Sunday, August 11, 2013

Home Video Surveillance Killed the Radio Star

camera on pole

The typical home security kit with door and window alarms and motion sensors has been around for years. Security cameras for the home are a recent newcomer. While offices and businesses have enjoyed the benefits of expensive surveillance by security personnel, now the average homeowner has access to small, inexpensive cameras that are the next wave of household security.

This video technology has evolved quickly. Instead of simple, small, black-and-white video cameras connected to the central system by network cables, you now have a choice of black-and-white or color, sound or no sound and wireless cameras.

Why Should You Consider a Video Camera in Your Home Security Plan?

The primary reason is that it can provide answers to the typical questions during a burglary investigation. How many intruders? How did they get in? What did they do when they got into the house? With the traditional alarm system, one or more people can break into your house and set the alarm off. Before anyone, including the police, can react to it, they can be out the back door with your TV, stereo and jewelry. Many questions are left unanswered with the traditional alarm system.

When installed properly, a surveillance system can capture exactly what happened. The primary questions get answered, and often the perpetrators are apprehended. As with any technology, this is not foolproof. The best course is to visit a website such as and connect with professional installers.

If you have babysitters, nannies, delivery people, or other maintenance people who are frequently in your house, these cameras can also catch questionable behavior.

Also, these cameras are valuable for settling disputes. When legal proceedings require a definitive answer to, "Did they do that, or not?" the video can be reviewed for answers.

A final benefit is the cameras allow you to observe your home and the contents when you're away. During the day, you can keep track of your children and pets. When you're out of town, you can check on the house, especially when you hear about bad weather approaching your residence. This can give you piece of mind that far outweighs the cost of installing such a system.

What is the Availability of These Video Systems?

Wireless cameras are available at many stores and on the Internet in a variety of models and features. You can purchase a package with software and several cameras, or just install a few elements at a time yourself. The flexibility of these devices allows you to blend them into your home environment, so they are useful but unnoticeable. Some systems even allow you to do real-time monitoring from your tablet or smartphone.

What is the Downside of a Home Video System?

The primary concern is similar to the public concern about widespread cameras for surveillance: the impact to privacy. Because your video camera is an indiscriminate observer, it records the comings and goings of everyone. Friends, family, and neighbors will all be recorded. People want to believe they have a level of privacy when they go somewhere as evidenced by a recent CNN article on the Boston Marathon bombings. They don't want to think they're being watched wherever they go.

There are many advantages to using a surveillance system. The first step is to decide how you really want to use it. Then, a discussion with friends and family is useful to dispel any misgivings about the impact on them.

Have you considered a security camera for your home? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image by Salim Fadhley pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.

Cindy Driscoll Cindy adores being a mom and writing about how to raise environmentally conscious kids.


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