Surveillance systems are not just for businesses anymore. As systems grow easier to use (and more affordable), many homeowners are using video surveillance to protect their home inside and out.
It’s a proven fact that cameras deter crime. Unlike an alarm system, which is triggered by someone breaking into your home, a home surveillance system can help prevent a break-in from happening. Some criminals are willing to take a gamble when they see an alarm system sticker or yard sign, but not as many will risk being captured on camera.
A home surveillance system can be helpful inside the house, too. Indoor surveillance cameras can identify intruders and keep an eye on children or employees in the home.
Before you purchase home surveillance equipment, you should consider your security needs. Here are some things to think about to help you decide what type of surveillance is right for you:
• Consider your budget. The cost of home surveillance varies greatly depending on what you choose. You may want to splurge and invest in a top-of-the line digital surveillance system; if money’s tight right now, you can purchase a dummy camera – and you wont know it’s a fake.
• Keep it simple. If you’re new to home surveillance, start small. A basic system that consists of a camera or two, a monitor, and a VCR or DVR should be enough. You can always add features and equipment later.
• Know your options. If you have an older home that’s not pre-wired for home security, you may want to choose an easy-to-install wireless surveillance system. If you’re tech-savvy, you may want web-based home surveillance so you can monitor your home on the Internet 24 hours a day from any computer.
• Think prevention. Walk around your home and get into a criminal mindset. Where would an intruder be likely to break in? Are there particular areas – like the swimming pool or the garage – that you’d like to keep an eye on?
Once you have a better idea of your surveillance needs, you will be ready to install your own home surveillance system. Many surveillance systems are sold in convenient, prepackaged kits – a good option for beginners because everything’s included and components are designed to work together.
If you’re more experienced with home surveillance or have more specific needs (maybe you want a nanny-cam to check up on the new babysitter), specialty cameras and surveillance equipment can be purchased separately.