An obvious solution -- and one upon which many homeowners have relied for years, is a home security system. Alarm systems have proven effective in countless cases, but they can be prohibitively expensive to set up and use when you factor installation and monthly monitoring fees into the equation. Furthermore, it's estimated that over half of those with home security systems are unsure how to operate them.
Tip 1. How large is the space you need to cover?
Larger spaces might need:
- Camera mobility.
Tip 2. Do your cameras need to be hidden or not?
Visible security cameras can be a great option for those with larger properties, where deterrence is as important as actually catching a thief or vandal in the act. Nothing stops a would-be criminal faster than the watchful eye of a security camera staring down at him. Some homeowners even opt for simple, extremely low-cost dummy cameras just for their deterrent capabilities.
If you choose a traditional video surveillance system, one or many (up to 16 or more) cameras can be connected through one centrally monitored digital video recorder, letting you keep an eye on all of the vulnerable areas of your home.
Hidden cameras, while ineffective as a visual deterrent, can be even more effective at catching criminals than traditional video surveillance systems. Actual home invasion burglaries are a significant threat, but more than that, any time you let someone in your home, there's a risk they could walk away with something of yours. Well-placed covert recording devices around your home are the perfect way to nab any thief in your midst.
It's impossible to be in the same room as any contractor, dog walker, cleaning staff member, etc., 24/7. You need a certain level of faith to allow strangers to go about their business unsupervised within your own home. And, if you've ever been burned before by someone you've hired, that trust can never be regained. By selecting hidden cameras to monitor sensitive areas of your home, you gain the peace of mind you deserve, without making a service person or employee uncomfortable.
Theft-prevention aside, if you're hiring someone to care for an elderly relative -- or a nanny to watch your baby -- hidden cameras can literally mean the difference between life and death. It seems almost every week there's a story involving a worried parent or caregiver using a hidden camera to catch abuse and bring a criminal to justice.
Hidden cameras are also a great way to ensure that your teen is behaving himself when left home alone. If you're going out of town for a weekend and you're worried your home is going to be used as a party house, hidden cameras can provide the evidence you need to keep your teen honest.
Tip 3. How many cameras will you need?
If you are monitoring a large area:
- Draw up a blueprint.
- Highlight camera views.
- Connection & storage.
- Color & definition.
- Weather protection.
- PTZ option.
- Night vision option.
- Web access option.
- Motion detection.
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