using tapes and, in most cases, they aren’t recording to DVDs either. Modern surveillance camera footage is typically recorded digitally. However, there are different ways to store this footage:
- Some cameras record to SD cards, similar to the ones found in digital cameras
- Others record to hard drives, either in the cameras themselves or – more likely – drives that are connected to the location’s network
- Cameras can also record to DVRs or other network storage tools
- Finally, cameras can store footage in the cloud. This means the files are stored digitally on a storage device or devices that are not located at the property. This storage usually spans multiple servers and is owned and managed by a hosting company
No matter how this footage is stored, there are limitations to how much can be retained. And the type of storage influences how much can be stored. Smaller storage formats (such as SD cards) can typically hold less than a network storage tool, for example. In most setups, once the storage device is full, the oldest data is overwritten and therefore it cannot be accessed.
In some systems, the administrator determines whether footage is deleted manually. This means that they can select what footage will be retained, but since this is a manual process, it is more complicated and time-consuming. Plus, there are still storage limitation concerns to keep in mind.
Depending on the system, it can also be set up to record some footage locally (such as to a hard drive or a DVR), then transfer this footage to cloud storage to act as a backup, and then overwrite the data on the hard drive.
Of course, if cloud storage is being used, bandwidth considerations are important. Uploading data uses an organization’s internet, and thus transfer speed and usage caps come into play. High-definition video footage is very large, which means you’ll be uploading a lot of data. You need to make sure you have an appropriate plan from your internet service provider.
It’s also important to note that the more cameras you have, the more data you will capture, and this means you’ll either require more storage or bandwidth, or you may have to delete or overwrite footage more frequently. Thus, the answer to the question, “How long do supermarkets keep CCTV footage?” also depends on how many cameras are in the store.
How is Supermarket Security Footage Monitored?
In addition to asking, “How long do supermarkets keep CCTV footage?”, it’s also important to ask how this footage is monitored and when. After all, the purpose of recording video surveillance footage is to watch it.
In many locations, including many supermarkets, footage is not monitored live. Generally, a lot of properties only view the footage after something happens, such as a crime or an injury. In these cases, the footage is used to verify the details of what happened and provide evidence to investigators, but it doesn’t stop the initial situation from occurring.
Live remote monitoring services watch over properties 24/7. These monitoring agents can watch for potential problems (such as suspicious activity or unsafe conditions) and take steps to prevent dangerous or criminal situations from occurring.
Live remote monitoring systems include two-way speakers, so agents can communicate directly with the site to resolve incidents before they escalate. This can save a business a lot of time, money, and hassle.
Birdseye Security Solutions is a trusted North American leader in remote security and facility monitoring.
We work with organizations in many different industries to improve safety and security through live remote monitoring. For more information on our services and how we can help your company, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our experts are here for you.