Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Watchtower different from any other vendor?
First, we work solely in the multi-family industry.  Focusing on this one industry allows us to tailor our approach and methodology to the issues you face on a daily basis.  Secondly, Watchtower is NOT in the equipment business and we’ll never attempt to sell you more than you need.  Finally, we “don’t sell and run,” as we are your committed partner in crime reduction.

Will having your services get me discounts on my insurance? 
Yes, because of our proven rate of crime decreases, we have been approached by a large carrier that offers sizeable discounts by adding our services.  These discounts can significantly offset the cost of our services (or maybe more).

Do cameras really work at curbing crime? 
Yes, besides being an effective deterrent, we have the statistics to back it up.  As noted elsewhere on this site, we measured the crime statistics of a large apartment complex before and after installing our services.  The resulting crime rate decrease has been instrumental in turning this troubled property around.

What is the difference between your cameras and those of other vendors? 
In most cases, the difference is Watchtower’s superior digital cameras vs. the traditional analog cameras a lot of vendors use.  Without going into all of the boring details, digital cameras equal High Definition images (just like your HDTV) and analog cameras equal the grainy footage you see at 711’s.  Additionally, we spend countless hours “tuning” each camera for hundreds of scene variables which ensures you have the best image quality day or night.

Can I utilize your services and my security guards? 
Sure and in certain instances, the combination can be a powerful force.  However, the majority of our clients ultimately chose to solely utilize Watchtower’s services, as they realize our value and results are superior to all other offerings.  Guards are unreliable, expensive and can only be in one place at one time, while Watchtower can blanket your entire property with HD cameras for a fraction of the cost.

Why outsource my camera system, how hard can it be to manage it on my own? 
You’ll have to ask yourself what your time is worth, as there are a great number of variables that may have you spending more time on your system than you might expect.  You’ll have to ensure the system is up and running daily and ensure that all the cameras are focused and tuned.  If a breakdown does occur, you’ll have to spend the time (and $) to fix it as well.  Most importantly, you’ll be spending countless hours reviewing multiple cameras for every event.  Again, potential clients must consider what their time is worth to manage these systems, while also realizing that time spent on this is time spent away from their core duties.

What does “all-inclusive” service really entail?...and what hidden charges are there? 
Honestly, it covers EVERYTHING!  For a pre-set monthly fee, our services cover every conceivable aspect of an HD video surveillance system; installation, maintenance, repairs, equipment replacement (even if someone maliciously damages the equipment), and an unlimited number of video requests.

Where and how can I view the “live” views?
You can view your cameras from any internet connected device: laptop, TV, phone or tablet.

What kind of things can I make “video requests” for? 
While our core focus is reducing crime and nuisance behaviors, our clients have shared with us a number of “other” uses for their systems.  We get all kinds of video requests including; crime (break-ins, drugs, auto theft, etc), illegal dumping, trespassing, liability issues (slip and falls), lease violations (i.e. after hours use of pool/community room), break-ins, checking in on staff, ensuring snow removal vendor did their job, missing packages, gate damage, etc, etc.  You name it, it’s been requested and we’ve caught it in full High Definition!

How does Watchtower perform the video reviews for me? 
Once notified of your request, Watchtower’s expert video review team begins reviewing and analyzing countless hours of footage from your property in search of the incident.  Watchtower will review every camera in efforts of building a comprehensive video of evidence for your review.  Along with our video, our specialists will provide “still” shots of those persons/vehicles in question and will deliver detailed notes of every event they encountered.

How is the video footage delivered? 
Watchtower sends an email to the requestor with “still” images, our detailed notes and a link to download their video footage.  We also deliver DVD’s of the footage when requested.

How many days back do you keep the recordings?
Watchtower typically retains all video footage for 14 days but retains all requested videos (and their raw footage) indefinitely.

Will you help me work with the police on certain requests? 
YES, it is our goal to free up your time as much as possible.  We proactively work with the police on a regular basis and have established a good relationship with them at all of our client sites.  In fact, we regularly have to appear in court on behalf of our clients.  And of course, this is all included in the monthly fee.

What kind of system monitoring do you do? 
Daily we monitor: hardware reports, temperature and health, recording status, focus of the cameras and their orientation just to name a few. By proactively monitoring the health of your systems, we are able to significantly mitigate downtime, thereby ensuring that you never miss a recording.

How many cameras do I need and how much does it cost?
Each property is unique and many factors go into our planning and design process including; building type and layout, topography, lighting levels, number of entry and exits, parking design and landscaping, just to name a few.  As a general rule, for our systems to truly provide value, we set up cameras to broadly cover most of the common and parking areas, and we cover all of the entrance/exits with cameras specifically designed for license plate capture.  Unfortunately, we can’t estimate cost as there are many factors that influence the monthly charge.

Can your cameras see at night? 
Night-time surveillance is dependent upon a number of factors.  However, generally speaking, our low-light cameras are able to illuminate most dark scenes considerably.

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