Security Tip

Have neighbors, friends or family pick up your mail, mow your lawn, use your garbage cans, and park in your driveway when you are away.

Even if a burglar knows you are away, the activity around your home will act as a deterrent.




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Video Surveillance Systems:

Are They Right For You ?

Video surveillance for the home has become a lot more affordable, and a lot more effective than just a few years ago.

So most people consider one or more security cameras to be an essential part of any home security system.

Whether during day or night, outside or inside the house, a well-placed video camera, also called CCTV ( closed circuit tv ) significantly enhances business or home security.

The advantages of video surveillance security systems are many. But let's keep a balanced view by taking a closer look at what it can and can't do.

Depending on the need, video surveillance equipment can be set up with one of two goals in mind. But most people want a combination of both:

Video Security Systems: The Pros

Deterrence: Security cameras let you monitor one or more approaches to your home in real time, such as the driveway, entryways, and backyard. In this way, a potential threat can be identified before it becomes a problem. This works also works well for spot-checking a sleeping child, play area, or va;uable property.

The goal is to let the potential intruder know he is being watched. Surveillance cameras are placed in clear view of entrance points, and you can include small security signs or decals announcing that the area is being watched.

Apprehension: Images caught on camera can be recorded on a DVR to provide clear identification of a person and a record of events. A picture is worth a thousand words to the police when it identifies the color of a car or a person's face. There are few pieces of evidence more compelling in a successful apprehension and a prosecution than a tape that clearly shows the criminal in the act.

Video surveillance systems can involve both visible and hidden cameras, and sometimes an audio listening device, to keep an eye on children, or anyone who may be on your property.

If deterrence is the only purpose, inexpensive security cams may be used. When apprehension is important, the quality and location of the camera, and its' recording ability, becomes more important. Effective prosecution of the intruder requires clear identification. So the surveillance equipment must be chosen for the distance, amount of daylight, and range of focus.

Video Surveillance Systems: The Cons

We've already mentioned the two crime-stopping goals: deterrence and apprehension, and there is no better way to meet both objectives than with a good surveillanse camera. But there is also a downside, and some pitfalls to consider.

A good system can be expensive. Cameras can be stolen or damaged, and most will need to be kept clean and dry. Hard-wired camera equipment requires at least some do-it-yourself ability to install. Wireless versions are easy to install, but can cost more.

Also to be considered is privacy - some would prefer to camera security as "spy video". Once security surveillance is implemented, there is a certain degree of privacy that is lost. In your case, the added peace of mind may or may not be worth the feeling of discomfort some family members may experience.

And The Verdict Is ?

So is video surveillance be part of your security system ? To decide, consider these questions:

1) What do you want the surveillance video to accomplish ? Deter crime ? Catch someone in the act ? Monitor a child ?
2) Will you also need audio surveillance to accomplish your goal ? Will you need the camera to see clearly at night ? Indoors or outdoors, or both ?
3) Is everyone in the household comfortable being included on security videos ?

Whatever you decide, make sure the benefits outweigh the potential problems.

And if you feel that a video surveillance system is the right choice for you, your next step is to understand the various options in security cameras

For more info on home video surveillance :

The next step is to understand the various options in security cameras.
A brief look at the other devices that make up a complete video surveillance system.
Home surveillance cameras - what they look like and where they fit.
Adding spy cams to your security camera system.